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Jawani Phir Nahi Ani (JPNA) 2 outshone its prequel, which had done record business three years ago.

The cast of the prequel delivered a better performance than JPNA and Fahad Mustafa has also carried his role well.

The script is better as is the cinematography which is helped by picturesque locations in Turkey and UAE. The roles carry more depth than JPNA and at the same time, the director has focused more on the comical side of the film than romance, or the story.

Pepe’s (Ahmed Ali Butt) brother-in-law Rahat, played by Fahad Mustafa, is an investment banker, who does shady deals, lives in Turkey. Rahat is planning to wed Xoe, played by Mawra Hoccane, daughter of billionaire designer played by Sohail Ahmed.

Rahat calls his sister, Uzma Khan’s character, and invites her to Turkey to meet his future in-laws, a pre-condition set by his in-laws.

Pepe and his wife also extend the invite to their friend Sheikh played by Vasay Chaudhry and his wife Gul, played by Sarwat Gillani.

All four arrive in Istanbul on a paid trip and are received by Fahad Mustafa’s character.

The pace of the movie picks up and soon Pepe and Sheikh come to know that their old friend Sherry, played by Humayun Saeed, is in mental asylum in Istanbul and they rush to meet him where the doctor informs them that he will discharge Sherry as he is a great nuisance.

The three are together once more but Sherry is in a suicidal condition due to a past incident. After a few suicidal attempts, he falls in love with Kubra Khan’s character, who is on vacation in Turkey.

The film is a winner all the way. Humayun Saeed and Fahad Mustafa have delivered brilliant performances and both hold their own when they share screen space. Sherry is a lawyer who has fallen in love with a beautiful mountain climber and the daughter of the Indian ambassador, played by veteran Bollywood actor Kanwaljit Singh, who is shown to hate Pakistan because he was a cricketer once and was hit by Imran Khan’s ball.

The ambassador had to abandon his career in cricket about which he was very passionate and for which he blames Imran Khan.

On the other hand, Fahad Mustafa’s character is of a dapper man in his early 30s who has made millions via wrongdoings but about which no one knows.

Ahmed Butt is brilliant as Pepe and has outdone his earlier performance. Sohail Ahmed is in complete form and his comedy is on point. He made the audience laugh every time he was on screen.

Kubra Khan shines in what is till date her biggest film and delivers a marvelous performance. She is composed and poised.

Mawra Hoccane made her debut in Pakistani films with this one and carried her role aptly and the chemistry between Rahat and Xoe was perfect.

Having said that, Humayun Saeed and Kubra Khan’s character were undoubtedly the lead romantic couple and the lines they shared were the only dialogues in the whole film which were not written to be funny.

Vasay Chaudhry has written a great script and makes the audience laugh throughout.

The writer has also managed to smartly include a love-hate relationship between India and Pakistan. Dialogues between Sherry and the Indian ambassador are deep and carry a message of harmony.

JPNA 2 ticks all the right boxes, except for its music, which is disappointing.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2018