For his third cinematic outing, ‘Wrong No 2’, due out on Eid Al Fitr, actor-turned-TV-and-film-director Yasir Nawaz isn’t willing to take any chances. Or, at least that’s what it seems like. Though the film’s budget isn’t big (by even ‘Lollywood’ standards!), Nawaz has evidently worked out a foolproof plan. For one thing, the movie is being ‘called’ a sequel to the hugely entertaining ‘Wrong No’ (2015), so that fans of the first should start anticipating fireworks. But ever since a teaser of the film came out, which was followed by a theatrical and, now, a love song ‘Yaarian’, the critics have failed to find any connections with the original.
So, no one knows yet how ‘Wrong No 2’ qualifies as a sequel. Even the audiences wouldn’t be able to tell, if it weren’t for its title, because the entire lead cast has been changed — here we have Sami Khan in place of Danish Taimoor, and Neelam Muneer stepping into the feisty Sohai Abro’s platform shoes. Jawed Shaikh is perhaps the only constant here. Also, whereas ‘Wrong No’ was essentially the story of ‘Prince and the Pauper’ made into a comedy of errors, the sequel seems to be taking its own course.
But all this is conjecture, at the end of the day. The true test of the pudding will be when we taste it. Nawaz is a smart director, and especially when it comes to comedies, his repertoire boasts such brilliant TV shows as Nadaniyaan, whose popularity even crossed borders into India where it was adapted for a local channel. So he should be trusted to come up with full-on entertainment, if nothing more.
Secondly, its meagre budget notwithstanding, Nawaz as well as his producers, Hassan Zia and Shaikh Amjad Rasheed, don’t seem to have compromised on the visual quality of the film. Proof: the video of ‘Yaarian.’ The cinematographer’s work here is top-notch.
Also, in keeping with their past tradition where they got Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh to give playback for ‘Mehrunisa We Lub U’, the makers roped in Harshdeep Kaur (best known for her vocals in the Raees song, ‘Zaalima’) for ‘Wrong No 2’. The result is a melodious track, which is also incidentally composed by Indian musician Simaab Sen. Whether they managed this musical ‘feat’ before the Pulwama attack (in February this year) which put a halt to all cultural collaborations between India and Pakistan, is a separate story altogether.
Lastly, the makers recently announced that they had signed a deal with Eros International for the worldwide distribution of Wrong No.2. This is an important partnership, and could earn them rich dividends, unless the film itself turns out to be a let-down. Eros has previously distributed Pakistani film Bol (2011) in India and abroad.