“London Nahi Jaunga” (LNJ) is that long in the pipeline production many have been eagerly waiting for. Just to jog your memory, the Humayun Saeed – Mehwish Hayat project was announced in 2019 and its production had almost wrapped up till the pandemic struck in 2020, as a result of which the UK spell was delayed by a good two years.
But is all well that ends well? While we reserve our final verdict till we watch the film, the film’s trailer does offer a glimpse of a more layered, and perhaps darker, storyline compared to ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi.’ Humayun Saeed plays Chaudhry Jameel, a single man in the mold of PNJ’s Fawad Khagga, looking to get betrothed to his still-to-be-found ladylove. The preview shows some friendly banter between him and Kubra Khan’s character, which presumably is that of the village belle, who may or may not be in love with our hero. The trailer doesn’t reveal much about the Mehwish Hayat’s character, however, it is safe to say that she plays Saeed’s British-Pakistani on-screen romantic interest and that there is more than just romance that ties the two. We are likely looking at an intense, inter-generational backstory here, which will pit Hayat against Saeed’s character, much in the vein of “Punjab Nahin Jaungi”, however this time the action involves more than just post-marital squabbles. The trailer offers hints of a murder and much bad blood between the two, a family feud/mystery of sorts that we will have to watch the film to get a handle on.
Production-wise, the film looks every bit as grand as PNJ. However that might be a bit problematic as it shows the makers are still stuck in 2017 when PNJ came out, and that little by way of evolution of visuals and production design took place in the intervening period. There are many sequences of lavishly mounted wedding songs and dance numbers, but then that’s more or less a given in most films these days, although the treatment here is admittedly ritzier.
The film’s trump card is likely to be its script by writer Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar, who seems to have penned a family drama that will be more than just a love story featuring a strong-willed woman and her beau from the rural hinterlands. The plot features an element of mystery that is likely to spice up the proceedings.
“London Nahi Jaunga” releases in cinemas this Eid-ul-Azha.