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Money Back Guarantee

Desperate times call for desperate measures; a gang of multi-ethnic men and a woman make a plan to rob “Pak Bank” to get back the money looted by corrupt leaders. The subject of Money Back Guarantee (MBG) is socially relevant and strikes a chord with every Pakistani. Pakistan is a democratic state, but do the people here have any power? Money Back Guarantee is a witty, ironic, and borderline absurd answer to this aforementioned question.

Although Pakistani dramas and comedians have fervently explored the murky waters of politics, local filmmakers have not used satire to highlight the political climate, at least in the recent past. As a forerunner, director and writer Faisal Qureshi is a perfect fit for the genre, as he is well known for his comedic punches in hit sitcoms and commercials. Not surprisingly, then, the film is a humorous interpretation of political and sociological issues.

MBG introduces us to multiple characters; each signifying a province, a community, or an ethnicity that is suffering from the flawed workings of our system. Nawaz Sindhi (Gohar Rasheed), Munda Punjabi (Marhoom Ahmad Bilal), Sanam Baloch (Kiran Malik), Irfan Pathan (Mikaal Zulfiqar), Ilyas Kashmiri (Shayan Khan), Gaffar Ali Muhajir aka GA Muhajir (Mani), and Christian Bail (Jan Rambo) are the principal characters, here used as metaphors to highlight the prejudice, discrimination and power abuse wreaked upon their respective communities.

Money Back Guarantee

The intention of the film is pure. Faisal highlights the transgressions of everyone, from corrupt politicians and cops to bureaucracy, the deep state, and foreign elements, and from biassed media policies, power-hungry administrators, rigged elections, money laundering, and unethical practises of the common man. The film intelligently throws allegories at the quick-minded, and the colloquialisms are carefully crafted for the Pakistani audience. Except for Mr. Trump, no situation or personification is blatantly in your face.

Writer and director Faisal Qureshi has several monotonous cameos in the film which add no value

Punctured with an extremely chaotic screenplay, MBG depicts, and at times distorts, every stereotype you have ever heard of and represents all major socio-political conflicts that our nation wrestles with. You name it, and the film has it: an ever-hungry Punjabi who wants more power; a Sindhi who is married to a woman twice her age and hopes to have access to water; a Baloch who is deprived of Sui gas and demands respect; a valiant Kashmiri who is looking for freedom; a Muhajir who eats gutka and dreams of a white-collar job; a Pathan who wants to shatter the image of being dumbheaded; a Christian who wants equal rights; and much more. Every single one of them—from a common man and head guard to the bank manager and president of the bank—is out to get the other to gain power. It sounds eerily familiar!

MBG is basic by design, as the cleverness is in the dialogue, but the execution falls short as too many characters create a lot of chaos simultaneously

There is no denying that we are living in a very strange time. It’s one of those times when a film that makes fun of our impoverished circumstances for tragicomic gain feels like a welcome change. However, Money Back Guarantee is far from a flawless entertainer and definitely gives you no adrenaline rush. It throws you directly into a botched heist plan, introduces you to innumerable eccentric characters, feels funny and fresh for a few minutes, and then consumes itself in the pursuit of a deeper meaning. The most disappointing is the gimmicky anticlimactic twist that reduces the humorous narrative to a public service message.

The comedy ventures into absurdity, quite literally, to produce a hilarious experience that may seem jarring to many. Thankfully, good sarcastic punches overpower the mediocre ones, and most actors give decent performances. However, the portrayal of a few exaggerated and overzealous character traits comes across as hammy. Kiran Malik, Wasim Akram and Shaniera Akram are like last-minute weak additions; their acts as well as roles leave a lot to be desired. Ayesha Omar plays courtesan Meena Begum convincingly. It is an unpopular opinion, but Fawad Khan is a delight to watch as an unhinged and two-faced opportunist bank manager. He aces the beguiling and conniving nature of Bux and his wicked smiles subtly remind me of Dr. Seuss’ Grinch.

Read more: Exclusive: Fawad Khan talks about his upcoming projects, hiatus, experience of Ms. Marvel and a lot more

Hina Dilpazir, as Sahiba Begum, plays a woman who leaves no chance to poke fun at her husband. Her character is a caricature, to say the least, but Hina’s impeccable comic timing and straight face make her curses (read: lanats) enjoyable.

Moeny Back Guarantee

MBG turns lanats into a new declarative gesture like mic drop

The film’s witty one-liners are relatable, but a viewer has to sit alert so as to catch every metaphor and symbolism. Some memorable ones include wall chalking of GA Muhajir, a map of Pak Bank imitating the map of Pakistan, corrupt officials bleeding white (khoon safaid), showing identical faces of the leaders and their followers, referring to a Black Vigo with armed guards as jaado ki gari and the star of David as a conspiracy and naming Bux’s insignificant subordinates Zameer and Zarf. The best one is how manager Bux wraps up the film with a brilliant jibe at the excuses given once a person acquires power.

The quest for power is never ending

MBG features two songs, both pushing the narrative of the film forward. The first track shows Meena Begum asserting jesi awaan huwe ghy, wese rehnuma huwein ghay [As the people will be, so will be the leaders]. The second tune with a dual meaning title, Kamina Ho, has an amusing presentation that sums up the theme of the film. Oddly, the song Pani ka Bulbula that caught my attention in the trailer is missing from the feature film.


On paper, MBG’s script is a smart choice to expose the hypocrisies of our people. The plot is simplistic without any major conflicts. It is basic by design, as the cleverness is in the dialogue, but the execution falls short as too many characters create a lot of chaos simultaneously leading to nowhere. Despite all its idiosyncrasies and shortcomings, Money Back Guarantee surely delivers hearty laughs and a slight nudge to our collective consciousness.

The film is written, produced and directed by Faisal Qureshi under the banner of Zashko Films in collaboration with Game Over Productions. Money Back Guarantee is currently screening in cinemas worldwide. Check our exclusive coverage of the film’s press junket here.

P.S. Do not miss the post-credit scene featuring the other Faisal Qureshi.

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