Yasir Nawaz on Wrong No. 2: Clash with Maula Jutt, Casting Choices and Expectations

As many are aware, the man behind 2015’s blockbuster “Wrong No.”, Yasir Nawaz, has recently wrapped up the sequel to the box office hit. Starring Neelam Muneer and Sami Khan in lead roles, “Wrong No. 2”, through its first look poster was just recently announced for an Eid-ul-Fitr release. We got hold of Yasir on phone to get answers for all queries we had in our mind related to his last directed film “Mehrunisa V Lub U” and his next offering “Wrong No. 2”.

Mehrunisa V Lub U, released on Eid-ul-Fitr 2017 opposite Yalghaar, despite proving to be a success, failed to get the response “Wrong No.” did.
Yasir had plenty to say about MVLU’s underperformance, “There were multiple factors due to which MVLU could not garner the response we had expected from it. There were some shortcomings from our end too but there was also some politics played against our film. The prime time shows that were allotted to MVLU were later given to Yalghaar and all that happened at eleventh hour, but again this was not the only reason as there were multiple factors responsible for film’s performance and acceptance.”

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On his complain over injustice from exhibitors, and then with “Wrong No. 2” ready to clash with the year’s much awaited film “The Legend of Maula Jutt” on Eid, we asked the filmmaker, if he is worried about facing a similar situation of getting prime time shows in front of such a huge film – and if so why repeat the same mistake again?

“See we also competed with Bajrangi Bhaijaan in 2015 when all the good shows were given to the Salman Khan starrer, but we managed to win over audience with good content” answered Yasir, “ Again in 2017 we stood firm against Yalghaar and this time again we are confident that people will love our film because the content of Wrong No. 2 is its real strength and its content that wins at the end of the day.”

On being asked whether he has learnt any lessons from the response on his last film, the MVLU director did not shy away from confessing his shortcomings. “MVLU was promoted a romantic comedy film although it had a social message embedded in it but it basically was a rom-com so it should have ended on a lighter mood. The last fifteen minutes of film got severely intense which I think is something we should have avoided, and I knew it while we were writing and then filming it that this is getting unnecessarily intense but my other team members insisted to keep it that way as it seemed to gel with film’s theme so I also got convinced, but now I feel I should have trusted my own instincts. Another reason for which people didn’t like MVLU much was excessive use of double meaning dialogues that offended family audience, so these are some of the things which I have taken well care of in Wrong No. 2”

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Wrong No. 2 is a sequel of a well received film and people naturally have huge expectations. Does it put any extra stress on him? “Actually this one is not a sequel” replied Nawaz to our question, “It’s entirely a different story with different characters. Javed Sheikh saab, who was seen playing a butcher in Wrong No. will be seen in Wrong No. 2 essaying a completely different role. It’s just that Wrong No. was a very well accepted film and people liked its brand of humour so we came up with the idea of producing a new comedy film with the title “Wrong No. 2”. We are kind of exploiting the name of first film but it’s because this film too follows the same brand of romantic comedy”

Yasir Nawaz just last year had worked with Sami Khan for the first time ever and that too under his direction in a TV serial “Khudgharz” and in the same year Yasir’s another drama serial “Dil Mom Ka Dia” with Neelam Muneer opposite him, proved a chartbuster. Was it his recent experience of working with these two exceedingly talented actors that allowed them to bag lead roles in Wrong No. 2?

“That experience did play a part but honestly, these roles, when you will watch the film only then you will realize, were just made for Neelam and Sami. I had to cast them because these two are the actors who could pull off such kind of characters with ease as our script was demanding some brilliant actors and not just stars. The real star of this film is its content.”

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“Wong No.” had “Selfiyaan” picturised on Sohai Ali Abro which was aggressively marketed during film’s publicity campaign. The song despite being shot on a low budget was well executed and proved a hit and was played in every other mehndi that year. Is there any such dance number is Wrong No. 2 “There is one dance number” confirmed the director, “It’s a mehndi number and is a situational song, picturised on Yashma Gill and Neelam Muneer”

Talking about script of the film Yasir excitedly explained, “This time we have employed a different technique to write its script. Although the story is by Danish Nawaz but for its screenplay and dialogues there was a team consisting of me, Danish, Ahmed and Saqib Sumeer, so we used to brain storm a lot to agree upon the best ideas”.

Music of the film, according to Nawaz, is given by Semaab Sen while choreography is done by Nigah Hussain (both have worked with Yasir previousely for MVLU). Cinematography is done by Zahid Hussain, the same man who served as DOP for Yasir’s debut film “Wrong No.” For the media partner there is a bright chance of getting Geo on board and while the overseas distributor is not finalized yet, it will be distributed by IMGC distribution club in Pakistan.

“Wrong No. 2” releases in cinemas this Eid-ul-Fitr and we at PakistaniCinema wish all the best to Yasir Nawaz for the success of this film and hope it turns out a better production than his last directed flick.

Written by Azadar Kazmi


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