Queen of My Dreams review: A coming-of-age story exploring generational trauma through an inquisitive queer teenager

Aishwarya Srinivasan
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Queen of My Dreams review

Amrit Kaur and Nimra Bucha are the heart of Queen of My Dreams and we decode their relationship in depth in this review!

Queen of My Dreams review: As a South East Asian kid, your parents rarely ever have the ‘birds and bees’ talk with you. Instead they use Bollywood films as a medium to explain everything from love to love making and that can be quite confusing as a teenager. But growing up on these Bollywood films is how Azra has her sexual awakening. A moment of young love is quickly ruined when her mother sees that she is having her Bollywood moment with another girl. She cannot and will not accept her queer daughter under any circumstances and will live in denial forever.

Fast forward to when Azra (Amrit Kaur) is now a grown woman who lives with her secret girlfriend. She is a modern day woman but her mother’s ‘desi-ness’ still lies deep within her when she watches the same films with her foreigner partner as well. Azra’s mother, Mariam (Nimra Bucha) has an inner demon of her own which she unknowingly passes on to Azra too. She got married young and immigrated to Canada with her husband so the guilt of staying away from family and from her roots only pressured her to make sure that her daughter grows up to be a good muslim girl. That was her ultimate dream but that is also what created so much friction between the mother and daughter.

Also Read: Kashish Pride Film Festival Day 4: The Girls Shorts collection brought out different layers of being queer in the modern world

Azra’s parents make a trip back to their hometown, Karachi, after years but her dad’s unforeseen death leads to her going to Karachi to see where her parents grew up. That's where she realizes how similar her mom was to her when she was her age. The two of them are strong, opinionated, and question the norm for women. Through the flashback and the current timeline you realize how generational trauma makes its way into all three generations of grandmother, mother and daughter in different ways. Mariam’s mother didn't want her to leave Pakistan but she goes against her word and settles in Canada. Mariam wants her daughter to avidly abide by their religion but it only repels her to do so. And Azra fails to be on the same page with her mother on most things, especially with her definition of what it means to be a ‘perfect’ woman.

Hamza Haq who plays Hassan in this film is the fire extinguisher when the two women of his family are at loggerheads. He understands Azra way more than her mother does. In a beautiful scene he tells her that even if her way of looking at things is unconventional, it is absolutely alright to be different from the herd. In the film, the song ‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani’ is played multiple times to the point where it’ll be stuck in your head all day. But they use it to point out a very pivotal part of Azra’s journey as a queer teenager. It is also a good segway to introducing someone to different sexualities that people identify with. 

The narrative is constantly told in a non-linear format but is not confusing to follow at all. The transition between the two different generations is seamlessly done. The older version of Pakistan is portrayed rather aesthetically. Small details like Azra singing ‘Ko Ko Korina’ which is a popular Pakistani song and other Pakistani nursery rhymes taught to her add to how badly Mariam wanted Azra to grow up with the same surroundings as her. The further she went from her hometown, the more she forced the culture on her kids.

Queen of My Dreams does not give you a definitive answer and that actually is the most satisfying arc the climax gives you. Instead of trying to solve things between them, it leaves it messy but more informed about grief and regrets being passed down from generations. It makes you value the fact that your mom was also a young girl at one point and maybe the next time she does not have all the answers ready for us, we should be more considerate towards her. 

Queen of My Dreams was screened at The Kashish Pride Film Festival this year!

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Nimra Bucha Queen of My Dreams Azra Mariam Hamza Haqq Amrit Kaur