Dir: Meenu and Farjad - Starring: Mahira Khan, Sheheryar Munawar, Amna Ilyas, Mira Sethi, Javed Sheikh, Hina Dilpazeer
I had no problems with the basic setup of the movie – a fantastical, absurdist, romantic comedy. Problem is 7 Din Mohabbat In turns out to be not fantastical enough or absurd enough and the romance is underwhelming as is the humour. It starts out amusingly enough (allaying – at least for a little while - much of the apprehensions I had after seeing the trailers) with directors Meenu and Farjad and writer Fasih Bari Khan (the scripter of the brilliant TV serial Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewah) striking just the right balance between the movie’s many different elements. The nerdish Tipu (Sheheryar Munawar) is hoping to find love not realising that it’s right there under the same roof in the shape of his cousin, Neeli (Mahira Khan) who pines for him. So Tipu makes a deal with the devilish djinn Dwaraka Prasad (Javed Sheikh) – if Tipu can find true love within seven days then Dwaraka will turn him into a hero (from a zero) but if Tipu fails then he’ll have to become the djinn’s slave.
And, right there, is the movie’s first misstep. I’m not sure what the deal with the djinn is all about. Dwaraka promises to turn Tipu into a hero after he’s able to find love. So what does Tipu need him for? All Dwaraka does is give him better eyesight and the rest is left up to Tipu’s own devices. The movie is littered throughout with such irritating lapses. Then the detours that Tipu takes in the shape of the militant feminist Ghazala (a very good Amna Ilyas), club dancer Mona Liza (the transgender Rimal Ali) and rich NRP Princess Sonu (Mira Sethi) before arriving at his final destination are never quite convincing nor necessarily amusing. In fact, the movie huffs and puffs in the quest for laughs but mostly only manages to elicit a smile here and there. The movie also never really takes advantage of its fantasy elements. By the end, the movie limps across the finish line in a completely predictable fashion.
On the plus side, Mahira and Sheheryar are fine, the movie looks good and the soundtrack is pretty hummable. Plus the movie gets brownie points for its progressive LGBTQ representation.
Cut to chase: Better than what its trailers suggested but not by much.
*Not on your life
* ½ If you really must waste your time
** Hardly worth the bother
** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see
*** ½ Recommended viewing
**** Don’t miss it
**** ½ Almost perfect
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