Let me begin by saying that I have never ever been so unmotivated to watch a serial. First of all what’s with all the sad/morose/stern/teary faces on the publicity shots … arrey bhai tax lagta hai kya muskrane main?? And then sonay pe suhaga promos which made the story look so blah ke had nahin... matlab ke why in God’s name why would anybody expect somebody to spend an hour watching ek ke baad ek women cry and cry and cry …. Its not like want to watch happy/candyfloss stuff all the time. No, its not that, I’m fine with watching issue based stories, but kuch tau naya hona chahiye… why should I be expected to watch the done to death formula of 2+2=4 again and again and again…. why can’t I be shown 8-4=4 or 1+3=4 or any other different combination that still comes up with the same answer… have we run out of innovative ways to tell stories? Why not address this admittedly important issue in a more creative way? Long story short, I was/am not impressed…
So why then am I watching Daagh now? No, it’s not the story – that’s still as boring and as predictable as ever. I still don’t know when this serial airs, I just catch up with it once a week whenever I find time. So yeah, all my original objections are still very much in place. In all honesty, the only reason I’m keeping up with Daagh is because of Mehar Bano, the newcomer who plays the lead character of Umama – she is fabulous!
My interest was piqued when I saw Mehar Bano on a morning show promoting this serial. She looked lovely, was dressed age appropriately, and there was something very charming about her. The way she talked about the serial, her character, how she got the role, etc, her candor was very refreshing. After seeing a parade of young actresses behaving and looking like they are at least ten to fifteen years older, and older actresses pretending to be ten to fifteen years younger, it is so refreshing to see somebody looking and acting their age. Even though the story that Mehar Bano described was just as blah as I had thought it would be, and yes, she did confirm that she cried a lot in there, I was still intrigued enough to check her out in that week’s episode.
I can’t really say that I like Daagh, because I tend to skip more than two-thirds of the episode whenever I watch. I ffwd all the Firdous Jamal scenes – he’s a fabulous actor, but his continuous grimacing, his toupée, and his c. 1970s dialogue are a bit too much. I skip all the Sana Askari waley scenes, Deeba is such a uni-dimensional character with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I ffwd Deeba and her loser mother’s scenes as well, and go past all the Rehana and her mother-in-law and her oh-tumharey-bacchon-ke-baghair-meray-ghar-ka-aangan-soona-hai dialogues. Oh, and I also find phupo and her son Mushtaq’s scenes very boring and clichéd. So, baqi bacha kiya…
What I really enjoy are all the Umama scenes; Mehar is beautiful and has great screen presence. There is an organic quality about her that’s very appealing. Every time she cries I want to go give her a hug, and then when we see a rare smile its like the sun peeping out from behind dark clouds. There are weak spots here and there in her acting, but given that this is only her first serial she can only improve. I love her simple dressing and bare face look – thank god she’s avoided the fancy hair and makeup. Her scenes with Shama Askari, her mother-in-law are so fun to watch. Not because of what they’re saying, but how well they are saying it. I’m really enjoying watching Shama here. I really wish we could see more of this talented actress, not just as the evil saas but in other meaningful roles. And the third person who’s great fun to watch is Yasra Rizvi. I watch Baandi off and on just for her and Nimra Buccha, and now I’m enjoying her here as Rehana. This is actually the only character I like. She has her own cross of mazloomiat to bear, but she does that with so much dignity and grace. I love watching her warm moments with her mother and her fun interactions with Murad.
Speaking of Murad, what’s going on with Fahad Mustafa here? To begin with, he hardly ever has more than ten lines per episode, and then even those he seems to sleepwalk through… I get that the role is boring as heck, but then why take on such a no-brainer character. Maybe Mr. Murad will come into his own later and show some mardangi, but so far his is an immensely boring character. The rest of the actors are doing as well they can with their stereotypical roles.
Sarwat Nazir’s story is a tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme… Sarmad Khoosat’s direction is good, he tells a boring tale as well as he can, but its nothing to write home about, not the kind that makes me sit up and want to pay closer attention. Overall, if you’re looking for something to blow you away, then Daagh is not for you. But on the other hand, if you want to watch a routine gharelu drama, which is narrated well and has a sense of novelty because of the actors, then this is a good time pass.
Written by SZ~