“Money Back Guarantee” (MBG) is the biggest upcoming release of the year so far. The promos and marketing are in full swing. Directed by Faysal Qureshi and starring Fawad Khan, Wasim Akram, Kiran Malik, Mani, Gohar Rasheed, Jan Rambo, etc, it promises to be a huge money spinner at the box office.
Show Me the Money
To start, we asked the big question. What is he expecting “Money Back Guarantee” to make at the box office?
“500 Crores. I’ve always been a person who believes in dreaming big so that’s definitely the number I had in mind.”
MBG’s budget is an estimated 15 Cr, and the money is all on the screen. The sets, the cast, and the action sequences all seem to be top notch. Shayan Khan hopes that the film turns a handsome profit and sets a benchmark for future projects. He’s hoping he can tell bigger and bigger stories in the future.
What’s Wasim Akram Doing in MBG?
Our next big question was about the Sultan of Swing. Wasim Akram and his wife Shaniera Akram are the odd ones out in this cast of professional actors, old and new, in the film. We wondered whether the role was written specifically for him.
“I’m honestly not sure if Faysal Qureshi wrote this character with Wasim in mind, but what I do know is that we were very fortunate to have gotten the chance to cast Wasim Akram… (He) plays the President of the bank that our movie revolves around… We also needed someone who could believably look like he was used to wielding a lot of power and influence and loved being at the top. We couldn’t think of anyone better than him.”
“Money Back Guarantee” Brings Together Old and New Stars
MBG also brings a lot of new and old faces together in true ensemble film fashion. That’s a rarity in Pakistani cinema. Few films have brought together star casts, and fewer still have featured old and new faces together. This was apparently by design.
“Faysal and I wanted this movie to be unlike any that have come before. This included roping in the best talent Pakistan has to offer while championing Pakistan’s legendary fast bowler, Wasim Akram’s acting debut.”
We also asked about the ostensible inspiration from “Money Heist”. Shayan Khan stood firm that Faysal Qureshi had never seen Money Heist and that the film’s concept centered on economic instability within third world countries.
“…so suffice it to say that no Western production has influenced our movie too drastically. Also, it needs to be said “Money Heist”, despite its popularity did not invent the heist movie genre.”
And as if to make Shayan Khan’s point, this writer has also never seen Money Heist. I just like to sing along to Bella Ciao every now and then.
Dollars, Rubles, Euros, Pounds…Rupees?
Well now that economic instability had been mentioned, we asked outright. Would audiences relate to “Money Back Guarantee” because of the inflation and currency devaluation sweeping the headlines right now?
“…(MBG) provides an introspective look at the conditions of developing countries and their’ fickle relationship with money and politicians while maintaining Faysal’s unique brand of humor. What we have is full family entertainment, social commentary, and a thrilling plot.”
Wry Smiles or Huge Laughs?
As MBG is a comedy at the end of the day, we also asked about its aspirations. Was it just a simple comedy or a biting satire, especially since both are pretty rare in today’s industry.
“Yes, absolutely! MBG is a benchmark in Lollywood in many ways, including its lack of romance. We have leading ladies in our movie who are presented as fully-rounded characters rather than being cornered as romantic interests.”
What’s Beyond The Guarantee?
Shayan Khan’s other projects beyond MBG include the political web series “Mandi” starring Saba Qamar and Mikaal Zulfiqar; and a biopic on Gama Pehelwan, written by Nasir Adeeb Sahab. We asked him if he would share details about both.
For “Mandi”, he maintains that it’s “a complete work of fiction and isn’t historical in any way.” However, since politics remains relevant and initiates deep conversations, it’s a good genre to explore.
As for “Gama Pehelwan”, the script is still being perfected by Nasir Adeeb, and so it’s too soon to consider casting. At the end of the day, it’s all about doing justice to the story of the legendary wrestler.
Money Back Guarantee will hit theaters near you on Eid Ul Fitr 2023. It has a star-studded cast, action, satire, comedy, and hopefully, an experience that you won’t soon forget.