Film Review: ‘What Will People Say’ tells the conflicted story of a teenage girl in a globalized world

A still from the film "What will people say." (Supplied)
Updated 24 December 2018

Film Review: ‘What Will People Say’ tells the conflicted story of a teenage girl in a globalized world

  • “What Will People Say” is Norway’s offering for the 2019 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar
  • It underlines the dilemma that some immigrant parents face while trying to insulate their daughters from a stereotypically Western way of life

CHENNAI: Films that tell a personal story can often be more powerful and moving then their fictionalized counterparts and director Iram Haq, whose Pakistani parents raised her in Oslo, weaves her own dreadful experiences into “What Will People Say” — Norway’s offering for the 2019 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Although the film missed out on being shortlisted for the award, it is nonetheless a powerful piece of cinema.

“What Will People Say” underlines the dilemma that some immigrant parents face while trying to insulate their daughters from a stereotypically Western way of life, which the elders label as debauched.

Nisha (an arresting performance by newcomer Maria Mozhdah, who proves to be the soul and spirit of the movie) is an intelligent and attractive teenager, who aspires to be a medical doctor and tops her class. She speaks Urdu and follows her native culture and mannerisms at home, but once she steps out of the house, she is no different from other Norwegian children. Nisha loves to dance at nightclubs and is interested in boys. But she keeps all this a secret from her parents, especially her extremely rigid father, Mirza (an excellent performance by Indian actor Adil Hussain). But one night, he finds her with a white boy in her room, and all hell breaks loose. She is quickly packed off to a remote village in Pakistan and looked after by a strict, almost cruel aunt and uncle.

Haq may have fictionalized parts of the story, but she, much like Nisha, did have a torturous year in Pakistan and was estranged from her father for a long time, making up with him just before he died. Haq said in one of her interviews that it took her years to come out with her story, which emphasizes in no small way the agony that kids of immigrants face. In extreme cases, fathers murder their own daughters in the name of honor, driven to such crimes over worries over what people will say.


Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra considers role in Arabic films

Updated 03 August 2020

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra considers role in Arabic films

DUBAI: Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas revealed in an interview with Africa News this week that she would “love to” star in Arabic films.

“I just don’t speak the language,” said Chopra Jonas. “I think that I would love to be a part of the film industry anywhere. I love my job and I would learn a new language if I have to.”

The 38-year-old producer, who has a couple of Hollywood flicks under her belt, said she is working on an unscripted series with her husband, the American singer and songwriter Nick Jonas.

“I am developing a show with my husband which is for Amazon. It is based on the Indian tradition of sangeet (a music-filled pre-marriage ceremony),” she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Felt like wearing a saree. So I did...At home. Miss everyone. @nickjonas

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She is also working on a new series for Amazon, produced by the Russo brothers, and a “buddy comedy” with actress Mindy Kaling.

The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and the former Miss World has been using her social media platforms over the past few months to raise awareness about the coronavirus pandemic.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@nickjonas

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Chopra Jonas, who started her career 20 years ago, has hosted an Instagram session with doctors and experts from the World Health Organization who answered frequently asked questions about the virus.