• Thursday, July 25, 2024

Entertainment

Shayan Khan: ‘Money Back Guarantee’ a love letter to Pakistan’s rich cultural diversity

Actor turned producer Shayan Khan discusses his new move

Shayan Khan

By: ASJAD NAZIR

He may be a respected actor, but Shayan Khan will announce himself internationally as the producer of hotly anticipated Pakistani film Money Back Guarantee.

He has assembled a huge star cast for the comedy heist caper, headlined by popular actor Fawad Khan, and plays a key role in it.

Born in Karachi and brought up in the United States, the multi-talented creative has followed up starring roles in the film Na Band Na Baraati, and TV series Be Someone with a huge project that is set to continue the impressive recent momentum generated by Pakistani cinema.

Eastern Eye caught up with the actor and producer to discuss his marvellous looking new movie, written and directed by popular TV personality Faisal Qureshi.

What made you want to produce Money Back Guarantee?

I spent years searching for the perfect script, but none piqued my interest, until I met Faisal. He was barely through explaining the film’s premise when I knew I had to be a part of this project. I was beyond excited to have gotten this opportunity to propel quality Pakistani cinema globally.

Tell us about the film?
Money Back Guarantee is a situational comedy, filled with action and suspense. This film is a love letter to Pakistan’s rich ethnic and cultural diversity. Though the trailer alludes to a heist plotline, this movie is also an introspective look at the challenges of living in a third world country, which adds to its global appeal.

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Shayan Khan and Fawad Khan in Money Back Guarantee

How much has the positive response to the trailer meant to you?
It was so moving to see the time and effort I’ve spent creating something I love, bear fruit. I am beyond pleased that audiences recognise our film for the masterpiece it is. The overwhelming positivity we’ve garnered from fans has us more excited than ever. We can’t wait for the release of this film.

What would you say was the biggest challenge of producing this film?
Filming for this movie went off without a hitch, with our brilliant cast and crew working day and night to achieve perfection. But when we wrapped filming, we were hit with the first wave of Covid, which put the brakes on our plans for the movie’s release. All is well that ends well though, because here we are.

How did you pull together such a big star cast?
To be honest, it wasn’t very difficult. When you have a brilliant script and a legendary talent like Faisal Qureshi on your side, it is easy to rope in talented actors. I suspect just like me, my co-stars also saw the golden opportunity we had to tell a great story.

How did you persuade cricket legend Wasim Akram to act in the film?
Wasim Akram has a great relationship with our director and was immediately interested when he heard the script. My production house was more than happy to work with him and his wife to accommodate their busy schedules while filming. I think he performed brilliantly and is a man of many talents.

Did you deliberately make this look more international than a normal Pakistani film?
No, we simply tried to make the best movie possible. Faisal Qureshi has a unique style of storytelling, and we just helped bring his vision to life. Every artist wants to create art that stands out, and neither Faisal nor I are any different. This movie celebrates the people and culture of Pakistan, which is why we shot large parts of it there. We have an abundance of talent in Pakistan, and if given the right opportunity, we can produce great films.

What do you most admire about Fawad Khan as an actor?
Fawad has a stellar work ethic. I am very impressed by the following that he has built internationally over the course of his career. It takes a lot of talent and dedication to build that kind of recognition. Fawad is living proof of the talent Pakistan has to offer, and things we are capable of producing under the right leadership.

How do you feel as a producer in the lead up to the release of this film?
I am ecstatic and more than that, I am confident. I believe in this film and the incredibly talented team that helped us put it all together.

Are you hoping this movie will continue the great momentum Pakistani
cinema has enjoyed in recent years?

Lately, it feels like Pakistani cinema is on the verge of global recognition, and Money Back Guarantee is exactly what it needs to push it over the edge. I am proud to be able to broaden the lane pioneered by brilliant content that has come before and represent Pakistan, once again, on a global stage. I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase not just my talent, but also the talents of my co-stars like Fawad Khan, and Mikaal Zulfiqar, internationally.

Finally, why should we watch Money Back Guarantee?

Money Back Guarantee (MBG) is a family-friendly entertainer, capable of making you laugh out of your seats and at times move you to tears. It showcases the ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity Pakistan has to offer, coupled with a heist plotline that will keep you on the edge of your seats. If you want to see a film that is both intelligent and fun, you won’t want to miss MBG, that’s my  guarantee!

Money Back Guarantee will be in cinemas next Friday (21)

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