Money Back Guarantee, Faisal Qureshi’s directorial debut, is a spicy concoction of familiar ingredients, seasoned with social commentary and political satire.
Qureshi’s signature style of humour is evident in the film which features a star-studded cast that includes Fawad Khan, Hina Dilpazeer, Gohar Rasheed, Javed Sheikh, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Kiran Malik, Adnan Jafar, Ayesha Omar, as well as debut actors Wasim Akram, Shaniera Akram, Muniba Mazari, and George Fulton.
Through its satirical approach, the film touches upon very important topics and issues that exist in Pakistan including corruption, VIP culture, stereotyping, theft, political manoeuvring, injustice, and even discrimination.
Breath of Fresh Air, Silliness, & Stereotypes
What sets “Money Back Guarantee” apart from other movies is its lighthearted approach to its storyline. The film features a diverse cast of characters who, despite their flaws, come together to push the plot forward. The movie skillfully uses humour to critique the societal values it seeks to promote.
The characters in the film represent various ethnicities found in Pakistan. They attempt to subvert the stereotypes attributed to their respective communities, albeit in an ironic way. The setting of the movie is used to great effect, highlighting the discrepancies between societal values and reality.
The majority of the movie takes place at Pak Bank, a fictional financial institution that hoards the riches of corrupt politicians in Pakistan.
The bank’s architecture imitates the map of Pakistan with slight adjustments to cater to the wealthy elite. The Pakistani flag represents the bank through a WiFi signal.
The bank’s security measures were developed by a lawyer instead of an architect, and the only means of gaining entry to the millions of rupees stored within is through biometric authentication.
The film’s storyline revolves around a heist that a group of amateurs stages to recover the public’s funds. However, the plan isn’t foolproof, and the robbers must alter it continually as they face successive setbacks.
While the film intends to be humorous, the storyline feels disorganized and struggles to maintain a focal point. This leads to problems with causation, leaving the audience perplexed about the events’ hows and whys.
Fawad Khan 2.0
Fawad Khan delivers a memorable performance as Bux, a stingy bank manager who caters only to the wealthy and powerful.
This role is something we have definitely never seen from him, which makes it refreshing and wants us to get more out of him while showcasing his versatility as an actor. His dialogue delivery and expressions are spot-on and add to the character’s eccentricity but the weak storyline does not do justice to what could have been an iconic character.
The other members of the robber gang, including Kiran Malik, Gohar Rasheed, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Ali Safina, and Afzal Khan, also give noteworthy performances. But due to the stereotyping and off-accents, the audience’s ability to connect with the characters is compromised here and there.
Need for Improvements
As for the debut actors Wasim and Shaniera, they are almost invisible throughout the movie and are not so memorable, but whatever screen time they do have, both have done their best to stand out as much as they could. Mani’s performance feels forced and is not impressive as well as Gohar’s accent which at times is enough to tick someone off.
The film also has some moments that drag on for too long and could have been trimmed down. The opening scene, in particular, fails to engage the audience.
On the other hand, the multiple closing scenes make the film feel unfocused as if the editors struggled to decide which scenes to keep and which to discard – there is too much happening and too many messages being lost, mixed, and going unnoticed making it very messy and confusing.
Editing & Post-Production – On Point
While the movie has a few more cons than pros, the biggest win for the team was the excellent editing and post-production skills that went into it.
Final Verdict: 3/5 stars
While Fawad Khan is eye-candy in his new role, the movie lacks a strong plot and seems like a mix of distorted thoughts blended together. While some elements worked, there were some that didn’t, MGB is a one-time watch that you can opt for if you have nothing better to do on a slow day.
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