Rehaai ~ Episode 2 Review

rehaii poster

Now that we know what Rehaai is about, the first episode did an excellent job of setting up the premise, I did not find the second installment as shocking as the first one; perhaps because I was already prepared for the worst. This is not to say though that this episode was not disturbing. No, actually this was much more so, as here the subtext spoke so much louder than the text. Kudos to the story tellers Farhat Ishtiaq and Mehreen Jabbar.

The fact that Akbar’s parents were disturbed by Kulsoom’s age and not because Waseem was remarrying, speaks volumes of how acceptable it is for a man to remarry for the sake of a child. Moreover, if they were truly so disturbed, then instead of all the bluster why not offer to marry Kulsoom to Akbar, since marriage would be the only practical way of protecting her from Waseem and others of his ilk, thus ensuring that she remains unharmed and completes her education. But then I guess its much easier to indulge in hyperbole than to actually take a practical step. Another disturbing sight was that of the topi-clad barey mian sitting on a chair in the background, calmly watching Inayat scold his daughter for playing outside a day before her wedding. This one brilliant shot, capturing the voyeuristic nature of our society, was worth a thousand words. The same thing can be said about the attendees of wedding, particularly the people who acted as witnesses and those who formalized the ceremony – and to think it is people like these who make up the duniya we always worry about pleasing! Earlier, his card playing cronies had also looked on with great interest as Shamim took Inayat to task, but not one spoke up to echo Shamim’s rightful ire. The calm with which they went back to continue their game was almost deafening in its silence. Makes one almost wonder: Did they too look upon their young daughters as cash cows? How many of them had previously participated in similarly nefarious transactions?

Sadly, Shamim’s objections and interjections proved to be ultimately futile as she could not prevent the honi from happening, and the heinous deed was done. Given that our imaginations were already working overtime, I was glad we were spared gory details. While we glossed over Kulsoom’s misery, we were not so lucky with Shamim, as we watched her past come to life vividly with a very menacing Adnan Jilani physically and verbally abusing his child bride. Watching that blast from the past, I could not help but wonder why Shamim didn’t have more children? I have many questions about Shamim’s character and hope we get to see more of her story unfold alongside Kulsoom’s.     

In terms of pacing, this was a slower episode in that nothing new really happened. We knew the wedding was going to take place and it did. While I could have done without some of Shamim’s heavy-duty lectures, I did appreciate the time spent on establishing young Kulsoom’s unpreparedness for the monumental changes about to take place in her life. The wedding scene, the exchange between Kulsoom and Waseem, and the conversation she has with her friend, about how she was enjoying all the fuss, was heart wrenching to say the least. Putting aside my personal misgivings, about child actors and the roles they essay, Yashal, the child actor has done an excellent job in conveying all the necessary emotions.

In terms of writing, I like how ground is being prepared to explain why economic independence is the way forward for women like Shamim, Shehnaz and Kulsoom. As things stand now, despite all her protestations, Shamim knows she is totally dependent on Waseem for fulfilling all her needs, down to the very basics of roti, kapra aur makaan. As long as she cannot support herself she remains unempowered, a mere entity whose thoughts, wishes and desires do not count for anything.    

So far Rehaai has been Nauman Ijaz and Munawar Saeed’s show as they are in a completely different league here. Before this I used to think of Nauman as a charming man, now he’s my nominee for the lecher of the year award – the manner in which he ogles the poor girl and the way in which he runs his hand over his hair, as he walks out after having accomplished his mission, was just way too ugh. Samina Peerzada is also very good here, her expressions, when she looks back to her past are excellent. But I wish she would now take a break from these kinds of roles. Last week she reminded me of Rafia from Zindagi Gulzar Hai, and today, watching her with the tasbeeh, I had flashbacks of Naani from Shehr-e Zaat. As I was watching and listening to Shamim, I wondered if she had gone back to school after she had Waseem. She sounds way too educated and articulate for a woman who has spent a lifetime within the confines of the chaardivari. The fact that she and Shehnaz both wear perfectly ironed three piece suits, with coordinated shalwar, kameez and dupatta, is a little too pat to be entirely plausible.

Aside from some incongruities, overall this was a gritty and gripping episode with the MJ stamp all over it. I like the way flashbacks are being sparingly used in concert with the present to tell two stories, each filling in details in the other’s timeline. The intimacy of the story is brought to the fore with Khizer’s superb camerawork. Also, really appreciate the fact the background music has been kept to a minimum. From the precaps it seems like we’re leaping forward in time, with a grown up Kulsoom being perceived as a threat by Shehnaz. Will the second wife fulfill Waseem’s desire for an heir? Looking forward to seeing how things pan out here.

Written by SZ~

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18 replies

  1. that was a very well thought out review and I cannot agree More. This episode was indeed more disturbing . if their family business is a clothes store perhaps that is why they have nice clothes all the time?

  2. My Nani can not even read, yet she is more articulate than most. Shamim has had a hard life, experience also educates. Three piece suits not very uncommon now in Pak, lawn craze has changed things, plus my family background is similar to the family shown in the drama (minus child marriage), didn’t think three piece suits were surprising. But if this subject was handled by any other director, it would have been over the top melodrama that would have crossed paths with the likes of yeh zindagi hai. Thats what I love about Jabbar. Her strongest point is good narrative.

    • @Luvdramas: Haven’t seen Yehi hai Zindagi, so can’t comment on that comparison, but yes, absolutely, MJ is the perfect director for this story.

  3. 1. Three piece lawn suites can be found dirt cheap and noman ijaz owns a cloth store. Like all “daukandaars” he probably earns alot

    2. Shamim comes across as a deep person with a strong moral compass but certainly not an educated or refined individual. Think back to her conversations with her son. She only berates and taunts him for his poor decisions and mistreatment of the wife” sharam ker” “jaanwar mut bun” etc etc but never makes a civilized conversation or makes a point without screaming her head off or even try to appeal to his human side. Which goes to show that she isn’t well educated. In that way she is very different from the nani from shehr e zaat who was very calm and knew the art of conversation and persuation.

    • Seems like my personal observations have stirred more interest than the issues addressed in the episode itself 🙂
      We have all seen and known people from various socio-economic strata and not all dress or speak alike and so my comments were based on what I have observed, and the people I have come across…
      As for the difference between Naani and Shamin, yes two entirely different characters, I never said they were the same. My larger point was that seeing the same actors in similar getups in back to back roles gets a bit too much.This is not a comment on their acting at all, but just that there are only so many ways one can say beta sabar karo ….

      Would love to hear what everybody thought about the episode itself, which was very powerful and had a lot to say …

      • SZ , but u shd see Samina P in Ghaao, completely different role , she’s a conniving and cruel b$#@%….,no ‘beta sabr karo ‘ dialogues there

        • @Deeba: True, she is very different in Ghao. I was referring to her recent run of back to back dupatta covered elderly roles, starting with Durre Shehwar, then Shehr-e Zaat, followed by the ongoing Zindagi Gulzar Hai, and now this …

  4. I think Samina Ps acting was outstanding today .
    Waqai , some men can be jaanwar if not worse !
    The poor girl , Kulsoom , her terror and agony was heart breaking !
    I fail to understand this concept of baap kee nasal aagay barhee

  5. Aagay barhey gee , what nasl ?
    What rubbish , as if these men have achieved anything great or done something worthwhile that they need offsprings.

  6. Your reviews are really something that make the episode more interesting and with more vision! Thankyou SZ for always giving such delight!

    Coming to episode… this one i had to see with strong heart, it was terrifying to see younger shamim on that wedding night and being physically abused by her husband.. i was so disturbed on thinking how can parents be so cruel… Girl playing younger shamim is brilliant actor.. and reactions that Sameena showed afterwards were fantastic.. trying her level best to save kulsoom…. aray cheeni lene jana tha tou kulsoom ko saath le jaati 😦 Shehnaz was total disappointment in saving that poor girl… such a misery!! Yashal have done great job..could feel her pain!

    I am so with you SZ on that branded lawn suits… they are so well pressed, (and to be honest few of them i so liked..) everything is so proper.. c’mon Shamim is illiterate middle class woman.. but her body language shows that she is really educated one… just like Akbar’s mother wear clothes.. i didn’t notice her dress because it was in sync to her character.. only because their son is running a lawn shop, i won’t take this a reason!

    Thank goodness.. next week we will see older kulsoom…
    Actors,Writer and Director -> truly a Class!!

  7. It is sickening to see a man give his child daughter away like that! And what’s more sickening is the guy who wants to marry her and cannot even control himself for one night!
    What’s sad is, this is true and is happening in all the lower middle class areas of Pakistan and no body is doing anything to stop it.
    As harsh and brutal as this drama might be, its a subject that needs to be looked into and there needs to be more awareness so the educated and resourceful people can try to bring a change.
    The writer has done a fabulous job with the script in handling a very sensitive topic and to nobody’s surprise Mehreen Jabbar does wonders with her direction! However i am not sure who is responsible for the make up, but why does Danish Taimoor’s character look so girly?? Is he supposed to look like that or is that just a foundation overdose?

    I think every character fits their role like a glove, from Samina P to the girl playing Kalsoom, and its always refreshing to see different faces for different roles.
    We usually see Nauman Ejaz playing either the businessman, or the wadaira but to see him in a very different role really goes to show how great of an actor he is. Samina P as great as she is, should take it easy with the similar roles.

    And about the three piece suits – i just think its odd to see people from such a background so clean and proper all the time. Yes, her son owns a clothing store but its quite evident that he does not care much about the mother or his wife. He says many times “katha pilata hoon, chat diya wah hai, what more do you want” And even when it comes to groceries, the mother does it most of the time, so him owning a clothing store pretty much does nothing..

    Anyways looking forward to see how the story unfolds. Good to see Kalsoom will, well grow up if you wanna call it that?

    SZ, loved all the details and observations from the episode in your review.

  8. Hi I’m a 2nd generation Pakistani living in the states and I love all the dramas. Have watched most of them, love Rehaai. Samina is one of my favorites. I must say this drama has stirred so many social issues that are evident in many other dramas but do not come across as poignantly as Rehaai. I have noticed that women are portrayed as either good(usually entailing wearing a head cover, shalwar chemise only, and sub servient) or bad(modern, more stylized fashion conscious, educated, social mixing) . They fail to portray the balance that does exist. There are women who have very successful marriages and good relations with their in laws and are productive working women in society. Rehaai sadly is the story of many women, especially of the older generations, but it does exist and there is a social dilemma. Can’t wait until the next episode. Thank you for your review.

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