Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mehram Episode 6: Unexpected Twist!

On the night that episode 7 is airing, yes, I'm writing about episode 6.  Haha.  As always, delayed, but inspired.

Up until now, I've been rather on the fence about Mehram.  While shot beautifully and under the care of a director who generally churns out beautiful love stories, Siraj Ul Haq always manages to miscast, ruining those stories.  Haha.  Up until episode 5, Mehram didn't rank very high on my list of favorite dramas........

And then episode 6 happened.

In episode 6, we learn that Zubair's plane met with a severe accident.  The treatment of this scene deserves recognition - it's because of the way it's been shot that we are catapulted into Iqra, Hamzah and Hamah's mother's grief.  Instantly after hearing the news, Hamzah's mother falls into a coma due to the shock.  This leaves our childish Hamzah left to not only deal with the grief of his mother's illness and brother's death, but also to care for his now-silent-from-shock Bhabi.  After briefly opening her eyes to see Hamzah, we see Hamzah's mother pass away, turning Hamzah's world upside down, but also leaving Iqra and Hamzah left to care for each other - hence bringing up the issue of "mehram, na mehram."

While the anti-Moammar Rana viewer in me rejoiced at this turn of events, the drama lover and wife in me mourned deeply at this twist. Sudden loss is painful, because it's completely unexpected and watching this episode, it was hard not to put myself in Iqra's place and not feel her grief.  Ayesha Khan's portrayal of Iqra left me speechless in this episode, conveying Iqra's pain through her eyes.  I haven't been impressed with Ayesha's performances as of late, but this lady deserves a round of applause here.

On the other end, no grief was felt more than Hamzah's. The loss of his brother, mother and the silence of his Bhabi all at once was almost unbearable to watch.  Zahid Hamid, despite being a newcomer, has definitely won over my heart with this episode.  I have appreciated his cute acting since episode 1, but he's exceeded all expectations with his performance here.  His pain was what stood out most in this episode, literally putting it into the category of "No one should have to experience this much trauma at once."

With this episode, we lost two major characters:  Zubair (Moammar Rana) and Zubair & Hamzah's mother (Sajda Syed).  Despite Zubair missing in action for a couple of episodes, the loss of his presence is deeply felt and then his mother's passing only doubles that grief.

If there was ANY negative in this episode, I will be honest and say that the character of Maulvi Sahab.  If a character like Maulvi SubhanAllah (Pyaray Afzal) challenged and changed the stereotypes, the character of Maulvi Sahab here in Mehram again comes back to the stereotypical, mildly heartless portrayal of religious figures.  Not only is Maulvi Sahab incredibly restrictive and hard on his daughter, Iqra, he also seems heartless in this episode.  While Hamzah and Iqra are still dealing with their grief, he brings up the discussion of Iqra's "iddat" and their living situation.  It all had a feeling of "TOO SOON"!

That aside, I'm now intrigued and very curious to see how this story moves forward.  Kudos to Siraj Ul Haq for such a brilliant episode and credit to all the actors involved for making me cry like I haven't in a while.  Haha.

Happy watching!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Rant on Bashar Momin - An Overly Glamorous Attrocity


That's the only way to describe this drama and the poor writing behind a genuinely evil, twisted character.

Rudaba has decided to commit to her marriage.  Seriously?  We see her smiling to herself after sharing 1-2 nice conversations with Bashar.  Um, what?

The audience here is being taken for a fool - and given, some of the members of this audience are fools, because they are buying into it.  I am no fool.  I won't forget the cruel way Bashar separated Buland and Rudaba for Tayyaba's gain.  I won't forget how rude and verbally abusive Bashar was to Rudaba.  I won't forget how he forcibly had his nikkah done with Rudaba.   I won't forget that Bashar laughed to himself at Rudaba's helplessness, waiting for him to take her home and saying he would divorce her.  I won't forget that Bashar raped Rudaba the night of their Rukhsati and then threw her out of the room.  And we definitely will not forget all the pushing, shoving, throat grabbing and all sorts of other abusive behavior Bashar has shown Rudaba post marriage.

And I'm sorry - but anyone who finds anything about this "love story" endearing is clearly forgetting all this......OR thinks something about all this horrific mess is romantic.

I've seen Bashar Momin being compared to Beauty and The Beast.  This is not the story of beauty and the beast.  The beast roared.  The beast was stuck in his own misery.  BUT the Beast was never vicious.  The beast didn't have any HORRIBLE qualities.  He never physically hurt Belle.  Rather, he became a good human being because of her and discovered true love.  Let's not INSULT that beautiful story by comparing it to Bashar Momin.

I'm rather disgusted with the writers of this show, now trying to show Bashar becoming "soft."  However, after Bashar spills his guts to Rudaba about his past, his sister, mother and father......he then GRABS Rudaba by the THROAT and THREATENS her if Buland ever so much as looks her way.  Well yes, only if "romantic" is a replacement word for "psychopath."

Friends, let's not glamorize abuse and mental illness.  That's what's being shown here.  And in the form of Rudaba, we're now seeing a smart, confident, sweet girl turning into the victim of a sick, abusive relationship....and she's clearly HAPPY about it.

This scenario is messed up on so many levels. But do you know what's the worst part?  I am POSITIVE the writing and production team actually think they're presenting a beautiful love story.  There's nothing beautiful about this.  This is just another way for our society to fill the minds of girls with crap and teach them that this is appropriate behavior.  Why?  Because Bashar has been through SO much.  AWWWWW.  Rudaba will get through his hard heart and soften him up.  SPARE US ALL.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sadqay Tumhare and Digest Writer: Episodes 1 & 2 Thoughts

First of all, I want to apologize for the period I've gone without writing, which has been nearly 3 weeks.  Eid mubarak to everyone and hope everyone had a great Eid with their families.  I flew down to my parents house to spend Eid with my family (3 week vacation) and have been busy with them since, hence my absence.  But now that things have quieted down, let's get back to discussing dramas!  =)

While "Digest Writer" didn't bring forth as many expectations, as Saba Qamar's dramas of late have been slightly disappointing, "Sadqay Tumhare" held colossal expectations from my end.  So how did these two dramas fare entertainment wise?


Digest Writer tells the story of Farida, alias Rashk-e-Hina, a girl who writes stories as a passion and her stories earn her recognition (albeit anonymously) once published in a digest.

To add to the story, we have one unsupportive, jealous sister (Maheen Rizvi), one supportive sister and brother and unsupportive parents.  Of course, we also can't forget Farida's admirer and cousin, played by Gohar Rasheed.

It's these supporting characters that add to the quality of the story.  At present, we've seen that Zhalay Sarhadi and Farhan Ali Agha's characters are that of a married couple in the drama industry who show an interest in signing Farida as the writer for their forthcoming drama.  What will Farida's parents say, namely her father?  Your guess is as good as mine, but my hunch is that the lure of money will entice Farida's father eventually!  

As of now, this show is definitely one that I wait for each week!

Moving on to Sadqay Tumhare:

Everything from the OST to the poster suggest a good, old-fashioned love story.  What you expect is what you get here - the love story seems to be set in the 70s and tells an incredibly cute tale of an engaged couple, Shano (Mahira Khan) and Khalil (Adnan), who have never actually met.  While Shano is blindly in love with her fiance without meeting him, Khalil is a little more hesitant in his thoughts towards Shano.  Not only that, but we also see that Khalil has a world of "nakhray," packaged with an attitude bigger than the entire village!

Mahira Khan and Adnan Malik share a world of chemistry despite not even sharing a single scene together yet!  Rather, it's the build-up, the writing and the treatment of this story that makes the audience want to see these two characters interact and move the story forward.  This show is not only written beautifully, the visuals transport you into Khalil and Shano's world.

What I sense for the future story, looking at Shano's mother's hesitation and demeanor, is that there's a secret between the two families - one that won't allow Shano's family to agree to the marriage.  What is confusing, however, is the enthusiasm with which Khalil's mother and father anticipate Khalil and Shano's impending marriage.

All will be revealed in due time, I'm sure!  Until then, let's enjoy the beauty and simplicity of this love story.  After a long time, I feel emotionally invested in two characters and their outcome.

Happy watching!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mohabbat Ab Nahi Hogi: The Last Episode and Overall Review

Before even starting, I do want to point out that it seems that Hum TV's shows are getting shorter and shorter - I am not complaining AT ALL.  I was always a fan of the 13 to 20 episode format for each show and find myself getting exhausted once a show hits 24-25 episodes.  But I was surprised to see this show end on episode 17, as I felt it had much more potential.

Rather than a review, this is simply a rant of my thoughts.  The episode itself served its purpose as a "wrap up episode," tying up all loose strings and the predictable outcomes occurring.

There was a lot of room for these characters to grow.  A few more episodes to see Fiza realize her mistakes would've been refreshing.  A more gradual realization from Azhar's stance would've been great.  Arham having a proper discussion with Fiza and Azhar about boundaries would've been a scene I would've loved to see.  Urooj realizing and properly discussing the situation with Fiza would've been a very realistic scene.  And while this all may seem like my over-scrutinizing and simply a "wish list," all of these scenes would've been essential to realistically put this show to rest.

It can be argued that Arham and Fiza's marriage was possibly beyond repair.  Not only was Arham torn by the thought of Fiza and Azhar having a "rendezvous," but he was completely shattered by the betrayal.  On the other end, Fiza was aghast at the thought that her husband could suspect anything so terrible......yet not for one moment did Fiza stop talking to Azhar.  Not only did she not stop speaking to him, she wholeheartedly relied on him for everything. .And then let's come down to this miraculous pregnancy.  If anyone can fill in the details for me here or point out something I missed, please DO.  This is a huge flaw for me - how did Fiza have a 45 day pregnancy when she hadn't seen Arham in 2 months?  It absolutely did not make any sense.  Was this supposed to be a miracle?  If so, it was very poorly stressed (and very irritating).  Any man in his right mind in that frame of mind would instantly wonder what the hell happened there!

Then we come to Azhar and Urooj.  The mistakes made in Fiza and Arham's marriage directly affected Azhar and Urooj's marriage.  Why is it that it was never acknowledged that Fiza actually was the cause of Urooj's miscarriage?  How can the writers suddenly play her off as an innocent?  We saw it and saw what she did!  The character of Fiza was very hard to redeem, yet they tried desperately to do it by suddenly including absolute loopholes in the story.  While Azhar and Urooj solved their misunderstandings, it still doesn't erase the bad actions of Fiza in their life - and even more, it doesn't erase the bad actions of Azhar who tried his best to make Urooj change who she was!  These problems were not even acknowledged in the end, simply brushed under the rug.

In the end, we see Azhar and Urooj in Dubai, living separately from Arham and Fiza.  Arham and Fia are now happy, living with Arham's mother and with Fiza taking care of the family and the household.  Arham and Fiza are happy with their marriage and their life with Fiza reflectively saying "Arham, ek baat ka afsos hamesha rahega.  Zindagi  to thi hi khoobsurat magar afsos is baat ka hai ke mujhe yeh baat samajhne mein dair kyun lagi?"  While this is truly a beautiful thought......when did this happen, Fiza?  When did you come to this realization?  When did you mend your ways?  And WHY did you mend your ways?  

To the end, even on the phone call Arham overheard between Azhar and Fiza, Fiza maintained her stance of the "ghalti" being Arham's, never acknowledging her role to play in the entire situation.  We never see her apologetic for her behavior towards Auntie and Aapi.  We never see Fiza repent wholeheartedly for her terrible behavior towards Urooj.  We never see Fiza and Azhar acknowledge the indecency in their relationship.  We never see Fiza apologize for her hurtful words about Arham.

All of this combined together made for a rather unsatisfying ending to an otherwise horribly entertaining show.  I can't knock this drama for anything other than a lot of flaws and loopholes in the last episode.  The way this show was shot, directed and enacted deserves applause.  I found myself hooked every Monday and Tuesday, anxious to see the new twist the show would take.  For this, I think Mohabbat Ab Nahi Hogi deserves a lot of credit.

If you haven't seen this show, I would recommend it.  While not perfect, it was definitely something great to watch!  

Happy watching!