The Queen of My Dreams Image

The Queen of My Dreams

By Ben Shehadi | March 9, 2024

SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2024 REVIEW! Directed and written by Fawzia Mirza (in her directorial debut), The Queen of My Dreams is about a Pakistani-Canadian lesbian girl and her strained relationship with her traditionalist parents.

Azra Baji is a university student living in Canada. She is a lesbian and has a white girlfriend named Rachel. Azra has a difficult relationship with her Pakistani mother, a devout Muslim who disapproves of same-sex relationships. When her father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, Azra is forced to leave Canada and attend his funeral back in Pakistan.

Throughout the film, we learn a lot about Azra and her family. Although a traditional Pakistani, Azra’s mother is somewhat familiar with Western culture, such as Shakespeare and Hollywood cinema. Her father is more Westernized. His name is Dr. Hassan Malik, a trauma surgeon who studied at Edinburgh and did his residency in Canada. He is also a fan of the Beatles.

“…Pakistani-Canadian lesbian girl and her strained relationship with her traditionalist parents.”

The Queen of My Dreams is a solid film. Cinematography is beautiful and crisp. Good editing techniques are used, such as split screens and film-reel slides. Characterization is done very well: it is intuitive and easy to understand. Excellent writing and natural dialogue make for a believable watching experience.

We really get a sense of Azra and her world. In truly Canadian fashion, it is a multilingual film: English, Urdu, and Arabic. It reflects a unique fusion of Canadian and Pakistani culture, although this significantly weakens the movie’s mainstream appeal.

The Queen of My Dreams addresses some very big themes, such as globalization, Westernization, marriage, sexuality, racism, and religion. It tackles LGBT issues head-on, as well as the liberalizing effect of Hollywood media on the Third World.

There aren’t too many major flaws in this film. Pacing tends to drag, but this is relieved by the engaging story and short runtime. The movie’s biggest failure is not adequately developing Azra’s lesbian romance. With the exception of some hot kissing at the beginning, her girlfriend Rachel doesn’t get nearly enough attention.

Well-executed and thoughtful, it is a solid film that is culturally relevant and enjoyable to watch.

The Queen of My Dreams screened at the 2024 SXSW Film Festival.

The Queen of My Dreams (2023)

Directed and Written: Fawzia Mirza

Starring: Amrit Kaur, Nimra Bucha, Hamza Haq, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

The Queen of My Dreams Image

"…culturally relevant and enjoyable to watch."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon