In the last year – and ever since her silver screen debut with Jawani Phir Nahi Aani – we’ve not seen much of Sohai Ali Abro before the trailer of Motorcycle Girl came out. Other than the fact that Sohai is a bit of a loner – as she likes to call herself – and doesn’t like to socialize much, we didn’t see her on the big screen all of last year. Was that a deliberate move on Sohai’s part? We investigate!
“I was working on a project for eight months but it never materialized because the film got shelved. It was really heartbreaking of course because when you put your heart and soul into a project, you want to see it completed at the end,” answered Sohai with her million dollar smile.
Thankfully, Sohai is back on our Facebook and Insta newsfeeds and will soon be on the big screen as well, all due to Adnan Sarwar’s second directorial, Motorcycle Girl.
Sohai explained how this film was very special for her. “I felt like I was being typecast a lot as this typically pretty, doll character on screen and I wanted to break out of my comfort zone and do something different. I went through a LOT of scripts before finally settling on this one,” she shared.
The film is based on the life of Zenith Irfan, the real-life motorcycle girl who completed a solo motorcycle journey through the Northern regions of Pakistan. But more than the journey, it is the special bond between the father and daughter that struck a chord with Sohai. “I could relate to Zenith’s desire to fulfill her late father’s ambitions. She grew up without a father and I too, have been through that so I could relate to her a lot.”
Motorcycle Girl is a gamechanger in many ways. Firstly, it’s one of the only female-driven narratives to come out of Pakistan in recent times. Secondly, it documents the journey of a motorcyclist, which means that of course, Sohai needed to learn to ride a motorcycle. “I didn’t even know how to ride a cycle, let alone a motorcycle. So I had to learn that first. But I picked it up very quickly.”
Sohai revealed that she joined Women on Wheels, a Punjab government initiative that aims to encourage women to ride motorcycles, to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Other than the difficult terrains, the actress has done all of the motorcycling in the film herself.
One wonders if Sohai has been spoiled a little by her motorcycle experience. “I know, it’s going to be really difficult going back to the regular sort of roles that are written for women nowadays. But I’m hopeful that things are changing and I am in no hurry to churn out films. I’ll take my sweet time with each script and I won’t just rush into anything from this point,” she confirmed.