If its first trailer is anything to go by, ‘Parey Hut Love’ is destined to become the biggest blockbuster of 2019.
Here’s a film that is headlined by a great-looking, all-star cast — Sheheryar Munawwar (who is also the producer), Maya Ali, Ahmad Ali Butt, Zara Noor Abbas (who is fresh off the success of ‘Chhalawa’), Mahira Khan and, in cameo appearances, Fawad Khan, Meera, Sonya Jehan, Shahbaz Shigri, and top model Cybil Chaudhry — the likes of whom haven’t come together on a single project in many years.
Their presence alone should ensure a bumper opening at the box office. And when your favourite people are seen on screen doing things that would warm the cockles of your heart, there’s no stopping the movie.
‘Parey Hut Love’s’ trailer successfully baits the audience with the promise of a breezy love story, sprinkled with some deftly executed, rich kids’ wedding sequences.
The creative team behind the production has clearly worked hard to put the zillion ‘desi shaadi’ props together — the elaborately decorated mehndi thaals (baskets), lined by clay lamps; the drapes, the gajras, the costumes, the chandeliers, and so on.
Second-time director Asim Raza’s meticulousness in shooting dance numbers is legendary. But, in ‘Parey Hut Love’, he seems to be outdoing his previous works. The film has huge money riding on it — sources put it down to around PKR 200 million (Dh4.6 million), which is by far the highest for a Pakistani feature. Even the funeral scene has been shot on a lavish scale.
Sadly, the trailer misses one key mark: it fails to highlight the film’s main conflict, and you are left wondering what the goings-on are actually about.
The hero (Munawwar) is a TV actor who says ruefully that he’s looking for a role; Ali is the pretty girl next door. The two seem to run into each other at different weddings and in different time zones. Even though they are in love, Ali hasn’t admitted to it yet, perhaps because she is already engaged to be married.
Enter a host of characters, with an entire range of peculiarities — the facetious Butt, the fresh-faced Parishay James (who will remind you of Alia Bhatt), the melodramatic Abbas, the pompous Frieha Altaf, the over-the-top Hina Dilpazeer and so on. Everyone seems to be doing their own thing. But the big question that crosses your mind is, what’s all the fuss about?
Hopefully, the film will not leave audiences frustrated.