If one were to make a film about women & wanted it to be heard far & wide, one must make sure not to make it jarringly feminist. Why? You ask. What’s wrong with Feminism? Nothing. I reply, but in order for a message to be heard, and play into the audience sensibilities – let them decide what they want to hear.
Daughter By Law did just that
The short film, second from Digestive Showtime hits the right ‘viewing’ spot. After a ‘spot on’ first film Yorker with Wahaj Ali, the channel’s second release also resonates with millenials; our parents, grand parents & every one who has lived in a desi family setup in Pakistan or India will agree.
And this is why you need to watch this under 40 minute delightfully warm story.
If Pakistani dramas give us content, YouTube is allowing our actors the breadth and scale to showcase their talent without borders. And yes, I mean Sohai Ali Abro as Sarah – the daughter in law who knows her mind, doesn’t want to pick a panga with her mother in law, but will definitely stay true to herself. Watch this one if only to see Sohai in a refreshingly charming role. I could imagine so many millenials dialling into her laidback yet sensitive persona. Her vegetarianism, ‘chill’ attire & endearing attempt to assist her mother in law on smart phone training were enough to sail you through the rest of the film.
Marina Khan, the actor who, whenever she steps away from behind the lens, gives us a glimpse of how it should ALWAYS be done. Marina appears on screen with cool, organic feels, more like she’s not really acting, this is just not scripted, but wait a minute, it is, and she doesn’t let slip a teeny tiny mistake … perfecto in the intimidating saas role you were Marina. And even more when she admitted to feeling on shaky ground, the ego-shift was totally smile-worthy.
Najaf Bilgrami as Neetu Chacha adorned in high-flowing Urdu was the sone pe suhaga in a story that could have become very 2-dimensional, but he added just the right mix of humour and insightful backdrop to a story that played on our nostalgia for the old-world charm – when trustworthy household help would make it in the jahez trolley.
Aehsun Talish appeared nicely debonair as the greying, yet, not entirely aged ex love. I guess I have to hand it to director Armughan Hassan for some sharp casting here. Watching Mr. Talish onscreen after Mushk was a complete twist in the tale. You have to watch to find out – ain’t giving away anything here – no spoilers promise!
Haris Waheed delivered a convincing performance as Adnan. Perhaps he had little to play with but this appearance stands out from others for me as a step forward in his career. The young actor shows great potential & short films is surely the way to get noticed, so looking forward to more promising performances from him!
How & Why Did The Women Come Out On Top?
In a story that is balanced between 3 men & 2 women, the women still end up coming out on top! Not because they wanted to, but just because they did!
- Daughter By Law tells us that the woman CAN make the first move. Why should she let society tell her how to plan her life? If he doesn’t ask, maybe she should, and not miss a chance to live happily ever after just because of a silly question of, who should go first, or who shouldn’t.
2. The film tells us that relationships can bloom at any stage of our lives. They say 60 is the new 40, and in that case, do not call it quits just because society tells you you’re too old. If you feel love at 50, 60 or even 70 like any other living, breathing human at 20, don’t ignore it! Seize the day & live your heart’s desire. Your love at 60 might be different from the heady, all encompassing passion of the 20’s but it is still love – mature, rested and tempered – don’t let go of life until it let goes of you.
3. You are a mother, but you have a right to be more than that. Daughter By Law tells us how we cannot continue to live for others, even if they are our children. Guilt-free mothers are hard to come by, but perhaps, we can make a start, and children will follow through, and eventually accept that although, they will always live in your heart, you have a right to give it to someone else too.
4. Mother In Laws & Daughter In Laws can have a relationship independent of THAT bond. Yes, the one that places the son between them, but only, if they allow to free themselves of that sense of ownership. He will always be important to them both, he will always be the center of their lives, but he doesn’t have to be the focal (and controlling) point of their relationship.
Watch the film because it will tell you a way forward, of how we need a blending of generation gaps, and of course, it will bring a smile to your face without making you realize it’s silently changing perspectives – in a good way!