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Rasti, Ali Junejo

Rasti Farooq and Ali Junejo who play husband (Haider) and wife (Mumtaz) in Saim Sadiq’s award-winning film, Joyland, are the talk of the town these days. Their film is releasing on 18th November across Pakistan. Though they are not well known faces in the entertainment industry, they are recognized names in the theater world as the two have worked hard to tell meaningful stories through plays over the years.

In an insightful and fun conversation with Aamna Isani of Something Haute, Rasti and Ali spoke about Joyland, their characters, what they loved in the script and what’s more to come. Read on…

What conversation will Joyland start?

RF: “When we read the script, all of us felt that it is a beautiful and moving story but in a lovely way. How the characters interact, argue, love, live, eat, fight is like our everyday life. The essence of it is that it’s a very real story shot in a beautiful way.”

AJ: “When you read this script, you instantly realize that the foundation of the film is very strong. That gives you an opportunity to reflect through characters, situations or dialogues in the film. This film gives you a chance to question yourself.”

Joyland explores love in different but tasteful ways and it is a rare sight in Pakistani scripts. Your thoughts?

RF: “Yes, there was a though that finally a script in Pakistan is talking about love. I don’t why as a nation we are so afraid to explore love; all we do is show how poisoned or toxic it can be. We don’t allow ourselves to enjoy whether it is laughter or merriment or love. All the different kinds of love that exist and they various different levels of tenderness in them made me happy.”

Read: Video: Alina Khan aka Biba of Joyland talks about her film, her struggles and much more

How tough was Haider to play?

AJ: “It was fairly difficult. I auditioned for it and I was the last audition so maybe that’s why I got it because they ran out of people (laughs). I had read the script so my curiosity was driving me mad; when I spoke to Saim, I came to this realization that he will be open to discussion and debate about the intentions of the character. The challenge was that there is nothing black and white in Haider’s life so, I realized that this will require a lot of work and I loved it.”

Alina Khan

L-R: Saim Sadiq, Rasti Farooq, Aamna Isani, Ali Junejo, Alina Khan

As theater actors who have now forayed into films, what is next?

RF: “So, after doing a feature film I am aware that I would want to do more films but then I also know that films like Joyland and Kamli are made rarely in Pakistan. It is a dilemma that there are not enough opportunities of the kind of work we want to do. For the love of it and also necessity that we will keep falling back on theater.

AJ: “I’ve tried my best to run away from theater but I found myself sitting in a rehearsal, doing a play after a while. We just keep jumping from one place to another.”

Their experience on film fests

RF: “It used to be a joke in my friends circle a few years ago when I was mostly working in theater, had no film offers, wasn’t interested in TV offers. My best friend used to ask ‘have you thought about what your outfit will be for Venice Film Festival’s red carpet?’ and we would just laugh. Three years after that I messaged her that I am going to Cannes and she was like ‘No, just get out!’ (laughs). But now that we have been to a few, so now we are enjoying it.”

AJ: “It is humbling too but it is kind of intimidating. We get to have a lot of fun indeed because it is a great opportunity.”

Watch the full interview here to see what are some of their favourite scenes from the film:

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