Sunday 26 May 2024, 3:30 pm
Rainbow Cinemas, Northumberland Mall

The Queen of My Dreams posterThe Queen of My Dreams follows a distant mother and daughter as they come of age in two different eras.  Azra, a Pakistani woman living in Toronto, is worlds apart from her conservative Muslim mother. When her father suddenly dies on a trip home to Pakistan, Azra finds herself back home being asked to play the role of perfect daughter. As we move back and forth from her mother’s youth in Karachi to her own coming-of-age in rural Nova Scotia, similarities between two lives that feel so different are revealed.

Director: Fawzia Mirza
Writer: Fawzia Mirza
Cast: Hamza Haq, Amrit Kaur, Nimra Bucha
Runtime: 97 minutes
Language: English, Urdu
Genre: Comedy, drama


By Rebecca at Film Carnage.com

Mother-daughter relationships are inherently complicated, so they will forever make for good film material, and that’s before you bring in sexuality, religion and grief. So, with The Queen of My Dreams combining all of those things, plus a great dose of nostalgia with its flashbacks to the 1960s, it has a winning recipe. It kicks off with this immediate vibrancy and charming energy and impressively, it’s something that it manages to keep going all throughout the film. As the story moves through its different times and chapters, it only becomes more endearing.

It follows a classic road of how mothers and daughters who tend to clash, actually have more in common than they know. Fawzia Mirza creates a very wholesome air but holds onto a youthful, fresh feel, then flawlessly adapts that style as it moves through different decades. A big part of that feel is the enthralling nature to the characters, they’re all grounded and sincere but there’s also a cheeky edge to them as comedy blends flawlessly into the drama. The way that it smoothly moves from touching emotion to light-humour, makes it so easy to watch.

The Queen of My Dreams450Mirza does a great job of then integrating the feel and energy of the characters into the direction. It has that same bubbly feel and there’s a big vein of creativity running throughout. Particularly in how it truly embraces their Bollywood obsession, using song and dance for them to explore their emotions and to portray their similarities. It’s lively and fun, so when it then dives into its dramatic roots, it only gets better because its balance of the two is superb. For a debut feature, it shows a strong hand at the wheel, being able to effortlessly go through different waves of emotion from happy and romantic to sadness and grief.

The entire ensemble only takes that further, they all have a great range that gives The Queen of My Dreams such a relatable, friendly feel. Amrit Kaur leads the way with the strong, fiercely independent and confident Azra, she’s funny and sweet but also stubborn. Much like her mother Mariam, played by the lovely Nimra Bucha, who’s most recently starred in Ms. Marvel and Polite Society. Bucha brings that classic strict edge, capturing that rebellious youth turned traditional mother to stop her child making the same mistakes she did.

Together, their relationship is rocky to say the least but as the film peels back its layers, it lovingly hands you the key to how that conflict comes from their similarities rather than differences. Bucha in particular portrays this compelling almost brokenness that she brings to Mariam, adding a huge note of sympathy to her strictness. While you can sense the apprehension in Kaur’s Azra, firmly wanting to be herself and stand against sexist traditions but still wanting to respect her family.

The Queen of My Dreams is fun, charming and touching. It has a brilliant mix of different emotions, wrapped in a colourful, imaginative package that’s really enjoyable to watch. Fawzia Mirza brings a fantastic variety to her direction, forever holding onto an infectious energy. There’s a great cast at work, filled with personality and they are enchanting to watch. It manages to create something that’s a good time but also holds genuine emotion, finding a creative way to travel through its tale of family, religion and romance.