Filmmaker and screenwriter Jemima Khan at the Sydney premiere of her film, What’s Love Got To Do With It. — Instagram/@khanjemima

Filmmaker and screenwriter Jemima Khan at the Sydney premiere of her film, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”. — Instagram/@khanjemima

LONDON: Filmmaker and screenwriter Jemima Khan has revealed that she is also a good match-maker and only recently play part in the relationship arrangement of a Pakistani couple.

Jemima was speaking exclusively to Geo News at the What’s Love Got to Do with It?” UK premiere at the Odeon Luxe cinema in London’s Leicester Square. The red-carpet event was attended by dozens of celebrities and everyone involved in the film including Sajal Ali who flew from Pakistan, especially for the event.

“I am good at arranging them (arranged marriages), I have arranged a new one,” Jemima revealed.

The screenwriter shared that it’s two Pakistani friends she had brought together recently. 

“It’s not quite at the marriage stage but it’s going to, it’s going to end in marriage. It’s two Pakistani friends, I have become a crazy megalomaniac when it comes to arranged marriages and now I think I can arrange any marriage.”

Asked if she considers herself a Pakistani-style official match (rishta) maker, Jemima quipped: “Yes I am now Mo the matchmaker.”

Jemima’s directorial debut, for which she is also the producer, is inspired by her time in Pakistan (mainly in Zaman Park, Lahore) during her marriage to former prime minister Imran Khan.

She has spoken candidly about the institution of arranged marriages in her recent interviews. 

She told Geo News that arranges marriages are relevant in this age and day and that arranged marriages are good as long as love and understanding are involved. She said: “I think if it’s based on mutual consent and it’s about the people who know you best and love you the most, choosing the right person for you’ I think there is a place for it in the modern world.”

The filmmaker said that it was of particular concern for her how Lahore, the place where she spent nearly 10 years of her life after marrying Khan, was portrayed in the film. 

She said: “It was very important for me to show Lahore in that way, even things like the architecture; I was really fussy about the filming that we did in Lahore. Getting exactly the right building that portrays the most beautiful Lahore that I knew. I think people are more familiar with the gritty, the darker Pakistan, so I was happy to show a lighter Pakistan.”

She said the reaction and feedback to her film have been “really heart-warming and amazing”.

“I am grateful for that. The most important thing for me, outside of my children and my direct family, I think the British Asian and my Pakistani friends’ reaction to the film has been great and the kind response has really touched me. It has meant a lot,” she added. 

In a recent interview, the screenwriter said she would have “benefited” from being “introduced to suitable candidates” for marriage — and that Princess Diana’s marriage to Charles was “essentially arranged”.

The film centres around the protagonist Zoe — a filmmaker played by actress Lily James — as she navigates the modern dating world, parallel to her neighbour and childhood friend Kazim (Shazad Latif) as he pursues an arranged marriage with a bride (Sajal Ali) from Pakistan.

— Provided by the reporter
— Provided by the reporter

In an exclusive interview last month, Jemima told this reporter that “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” is her love letter to Pakistan – the country where she lived and grew up for ten years and retains strong connections.

The scriptwriter said she set a challenge to herself that she will write a film that celebrated Pakistan. 

She said: “I wanted to show the colourful, beautiful, joyful place that I knew when I was in Pakistan as opposed to Pakistan we often see on the Western screens. You know quite often in films such as Zero Dark Thirty and Homeland, you see Muslims and Pakistanis depicted as the baddies and Pakistan is seen as a really scary, dark place. And so I got a chance to make the romantic comedy version of Pakistan, with Working Title Film that invested rom-com, with the beautiful cast with Sajal Ali who is a beautiful Pakistani actress and the very talented Shabana Azmi from India who is an absolute goddess and Lily James who is wonderful and Emma Thomson, Shahzad Latif and others.”

Jemima plans to visit Pakistan soon for the premier of her film there.

Leave a Reply

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