How to Watch ‘Joyland’?: Pakistani filmmaker Saim Sadiq’s debut film, “Joyland,” which has been the talk of the town for almost a year now, shows his remarkable skill as a filmmaker. Premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where it became the first Pakistani film to be showcased along with films from some of the greatest working directors today, the film had quite a journey post the brilliant premiere. Banned in its homeland, Sadiq’s film had to be released in France due to the mandatory Oscar-qualifying round. While it did not finally make the cut in the Best International Film category, it is deemed as one of the best movies of 2022.
Delving deep into the oppressive and patriarchal household of Lahore, Pakistan, Joyland provides an unflinching portrayal of the daily struggles of its characters. Sadiq’s neo-realist approach to storytelling is brilliantly executed, capturing the minutiae of life in an authentic and poignant way. The film is set around the Amanullah household where Rana Amanullah, lovingly called “Abba” (Salmaan Peerzada), an elderly widower, lives with his two sons, Saleem (Sohail Sameer) and Haider (Ali Junejo), who are at different stages in their lives, and Abba struggles to come to terms with their circumstances.
Saleem is married to Nucchi (Sarwat Gilani), and together they have four energetic and vibrant daughters. But Abba longs for a grandson to carry on his family name, leaving Saleem and Nucchi feeling pressured to fulfill his wishes.
Meanwhile, Haider is unemployed, much to Abba’s disappointment. Haider’s wife Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq) is the sole breadwinner, a talented makeup artist who works tirelessly to provide for their family. The situation takes a dramatic turn when Haider lands a job at a local erotic dance theatre, claiming to be the “manager.” In reality, he is just a backup dancer for the show’s transgender star, Biba (Alina Khan), with whom Haider falls deeply in love.
The critical response to Joyland has been quite wholesome, with the movie currently sitting at a comfortable 97% Fresh approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 62 reviews. The website’s consensus reads, “With stunning honesty that’s achingly bittersweet, Joyland tackles gender and sexual fluidity in a repressed patriarchal society with wisps of hopefulness.”
The story of Joyland is seen through Haider, who Ali Junejo plays. Rasti Farooq plays Haider’s wife, Mumtaz, while Alina Khan plays Biba – the trans woman Haider gets attracted to.
The family’s patriarch is played by Salman Peerzada, who plays Rana Amanullah, while Sohail Sameer plays his elder son Saleem. Sarwat Gilani rounds off the cast by playing Nucchi.
Is ‘Joyland’ playing in movie theatres?
Yes! After what felt like a long time, US-based indie distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories is finally bringing the film into limited theatres across the country. Beginning 7th April 2023, viewers will be able to watch the film in a movie theatre if they live in LA or New York. If you wish to see it the way it was intended, head over to Fandango and see if one of the theatres is still playing it near you.
Where can I stream ‘Joyland’ movie online?
You can now Buy/Rent Joyland on BookMyShow Stream Here.
If you are looking for a subscription-based streaming release, we have no updates on those dates either. Oscilloscope usually puts up its releases on Showtime, MUBI, or even Lionsgate Play. So, depending on what place you are from, the streaming service may vary. As to the date of when that would be is still unknown. You can keep a check on this space in case we have more updates for you.