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Indian film critic Anupama Chopra is all praise for Pakistani film, Joyland, screened at Cannes Film Festival

Pakistan’s first entry to Cannes Film Festival, Sami Sadiq’s Joyland has bought a lot of accolade for the nation. 

While the film has been receiving rave reviews from all over the globe, the film critics from across the border are also super impressed with it.

Renowned film critic and owner of a leading Indian entertainment website filmcompanion.in, Anupama Chopra took to social media to appreciate the cast and crew of Joyland for a wonderful representation of the country on an international level.

She took to social media to express her views about the film.

In a detailed post, she wrote:”Joyland is the story of Haider, the younger son in a middle-class Lahore family. His wife, older brother, sister-in-law and their four daughters live under the shadow of his overbearing and demanding wheelchair-bound father. Haider has been unemployed for a few years. He’s genial and compliant and the default errand boy for the household. In many ways, he reminded me of Shutu in A Death in the Gunj. But Haider’s life takes a complicated turn when he gets a job as a background dancer at an erotic theater and becomes mesmerized by Biba, a trans dancer who is desperately looking to establish herself as a hot draw at the establishment.

A word of appreciation for Saim Sadiq

While appreciating the director’s skill she wrote, “The beauty of Joyland is that though it is Haider’s story, Saim’s screenplay skillfully weaves in the desires and wounds of several characters, including a neighbor – a widow who comes over, a little too often. The woman, who first comes off as a busybody, has a heartbreaking moment of confession, which gives us an insight into her abject loneliness. This is Saim’s superpower as a storyteller – his compassionate gaze humanizes every character in the frame. There are no villains here – even the father, ultimately, is a victim of the toxic patriarchy of this society.”

She further added,”Saim tells this story with stillness. There are several continuous tracking shots but mostly the camera stays static or moves stealthily toward faces. Almost as if Saim is urging us to probe deeper. He is keenly observant of the deep-set biases we carry and the harshness with which we judge each other. In this social order, women are clearly subservient but that doesn’t stop them from looking down on a transwoman. There are hierarchies within the hierarchy.”

The critic loved the performances of all artists

“Joyland isn’t shrill about its concerns. The actors – Ali Junejo, Salmaan Peerzada, Sarwat Gilani, Sania Saeed and Alina – deliver emotionally resonant performances. With poetry and an abiding melancholy, Joyland creates a poignant portrait of a splintered family. ”

 

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