TIFF 2017 Movie Review: WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY (Norway/Germany Sweden 2017)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

 WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAYSixteen year-old Nisha lives a double life. At home with her family she is the perfect Pakistani daughter, but when out with her friends, she is a normal Norwegian teenager.

Director: Iram Haq
Writer: Iram Haq
Stars: Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain, Ekavali Khanna

Review by Gilbert Seah

When Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) is caught with a boy in her bedroom, though nothing really happened between them, her concerned parents kidnap her and send her to Pakistan. The film traces Nisha’s kidnap to her abode in Pakistan where she lives with her cruel aunt and uncle. Things get even worse, after a failed escape attempt and her being caught by the police smooching with her cousin.

They call Nisha’s dad (Adil Hussain) to take her back to Oslo. The father is madder than ever and at one point forces her to commit suicide, which she doesn’t. Director Haq has the audience clearly on Nisha’s side. Firstly, she is largely innocent, only guilty of wanting to have some fun any normal teenager seeks. When she suffers, she is also shown to earnestly want to turn over a new leaf.

The film benefits from superior performances from both Mozhdah as Nisha and Hussain as Nisha’s dad. It also helps that Haq has developed real characters, not just one dimensional cardboard ones. The film is not devoid of humour (like the egg lady on the bus in Pakistan). Haq also shows the different culture and lifestyle in Pakistan compared to Norway.

WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY is an engaging film that makes its point, while sending a message at the same time.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8_dBOzufWQ


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