Thursday, November 17, 2016

Besharam Comes to a Close

Another much delayed blog post finally sees the light of day.  Haha.  Due to my toddler's fever and the horrible US elections, my attention has been completely derailed from dramas.  I have slowly, steadily been catching up, but once you fall behind, it's so difficult to binge watch!

Besharam came to an end, bringing a beautiful, subtle story of marriage, compromise and unusual relationships to an end.

This show told the story of Haider (Zahid Ahmed), a budding politician, and Mishal (Saba Qamar), a popular supermodel, who end up getting married under unusual (and slightly unbelievable) circumstances.  A show that could have been a completely over the top presentation successfully managed to be quiet, dignified and poignant in getting the point across.  What was the point?  What I took away from this show was the truth - if respect and commitment are involved, two individuals can learn to love each other and find acceptance & happiness in their marriage.

The show initially had me on the fence, wondering how the rest of show would play out, given the melodramatic character of Mishal's mother, sister and brother-in-law, the horribly irritating relatives of Haider, the unbelievable nature in which Haider & Mishal got married and finally, Haider's mother's complete 180 in nature.  BUT this show ended up surpassing any possible expectation I could've had.

While the show was packed with loud, caricatures as characters, the writing here was solid.  The characters did not move in fast motion.  Love didn't just HAPPEN.  Acceptance from Haider's mother didn't come easily.  Acceptance from Mishi's mom towards Haider was like pulling teeth.  The equation between the families was brilliantly depicted, as obviously comfortable and clashing as you would expect.  And yet, you fell for the relationship between Haider & Mishal.  You rooted for the relationship between Mishal's brother and Humna.  This show was elegant.  Don't laugh at the word - I honestly don't know how else to describe this show!  Haha.

Zahid Ahmed has quickly taken the industry by storm, cementing his place as one of the best actors on television.  With his ability to tackle any role and consistently taking different roles, he's won the hearts of most drama-viewers.  Here, he is no less.  As Haider, he portrays the "good guy, yet misguided" role well.  Haider has these conservative, slightly backwards ideals, but is a good person at heart.  The way he gets led off-track by his boss is realistic and the way he tries to make ammends in the end by arriving at Mishal's show is commendable.

Saba Qamar is perfect for the role of Mishal.  She fits the mold of a model, yet the transition to housewife is believable partly due to Saba's acting and partly due to the good back-story they've given Mishal, struggling with having to work to support her family vs. never having respect from her father due to that profession.  Her pain when Haider "insults" her is a scene that I think almost every woman can relate to, wanting acceptance from the person a woman expects to be the closest to.  And yet, she knows who is really is as a person, so when he shows up at her show, we all melt with her.

The supporting cast was great, namely Atiqa Odho (as Mishal's mother) and Sundas Tariq (as Humna).  Everyone had a part to play and did so pretty well, barring a few jarring scenes, especially in the beginning episodes.  I have to give special mention to the scene at the end between Saba Qamar & Atiqa Odho where Mishal's mother comforts Mishal, explaining what she has done right and wrong in her life and how she hoped her children would make better choices for themselves.  Her honesty and vulnerability was great to watch, coming from such a high-strung character.  I also loved the natural nature of the last scene between Haider & Mishal - no melodrama, no elaborate apologies, just a natural conclusion to a pretty big fight between a husband and wife that love each other.  Great!

Overall, Besharam has cemented a place on my list of the best dramas of 2016.  Beautiful.  Applause.

Until next time, happy watching!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Khuda Aur Mohabbat - Thoughts on the New Season

The first episode has aired and I wanted to jot some ideas down right away, without this being too lengthy - because the more thought I put into it, the less likely that it'll ever get published! Haha.

As of the first episode, we see Imran Abbas' character as a spoiled rich kid "studying" in the US, spending his time messing around.  What angle his role will play, I'm sure we already know and expect, but it will be interesting to see it play out.


In Pakistan, we see Sadia Khan's character, once again the daughter of a Maulana Sahab, playing the dutiful, loving, obedient and religious daughter to Firdous Jamal's character.  It'll be nice to see how these two characters meet and their lives intertwine.

They've retained a large portion of the original cast, which is both great and strange, because you're overcome with that feeling of deja vu (which I suppose you should be feeling).  HOWEVER, this time around, the show is already shining brighter than the original in the sense that these characters are much better written.

I'm also enjoying that Firdous Jamal has been cast as the Maulana this time around instead of Salman Shahid (also an incredible actor).  It's bringing a more loving, relatable, kind image to the Maulana Sahab - one that was greatly missing in the first season.

Imran Abbas has really grown as an actor in my eyes since the first KAM, so I'm expecting better things this time around.  He's now a very good actor.  I've always found Sadia Khan to be rather hopeless as an actress and I don't believe she's shown any growth in her latest dramas, so let's hope she's restricted to being the pretty face this time around again.

Alright, those are my short thoughts on the drama after episode one!  I'll be watching this one closely.  Happy watching!