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Sunday 28th May 2023 / 8 Zulkaedah 1444

Jemima’s ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ asks us to stop pretending

I recently got a chance to watch ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’. The movie is a 2022 British romantic comedy film directed by Indian director Shekhar Kapur.

The movie has been made by Jemima Khan and it stars Lily James, Shazad Latif, Shabana Azmi, Emma Thompson, Sajal Aly, Oliver Chris, Asim Chaudhry, Jeff Mirza, Alice Orr-Ewing, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

What happens when a doctor named Kazim Khan (played by Shazad Latif ) who is a British-born Pakistani with Pakistani decides to marry and asks his parents to begin the rishta process to find a ‘suitable’ match for him.

It’s funny how a British man who is outgoing and funny and modest suddenly chooses to settle and spend his life as a complete stranger.

Now Zoe (Lily James) who is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and also neighbour and childhood friend of Kazim decided to film rishta the process of Kazim.

The story takes a turn when Zoe and her mother travel to Pakistan where Kazim decided to marry Momina (Played by Sajal Aly) a lawyer and simple living (well it seems like) Lahori girl. The movie is like finding a partner on Halal ‘Tinder’ or ‘Muzz’.

What I loved about Jemima Khan’s rom-com ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ is how it showed Pakistan the way it is; beautiful.

The perfect Minar-e-Pakistan shot, the sceneries, and the attempts to show Lahore the way it is were amazing. Our culture was precisely filmed; no topi on the head and kajal in the eye and no simplicity.

There was a dance sequence in the movie where the bride’s maids dress up all fancy and donned in backless blouses which Kazim’s family from London are a bit surprised to see as they ever imagined Pakistani would be such modern.

The bride’s maids spice up things after dancing to songs after the groom’s family leaves but the groom and the brother stay.

If I connect the movie to the modern side; what was likable scene I can say was the way Zoe recreates all Disney’s fairytales and change the narrative; in one scene Zoe says how Cindrella chooses to focus on a glass ceiling instead of glass heals.

For me, the movie is progressive with almost no songs, and no dragged-out scenes. The character of Emma Thompson was literally a breath of fresh air.

The movie is like finding a partner on Halal ‘Tinder’ or ‘Muzz’ or more like a contrast of modern love on dating apps.

In short, the movie shows how people choose to pretend just to show the world that everything is okay but no more; one should stop pretending and live how they should be living because life is more than that.


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