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Grandpa and I

Erum, a young Pakistani girl, endures difficult moments during her childhood as she first loses her father, and then her mother. The only anchor she has left in her life is her grandfather, with whom she builds a loving relationship. Among his teachings about human connection, purpose in life and handwriting, one piece of wisdom ends up really standing out: ‘Man only settles in one nest when he loses the courage to fly’.


This quote eventually comes to life, with Erum ready to leave the place she’s always lived in and pursue her higher studies in London. Her grandfather knows that this is the best choice for her, and thus doesn’t directly show his sorrow when the two have to say their final goodbyes, but he is terribly heartbroken. It is equally difficult for her – not only does she leave on a completely new adventure in uncharted territory, but she also has to, as opposed to the two previous tragic departures she experienced, be the one to leave. The two keep a close correspondence through letters, as the grandfather is not exactly tech-savvy, and five years later Erum returns after noticing a change in his handwriting.


‘Grandpa and I’, despite resting upon a sad chain of events that sees the grandfather remain the only person in Erum’s life, perfectly captures the chemistry and mutual love between a grandparent and their granddaughter or grandson.  Through quotes, stories, little flashbacks and chats in key moments, the film wonderfully illustrates a relationship that, while certainly resting on personal and cultural factors to some extent, remains universal in nature. Both Saboor Ali as Erum and Qavi Khan as her grandfather perform magnificently in their respective roles, bringing the two characters to life and displaying a complex later of emotions throughout the film. The chosen music and lyrics not only perfectly capture this relationship, but also give the film a distinct cultural flavor and set it apart from similar productions set in different contexts.


Ultimately, ‘Grandpa and I’ is a love letter to grandparents all over the world, and the attention and care put in every scene and every dialogue evokes a deep effort to capture such a universal theme. This is a perfect family film to watch with your loved ones – and if you do decide to watch it alone, you will certainly want to hug your grandparents as soon as the credits roll.

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