After facing some hurdles, Joyland was finally released in parts of Pakistan and since then, has gathered scintillating reviews. It is a film that has been appreciated not just by the public but also by celebrities who have openly vouched for it. Nimra Bucha just added her two cents and said that the film shows men in a light that is often censored in cinema.
On Tuesday, she shared a post on Instagram and wrote, “In Pakistan we women actors always complain of not being shown as we really are. We say there aren’t enough good parts for women. But the opposite is true too. Or truer. We never really see men either. What we are shown is the devastation they wreak. But Saim Sadiq seems to have written a film about men where they actually offer themselves as they really are.”
She said though Joyland is not perfect, she loves it even more because of that. She resonates with the film as it “pulsates with our lives and our beauty”. Picking out some elements she loved, she said, “Biba played by Alina Khan reminds me of all the women I grew up watching on screen who were real and whose skin I could inhale and live in. When Ali Junejo moves on stage with all the other beautiful male dancers, it is a dance I have danced many times. It’s familiar and yet dizzying and glorious. Salmaan Peerzada could do nothing on screen for hours and I would still watch him. Joe Saade’s camera work has a humility that lets us see actors in their immediacy.”
She talked about the unnecessary fight that preceded the movie’s release in its home country. “Yet Joyland embraces history in a peculiar way even as it departs from it. I love that I saw it in a cinema in Karachi, titillated instead of outraged by the silly censor blurs. No one film should have the burden of being the first and the best and greatest,” she wrote. “But it should be able to take its place in showing human desire and everyday heroes.
“Let Joyland travel the world and go where it wants to but please let’s bring it back home again and again. It is ours and it is us,” she concluded, adding the hashtag #releasezindagitamashanow.
Joyland has the distinction of being Pakistan’s first Cannes entry, bagging several awards at international film festivals and being chosen as Pakistan’s Oscar consideration nominee. Despite all its achievements, it was still banned from a cinematic screening in its country of origin. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting canceled its exhibition license which was issued months ago. This resulted in backlash which led to PM Shehbaz Sharif forming a committee to evaluate complaints lodged against it. Soon after, the committee came to the decision to clear the film for release. Later, the Punjab government imposed a ban of its own on the film.
Written and directed by Sadiq, it has been produced by Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat and Lauren Mann. It features Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Khan, Sarwat Gillani, Peerzada, Sohail Sameer and Sania Saeed. Shot in Lahore, it is a bittersweet tale of repressed desire and the quest for individual freedom.