Just finished watching the latest episode and was blown away! Talkhiyan is a winner and I am officially a fan – loved it !!
In this second chapter, our lovely storyteller Zoyee picks up the threads of the story from where she’d left off last week. As expected, Bibi’s pronouncement does not go down well with her family. Agha-ji, an Anglophile to the core, refused to believe that any gora could be guilty of the crimes that Bibi is accusing Paul of committing. Mama too offers no support. Her wan face, as she listens to Bibi, tells its own story. No words of sympathy, no warm embraces, no hopes, no platitudes, no nothing – this mother finds it easier to retreat in to her own private world. Mama’s music is perhaps the only thing in this world that she can control. As for Appo, Bibi knows better than to look to her for any kind of support whatsoever. Though she is hurting and angry, Bibi is no roti-dhoti mazloom aurat looking to garner anybody’s sympathies. Rather, she is a woman who keeps a tight rein on her feelings. Only on rare occasions do we see a quick rephrasing of a sentence, a slight pursing of her lips, or a lifted eyebrow, hinting at the turmoil inside her. With her ramrod stiff back and carefully schooled expressions, Sanam Saeed is the perfect Bibi.
However hard it might be for Bibi to deal with her family’s reaction, it is perhaps harder for her to deal with the knowledge that her children are suffering equally if not more. Having lived through a similar experience she knows what her children are going through, but there is not much she can do except to protect them as fiercely as she can. Though her children ask no questions, their games reflect what they see all around them. What I appreciate is that for once we are shown that children are not divorced from their surroundings – like sponges they soak all that is going around them.
The role-playing that Zoyee and Jugnu indulge in is heart wrenching in its deeper implications, but kudos to Khalid sahab for the manner with which he’s handled these otherwise dark moments. The pickled Zoyee sequence was disturbing, but handled so sensitively that along with Mamaji I too was smiling at the kiddos. The child actors, Sabina and Sagar, are just fabulous. I could not help but burst out laughing when Zoyee, after saving her mother from the uninvited awkward embrace of the nosy neighbor, grabbed her brother’s hand and ran for her life. Thank God Appo didn’t see her doing this mischief!
Aah yes, Appo! What can I say about her, except that I am in love with this desi version of Cruella De Ville. Hina Bayat plays her role with such relish that its an absolute joy to watch Appo just for her idiosyncrasies. Appo is oh-so-lah-di-da, but give her some juicy gossip and her sophisticated English-print loving veneer disappears and out pop the circa Deputy Nazir Ahmed dialogues about nahoosat, kalak, firangis, and duniya wale doing thoo thoo. With the body language to match her lines, whether she’s maaro-ing taanas at Mama, scolding the children, admiring her feet, or writing love notes like an immature schoolgirl, Hina is beyond fantastic.
Speaking of performances, Shamim Hilali is great as the abused, partially blind Mama. The way she rationalizes her husband’s behavior is disturbing to say the least. Right alongside, Khalid Ahmad is playing her sadistic husband with a charming persona to a Tee. The scene where Mama is late with the tea and what ensues after was very well done. Looking forward to seeing how Jaanu Baba’s arrival shakes things up in this ‘divorced’ family as the elder Zoyee aptly put it. Mehak Khan is giving a very good account of herself in this debut performance. Looking forward to seeing how her role develops as she continues with her troubling journey down memory lane and circles back to the present. Will she find answers to the questions that brought her back to this painful place?
Like the previous episode, this one too was a visual delight. Bibi’s long and lonely walk, from Agha-ji’s bedroom to her own, was was lovely visual narration of her suffering. Other small touches and attention to detail add so much texture to the broader canvas. Kids and Bibi with their colorful umbrellas, all meals eaten on the verandah, Zoyee almost getting hit by a bus, the neighborhood gossips, all add so much to the overall ambiance. Khalid Ahmad continues to narrate this very dark and complex story with great style. The ease with which the story oscillates between three temporal zones, the present, Zoyee past, and then Bibi’s past, is a credit to the talented writer director combo. I will admit to having doubts about this adaptation before the serial started, but it is to Bee Gul’s credit that I am so into the story unfolding on screen that I do not even remember my earlier misgivings. Naveed Malik’s cinematography has a lot to do with the rich feel of this serial. The framing of scenes, lighting, the angles, the vivid colors of the outdoors, all come together to make Talkhiyan a visual treat.
Looking forward to the next chapter of Zoyee’s story!
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Written by SZ~