Joyland (2022) Review

In Saim Sadiq’s directorial debut, ‘Joyland’ manages to present an interesting story with unusual themes. The film itself won a number of prestigious awards, including the Cannes Film Festival .

This time, the film ‘Joyland’ even competed with a number of other interesting titles in the 95th Academy Awards for the Best International Film category.

Synopsis Joyland (2022)

In Saim Sadiq’s directorial debut, ‘Joyland’ centers on the story of the Rana family, who are expecting another son.

She wants her children to have grandchildren and forces her daughter-in-law Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq) to quit her job. All this happened after Haider (Ali Junejo), Mumtaz’s youngest son and husband, got a job in an erotic dance theatre.

However, everything changed when Haider fell in love with Biba, a transgender dancer (Alina Khan).

Then, both of them dissolved in their respective activities. Instead of supporting her husband’s choice, Mumtaz actually felt constrained by the life of this patriarchal family.

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Joyland (2022) Movie Review

Present an interesting life story

Initially, ‘Joyland’ presented two main characters who seemed comfortable with their respective routines. Different from conventional families in general, Mumtaz and Heider share their roles with each other without being bound by gender and sexuality boundaries. While Mumtaz worked to provide for their modest family, the husband stayed at home and carried out his role as the father of the household.

Although it seems that this role exchange is quite surprising, considering how patriarchal culture is in Asian families, there is no problem for both of them. The audience is shown how Mumtaz and Haider are comfortable with their respective choices, even though their families try to convince them.

Unfortunately, all this happiness changed when the husband then got a job from a close relative as an erotic dance dancer. Born in a patriarchal family, of course this was not an easy choice for Haider. However, he meets a transgender woman who captivates him.

Haider starts to get busy with his own business, while Mumtaz is forced to act as a housewife. He has to help his in-laws’ family who have many children and one grandfather who can no longer be left alone. This is the beginning of Mumtaz’s torturous life.

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Consists of layers of problems

Apart from the important issue of restraining life in a patriarchal family and gender equality, this film also presents various layers of other problems.

As a man, Haider is not the typical man who dares to speak as he pleases. The “masculine” role is replaced by the figure of Mumtaz who is very free, rebellious, and dares to act. This is also what makes the wife’s character so attractive because she always supports her husband’s choices.

Unfortunately, Mumtaz lives in an environment that is not as free as his actions and thoughts. She experienced great pressure, especially from her grandfather who was so respected by her husband’s family. Even though they try to be independent, both of them must submit to Rana’s words, which often discriminate against Mumtaz’s freedom as a woman.

Moreover, Rana also really wants to have a grandson in his family. The sister-in-law, who had tried four times, was unable to provide such happiness. Therefore, Rana has high hopes when Mumtaz finally conceives a child that is predicted to be a boy.

This is not happy news for Mumtaz. She struggles alone, while her husband is engrossed in complaining about his new woman. Career women who originally had a purpose in life, must be in a narrow environment with a family full of rules.

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Is there a sweet story for all the characters?

Does this film finally find its own happiness? Not only the two central characters, all the characters in the film ‘Joyland’ are ultimately confined by their own rules and guilt.

Even though Mumtaz has left, the arrogance of the man who is often seen as an icon of the strongest human being on earth has not stopped. Mumtaz’s pain and depression are made fun of, without her ever understanding what it’s like to live like a woman in prison.

Likewise with other characters like Biba. Being transgender is certainly never going to be easy. She is looked down upon, often abused, and often becomes a sexual object for men. However, Biba remained steadfast and felt that this was their own choice.

There is also the character Nucchi (Sarwat Gilani) who ends up with four daughters because of the ambition to have a son. Not to mention having huge dependents and taking care of the household, Nucchi really needs Mumtaz’s presence to keep him sane.

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Joyland (2022) Conclusion

‘Joyland’ is one of the interesting films that can currently be watched via the KlikFilm streaming service. Through daring themes and explorations, this film presents a variety of crucial issues that are impossible to discuss without a lot of research or experience.

This film presents the true meaning of freedom, how humans are made up of millions of feelings and emotions. With an abundance of money and honor, it doesn’t necessarily make us all live like happy humans.

Sparkling lights, tense silence, and pent-up sadness fill the entire storyline of ‘Joyland’. For Cilers who want to watch, make sure you’re not sleepy or tired, OK?

Zephyrine

Zephyrine is an experienced film critic who has worked for many magazines and websites specializing in cinema. She has a deep education in film history and theory, as well as a passion for classic and independent films. Writing style: Zephyrine always evaluates films objectively and honestly, not influenced by external factors such as the fame of actors or directors. She often focuses on the content, screenplay, technique, and personal feelings to provide insights and reviews of the film. Her writing style is easy to understand and familiar to readers, but also professional and profound. Notable articles: "Step Up" - Success comes from the perseverance and relentless effort of young people "The Social Network" - A fantastic documentary film about the birth of Facebook "Moonlight" - A touching story about love and the essence of humanity "Nomadland" - A poignant journey of a mature woman "Parasite" - A sensational film of Korean cinema with profound social messages.

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