I will admit it - lately, I have been anything but a Faisal Qureshi fan. In fact, I think he's going through some kind of mid-life crisis or denial. How else can you explain why a man who got through the best time, the absolute highs of his career playing Middle Aged characters is suddenly playing young guys going for rishtas and falling in love for the first time? It's mind-boggling. Since Bashar Momin, Adhoori Aurat and Maryam, I've more or less shuddered at his shows...and now add Mera Yaar Miladay and Bheegi Palkein into the mix. These are shows that simply required Faisal to sleepwalk through them, HOWEVER, Naraaz changed that and provided a Faisal show worth watching.
I imagine when 2017 rolls around, Naraaz will be sitting pretty somewhere on my top 10 dramas of 2016 list. Big words, but I'm sure they will ring true. Naraaz, as a show, took us through so many life situations: the loss of wealth and status, a rocky relationship, inability to conceive, illness, death, despair and poverty, adoption, marriage at an "old" age ("you're no spring chicken."), a court battle and finally.....well-deserved happiness.
When Naraaz started out, I honestly expected something much different than what it ended up being. In fact, I threw it into the "dull" category after episode 3 and only watched it out of a sense of obligation (a real problem that I have, let me tell you!). But somewhere down the line, the story of an arrogant man and his family troubles turned into.....the Pakistani version of the Pursuit of Happyness? I thought "Ok....lets see how well they can copy." Then, yet again, the show was turned on its head and transformed into an incredibly compelling story of love, what you are willing to do for love, what you're willing to do for the betterment of a loved one and how a child gets caught up in the entire mess.
Azlan(Faisal Qureshi) and Fariha (Sara Khan) are a married couple with a son Azhar. When Azlan's business fails, the family goes through hard times and are forced to move in with Fariha's parents, hurting Azlan's pride....and harming his once happy marriage. Things go from bad to worse when Fariha falls ill. This is the starting point of the show, but it only grows from strength to strength as it progresses.
It has to be said that this show boasts of a great cast of unassuming but tremendously powerful performers. Everyone contributes to the show. Special mention has to be given to Fahad Ahmed and Muzna Ibrahim as Asad & Rida, a loving couple unable to have children. Their characters are lovable, even in their worst moments thanks to their acting capabilities. Faisal Qureshi is the STAR. After a long time, he's been outstanding in a role (for me, I know many people loved Bashar Momin) and really just made it his own. Javeria Abbasi and the actors playing Fariha's parents also provide great support.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this show as a stand-out drama that depicts the love between parent and child beautifully. It also touches upon other important subjects: in our society, when a woman gets older and is no longer "in demand" regarding rishtas, does she lose the right to live life on her own terms? When a woman is unable to give her husband a child, what sort of pressure does that (or her own guilt) place on the marriage?
It also has to be said that I LOVED the way the last episode was shot - it was realistic and brought tears to my eyes to see the forgiveness in that room.
This was a great show and I looked forward to each episode (after episode 10 or so) each week. I will definitely say this show is underrated and will give it two thumbs up. Recommended!