Categories: Lifestyle

Javed Sheikh’s Nayab Marks a New Era in Pakistani Cinema

Fans of Javed Sheikh are in for a surprise when watching his latest film, Nayab, which has just hit UK cinema screens.

This film marks a departure from his usual action, romance, and comedy portrayals. As an award-winning actor, director, and producer, with years of experience involving films like Namaste London, Saat Din Mohabbat In, and Na Maloom Afraad 2, Javed has clearly enjoyed the new challenges posed by Nayab.

Set within the vibrant, busy city of Karachi, Nayab explores the way in which young women want more than a traditional marriage and children lifestyle. It marks the film debut of a new, young rising star of cinema, Yumma Zaidi.

In the film, Javed takes on the crucial supporting role of Nayab’s father, trying to come to terms with the changing conditions both within his family and society generally.

At one point, he comments cynically, “This country is no longer worth living in.”

Creating this character proved to be extremely challenging as it is the exact opposite of his own personality.

Javed says, “My character was not all easy as it was quite different from what I usually do in films. I had to work very hard to satisfy my director Umair Nasir in the way he had conceived this character. I am playing a strict middle-class head of the family whose daughter (Yumma Zaidi) is interested in making her career in cricket. This results in lots of twists and turns and drama within the family.”

Nayab marks Yumma Zaidi’s film debut portraying a girl obsessed with cricket, frequently playing in street games and possessing a natural talent for the game. Watching Pakistan lose a match to India, she promises to defeat India in a future game. With a father who is opposed to the idea of a girl playing professional cricket, her promise initially appears just a dream. But when her brother (played by M Farad Khan) – a professional cricketer facing problems in his own career – discovers that the national women’s team is looking for players, he encourages her to apply for training at the cricket academy.

Needless to say, her father (Javed Sheikh) is strongly opposed to this, telling her to ‘Get rid of this cricket craze from your mind.’ The film is extremely atmospheric, utilising wonderful locations like Frere Hall, St Joseph’s College, and Port Grand around Karachi, as well as dusty streets and playing fields. Intensely colourful Lollywood-style dance routines with foot-tapping music contrast with the calmer, workday shades of cricket grounds. The darker side of life is equally brilliantly portrayed, with scenes of street violence and burning buildings.

Above all, this is a film stressing female resilience and determination to break through prejudices and glass ceilings, shattering stereotypes in order to achieve her aims. It’s a must watch movie!

Nayab constantly has to make choices, rebelling against the expectations of her family and has to realize that fulfilling dreams comes at a cost – but it can be worth paying. Reactions to the film have been extremely promising from UK audiences.

When the trailer was released, it immediately resulted in over 500,000 views. Launched onto UK screens on February 2nd, it quickly became the must-see film of the month.

Javed’s long experience in the film industry enabled him to help guide Yumma Zaidi through the intricacies of her role. In interviews with the media, he commented that her dedication, talent, and versatility made her the perfect choice as the lead character.

Even as Nayab hit the screens, Javed was already working on his next projects.

In sharing these with British Muslim, he stressed the variety of locations and roles involved. Luck Laag Gaye is currently shooting in London while other upcoming projects include: Qulfi, Delhi Gae, Jinna Teri Marzi (Punjabi) in London, and a guest appearance in Dheemak.

Main Image credit – Hum Films

British Muslim Magazine

The adventurous spirit behind the pages of British Muslim magazine. As the Editor-in-Chief, Natasha leads with a passion for exploration and a pen dipped in wanderlust. With a keen eye for halal travel experiences and an insatiable curiosity for new experiences, she brings readers along on captivating journeys to far-flung destinations. Through her vibrant storytelling, Natasha invites readers on enriching adventures, where every experience is a window into the muslim world.

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