Ready Steady No – An Intelligent Comedy That We All Were Waiting For!
Hisham Bin Munawar’s Ready Steady No is not a romantic comedy flick that makes the audience uncomfortable with its vulgarity and jokes. In fact, it goes the opposite way and keeps the audience engaged with more action, fewer words. It may be the writer/director’s first attempt at filmmaking, but it wasn’t a bad one at any rate.
The plot revolves around Razia (Amna Ilyas) and her boyfriend Faisal (Faisal Saif) who want to get married. Their parents may be divided by caste, but are united by the opposition. The girl’s father (Salman Shahid) wants her to marry her cousin Muneer (Muneer Ahmed) who owns a detective agency. The boy’s mother (Nargis Rasheed) on the other hand wants him to marry anyone but Razia. Things happen quickly when Razia and Faisal run away, with ‘Detective’ Muneer on their trail. A blundering lawyer (Marhoom Ahmad Bilal) and a stammering Qazi (Zain Afzal) facilitate them before unexpected developments make the scenario more interesting.
The Good – Low Budget, Not Low-Intellect
This film stands out because it is low-budget but not low-intellect unlike other films of 2019. Every actor was within their characters for the entire run of the film and kept the audience engrossed. Razia and Faisal (Amna Ilyas, Faisal Saif) shared excellent chemistry, although the former dominated the scenes they were in. She looked extremely beautiful and he, very convincing in a setting that was both rural and urban.
The first half belonged to Muneer (Muneer Ahmed) for his sinister laugh and catchphrase, the second to Qazi (Zain Afzal) and Lawyer (Marhoom Ahmad Bilal). Their chemistry was amazing, and although it reminded one of Awara Paagal Deewana, it was well executed. And when you have Dekho Dekho and Nachee Ja in the soundtrack, it adds value to a smart script, intelligent direction.
The Bad – Lengthy Scenes Hurt Ready Steady No
Just like most of the films in Pakistan, the writer/director wasn’t able to bring the film to a proper conclusion. The track that was introduced in the last hour could have been handled in a better way. The disappearance of Muneer post-interval also disappointed the viewers who loved him for his sinister laugh and terrible reading. Some of the sequences were unnecessarily lengthy; with proper editing that could have been resolved.
Director Hisham Bin Munawar who moonlighted as writer, producer, lyricist and singer must be commended for the effort. The best part of the film was that the audience saw characters instead of the actors, making the film watchable at least once. It turned out to be a film that one could go and watch with their family, which can’t be said for other Pakistani films. At a time when Baaji is still showing in cinemas, Amna Ilyas’ another quality film will only make her take the lead as a versatile actress. One hopes her graph goes up, up and away, with no stopping her in the future.