Ready Steady No: A clichéd plot with a fresh script
Pakistani filmmakers seem to find romantic comedies coupled with boy and girl running away from their families, quite lucrative at the box office. That’s the plot we saw in films like Chhalawa, Wrong No 2, Balu Mahi, and probably will witness in upcoming films like Heer Maan Ja. And guess what, that’s exactly what we got in the recent Ready Steady No as well, which is written, produced and directed by Hisham Bin Munawar.
The Pakistani film industry desperately needs some freshness right now in terms of content, execution and faces. Let’s see if Ready Stead No offers something new and of value (read entertainment) to its viewers.
The plot of Ready Steady No is as simple as ABC: Razia (Amna Ilyas) loves Faisal (Faisal Saif) but their parents are against them and want them to get married in their respective caste. But the lovebirds plan to run away and elope. What happens after they run away is what Ready Steady No is all about, which is very predictable most of the times. There are several characters in the film which provide comic relief but that’s pretty much it.
Given the cliched plot, Munawar manages to deliver fresh content with his script, with a few of his jokes staying with audience even after they leave the cinema. As a director, however, he needs to up his game big time. His film is more like a loud stage play than a proper feature film with aesthetics and cinematic delights. Frames are conveniently made out and that’s something which is consistent throughout the film. A few jokes fall flat while others make the audience smile, thanks to veteran actors like Nayyar Ejaz, Ashraf Khan and Tara who can turn any line into an interesting performance.
Ilyas plays her part well and does justice to her character of a happy, go-lucky, naive girl who is madly in love with her lover. Faisal, on the other hand, needs to work quite hard for the audience to remember him in this film since he does not showcase much comedy, romance or emotional drama. He seems to be as significant in the film as Sami Khan was in Wrong No 2.
Marhoom Ahmed Bilal as the advocate is effective but could have been better if the script was a little gripping, while Afzal Zain as a cleric is good in certain scenes but a little loud in most of them.
Ejaz as a palmist and a cleric aces it and proves that he is an actor who knows no bounds. He makes the audience laugh and also impresses them with his performance throughout. Tara gives a first-rate performance, while Shahid and Rasheed are both very loud but do have a few interesting and witty scenes in the climax where they really excel.
The music of Ready Steady No is pretty average and none of the songs stay with audience; there’s zero recall value.
All in all, Ready Steady No offers a fresh script and is an earnest attempt. It will be praised by those who like stage plays and prefer loud comedy. The major saviour of the film is its climax which is 20-25 minutes long and keeps the audience engaged and entertained. The film takes some interesting turns after the interval.
If anything, go watch Ready Steady No if you support Pakistani cinema.
(All photos: Screen shots)
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