As I watched this latest episode two thoughts kept running through my mind:
a) If ever this was a story crying out to be made into a movie, Aunn Zara was it. Faiza’s spicy script, brimming with humor, romance and drama, the array of colorful characters, situations that lend themselves to song and dance interludes, and Haissam’s talent for turning the most mundane situations into magical, larger than life ones, all are ingredients that should’ve been blended together to make a succinct 2+ hour movie rather than a 20+ episode serial.
b) TV channels should seriously consider returning to the days of 13 episode serials, if not 13 than no more than 15. This latest trend of stretching serials to increase advertising revenues is turning even the best told stories into drag fests. By now, even the most un-savvy TV viewer knows that after a first few happening episodes, stories slow down to a snail’s pace, crawling till they reach the last four or so episodes and then boom! things start happening at speed of a lightning bullet… and by the finale all live happily ever after. FFwd button zindabad!
This latest installment of Aunn Zara was entertaining, with many a sweet moment, but in terms of the larger narrative, the story is now in need of some serious dhaka – Aunn continues to be frustrated and that’s that. Picking up from last week, our hero sahab managed to surprise everybody and secured a job, apni qaabliyat ke bal boote pe, thus keeping his end of the bargain he’d made with Zara. In return, rather than being awarded the gold medal he thought was his for the taking, all the poor guy ended up with was a patronizing pat on the head, a rookha sookha, no khana involved, lunch date with his wife.
Zara’s carrot and stick act might work in the short term, but surely even a beeba baccha like Aunn can’t be that stupid and continue to be placated with inaams doled out in form of lunch dates, or is he? In either case, Aunn needs to stop with the never-ending thandi saansen and longing glances, the gajra on the random guy was funny though, his wife should also try to stop being a Ms fix-it-all, trying to solve everybody’s issues except her own. Osman and Maya continue to charm as Aunn and Zara, but after so many weeks of running around in circles, I now find their scenes repetitive and boring. Today, the lunch date seemed to go on forever. Don’t quite know what twist Nighat phupo’s shak will bring about, but ab this qissa needs to move on – enough already!
Unlike her laadla nephew, aanisa Nighat Parveen is not one to let grass grow under her feet; before Jamshed sahab could return her shopping back from last week, madam khud hi pohonch gayeen golf course apna samaan lene … much as he may protest, Jamshed too seems to like Nighat’s increasingly frequent chakars around him and his house. I have to say at this point, it is the older pair’s story that is keeping me interested in this serial. Adnan Jaffer is fabulous as the faujisahab and Sabreen impresses every time she stops overplaying Nighat. Another track, I wish we saw more of is that of Husna and her absentee husband. I hope we aren’t made to wait till the very end to see what went wrong between this couple. Surely this woman deserves more of a life than merely cooking day in and day out!
My peeves with the pace aside, the one thing that cannot be faulted is Haissam’s attention to detail. Aunn zipping up his pants very casually in front of Zara indicates how much they’ve eased up with each other since the early days. Contrasting this scene to the earlier one where Aunn freaked out when he realized he was actually holding Zara’s hands, speaks volumes of their particular kind of marital relationship. Now if we have a writer-director combo who can convey so much with almost nothing said, why the need for dragging and reiteration? Haissam and Faiza, enough of these long-winded serials, could we please request you two to come together for a movie now?
Written by SZ~