Sohai Abro’s star has been on the ascendant for years now, and her upcoming film, Motorcycle Girl, promises to cement her fame. A ball of energy and endlessly versatile as a thespian, Abro’s vibe is at once feminine yet fiery. Abro chats with Afshan Shafi in an honest tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte. Captured beautifully by the brilliant Abdullah Haris, exclusively for GT, read on for a moody and reflective editorial
How do you think this movie will surprise local audiences?
Motorcycle girl is a story of a young girl from a regular family struggling with the many limitations of society. On the one hand the story is relatable because of the day-to-day obstacles she faces and how she deals with them, something which Iâ€™m sure all of us can relate to since we live in a patriarchal society. So the surprise element would be seeing this kind of a progressive female character in a Pakistani film. On the other handÂ the story is highly awakening as a reminder of the inner power we all have, if properly tapped into. This film will definitely be an empowering experience for the audience, as they follow the journey of an ordinary girl doing extraordinary things.
Any surprises or memorable anecdotes from the filming?
One of the most interesting aspects of the film was the travelling required through phenomenal destinations in Pakistan, one of them being Khunjerab Pass which is on the China-Pakistan border. To our surprise, the visuals were not the only â€˜breathtakingâ€™ aspect of it. During the shoot we faced what can be described as an â€˜unrealâ€™ challenge. Due to lack of oxygen we were all in a state of Hypoxia with symptoms such as confusion, shortness of breath, sweating, wheezing and rapid breathing. The extreme weather conditions causing this made it impossible for us to sustain our shooting hours. This experience was disturbing yet very memorable at the same time. Having said that, nothing can beat the beauty of Khunjerab and our county Pakistan.
How would you describe the central character in three words?
I canâ€™t really describe the character in 3 words since itâ€™s such a layered character. But if I have to choose 3 simple words, they would be
Did you relate to the character? If so, in what way?
Yes I surely did. The character is of a young independent girl who is theÂ breadwinner for herself and her family. She had no choice but to grow up and become the force behind her life and I can relate to that. The character possesses the eagerness to go beyond societal barriers to achieve a sense of completion, fulfillment, and acceptability. I feel we all fight our demons differently. Life gives us opportunities to stand up for ourselves, and it’s a beautiful journey when we set our mind to do that. I too have faced such struggles, such as living a life without a father, standing up for my self and following my dreams. There are many ways I relate to this character.Â For what is life without obstacles?
How will this film break stereotypes for female protagonists in Pakistan?
Motorcycle girl is a film that shows the female gender as the lead character. I’m happy to be part of a film that will add to the revolution of our film industry in Pakistan. This film is going to bring about a change. The visual of a female on a motorbike ,itself, will aid in breaking the stereotypes set by our society. Female protagonists cannot be confined to banal cliches in this day and age. Why the limitations? The medium of film is a beautiful way of creating awareness, educating society, and broadening the perspectives of the audience. Women in Pakistan are highly skilled, they’re strong and they are capable of making a difference. Representations of women in Pakistani Cinemare definitely evolving and Motorcycle Girl is surely going to set the bar for that.
What is the message audiences will take away from this film?
This film is about standing up and fighting for yourself. It’s about hearing your inner voice and going the extra mile, understanding your importance in this world and not letting others be the judge of you. Stop holding yourself back just because of â€œlog kya kahengayâ€. Weâ€™re all beyond that and weâ€™re better than that. This film will reinforce the fact that you can shape your own destiny. Itâ€™s about believing in yourself.
Local crush: Fawad Khan
International crush: Zayn Malik, Riz Ahmed.
Looks or money: Iâ€™d pick personality
Fav designer to wear: Ali Xeeshan, Zaheer Abbas, Hussain Rehar
Girly girl or tomboy: a bit of both
When not working you can be found: You canâ€™t find me when Iâ€™m not working haha
Celebrity you are dying to work with: Iâ€™m dying to work with good directors
Fav actor: Leonardo Di Caprio, Ranvir Singh
Fav actress: Jody foster, Jennifer Lawrence
Homebody or party animal: homebody