Joyland is as much a story about the crushing weight of society's expectations as it is about inner conflicts.

There has been so much talk about and controversy surrounding Joyland that I think people may be missing the point of the film. Joyland is a film as much about society and its expectations as it is about inner conflict and relationships.

I went to watch the movie on Saturday night, urged on by the niggling thought that the censor board might just change its mind and remove it from cinemas. It was interesting to note that the film had an 18+ rating, something Maula Jatt didn't have, despite the violence in the film.

I'm not interested in spoiling the movie for you. I would like instead for you to make up your own mind about the film but know that it's about people and the human struggle with identity - yours, mine and ours. Our identities as children of demanding parents, our identities as members of a society that demonises women who work, our identities as wives, as husbands, as friends and as humans.

Joyland, Pakistan's submission to this year's Oscars, is about the Rana family - the patriarch, his two sons, their wives and his four granddaughters. His younger son, Haider (Ali Junejo), faces a crisis of identity when he begins working at a theatre under the wings of transgender dancer Biba (Alina Khan). He juggles his newfound fascination with Biba with his home life, and his relationship with his wife Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq) suffers, so much so that she turns invisible in his eyes. Mumtaz's own life is, not to put too fine of a point on it, going to shit and her husband doesn't seem to notice at all.

The furore about the film was sparked by the suggestion that there was an element of 'LGBT' in the movie. That enraged many people who instantly branded it unwatchable. To those detractors I would say, watch it for yourself to find out. Or don't. It's up to you, but you'd miss out on a damn good work of art. Just know that it's not all about Haider and Biba's relationship.

I believe different people will take away different things from the movie. What I took away was this - people are forced into boxes in our society. Women should stay home, men should provide. Your job must be 'respectable'. You must want children. You must want a son. Those boxes were explored in the film and poignantly so.

To sum it up, Joyland is about a couple who love each other and would have been perfectly fine had society not come in the way with its expectations and judgement. Mumtaz never judged Haider, she knew what he was like...

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