In an exclusive interview, the British writer talks about his maiden career and the fact that the film is assembled


The scene is set as a shy Maymouna walks in and sits next to Kazim at the couple’s Mehendi ceremony. As if straight from any typical Pakistani wedding, two women approach the bride and try to reveal her elaborate lehenga. Sajal Aly as Maymouna is adorable and Shehzad Latif’s Kazim can’t take his eyes off her.

An elderly woman complains about the aforementioned women wearing ‘pretty’ dresses – a pattern we’ve all witnessed at too many shaadis. “Have they no shame? I want to go!” Said the old woman, Kazim’s nani Jaan, with disgust. Maymouna, unfazed by the nani jaan’s constant fuss, goes to introduce a family of cousins ​​to her unmarried husband while the man introduces them, very confused. enough.

And just like that, the scene shifts to a desi dance number. Only a few international works have heard information about a Pakistani wedding in T. For this, Jemima Goldsmith’s What does Love do? already scored brownie points.

“I think one thing that sums up the spirit of the movie is the music,” Jemima said. Alabi News in a Zoom interview. “So, we have a wedding song sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, like my hero! He also appears in the film as himself.”

The song, Mahi Sona, produced by British Pakistani musician, Naughty Boy and British Indian writer, Nitin Soni. The idea, says Jemima, is to bring artists from all over the world. And the same thing is reflected in his motion. “To me, the mixing and working together of these talents is the beauty of this film,” he added.

“One of the important things is bringing Rahat into the mix.” But this is not the first time Jemima has met It’s Re Piya crooner The singer won with her elder brother, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, at Jemima’s Valima with her first husband, Imran Khan, all those years. “I also traveled many times with Nusrat and Rahat for fundraising for Shaukat Khanum. We traveled to the US for the same thing,” said Jemima.

He added that during these visits, he had a good understanding of qawwali and enjoyed classical music. Abida Parveen used to be on board too, so that helped a lot. Working with this amazing talent on film was very special for me. It’s a real privilege to have everyone who worked on this film in one place.”

The photo was taken during the peak of the Covid era and Jemima added how caution is one of the most important elements when shooting. With such a large set, it means that everyone’s safety was of the utmost importance to him. “Everyone has to be very disciplined. It’s an amazing environment when we all work together,” said Jemima. He continues to talk about collaborating with Indian and Pakistani artists on a single project. “There was a warm relationship and unity. Everyone was very nice.”

Why Sajal Aly?

When I asked her why she thought Sajal was a good match for Maymouna, Jemima cautiously replied, “Because she’s a good match for Lily James.” The producer explained, “You have to understand, Maymouna and Zoe have to be the same in the film. Now, Kazim (Latif) will turn his head to Maymouna because she is very beautiful and entertaining.”

Answer the picture

Sajal Aly marvels at 'What makes love?'  first

Before its release in Pakistan, Jemima received critical acclaim in Toronto and London, where it premiered. “What’s amazing to me is the response of British Asians to our film,” he said. “It was the most heartwarming and emotional thing in the whole process. It was really nice to see them connect to the movie and enjoy it. That’s my hope. I’m not sure if it works,” the laughed Jemima as she added. , “Well, all I care about is Pakistan! I hope they like it too. I hope they think we’ve done a good job of showing the country in its best light.”

‘Is there a festival going on?’

The British writer also remembers his first visit to Pakistan many years ago. “What surprised me were the trucks!” he laughs. “So, when I came out, I thought there was a festival going on. I can’t believe that all the cars will be painted beautifully! I kept asking, ‘Where is the festival? Is there a game? What’s going on?’ And I remember people laughing at me.” Jemima remembers being told about what looked like a typical public transport in Pakistan. “Each bus, van and truck was painted like that with pride. . Then I got sick with the truck model. The sheer wonder of art is one of the things that sticks in my mind about Pakistan.”

Jemima said that the art of trucks was one of the many Pakistani elements that she wanted to show in her film. “We were shooting during Covid, and I wanted a rickshaw-style truck in one of the scenes,” he says, adding how that became a challenge. “I basically called everyone I could think of, I posted messages on Twitter in case someone got it, we called Pakistani restaurants, thinking we might get a one there. Well, luckily, we found it. But it was a job.” Jemima concludes our conversation with two things she misses most about Pakistan. “The host and Gulab Jamuns!

Her debut novel is airing in Pakistan today and is being distributed by HKC entertainment, headed by Hammad Chaudhary. What does Love do? stars Latif, Emma Thompson, James, Aly and Shabana Azmi in key roles and revolves around arranged marriages in South Asian families.

By ahmad

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