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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Cannes Film Festival: Pakistan’s Joyland Critiques old Traditions


Joyland, reportedly the first-ever Pakistani work at the Cannes festival, features a large alikeness to Bollywood fare, and not astonishingly.

Metropolis in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was the centre of Hindi and Urdu cinema before the Indian landmass was divided. Saim Sadiq’s debut feature, Joyland, which was a part of the 12-day event’s world organisation sure Regard meant for experimental cinema, will have heaps of freshness as way as performances and settings go.

There’s a natural ease with that the actors play out their components, and Lahore’s lower conservative ambience infuses barely of pretty genuineness. And it’s daring for a Pakistani work that traces a story between a trans-woman and a married person with a few intimate scenes thrown in.


Considered a ‘sin’, it becomes a path to liberation, that tho’ comes with painful grief and tragic death. Examining the underlying tension in an exceedingly family, that is firmly entrenched within the laws of social organization with an associate degree older father firmly within the saddle of the home of 2 sons, their wives, and kids, Sadiq (whose 2019 short, Darling, won a prize at Venice), nudges America towards a storm. The clouds get dark and ominous because the scenes flit by.


A little into Joyland, we tend to do see murmurs of protest and even a streak of defiance that return from the younger in-law, Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq), UN agency is very sad at having to quit her beautician’s job, once her husband Ali Junejo’s Haider lands one. It’s his story that the director places at the centre to guide America into a few alleys. His work involves being a background prop to a trans dancer, Biba, essayed by Alina Khan with steely bravery in fighting a society that’s very unkind to her. however once Haider begins to respect her and even love her for what she is, Biba’s harsh exterior melts, and hope fills her heart.

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The film mocks old traditions; Haider with happiness plays the house-husband taking care of his 3 very little nieces and serving his relative-in-law with chores, together with preparation. Sadiq’s playscript gently navigates through these in an exceedingly advanced plot of lies. What emerges may be a compelling human drama during which gender roles and slim thinking are challenged.

The walls of Haider’s home begin to crumble giving birth clean family secrets that have remained buried for years. contrastive this can be the sweet and delicate romance (with bits of daring passion) between Bibi and Haider captured within the shadows of the night or the red glow of backstage lighting through the lens of Joe Saade. A melancholic sense of joy is formed with long silences.


Sadiq distracts America currently and so with lighter and very novel moments. once the ability fails whereas Mumtaz is obtaining a bride prepared at the parlour, the women there put on their itinerant lights to urge the task done. The scene would be continual throughout Biba’s titillating stage show once members of the audience keep the dancers going by shining their phone torches.

There are moments of lyricism as Haider glides through the night on a scooter carrying an enormous wood promotional image of Biba. however, on the far side, Joyland may be a haunting critique of a gruelling system that refuses to travel away.

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