When you set out to do anything major in life, two questions have to be asked. What we/I aim to achieve out of it? How will we get there? The purpose of Band Na Baraati seemed to be quit singular i.e. launch Shayan Khan. The how, was never answered. The film, the characters were right out of a bad sitcom, written and performed in a haste to meet a deadline (Eid, New Year’s etc.). Forced situations, unfunny dialogues and supremely dispassionate acting mars Na Band na Baraati.
The film starts with a scene outside of a night club. Zahid (Shayan Khan), fights a bunch of goons. Soon we know that Zahid is an irresponsible boy, who keeps taking ‘loans’ from his brother Shahid (Mikaal Zulfiqar) and doesn’t like going to work. Shahid, plays the good, elder brother, bailing Zahid out in tough situations. Also, Zahid likes to sleep half naked in Shahid’s bed, a sight not to behold. Both brothers have girlfriends, Zahid is going out with Ayesha (Anzhelika Rublevska Tahir) and Shahid is dating Zoya (Nayab Khan). Ali Kazmi who is playing a mechanic is also madly in love with Ayesha. Mehmood Akhtar (Ayesha’s father) is a strict man and to his annoyance, Zahid casually walks up to his door and professes his love for Ayesha.
On his refusal, Zahid and Ayesha elope with the help of Shahid. In this mess, characters (rather annoying ones) come and go one after another. Shahid’s girlfriend, suspects him, the parents find out and everything goes haywire. How do the brothers get out of this situation? Watch the film to find out.
It’s a halfhearted attempt at portraying life in foreign land. Parents believe in tradition and cultural values, while children don’t really care for it. This is done without nuance and under this pretense, situations have been forced to induce laughter. When the story is rather weak, you need exceptional acting. This film has house hold names, like Mikaal Zulfiqar, Qavi Khan, Ali Kazmi, Atiqa Odho but even they cannot make it plausible.
The new actors; they were left to go out on a limb. Anzhelika Rublevska Tahir and Nayab Khan may be decent actresses (haven’t seen their other work to be fair) but they can’t really speak Urdu with any conviction. Whether in ‘romantic’ situations or comedy, the dialogues appear forced. It would have been way better to just let them speak English and perhaps translate it. For Shayan Khan, his limitations are plenty and he isn’t aware of it.
To sum up, Na Band Na Baraati is a maze of unfunny situations marred by mediocrity; the viewer wouldn’t care to wait to see how it ends. You’d rather walk out!