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London Nai Jaunga - Khalil ur Rehman Qamar’s saving grace?

*has spoilers*


Even before the movie was released, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar was vocal about it being a slap on the face of those who accused him of misogyny. Qamar faced severe repercussions, after his movie Punjab Nai Jaungi, that was outstanding at the box office, received backlash for a particular slap scene, followed later by his viral altercations with Marvi Sirmed and being called out by Mahira Khan. He was labelled a misogynist and many actors who had earlier performed his work dissaociated themselves from him, for example, Rehmat Ajmal. Others vowed to boycott the man who was perceived as having no respect for women and famous for doing everything in his power to bring them down, whether it be in real life or through his characters.



Then came London Nai Jaunga, that although he denied was written as a response to this very backlash, would prove it wrong none the less. It touches quite a few sensitive spots for the audience and there is no doubt that seeing some of these scenes in a Khalil ur Rehman Qamar movie was surprising, yet refreshing.



In one of the scenes as Zara Mansoor played by Mehwish Hayat is being chased by goons she collides with Chaudhry Jameel Qamar played by Humayun Saeed. The audience expects the typical male hero to act as the saviour for his lady love while he faces danger head on. However, the audience is caught off guard when Hayat kicks the goons around, participating equally in the action sequence.



There are subtle lines throughout the movie that reflect the lack of agency that women have because men tend to make everything about ghairat (honour). This is also shown through the history upon which the movie lays its foundation, where Zara’s father had been murdered because her mother dared to marry for love.



A particularly touching scene, that I am not embarrassed to admit brought me to tears, was one where Chaudhry Jameel Qamar points towards the unfair double standards for men and women in society and explains to his father how the concept of izzat (self-respect) and ghairat (honour) should not be the women’s burden to carry. The scene is well written, well directed and well performed and would easily be one of the best scenes for me because it does everything right and hits home at the same time.



Yet, a few scenes later we witness Chaudhry Kafil (Humayun’s father played by Sohail Ahmed) going to his estranged sister’s house to ask for her daughter’s hand in marriage. One of the first dialogues he utters with regards to his son is “uss par feminism ka bhooth sawaar hogaya hai.” Immediately one feels like all the good messages that were imparted a few scenes ago might just collapse entirely given the tone and language of this dialogue that essentially paints feminism as propoganda.



And again, we have yet to understand as a society and an industry that when a woman says no, thats exactly what she means (and you don't need to follow her all all the way to London to convince her of your love). Chaudhry Jameel Qamar’s unwavering stalker behaviour coupled with the poor development of his character in the course of the movie is easily the most off putting, yet what the story is in fact based upon. He has no reason not to take no for an answer, except that he believes he has experiencd love at first sight and as the old tale goes, believes he reserves right over the woman.



So one then really ponders, is this media piece really as progressive as it was hyped up to be or does it carry forward the same patriarchal and mysoginistic views, painted over with a guise of feminism to make it more digestble for the larger audience? Or is it a sugar coated and feeble attempt by Qamar to redeem himself with the masses with a big budget film that contains all the commercial elements siginificant of a box office success?

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Hello Maryam! I have also posted a review on London Nahi Jaunga, having not realised that you did as well. Would love for you to give my post a read and comment if you agree or not. https://www.mediapolicyproject.com/post/london-nahi-jaonga-an-attempt-was-made-maybe I believe that while the purpose of the movie might have been to save Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar's image as a misogynist, this movie did him no good and completely failed to do so. There were many instances in the movie which had sexist remarks and dialogues which would make one feel extremely uncomfortable. I have talked more about these in detail in my own blog.

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Hey, will definitely give it a read!


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Having watched LNJ, this is exactly what I felt. Also, this is not only about this one particular movie. It depicts Khalil ur Rehman's personality and what he thinks about the stand that Humayon Saeed's character takes. All his work till now has been so problematic, portraying women as dependant upon men, toxic, cheaters, responsible for all the bad that happens in a man's life. One of his dramas that I remember as being very problematic is 'Zara Yaad Kar' which shows that a women who wants to step out of her Nikkah because she falls in love with another man is the worst form of women. The drama goes on to show her end and a lesson for wome…

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I haven't watched many of his plays except 'Mere Paas Tum Ho' and 'Pyaar Ke Sadqay' both of which he claims are based on his own life. I wonder how much of that is true and how much of that is exaggerated for the sake of the screen. However, I am no one to judge and if these dramas really do depict his real life, then I can sometimes understand (don't agree with or endorse) his dislike for women. But, that is no excuse for the way he behaves, by which I mean publicly maligning women and abusing them. These plays for him may be a way of catharsis and to release that pent up emotion but he has to…

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Abdul Rehman Mirza
Abdul Rehman Mirza
Aug 06, 2022

Great Blog. Women are primarily ridiculed in Punjabi folktales as very emotional, irrational, and impressionable individuals. But this movie is so full of statements about gender equality as you also mentioned in an action scene where Humayun is supposed to save Mehwish from the bad guys, Mehiwsh jumps in to fight to save him. Furthermore, some quotes and allusions support women's independence and charge males with treating everything pertaining to women as a matter of their honor and pagh (respect). He also uses the analogy of using imported phones rather than ones we make ourselves to explain why our "ghairat" is ineffective where it should be. Finally, the father acknowledges that his son has become a feminist and that his…

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Very well put!


That ghairat scene was my favorite I must say. A very strong message delivered in a manner that was understandable and relatable for most of the audience sitting in the theatre. I was very pleasantly surprised by it too, since it was written by KRQ. However, when the story is such that it counteracts the claims made through dialogues, I sometimes feel like the writer is also going through a battle between his own opinion on these matters and how much of it is for the audience pleasing and the apology he was so convinced he's offering to the feminists.


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Hi Maryam!

Your blog was a really interesting read on "London nahi Jaunga"!

I think media products that purport to offer viewers a more progressive view of feminism and women are often very problematic and dangerous. In my opinion, London Nahi Jaunga is an exmaple of that. While Marshall warned us against Shrek, I think a similar warning is needed here because I see the film ultimately reifying traditional gender role stereotypes and feminism as a result of forgoing traditional 'ghairat' as the norm. The moment when Humayun Saeed's father admits (visibly regretfully) to his son becoming a feminist and how he has had to forfeit his own 'ghairat' for it, I think thats when the film goes downhill. That…


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Hey, reading the first half of your comment and I could relate to each and every sentence. My reasons for liking the movie still are slightly different. For one, the cinematography was amazing in my eyes, the colors, the frames, and the costumes all added to the grandeur of the film. That is something I look forward to in a Humayun Saeed production but also in general, in big screen media because it tends to offer that larger than life setting and over the top celebrations that I enjoy watching on screen.


I'd second your Alhamdullilah, because really thank God!


Moreover, the point about impact is very relevant. I mean I can easily understand the effect it could have on…

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Good blog, Maryam!

The point where Zara alter the cycle of oppression that was unfair to her mother after coming back to avenge her father's death. And seemed like she offers a public apology to feminists on behalf of KRQ.


While what I think, he seems to have corrected all the flaws and ‘misunderstandings’ regarding his rash and misogynistic public statements.

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Thank you Ammara!


Yes, while I do agree that Zara's character within itself was shown to be very strong and added a feminist perspective to the movie, by the end when she gives in to marrying Ch. Jameel after he has done nothing but follow her everywhere while she says no, does not sit well with me, at least. The lack of depth and development in Humayun's character (he's shown to a be a care-free boy who's only interests are dog-racing and comical poetry) is another factor which makes it seem like Zara has eventually fallen in love with him because of his sheer persistence and being unable to take no for an answer.

So, that is where I think…

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