Daagh – 1st Review

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~

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52 replies

  1. I agree with you about the story, but I think it is written by Sarwat Nazir and that is why I am still hopeful. Sarwat Nazir wrote Mein Abdul Qadir Hoon,which used to be an unmissable event in our household. In fact that is the way our family references Fahaad Mustapha, as in :”AQ aa gaya”. that was a beautifully nuanced and well directed story in which all the characters developed and had shades of grey. You are quite right Mehar Bano is beautiful and I love her acting .She is the biggest reason to watch Thank goodness there are actresses left who don’t wear buckets of eye shadow and designer clothes to do the dishes. :) She made a really lovely bride . Through out this play the viewer cannot help but feel for her.My goodness SZ ,I mentioned this week that I wanted to FFWD Firdaus Jamal’s scenes ,he makes me want to throw a brick at the TV.Fahad Mustapha has been a little absent without leave but it was not so bad before,this week was the worst. He really is a good actor and I am hoping we get him back from his out of body experience next week.I have to disagree about the Mother in law though, I think she is a nuanced character. She is by nature not bad but easily influenced by her own family in particular. Bechari Umaima becomes pregnant so quickly she hardly has time to develop a relationship with her in laws, which might have helped.
    Yusra Risvi is great in this story. Her character though affected ,does not let her infertility rule her life. In a strange way she is luckier than Umaima because she has had time to develop a strong relationship with her husband.I hope this develops into more than a time pass, even though it is a gharalu drama it highlights some very important issues but so far it is rather predictable. However it is very well made, the narrative, the blending of all the story threads is well above average. After Ashk and Mera Yaqeen I was getting worried ,it’s nice to have the Sarmad Khoosat of Humsafer, Pani jaisa Pyar and SEZ back in this serial .

    • Whoops, @Sadaf, thanks so much for pointing out the writer’s correct name … my apologies to both Maha Malik and Sarwat Nazir !!! I’ll fix it right away!
      Thanks for your detailed comment …. We are on the same page I guess about pretty much everything except that you are optimistic that the story will get better, whereas I think we’re at the point where its all downhill from here… the promos do tell you the whole story and even if there is a twist I think we’ll have to wait for a bit to get there… and by that time at least I will be long gone as a viewer….
      I think comparing this to SeZ or even a Pani Jaisa Pyar is a bit of a stretch … SeZ was a class apart so no comparisons at all … but even PJP had some really memorable scenes … none of which I have seen here … nothing comes to mind at once. I do think though that this is a well-edited, smoothly blended serial, which Ashk was not. And messy as it was, even Ashk had some stunningly lovely moments, none which I see here …
      RE: Fahad Maustafa, yes he’s a good actor, no questions about that, but here there is really nothing for him to do here, and its more the character that’s at fault rather than the actor, so I dont blame him for looking/being bored throughout…

      • After so many comments on my part you are going to think I am in a mood to argue, but really I am not :)I think we agree on everything. Yes Panjaisa pyar was better because the story was different, for me atleast. I was so engrossed by Saba Qamar’s character and her plight.I hated Mikaal for most of that drama. But I am hoping this too will pick up a bit more if Fahad is given a few more lines . funnily enough he seems more intense in Ek tamana Lahasil which despite all our annoyance at stereotypes is every ones secret , guilty pleasure. People actually call me or message me if they miss an episode to catch up on it.

        • LOL Sadaf, nahin yaar, always fun to read to your comments :) and as for EK tamana … not my guilty pleasure… specially after watching snippets of today’s ep .. just beyond ugh!!! Jana Malik needs to seriously chillax with her makeup and the whole doodh and chai in her closet and the evil saas needs to find a hobby other than torturing her bahu,.. and so much else thats wrong there .. couldn’t watch more than the first ten minutes …I think I’m seriously done with it after today If something positive does indeed happen in that story, please do let us know :)

          • OK I just watched this weeks episode of Ek tamana Lahasil. That is it. Finished . I thought that Mohsin character would change . Mohsin Beat Nadia .He should be shown as the out and out villain he is instead of “misguided hero”.This is so wrong and dangerous. disgusting.This has pushed me to my limits :(

  2. Bari himmat hai, to write a review of this drama- for all the reasons you mentioned I can’t bring myself to follow it. Yes, the new girl is interesting but amongst the ‘regular gharelu dramas’ I much prefer “Na kaho tum mere nahin” with Ahsan Khan ‘n Saba Qamar. Try catching it… Hey even ‘Madiha Maliha’ is more upbeat than this.

    • Afia: I am now begining to catch up on Na kaho.. Saba and Ahsan are fine, but that Bano Apa and her family are sooo ugh ke had nahin…seriously annoying … so I’ve watched it in bits n pieces. I think the one I want to watch araam se is Kahi Unkahi… I was waiting for the bacchas to grow up and they have so probably will watch it over the weekend … I had really enjoyed Nadia and Asim Ali’s NGGS … dekhte hain ..

      • Kahi Unkahi is going really well. I think. The kids have grown up but sheheryaar is going to make an appearance next week. Still I miss the evil Maliks ;)

        • Gotcha! @Sadaf: Thanks for the heads up!! Now I know what to expect when I sit down for Kahi Unkahi — NGGS was truly one of a kind! For those who haven’t seen it, I highly recommend that campy soap !!

  3. Love her even though I think she needs to improve. Her facial expression are not so good. I think she’s a fabulous actress but this kind of role was just not for her. :)

    • Anam, yes, I too wish that Mehar Bano had started off her career with a different role, and yes, she could’ve been better, but I think since this is only her first serial, she will definitely improve with time. Overall, though I am liking her here, not necessarily as Umama, but just that she brings a much needed fresh look to the TV screen :)

  4. Just watching the ost gave away 80% of this drama…seriously predictable, didn’t find it exciting at all. Maybe the final few episodes might be good if they show a strong woman come out of this, obviously the male lead is going to be spineless and marry again., and we know exactly what gender kids he eil have and with who. Thank you whoever is in charge of osts,promos and what not! I am finding kahi na unkahi rather interesting, will give this a miss!

      • It is by no means perfect, with some age old stereotypes, but some characters do endear you and the ost does not give all the story sway do there is still the suspense HS got. Also SM hasn’t made his entry, but am liking Aiza and Urwa, have not seen them in a drama so it is refreshing for me. I am sick of watching ahsan, Saba, and now mz who are in every other drama, so for me this is a change and it is more upbeat than daagh!

  5. Every other drama is typical these days? so whats new? this isn’t any different. Same storyline like we’ve seen..but the direction and acting makes it worth it. I can understand why you forward Firdous Jamal’s scenes, but if you’re forwarding more than half the drama just to watch one character..I don’t think you’re quite watching the drama? and then to write a full fledged review on it? Not to sound harsh but I just don’t understand how someone who skips more than half the drama is writing a review on the overall drama. I find it unfair for people to call such dramas typical, yet the likes of Humsafar was also typical to say the least is termed phenomenal. I will never be able to wrap that around my head.

    Anyway. I love Sarmad’s work. He brings out the best in every actor and actress. I can easily say he has done well with Mehar Bano. Although, she needs improvement but for a newcomer she’s quite decent.. Fahad Mustafa does have less scenes, yes I agree but he’s a phenomenal actor and regardless of how much screen presence he gets he always does well. I always wanted him to work with Sarmad, and I’m glad he did here. If you’ve watched the promos, then his role does tend to kick in more as the drama progresses I feel. However, the drama seems to revolve more around the lead girl so it’s understandable in my eyes.

    Sana Askari is quite good as someone who always seems to have some psychotic issues, not to mention the obsessed lovergirl..but, she has done this before so it’s something repetitive from her end. With that said, she is justifying her role.

    I’d also like to mention Umaima’s sister. One of them who gets admitted to a medical college impressed me as a side character. Her dialogue delivery and screen presence stands out more as opposed to the other sisters within the drama.

    Overall, I like it. Once again it’s nothing new conceptual wise..but, the directors and actors seem to have put their best effort and I’m willing to continue watching it.

    • @S.A. Hi! thanks for reading and commenting – enjoyed reading your detailed comment .. :) I don’t think we are disagreeing much here, actually we agree on quite a lot. We both enjoy Sarmad’s direction, we agree the story is mundane and the acting is good … I did watch the first few episodes in their entirety, but when it seemed to me to become repetitious with the Firdous Jamal track (which you agree with) and the phupo and her son, and even the Sana Askari track, I did start getting bored. Yes, Sana is good as Deeba, but its the same stuff she keeps doing again n again, as you said as well… its all predictable … and that’s my biggest problem which is why I ffwd … and its not just Umama’s character, I do like Rehana’s character as well as the mom-in law … so its not like I dont like other characters … re: Murad, I did say that perhaps his character will grow as we go along but so far its routine… and I think we’re both on the same page as far as that is concerned.
      Oh yes, quite agree with you about the sister being admitted to the medical college, that was a very sweet moment and that actress is doing a good job :)
      The biggest problem I have is with promos and OST (as everybody else is saying as well) that give away everything… if the story was mundane, then they could’ve atleast tried to maintain some semblance of a suspense by not giving it all away!

  6. No, I do agree with you this isn’t new, and I’m not quite understanding what’s up with channels giving away everything in the OST & promos. First Zindagi Gulzar Hai did that and I can easily say I have concluded the entire story without even watching a single episode of the drama (I’m sure most of have) lol, and then Daagh etc. It’s a problem and I think these people need to fix it. Watching a drama while knowing everything ahead of time because of the promos/OST is crazy annoying.

    No harsh feelings though, I just meant to say that I think the actors and director seemed to have put effort and I think the drama deserves that much credit if nothing else. Then again, I think I’ve sort of accepted how our dramas are not coming out with new storylines, especially since now we’re remaking remakes (Mirat ul Uroos lol)..and not to mention, novels are being used like nothing before. So, seems like there’s nothing new conceptual wise, but if the actors are doing alright I can tolerate the drama.

    By the way, I wish to see Fahad Mustafa in simple boy next door kind of role soon. Possibly a romantic character but with no complications. He’s an amazing actor to say the least, but his characters are usually sophisticated and intense. Why can’t he ever choose something simple and endearing without any crazy twists and turns and saga. I loved his romantic bits in the beginning until now (though they’re quite short) but it sucks to know he’ll change into a jerk. I was kind of surprised to see that this was a love marriage lol..oh how people change…

    • @S.A.: Hey! no worries, always great to have a serious discussions about dramas we all love to hate and hate to love with so much passion :)
      LOL@ Murad and Umama’s being a love marriage – so true! Btw, are you watching the other Fahad Mustafa serial, Ek Tamana Lahasil Si? Whats going on there? The transformation in that character – Mohsin (I think?) – is amazing to say the least! Kahan to he put up such a fight to get married to Mawra’s character and as soon he gets married, he changes into something else entirely! That serial is seriously hard to digest! And if comparing that one with this one, then OMG! this is brilliant! ;)
      and yes now Mirat-ul-Aroos– someone please tell me why?!

  7. I don’t want to watch Ek Tamanna Lahasil Si at all. LOL I love Fahad, but that drama seems weird. And, I’m just judging this by the promos I’ve seen.

    I won’t lie, I love Sarmad the director. His direction stands out and makes me want to give every drama of his a shot regardless. So though I love Fahad, I went for Daagh not just because of Fahad but also Sarmad. Of course then Mehar Bano surprised me etc. But, Ek Tamanna Lahasil Si, hmmm..I’ll pass.

    Why are they making Mirat ul Uroos? I hear there was a PTV adaptation on it if I’m not mistaken..then Akbari Asghari was an adaptation and now an adaptation by Umera? I love Umera, but WHY? I’m not excited. I’m glad to see Aamina Sheikh after some time, and her pair with Mikaal seems interesting..but other than that, I’m not too sure of what to expect.

    Oh by the way, did you hear anything about Fahad + Saba Qamar + Mohib Mirza doing Kankar soon by Umera? That seems exciting. I really liked Saba and Fahad together in Main Chaand Si. Have you seen that drama (I know offtopic lol)

    • @S.A. Great to have another Sarmad follower here – I’m totally with you on that bandwagon :)
      Mirat-ul Uroos has been done so many times in so many incarnations that its not even funny and I for one am not holding my breath for this one … Also, all these actoors are on our screens so much thats there’s almost zero excitement left about watching them in yet another drama .. they all need to take breaks once in a while!
      I heard about Fahad doing Kankar, didnt know about Saba, or Mohib, so thanks for sharing that info. No didnt watch Main Chand Si .. there are just too many dramas on air these to keep track of these days :( Perhaps other did, and might want to share their views?

      • I always have disagreements within a play..I’m sure we all do..However, Saba & Fahad’s acting was amazing at in my opinion. Saba Qamar left me with goosebumps in so many of her scenes. She’s a fine actress and possibly one of the best around today and that performance of hers is a standout one.

  8. Oh definitely. Mikaal needs to take a break. I love Mikaal but PLEASE TAKE A BREAK!
    Ahsan too..everyone kind of needs a break. lol No wonder it’s refreshing to see new actors and actresses like Mehar Bano. I know Saba has been performing a lot too, but I adore Saba as an actress so I actually don’t mind seeing her so much lol. but, she should pause in btwn..I hear she never wanted to do Na Kaho Tum Mere Nahin yet joined it last minute because someone else didn’t agree to do it. So, I guess she was going to take some break but this drama came along.

    • S.A. I hope that Saba will take a break now and rest up …. Yes, this entire lot of actors needs to take a break … I think thats one of the reasons I really enjoy watching Mahira… she comes after a while and works on only one serial at a time and really lives and becomes her character, and the effort shows. Wish others like Mawra, Urwa, Sajjal, Sana, Mikaal, Ahsan, and others could all take a leaf out of her book. Oh, and the mummies and daddys need to take a break as well. And, of course MD Productions ka wardrobe needs an even longer break!!! :)

      • I think Mahira really wants to make a mark and so she focuses on what she feels is best which is a good quality but from whatever interviews of I’ve seen of her I think she tends to not believe in herself so much while in the process of a project. I feel that helps hinders her from choosing more than one project at a time.

        Most of the other actresses like Urwa, Mawra, Sajjal etc seem like they could care less about quality work and just sign whatever comes their way. I guess that’s why none of them are ranked as the best of the best either.

  9. What is this fascination with this 18th century book? Mirat al Aroos may well be a classic of literature but really it should be taken as a historical document not an object lesson. Akbari Asghari was good because it put a very modern and realistic turn from the original. Why is all the advice always aimed at women do Men have no part in making a marriage work? I think we should just stop playing into these stereotypes. If only writers would do something aimed at Men, they also need advice ,big time.

  10. I am on the same page as Afia – don’t care for Daagh and all the rona dhona and the poor 18 year old girl going crazy because she had daughters and no sons. It’s an age old story and I would have expected Sarmad to not direct something so trite and like you said CLICHED!!!
    I wish we could have seen Mehar Bano in a more hip role like TNS or Coke Kahani or some other sitcom where she is not using a gallon of glycerin. Spare me the melodrama please! As I wrote on Sadaf’s review on DP – do we really need an 18 year old playing a 4 bachon ki amma who gets trashed by her in laws and husband. Blah blah blah – A&B productions please stop stifling creative people by making them do formula stories out of 1980s Bollywood. Even Bollywood is glad that they don’t do mazloom aurat stories anymore. It’s about time A&B moved on and got on track with the 21st century. Do they even know that most of us are educated women who have daughters (oh surprise surprise) and are not beaten blue by our in laws (another surprise!) and work and carry on raising a family all at once! (OMG we are actually intelligent human beings who can look after ourselves!! and no we are not aliens from outer space!)
    In other words – cut the cr@p and show us something contemporary and relateable.

    • and also stop blaming the freaking woman for the sex of the baby! last time i checked it was entirely the guy who is responsible for the gender! uff Jahils!

  11. I know what you are saying Annie but sadly people still need to have this sons are good Daughters are a burden beaten out of them. the mindset has not changed for a lot of people. I once did a project on this and it scared me witless.Even really educated,well todo people;are happy to have an abortion if it is a girl. In India it has changed the Boy;Girl ratio so much it is now a serious problem in the East Punjab and sadly Pakistan is not far behind. I just wish they could think of a positive, novel way of challenging these beliefs. If it really goes down hill , I may have to step back too.

    • Totally agree, many actually most people in pakistan until they have a boy do not stop having kids, even if they can’t afford it

    • I don’t mind them educating the masses about the issue. I am all for it. But like you said find an innovative way of doing it! Mere Dard..Zubaan had started out with that thought where the father was proud that he had 2 intelligent daughters. I rather they educate through positive reinforcement and positive messages rather than showing the done to death formula being shown in Daagh. I wish women would stop doing these roles and just say no I won’t work in something that is not sending out a positive message.
      I met a couple a few days ago and they have 2 boys and they said they won’t stop having children until they get a girl and I thought OH MY how Refreshing!!! I thought to myself this girl needs to go to Pakistan and educate a few people lol! I wish they could show that in a drama instead :)

  12. The only thing good about ‘daag’ is it makes me realize how much better TNS and Coke Kahani actually are.Whenever i even try to follow this serial someone is crying and it overall has a very gloomy feel to it.So not my cup of tea and even if we have the obsession of a male hire,child in our society we do not need to hammer it in our heads.Our society is then doomed with many others serious issues too but then are we neglecting all the others? This topic made sense ten years ago when such dramas were being made but now we really are in need of something more current , relateable . Don’t keep us selling the misery and plight of the female.

  13. Thankyou for the kind words:) bano and shama are truly fabulous, also great souls. And Sarmad did work very hard to bring out the much raved about performances. Keep reviewing and we ll continue to improve.

    • Yasra: Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment – much appreciated! Needless, to say I enjoy watching you perform and am a fan :) Here’s wishing you all the best for future endeavors and hoping for bigger and better things for you!

    • @Yasra Rizvi: Wow so cool to see you here!!! :) .. You are awesome in Daagh! Love how you stood up to your mother last episode when she was complaining about wanting a grandSON! Unfortunately, it had no affect on her! =( .. Looking forward to seeing you in the future episodes .
      BTW – Totally love you in Baandhi. You have done an excellent job portraying a very depressed broken woman, that a person actually feels for your character! :)

      Good luck with everything!

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