Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mera Raqeeb - Episode 1

There was so much I wanted to say about this episode after watching it - but unfortunately, I've since then forgotten what it was I wanted to say!

So instead, I'm just going to make some half-baked comments about my overall thoughts on the show.

When will Sajal Ali stop playing these "main bechaari, seedhi saadhi" roles?  Seen it in Mastana Mahi, seen it in Aasmanon Pe Likha, seen it in Meri Laadli, seen it in Gohar E Nayyab......what's up?  Her few different roles, such as in Mere Qatil Mere Dildar, do not make up for the overhaul in "naive" roles.  She is talented, but she's wasting herself on these roles.  It's pretty frustrating.  

Also, I have to mention that her reaction to her husband's accident was by far the dumbest thing I've ever seen.  "Woh nahin ho sakte, woh is shaher mein nahin hai."  UH.  They called you.  They said his name.  They said he's been in an accident.  FIGURE IT OUT.  This was not the best start to a show.

Who knew Faisal Rehman and Juggan Kazim would look so good together?  Not only do they look nice, they also seem to have great chemistry.  I'm also, so far, impressed with Juggan's character.  She's a very happy, bouncy type, which suits her real life image much more, but she rarely gets to do this in dramas.  so far, so good.

Dear Affan - if you play another negative, irritating role, I will personally slap you.  I love you, but I never want to see you in a role like in Maseeha EVER again.  Please don't do it.  I don't know why I'm getting a sinking feeling about this character....but I am.  In this episode, we didn't see much of Affan in motion - he was mostly restricted to a hospital bed, unconscious.  So any other thoughts to be announced...

Overall, I think the storyline is interesting....but for how long, I wonder?  Does this storyline have enough material for 20 + episodes?  I'm not sure.  Let's wait and see!  Happy watching!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Kankar: The Finale

Words can't describe my feelings last week when I saw the preview for episode 25 - immediately, I became emotional, knowing this week would be the last episode.  How quickly 6 months passed by - though Kankar has been with me the last 6 months while I lived my life, it still somehow feels as though I only started watching it yesterday.  I won't lie - this show will leave a huge void that I will definitely feel, especially on Friday nights.

Getting to the episode, a lot happened in one episode.  However, unlike other dramas, this did not feel rushed.  Only too often, you're left with this feeling of too many things being crammed in that last final episode, as if the director forgot how much material he had left to cover.  But with Kankar, this episode did the show complete justice and fit all the pieces of the emotional puzzle into place, bringing the characters to a place of emotional healing and realistic happiness.  Realistic being the key word.

The episode opens showing the rift between Adnan & Kiran.  Sikandar is taking Kiran home, but instead of happiness, Kiran maintains that she's leaving her home to go to his home.  This scene perfectly demonstrated that apologies can't take away all the pain that has accumulated in a person's heart.

We also see Faiqa and Shaista arguing, as Shaista wants to take Aarzoo home.  Faiqa tells Shaista that she has broken her trust, as her family no longer trusts her because of her decision to marry Aarzoo to Sikandar.  She also tells Shaista that even if Aarzoo agrees to go back to Sikandar, she will not let her leave, as she has no interest in having her own daughter repeatedly beaten.  This scene was a turning point, as Faiqa was no longer interested in hearing Shaista's excuses for her son.  We also saw a scene between Shaista & Sikandar, where Sikandar shows remorse for Aarzoo leaving and states that he will pick her up himself.  Shaista's disdain towards her son shows in this scene, as she no longer trusts that he will change.

Aarzoo's turmoil with the decision to stay with or leave Sikandar is also shown in several scenes.  In her scene with Faiqa, Aarzoo is seen finally blaming her mother for making poor decisions regarding her life and turning a blind eye to her nephew's bad traits.  We also see an important scene between Aarzoo and Kiran, where Kiran guides Aarzoo on making the right decision for her life.  She states that she did love Sikandar; however while leaving him would cause her pain, so would staying in that house with him while he physically and mentally harmed her.  Either way, pain was being caused, so she made the decision to leave.  This was powerful.  At the same time, she tells Aarzoo that she now has a son and she has, many times, doubted her decision of leaving due to the difficulties society has inflicted on her.  She tells Aarzoo to make the right decision, as she now has a son and needs to decide if she has the strength to face the world's taunts.  This scene was not only heartfelt, but also powerful.

The most awaited scene finally happened when Sikandar and Kiran came face-to-face.  Sikandar told Kiran that she was worthy of so much more and asked her to divorce Adnan, he would divorce Aarzoo and they could be together.  SLAP.  Dard hua?  Aurat ko bhi hota hai.  With this one line, Kiran not only made her stance clear and relieved herself of anger, but also vocalized what the audience has been feeling for months.  I wanted to CHEER and dance.

Even better was the scene that stemmed from Kiran's line:  Sikandar apologizing to Aarzoo and expressing a desire to change.  He also told Aarzoo that he does not want his son to end up like him.  Relationships can't be perfect, but if a person is willing to bend, problems can be solved.  This showed the start of a new Sikandar, one that might treat Aarzoo and his son well.

In Kiran's home, we see a change in Rukhsar and Phupo's behavior towards Kiran, which has now become positive and supportive.  Rukhsar shares sweet moments with her husband over the phone in her excitement to finally be with him.  These scenes really added to the show.  Rukhsar was not a bad person, but was made bitter by life's unrelenting difficulties.  In a scene between Rukhsar and Adnan, we see Rukhsar apologizing for her behavior.  Adnan explains to Rukhsar that Khooni rishton ko maaf karne padte hain.  This line is a reality of life and really sticks with you at the end of the scene.  The entire sequence between Adnan & Rukhsar (and Kiran eavesdropping) left me spellbound, as it showed two different arguments.  On the surface, Rukhsar causing problems in Kiran & Adnan's life now ends, but the remnants will always be left behind, though ultimately forgiven.

The ending scene shows Kiran and Adnan happy in their home on her birthday, where he brought her a cage of parrots.  He declares that Waisay bhi pinjray drakht pe tangay achche lagte hain, signaling that Kiran is now free of her cage (of guilt, remorse, pain - however you choose to see it).  

Thank you Umera Ahmed for not only bringing a beautiful story to life on-screen, but also putting forth an important message for society:  A woman's only job is not to "compromise" in difficult situations.  Every woman is worthy of respect and it's time society's taboos stopped dictating a woman's right to happiness.  Human beings are complex creatures and not every situation is black and white.  Thank you Kankar for opening eyes.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ek Kasak Reh Gayi - Last Episode

When I initially started watching this drama, I felt it to be slow, repetitive and mildly boring.  The only real positives were the star cast and the beautiful OST.  Eventually, I stopped watching.  Then, somehow in a moment of boredom, I started watching it again.  Up until episode 20, after each episode, I would ask myself "Why am I watching this again?"  However, after the leap, the drama became interesting again.  Was the ending a redeeming factor?

I'm not sure I can argue that it was.  Something about the entire episode felt rushed, as if the producers could no longer bankroll another episode, so they needed to jam-pack everything into these last 35 minutes.  

In this episode, we saw Rania speaking to Paras about her bad decisions which lead to the destruction of all of their lives.  She tells Paras that she's leaving and encourages her to go back to Sheharyar.  That's fine - but this came off as her own distress at her bad marriage and lack of conceiving a child rather than real regret at what she did to Paras.  The entire character of Rania was faulty.  In the beginning, we see her as this strong, confident girl.  But this girl had loyalty and a heart of gold, so that's why she obeyed her father and broke off her relationship with Sheharyar.  So Sheharyar married Paras.  HOWEVER, the girl we see Rania turn into after her accident was an example of bad writing.  Why was Rania suddenly so needy and selfish?  She turned into a completely different person!

Moving on, we see Sheharyar and Paras at their "custody hearing" (which was really just a one-woman show in her office) where Sheharyar wins custody of his daughter.  Up until this point, Sheharyar has really come off as a heartless mo-fo, considering all that Paras has done for him in the past.  Paras gave him her kidney and saved his life - he repayed her by taking a second wife and not batting an eyelash when she left him.  And NOW he decides he's going to take her daughter?  Yeah.....real classy.  Paras made her own share of mistakes, including lying about Ajwa and being stubborn, but it still does not match up to Sheharyar's faults.

Taaya Abba goes to speak to Paras in a moment of regret for what he's put her through.  He apologizes for always being cold towards her, despite loving her like a daughter in his heart.  The scene was very heartfelt.  UNFORTUNATELY, this was another case of faulty writing, because Taaya and Taayi always seemed very cold and calculating.  Let's not forget how Taayi would instigate Taaya Jaan against Paras and her sister at every chance and how Taaya Jaan would label both girls as heading on the wrong path.  HMMMM.  

I also want to take this moment to mention that the writers seem to have COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN about Sarmad and Sarah - it's as though they were never characters on this show!  They were mentioned by Taaya and Taayi on two separate occasions, but were never seen after the leap.  Ugh.

Sheharyar goes home to find a letter from Rania, wishing him well and telling him to reunite with his family.  Bye bye Rania.  Good riddance, Rania.  See you never, Rania.  That's the end of Rania, thank goodness.

Sheharyar and Paras reunite in an emotional scene.  We are also treated to a scene between Paras and Taaya Jaan where she apologizes for troubling him and accepts him as a father.  This was nice.

In the final scene, we see Sheharyar, Paras and Ajwa as a happy family.  But WAIT.....

MOMENTARILY, we catch a weird glimpse of Bia sitting in her room with a weird smile.  What on earth?  That's it.  You blink and you miss her.  Did the writers FORGET about Bia as well?  The scene looked like an afterthought that was edited in quickly at the end.  HUH!

Well, all's well that ends well and the ending was a happy one.  There are some dramas that remain etched in your memory for years to come or at least stay with you for a year.  "Ek Kasak Reh Gayi" is one drama that I enjoyed while watching, but will probably forget about two weeks from today.

Happy watching!