A review on Norwegian-Pakistani Drama feature length film, What Will People Say (2017) aka Hva Vil Folk Si. The Production Houses are Mer Film, Rohfilm GmbH and Zentropa International Sweden while Its Distributors are Lucky Red, ARP Sélection and Avalon.
- Written & Directed by Iram Haq
- Cinematography by Nadim Carlsen
- Edited by Janus Billeskov Jansen and Anne Østerud
- Music by Lorenz Dangel and Martin Pedersen
- Produced by Maria Ekerhovd
What Will People Say is inspired by director Iram Haq’s own life. It is claimed that she was once kidnapped to Pakistan. Almost all of the supporting cast are Indian performers.
Due to the security concerns & to have the film crew upper hand, the shooting besides Norway, took place in Rajasthan, India. Although, the film shows it as Lahore, Pakistan.
What Will People Say had its world premiere at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. This film is translated in Norwegian language as well.
+ Main Cast
- Maria Mozhdah as Nisha
- Adil Hussain as Mirza
- Ekavali Khanna as Mother Najma
- Rohit Suresh Saraf as Amir
+ Supporting Cast
- Ali Arfan as Asif
- Sheeba Chaddha as Aunt
- Jannat Zubair Rahmani as Salima
- Lalit Parimoo as Uncle
Nisha is a daughter of a Pakistani-Norwegian family, who is later kidnapped to Pakistan by her parents when her father finds her in bed with a man.
+ High Points
i – Adil Hussain is an Indian actor, with a long list of films mentioned in his career. In this film, he portrays the role of a strict father who wants Nisha to follow their ancestor’s societal norms. I’m very pleased and satisfied with his believable portrayal as a desperate father to save his girl from falling into western attributes and lifestyle. The viewers are made aware of his great love for his daughters underneath the strict discipline that he wears in his daily life.
ii – It may come as shocking to many, but this is Mariah Mozhdah’s first film as an actress. Here she portrays the daughter of a Pakistani family settled in Norway. Her character is shown as being torn apart between two very different cultures. One belongs to Norway life, which is socially progressive while the other is her family’s traditional roots. Mariah has given a phenomenal performance. Its just matter of time, when she appears in future projects.
iii – Iram Haq’s direction has made it clear to the audience and critics alike that she means serious business when it comes to film making. She gives a brief insight to the both cultures norms and living styles. What one needs to understand is that we can not enforce our beliefs and traditions to our children, especially without their consent. They are after all, of different era.
iv – Surprisingly, there are some daring scenes that were shot.
v – The film comes to an end with a realistic view.
+ Low Points
i – The film’s plot is very similar to the films that I have watched earlier.
What Will People Say brings us to the point where we stand between the societal norms and self-freedom.
Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars