You can love or hate this song, it really doesn’t matter. One look and you will know that Fair & Lovely ka jalwa, featured in the soon-to-be-released Pakistani film Jawani Phir Nahi Aani is vying for the top slot in the list that ranks the mother of all product placements. For F&LKJ was written, produced and choreographed, not for the audience (why on earth would anyone do that?), but to gratify the bosses at Corporation Gora Cream. The more relevant question then is what did we, the people, do to deserve this?
Here are eight reasons why nothing is right (and all is wrong) with Fair & Lovely ka jalwa:
Eight left feet do not a filmi naach gaana make. And don’t rub salt on our wounds by laughing about your two left feet in the behind-the-scene videos. It is not cool when Hamza Abbasi admits that F&LKJ was his first dance in a film ever (or just ever) and Humayun Saeed (wisely preempting public response) says “You may not laugh at the film, but you will laugh at my dance.” You don’t say.
Pakistan’s beloved bigot and actor Hamza Abbasi dissed all Pakistani actresses who dared to do item numbers. Dude you know what they say about people who live in glass houses? In managing your two left feet in this unsynchronised stab at a dance, you just walked into the glass door of your own making. #dissback #lovetojudge #karmarulz
It’s been what? Eight days since Pakistani cinema took off? After staring aghast as Bin Roye fell apart at the hands of bad editors and the cast sleepwalked through that glorified Cornetto ad (read Karachi se Lahore), you really thought you could float through anything that was served up in the name of cinema. Until this. Bhai why do we keep forgetting ke Pakistan mein bohot talent hai? One just needs to attend your mad family’s OTT mehendis to see more successful attempts at coordinated shaking, na.
You might feel better about this assault on your senses if you psych yourself into believing that F&LKJ is not a song, but a jingle sung by a wailing cat with a scratchy throat. Now repeat: It is not a song. It is not a song… it is a jingle. It is not a song… it is a wailing jingle. It is not a song… it is a bombed wailing jingle.
Once you strain and really listen to the lyrics, more regret will set in. Wouldn’t a lyricist who forcibly rhymes ‘gear’ and ‘share’ and ‘here’ and ‘pyaar’ , be more in alignment with his calling if he was handing out free sachets of F&L at your neighbourhood mall?
Oh dear! Did Wasay Chaudhry struggle with a one-legged move and almost trip at one point? Did no one notice? And the best shots are showcased in the promo of the film? Gasp! Drag your feet verrrry slowly to the cinema if you really want to watch this one. Or stay home and watch water evaporate.
Humayun Saeed: Do the honourable thing and retire while you are still fair, because we are having to strain them eyes to spot the lovely bits. Seeing the comments on social media, the momentary strain that flitted across your face right after your pelvic thrusts on the stairs ala Ranbir Kapoor, was NOT missed. I am guessing it drove home the central theme of the film, more effectively than the storyline. Jawani waqaii phir nahi aani. In any case, after sleepwalking through Bin Roye and huffing and puffing your way through F&LKJ its time to take a breather bro and stick to production. And also learn to hire better editors.
While it’s tough enough sitting through the promo of this song at home, you can always leave the room/change channel/shut window/delete video once your skin begins to crawl. Because crawl it will. But imagine listening to however-many-minutes of this screechy wail in a darkened theater with nowhere to run? Shudder, shudder.
Shahrezad Samiuddin is an aspiring screenwriter and pop culture junkie.