Ready Steady no Movie Review
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Ready, Steady, No! (Movie Review): Finally, a Comedy Film You can Watch with Your Family

When Muneer Ahmed was on screen, reading a script that Salman Shahid had handed him, I noticed something. Nearly half an hour had gone by, and there were no cheap laughs or acts to speak of. Every single comedy film from the new wave of Pakistani cinema that I’d watched so far was full of them. And yet here, “Ready, Steady, No” had taken the high road and rejected that formula entirely.

Debut writer-director Hisham Bin Munawar relies on the script and clever dialogue to engage the audience rather than cheap shots. And more than that, he respects the veterans that agreed to star in his films. So often is the case that screen legends like Mr. Javed Sheikh are reduced to playing underdeveloped characters and delivering uninspired, cheap dialogues. However, Hisham Bin Munawwar gives Salman Shahid, Nargis Rasheed, and Ismail Tara plenty to do.

The film revolves around Raziya played by Amna Ilyas and Faisal, played by Faisal Saif. The two are trying to get married despite their parents’ archaic notions about inter caste marriage. Despite this being a trope that has been done to death, “Ready, Steady, No!” has a fresh feel to it. Amna Ilyas brings a realism to her performance in a few scenes that really bring out her range as an actress. Faisal Saif, however, doesn’t put much in to his performance than the bare minimum. He looked bored throughout the entirety of the film. The supporting cast like Marhoom Ahmed Bilal (who you saw in Teefa in Trouble as Billu Butt) and Muneer Ahmed have been given clearly developed characters with a lot of meat to them and they all did justice to the parts assigned to them.

Mr. Bilal plays Advocate Mazhar Fakhar (another example of the film’s subtle humour). His profession doesn’t pay that well, so he’s reduced to making deliveries through ride-sharing services and doing odd jobs for people. That hit the unemployment nail right on the head, especially for Pakistan.

Muneer Ahmed plays Detective Muneer, who runs a self-financed detective agency. He sits in a dark room all day, watching James Bond films and directing his servants to create fog through a fog machine and to swing the lamp above his head to create an atmosphere of mystery. His catchphrase, “Muneer se kuch Chupa nahin Reh Sakta” got a laugh every time it was delivered.

Other small characters dot the story like Nayyer Ejaz, in a double role as a palmist and a Maulvi, and Zain Afzal as the Qazi. Clever use of puppetry has also been made in order to tell part of the story.

As for negatives, the film drags a little, and its cinematic appeal is lacking. If the film had been edited down to 90 minutes and the camera had been handled a little more professionally, this film would’ve been the best made comedy film to come out of the new wave cinema.

This is a character driven story through and through. And it’s been a long time since we have seen a purely comedic film where the audience was howling laughing, along with their families. It’s been too long since there has been a Pakistani comedy that you could take your entire family too. This is one that shouldn’t be missed.

Hisham Bin Munawar is an independent writer-director who is also a recent graduate from BNU. Talent like this shouldn’t just be appreciated, it should be encouraged in Pakistan. Go watch this film with your family and have a great time.

Ready, Steady, No! Movie Review
  • Verdict
3

Summary

This is a character driven story through and through. And it’s been a long time since we have seen a purely comedic film where the audience was howling laughing, along with their families. It’s been too long since there has been a Pakistani comedy that you could take your entire family too. This is one that shouldn’t be missed.

Yousuf Mehmood

Written by Yousuf Mehmood

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