The Queen of My Dreams

The Queen of My Dreams FL, 2024, 1 ¾ stars

Dream  unrealized

Image courtesy of Enzian / Florida Film Festival

Exclusive to MeierMovies, April 10, 2024

“I used to worship my mother,” Azra declares at the beginning of The Queen of My Dreams, the debut feature from festival alumna Fawzia Merza. However, different lifestyles, religious beliefs and sexual orientations have driven Azra (Amrit Kaur) and her mom, Mariam (Nimra Bucha), apart. But when Azra’s father (Hamza Haq) dies suddenly on a trip from the family’s adopted home of Canada to their native Pakistan, the women are forced to confront their generational differences.

One interest Azar and her conservative Muslim mother share is their love for Bollywood musical fantasies. And just like those movies, Queen enjoys stylish genre-jumping, from drama, to comedy, to coming-of-age. It even flirts with epic, as the film alternates between Azra’s childhood in 1980s Nova Scotia, Azra’s adulthood in 1999 Toronto and Mariam’s early adulthood in 1969 Karachi (during which Kaur awkwardly plays the mother character, a multiple-role tradition straight out of Bollywood). The movie also often switches from English to Urdu, and back again.

With all that thematic, temporal, geographic and linguistic hopping, one would expect Queen to fly, but instead it drags, held back by average performances and tonally and stylistically challenged direction. It does offer a nice retro feel, inspired by 1960s Bollywood choreography and cinematography, but its helter-skelter ingredients never congeal into a fully satisfying Gulab Jaman.

© 2024 MeierMovies, LLC

This capsule review is part of my coverage of the 2024 Florida Film Festival. To find out when this movie is playing and buy tickets, go to For more information about the event and an index of reviews of other festival films, go here. For more information on this movie, visit IMDB.