Looking at the trailer, one comes to the same conclusion: what a predictable story. Girl comes to Pakistan, has to choose between two boys for marriage, wedding happening in the background. Why will I go to watch this movie?
A conversation with the producers and the director of Janaan went surprisingly well, considering I had my reservations about what the film is looking like at the moment. “We actually have a purpose with this film,” says Imran Kazi, one of the producers of the film. While the actual purpose of the film is escapism, according to the producers, it is also trying to show another side of Pakistan to the world. “Janaan is the first Pakistani film to be releasing in 15 different countries all over the world.” Therefore, many people, other than Pakistanis, are going to be watching this movie. “Our focus is actually on promoting Pakhtuns and their culture as they are usually stereotyped on screen.” And how true is that. All we hear about Pathans are the Pathan jokes that revolve around their ‘stupidity’ and anger problems. “In the movie you’ll see that Pathans are as abnormally normal as everyone else.” However, the filmmakers wanted to be subtle in their messages. “We don’t want to lecture anyone. We want people to laugh and have fun but also learn something along the way.”
To help with the authenticity of displaying the culture of Swat, Reham Khan came on board in the very beginning of film production. Imran clarifies that she has been monumental in guiding the producers, being a Pathan herself from a Swati tribe.
Is Swati culture the only reason why one should watch this film? In the trailer, it seems as if the producers have given the whole film away.
“We haven’t given everything away,” Imran says with a big smile on his face. This makes me very curious: are there some big twists in the film? “You will have to watch Janaan to find out!”
Of course, that’s what any filmmaker will say about their film. But Hareem Farooq, the other producer of the film, is feeling very proud and positive about the outcome of the movie. “You will see that Janaan is a purely Pakistani story and people will really enjoy it.”
We wish the filmmakers best of luck and hope the film is able to encapsulate all that they wish to show to the world.