Numm ~ Episode 1 Review

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Breaking away from the current trend, boy meets girl and after requisite twists and turns they live happily ever after, the first chapter of Numm looked and sounded different. Written by Myra Sajid, directed by Ahson Talish and produced by Amjad Hashmi, this new Fawad Khan and Sania Saeed starrer has started off on a strong note.

Numm5

Numm is the story of a young Oxford grad Wali Bakht, a man burdened by the weight of archaic traditions and regressive feudal customs. Married off at a very young age to a much older Mahjabeen, Wali is frustrated and embarrassed by this relationship in equal measures. And, as if one unwanted wife was not bad enough, the minute he lands home he is blithely informed about a second marriage; this time to his bachpan ki mangetar, a more suitable although considerably younger and immature Neelam. Needless to say our protagonist is not thrilled at this prospect.

Numm1Nonetheless, chafe as he may, Wali is nobody’s fool. Going against the old despot’s diktats would mean giving up the bells and whistles of a luxurious lifestyle that he enjoys as Sikander Bakht’s only grandson. An Oxonian he may well be, but Wali is as pragmatic as they come… as he tells Neelam, these are long standing customs which cannot be changed overnight. Long live feudalism! Long live patriarchy!

The first episode did a good job of introducing the central characters and establishing the web of relationships in quick succession. Even as Wali is the pivot around whom the story revolves, we got a lovely insight into the very complex characters of Mahjabeen and Amtul, two women who share a special bond –  both victims of a patriarchal system where a man’s death is to be avenged at all costs, but a woman’s life, her wishes and desires, hold no value whatsoever.

Numm2Amtul’s choice of reading, Kiran Desai’s Inheritance of Loss, was especially apt in more ways than one. I LOVED that scene between Farah Shah and Sania Saeed; beautifully penned, directed and acted, this was the scene of the episode for me.

Numm boasts of a heavy duty star cast, including names like Sania Saeed, Fawad Khan, Usman Peerzada, Nasreen Qureshi, and Farah Shah. All these stalwarts need no introduction and gave a stellar account of themselves in the first episode. I was glad to see Fawad Khan shed off his Hum TV patented shohar avatar and challenge himself with a darker role. It is also great to see Farah Shah back on the screen after ages. I last remember her in Landa Bazar and Boota from Tooba Tek Singh. Numm6Today, Fawad, Farah and Sania impressed with their body language and expressions. I look forward to seeing Fawad pitted against the brilliant Sania Saeed, as Wali struggles to come to terms with his manifold feelings for Mahjabeen. As for Kanza Wyne, I almost feel sorry for the newcomer. Acting alongside accomplished stars like Sania, Fawad, Usman Peerzada & Co. must’ve been no easy task and I give Kanza full marks for trying; but while she looks the part, despite her cakey makeup, she has a very long way to go as an actress.

Numm3Her character nonetheless is very interesting with many layers, as Neelam transitions from being a pampered brat to becoming a second wife; one who goes from hating her husband to falling for him, fighting her rival Mahjabeen for Wali’s attention and affection. But then again, is Mahjabeen really her rival? It is to the writer’s credit for giving the age old triangle a very new twist.  

In many ways this was a director’s episode, and Ahson Talish showcased his story telling skills well. The narrative was evenly paced and the scenes were short and crisp, with no long-winded dialogues. The flashbacks were seamlessly inserted so as to root the story in the past. I have not seen/read Myra Sajid’s work before, so I’m looking forward to seeing how her story develops from hereon. The DOP, Qasim Ali Mureed, has done full justice to the scenic setting. The magnificent interiors have been aptly captured to convey a closed-in feeling, a sense of suffocation, particularly in the scene with Sania and Farah; this darkness has then been beautifully offset with scenes shot in the lush, bright exteriors. 

Numm4The play of light and shadows was very well done. I love how the magnificent haveli is being is being used as an analogy here, many a dark secrets hiding behind its opulent facade. Looking forward to seeing how and when these secrets are revealed.

Overall, this was an effective first episode and I enjoyed it. I cannot, however, end my review without mentioning the horrible background score which was a major turn off, ruining the evocative mood of the story and its setting. The other thing that stuck out was careless editing; the scene when Wali lashed out at Mahjabeen for walking in on him and his friends… err… when did that happen? Wasn’t Wali sleeping when his friend heard the knock on the door. How then did Wali know that it was Mahjabeen at the door? Finally, could someone please check and decide on the correct spelling of the writer’s name – is it Maira or Myra?

So, how many of you watched the first episode? What did you guys think? Looking forward to reading your take!

Written by SZ~

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94 replies

  1. Absolutely Amazing Review <333 After watching First episode Now I have to say that yes I have so many expection from this show … It was looking Different but it is actually from Other shows which are running Right Now …. Today we have every thing Acting 'Direction'Script'Soundtrack'Locations every thing …. There is no Doubt I started That show cux of Fawad Khan But I am that every one looks Promising here The new Gal Kanza as Neelum Like her she is little unmature but made 4 this Charcater …… I am happy that Fianlly we have a Good Show On GeoTV
    FawadKhan ❤ Sania Saeed and Kanza All the best GUys .. Waiting 4 next episode eagerly …. 😀

    • @Nosh: Hey! Glad to have you on board for this one – lets keep our fingers crossed and hope this one doesn’t go off track! Yes, Kanza looks age appropriate, but her acting leaves a lot to be desired .. dekhte hain aage kya hota hai.. looking forward to hearing more from you as we continue with Numm 🙂

  2. Great review as always and I almost agree with you on every point. Fawwad Khan with his different hairstyle was very good and apt as Wali Bakht;Sania Saeed well she is a great actress and she proved it yet again.Story is different though we have seen many shows on this “Feudal system” topic but it does have different shades.and yes please the background sound is too loud.

    • @Ruba: Thanks 🙂 Like you, I too enjoyed this different spin on the feudal system wali stories we’ve seen so far .. ab lets keep our fingers crossed and hope Geo behaves itself with this one! And yeah.. seriously hope they fix the background score – its really bad!

      • I literally rewind more than 3 times few scenes to listen what are they actually saying 😦 background score is indeed so bad

  3. Really enjoyed your review SZ and was looking forward to reading it after Sadaf’s and Maria’s. I wasn’t bowled over by the drama as much as you were but then I didn’t go ga-ga over the promos either. The leisurely pace and the loud background music will get to me – I know. Today the pick of the lot was definitely the Farah Shah and Sania Saeed scene – everything about it was perfect! I never thought Farah to be more than an average actress but she wow’ed me here as Wali’s mama! Way to go! Looking forward to seeing more Sania-Farah and Fawad-Farah interactions. Wonder if the son even cares for his mother..hmm…probably not much since he doesn’t even go meet her.
    The less said about Kanza the better. It’s mainly due to the editing that I was able to watch her scenes otherwise I would have hit the ffwd button. When can we get actual theatre actors rather than VJs to play strong characters. Unn becharon ko buss sitcoms aur maasi walay roles hi miltay hain.
    I enjoyed your positive spin on Wali’s character 😉 I found him very similar to his Dadaji. But Fawad failed to leave an impression. Doesn’t look like a challenging role for him playing husband to 2 wives *yawn*
    Let’s see how this one moves forward (if it does) in the next few weeks. I am still quite on the fence about it with the whole women must be subjected to men’s devices theme. The episode did do a good job of introducing all the main characters effectively.

    • @Annie: I actually found this one a happy change from the usual social issues dramas, actually reminded me of Ullu baraye farokht nahin in many ways…

      Re: Kanza.. yes! and I have a feeling that she will be the weakest link in the chain here ..I was trying not be too harsh with the first review, since I think we will end up complaining quite a bit about her as the serial progresses And, yes, agree with you entirely about trained theater actors not being given a proper chance..

      Re: Wali not meeting his mother, or his cold relationship with her.. I think that can be explained by the fact that ever since he was married off to Mahjabeen, he’s been her responsibility, and she has taken care of him much as a mother would, in fact they live in a house separate from that of his parents. It is only from now onwards, as he starts living with her as an adult he will start seeing her in a different avatar.

      And were you as surprised as I was to see how diff Farah Shah looked from her older dramas.. drove me nuts trying to place her!

      Baqi as for the pacing .. sigh! this is Geo.. so who knows, one can only hope for the best! 😉

      • to me it is not a departure from the social issues dramas or even presenting those issues in a new light. (a la Coke Kahani). This one still seems to portray men as lords and owners of women and the women have no say in what their fate is despite being educated. Regressive themes galore IMO.
        You’re probably right that he Wali doesn’t see his mother as a one who raised him rather this slightly older wife (kinda gross now that I think about it lol) To me not going to even say hello to the real mom showed how he is very much like his grandfather who considers women to be like horses (another outrageous dialogue for me to swallow oh man!)
        I had seen Farha Shah in that Ramadan play with Sanam Baloch a few years ago and I was IN SHOCK so when I saw her here, I instantly recognized her. Yes, she has changed so much since her size zero modeling days and puckered lips 😉

        • @Annie: I meant social themes as in our run of the mill saas/bahu/shohar dramas, baqi yes, it has regressive issues, but then feudalism itself is regressive by nature, and sadly very much alive even in this day and age. I am hoping this one is a commentary on that regressiveness .. fingers crossed!
          I think you are right in that Wali is very much an apple fallen from the same tree, the outer glitzy veneer does not change the dark feudal that resides within. I do happen know to know quite a few of these kinds of these young foreign educated waderas, who can talk up a storm about progress, modernity, liberalism and all, but take them back to their ancestral havelis and they are like a whole different breed altogether… It will be interesting to see how Wali Bakht shapes up and how FK’s “humanized” him LOL! So far Wali seems critical of the system but resigned to his fate…
          Oh, acha! I probably missed that play and had not seen Farah S in ages, so seeing her back to back in Aseer Zadi and Numm was quite a shock!

          And, how come nothing from you on FK and his same old same old wardrobe?? 😉

          • Fawad bhai aur unn ka wardrobe aab hum kya kahain 🙂 As soon I saw the blue cashmere sweater I was reminded of Armaan and going by the dark theme of the play we’ll see more white and black shirts and the 2 jackets he owns plus a few grey/blue/black cashmere sweaters of his. I am personally waiting for the striped PJs to make an appearance again LOL!! maybe we’ll see the aqua shirt he wore in ZGH here when he’s not brooding over his life as that’s the only new piece of clothing he bought in the last drama 😉 I have to say purple is Sania Saeed’s color.
            As far as themes, ok I see what you’re saying that this one is a little hatke from saas/bahu. Here we have a saas who is a victim of the system and a psychotic choti bahu making her way into the haveli. If she was a good actress, it would have been interesting to see what kind of havoc she causes. As DB said on Sadaf’s review, let’s hope they show a solution here rather than just highlighting the problem that we are all aware of.
            I didn’t realize Farha Shah was coming in AseerZaadi too – that one looks like it can be given a miss.

            • @Annie: LOL! Knew you’d not miss out on noting the clothes! Re: the striped pajamas, somehow I think our brooding feudal’s tastes are quite different from the college flirt Zaroon. Methinks he is more of the Hassan and the more serious Ashar type, so white shalwar kameezs may well be the preferred night time attire here. In addition to the wardrobe you’ve mentioned, I think we’ll also see the brown and black leather jackets make a return appearance 😉
              aah missing @Afia in this discussion on FK’s clothes! 😉

              Yes, Farah Shah is the second wife, Sakina Samo older and Sania Saeed younger, of the peer sahab, played by the fabulous Salman Shahid.

            • Hey SZ ‘n Annie- I know FK repeats his clothes a lot but hey- am willing to overlook this 🙂 Pakistan mein bohat mehengaeey hai and he has my sympathies! As do the producers actually. Yahan, koi bhi acha kaam karna itna mushkil hai ke if they get the basics (script, direction, acting) right, I don’t mind. Aur waise bhi FK can pull off almost anything so that helps.

              Farah Shah also played a small role in Hum TV’s Parsa.

            • @Afia – totally overlooking the repeat clothes here too! HA! waiting for the Macbook to make an appearance too. Itni mhangayee mein he should go the Mujtaba route and buy clothes from Landa Bazar 😀

              @SZ – yes let’s see if we see more whites here a la Ashar and Hassan than Zaroon 😀
              Uff 3 wives! baap re not my cup of tea for sure!
              I did have to chuckle when I saw Farha Shah playing FK’s mom. Uss lehaaz se either Faisal Qureshi or Babar Ali should be playing his Dad 😉

  4. Great review of not such a great episode.
    Yet another drama with dysfunctional feudal clan and regressive themes.
    We already have Ask, pat jarh Kay Baad, Ulloo baraye farokht naheen, and now
    Numm.
    Can’t understand writers’ and producers’ obsession.
    Only scene worth watching I have to say was between Mahjabeen and her mother in law.
    Overall acting was average, new girl’s expressions were incongrous.
    Let’s see if we get any blood out of this stone.
    Having said that, this drama will be popular due
    To Fawad Khan and we will be getting great reviews.

    • @Anwar.suhail: Long time! Good to hear from you :)Considering that only one episode has aired I would a say little to early to call Numm a stone, also I think would be grossly unfair to the very talented cast, bar one, to say that Numm will garner great reviews and be popular solely due to one person, Fawad Khan. If that were the case then Ashk would have been a super duper hit .Lets see how this one pans out…

  5. Just finished watching. I admit I was looking forward to this one. I’m definitely intrigued – though many may be grossed out by it – in the Wali-Maahjabeen relationship. Not in a romantic sort of way, but rather, this is a situation where two incompatible people are forced into a marriage, and despite all the barriers and history and incongruencies, they are each other’s spouse. There is an undeniable connection there. It has to be a multifaceted emotion/reality…. Part familiarity, part dependence, part understanding, part loathing. Aakhir iss jazbay ko kyaa naam dein??

    Wali will have Neelam in his life, but Maahjabeen only has Wali – does she feel anything for him? And in this patriarchal/feudal world it is quite simply irrelevant whether she does or not, because her needs don’t matter. Except that human nature is human nature. Their 10 year age difference at one point will be irrelevant. She may have looked out for him when he was younger, but he doesn’t need that now and has told her. I’m actually happy that she responded back with her line about “tumhay bivi banaanay ki bhi zarurat nahin thee”. It shows she has a spark and is not entirely the silent, suffering type.

    Liked all the actors except Kanza. Her voice and especially her teeth-gritting delivery was unbearable. In the beginning I was actually considering whether Neelam had some neuroses/social anxiety disorder, the way they introduced her character in school, and the way she was circling her mother. I can’t accept that she was simply being shown as bratty and spoiled, her behavior went way beyond tantrum. Again, it may have been Kanza’s “aankh phaarkay, daanth peeskay baat karnaa” that made her seem more crazy than spoiled. The only scene that I tolerated her in was her last one with daadi, and I think credit for that scene goes to NQ, all Kanza did was sniffle and cry on dadi’s shoulder.

    @SZ, I also see this as a different track then the “ghisay pitay” gharailu maslay masaail. Vadera/feudal stories are not new, but I think the vani storyline hasn’t been done, and I am assuming that we will see Wali grapple with the paradox of his feudal heritage and his Oxford education. And I liked that Sikander bakht blackmailed/incentivized Wali about his lifestyle. It would be so much more believable if Wali goes along with this for that reason (among others), rather than be the morally upright, sacrificing do-gooder. So many people go along with the status quo, because it is convenient, comfortable, and the easy way out.

    Ok, I don’t even know if my post makes sense, a lot of stream of consciousness I think. It’s time for bed. Shab bakhair.

    • @Nur: really liked the way you have put it.. specially totally with you on the way mahjabeen replied to wali, with stern face and emotionless voice… which makes story more interesting 🙂

      • @Rehmat: thanks, I’m so happy I made sense to someone 😉

        I’ve been missing your translations for Aunn Zara. Agar mein itni Panjabi samajhti kay likhsakoon, to zuroor likh likh kay poochhaa karti. Dadi hein zabardast lekin aksar o beshtar unki kaee baatein sar par say guzar jaati hein.

        Filhaal yaar, yay batao kay “seraayat” ka kyaa matlab hai. OST ka shayr hai:

        Mumkin hai seraayat karay zehr ragon mein

        Also: “iztiraab” –> mumkin hai iztiraab mein bhi suroor ho

        Thanks!

        • @Nur: Since I’m still up and here, would it be okay if I translated? 😉
          sarayet.. to spread through gradually.. iztirab: restlessness (same root as muzter as in dil-e muztar)

          it is possible (this) poison may spread through my veins
          it is possible there might be peace in this restlessness

          hope this makes sense!
          And do post daadi’s dialogues or even describe a scene and we can try and give you the gist of what is being said 🙂

          • @SZ: you’re golden!!!! Thank you for the translation.Kaash kay Urdu itni achi hoti kay poochnaa na partaa, lekin you guys are awesome, so jhijak kam hotee jaarahee hai.

            I’m happy to see the boards hopping! Over 65 posts!! Yay sab apnay Fawad bhai ka kamaal hai 😉

            Are you going to continue to review MKPYH?

        • @Nur: awww thats v.sweet of you 🙂 lol punjabi me tou mujhe bhi madad chahiyae hoti hai.. seriously i cant understand a word from that shudh punjabi in AZ.. i just laugh at the way NQ delivers it 😀
          baqi you got your meanings.. thanks to @SZ.. she is better translator than me 🙂

          seeing ur name here, makes me miss our zgh discussions 😀

          • @ Rehmat: Aww thanks!! Honestly, main bhi sabko bohat miss kar rahee thee, lekin koi dhang ka drama hi nahin thaa jispay hum sab tapsiraa kartay. Leave it to Fawad to bring us back to the forum 😉

            Jitnaa bhi mein inkaar karoon, Fawad bhai ko miss bohat kyaa hai 😉 I just hope that this drama doesn’t disappoint!

            I’m relieved that I’m not the only one struggling with daadijaan’s thait panjabi. Even though I miss half of what NQ is saying, I totally enjoy her delivery and try to extract meaning from context and the parts I do understand.

    • @Nur: Your comment made perfect sense 🙂 I am with you in the way you are reading Mahjabeen and Wali’s relationship … whatever and however one may characterize their relationship, indifference is the one adjective that cannot be used here! Also like you am looking forward to seeing how the grey shades in both these characters come to light. Looking forward to how these two actors bring Wali and Mahjabeen alive!! And yes, also looking forward to reading more of your stream of consciousness… your comments always add so much to our discussions with all the insights into the various characters and their motivations 🙂

  6. From the review, drama seems very extraordinary but as I have watched it myself it wasn’t that much good.Lights were so strange and the new girl who will become fawad’s 2nd wife she didn’t impress even a bit.And I didn’t like the starting of the drama.I now came to know after reading this review that Fawad did just arrive from abroad.1st 2,3 scenes were hard to understand.And the background voice came at starting was so unpleasant.Drama should not be started like telling a story.

    • @Sahar: Awww .. my apologies! Didn’t realize that I was making it sound extraordinary .. not my intention at all! Absolutely agree with you in that Kanza did not impress at all, and yes the background score was indeed really bad, both things I noted in my review. I gues its too late to do anything about the new actress, but I am hoping that somebody at GEO will take note of the almost unanimous complaints about the background music and lower it for the coming episode..
      I hope you will continue commenting and sharing your thoughts. Looking forward to hearing more from you 🙂

  7. This is my first ever comment on any pak drama review, dont know from where to start, Im afraid its going to be a really long comment.

    Im from India and i’ve recently started watching pakistani dramas, it all started few months back when one of my friends literally forced me into watching ZGH, and after that there was no stopping and not to mention like everyone else i was completely bowled over by Fawad Khan and end up watching all his shows from humsafar to KPKP, Dastaan, AA, and even Ashk Lol. Yes u guessed it right i am a huge Fawad Khan fan now.

    Despite being FK addict i didnt restrict myself to just his shows, i also watched dramas like DeS, SeZ, and following Aunn Zara these days.

    Other than FK, im really impressed by the actors like Sanam saeed (she was amazing as Kashaf, i look forward to more of her work), samina pirzada(loved her especially in SeZ and DeS) hina bayat ( like her versatility, she was different in all 3 shows humsafar, ZGH and now AZ)

    Sanam baloch though she was good in Dastaan and DeS but i didnt like her in KPKPBT and AA, so im not fond of her.

    Not to forget Mansha pasha and ayesha omar, i loved them in ZGH, they were great in their respective roles. Mahira Khan was okayish in SeZ but not good in Humsafar especially in the first half.

    Im completely impressed by the quality and the simplicity of the pak dramas, especially the realistic approach of the story which are sadly missing in Indian shows nowadays… but the editing isnt good in the most of the dramas like in ZGH there were many editing bloopers which was very irritating and not to mention the BG scores..
    But OST’s are awesome im in love with humsafar’s OST..Anyways i felt Hum Tv’s shows are better than other channels in terms of direction and production qualities.

    Since most of the shows i watched is written by umera ahmed, i think i need to mention her here….though some parts of her stories are great and heart touching not to forget beautifully penned dialouges but im still not her fan because of her regressive and women are bechari, no matter what happens go back to your shauhar stories.

    Yes…i feeel like i’ve done PhD in pakisatni dramas 😐

    uumm this was supposed to be the comment on Numm so i better talk abt it too LOL…so i watched it cos of FK but i find it overall good its different from the shows which i’ve watched so im enjoying the change.. it was just the first episode so lets wait for story to unfold…

    SZ all your reviews are great, i like the way you analyse everything fairly and give everyone its due credit…Great job 🙂

    i know its a long rant but i really wanted to pour out my feelings….im so sorry idk maine kya kya likh diya hai

    btw why FK wears same clothes in all his shows??? i remember someone telling me costumes are not arranged by the producers that’s why actors wears their own clothes is it true???

    • @Huma: hey! don’t be sorry yaar, we all are drama lovers here, so really appreciate your comment and how you said it all .. and besides long comments are always more than welcome 😉

      dramas you have mentioned are indeed so good, well i didn’t saw kpkp, daastar:) OSTs are amazing seriously.. you can’t actually decide which one to pick as best one!
      regarding numm, yes im also looking forward to this interesting story, hope doesn’t disappoint us..

      • Thank u Rehmat for the encouragement
        true about the OST’s they are such a treat to ears.

        Same here i hope so too it doesnt disappoint us. Let’s see.

    • @Huma S: Hello! Fabulous to hear from another friend from India. Isn’t it great the way the cyber space brings us all together!

      To begin with, let me assure you ke you are not the only one, hum sab aisey hi hain, in dramon main PhD karney waley.. you are definitely among friends here 😉 And yes, also plenty of die hard FK fans here .

      LOL! @ your question re: FK’s clothes! Do read my question to Annie and her response .. yes, we also nitpick and remember all clothes etc…But on a serious note, my understanding is that actors bring their own clothes, and generally can get away with repeating them, unless they are FK, then of course every shirt and sweater is commented upon and remembered. As for actresses, they too usually wear their own clothes, except the bigger stars like Mahirah, or some big budget serials where various designers lend their clothes, like Humsafar and SeZ.

      You’ve certainly managed to watch quite a few serials in a relatively short time …let me recommend at least one more. Since you are a Sanam/Hina fan then you must not miss Talkhiyan – a must watch in my book. I reviewed that serial weekly and we had some great discussions on that one. Along with our comments, you will also find comments from the members of cast, including Sanam and Hina!

      I hope you will not ghaibofy now and join us in our weekly discussions .. will look forward to your comments on Numm. And yes, as @Rehmat said.. we love long comments, so dont be shy!

      Welcome aboard!

      • Thanks a lot for such a warm welcome, yes it’s indeed a great thing that cyber space bringing us all together 🙂 It’s a nice feeling to be interacting with u people.

        okay now i got it, but FK should really get new clothes if that’s the case…sure i’ll definitely read your to questions to annie and her answers. Mahira’s costumes were great in SeZ, apart from her i didnt see anyone wearing such good clothes lol

        oh thanks for telling me about Talkhiyan i’ll give it a shot, i desperately want to watch more Sanam’s dramas, and i’ll try to chck out the reviews too 🙂 wese i read some of ZGH reviews and i must say the discussions were amazing, after reading them i realised this is the place i wanted to be 😀

        Sure i will try not to disappear, because i love discussing each n everything after watching the episode. and ofcourse long comments hehehe

  8. Amazing review, did truly justice to episode! I was looking forward to Numm and thankfully, it was worth it!

    starting scene with farah shah monologue was quite a gripping one, it laid the foundation for drama to be interesting too… Fawad Khan as Wali was outstanding, though he hasn’t much dialogues but his body language said it all, i liked the flashback too, direction was really nice there .. scene where he interacts with Sania Saeed was too good, a scene just becomes so strong when two amazing actors perform, shouldn’t be saying much about Sania except that she is just phenomenal.

    Neelam’s character is interesting, wish some better actor could have played…having said that i really liked the way she was circling around her mom Lol :D.. it was beautiful to see Nasreen ma’am talking such fluent Urdu, seeing her in AZ.. i thought she have fluency in Punjabi only 🙂 Usman Peezada was good in portraying as feudal heads should be.

    scene of the episode has to be between mahjabeen and amtul, there was something darkness in that scene which was shown beautifully.. the way mahjabeen said ‘ me parhna bhool gaye hoon’ was remarkable.. i couldn’t get those lines that amtul said, can someone help me in telling me what were those?

    looking forward for next one!

    • @Rehmat: Thanks! Glad to know that you too are going to participate in our weekly discussions 🙂
      you are so right Neelum circling about her mom… actually I was going to comment on how good it was to see so much movement on screen. Usually our characters tend to be sedentary or at the most we see them crossing over from one room to another, but here we saw Neelam in particular moving around quite a bit. All these details go a long way towards establishing her as an immature, easily excitable character. I am really excited to see how Ahson Talish handles this potentially very interesting story.. fingers crossed for the next ep!

  9. A very befitting review for a very intriguing drama! I love how thorough you are!
    I’ve noticed a new trend within Pakistani dramas – there has been a vast dive from shohar-biwi dilemnas to dramas revolving around dark havelies, eccentric traditions etc.
    Examples: Aseer Zadi, Dil Mohallay ki Haveli, Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahi (which I’ve really started to love! SZ, I recommend you go back & watch it! The story is really coming together & the theme of the story is becoming very prevalent)

    Overall, I think I’m really going to enjoy Numm. The cast is stellar – Sania Saeed & Fawad Khan are truly a pleasure to watch. I also want to commend how beautifully the scene with Farah Shah & Sania Saeed was executed! *took my breath away*

    • @UM: ullu baraye farokht nahi, i also left in between and have start watching it again.. you are so right.. its getting so intrigued 🙂

      • I tried to watch UBFN at the beginning but it was all about who sleeps most with Nauman’s character the wife or the maid and then the professor guy trying to sleep with the student (Nauman’s sister) eventually. With so much “sex talk” I gave up on it. It was like watching one of the daytime soap operas they show in the US where everyone is trying to get someone into bed.
        Has the story moved on from there at all?

        • LOL! that was funny 😀 yea thankfully it has moved, there are still some kinda talks going on but the real plot of story is being revealed.. so its interesting to see that..

          • thanks Rehmat. I tried watching again and it looks like the older sister has started wearing more colorful clothes and is planning on running away with the young fake pir. She’ll probably get found and killed on the spot. Interesting to see that Saba Qamar’s character doesn’t want the sisters to get married….

            • @Annie: watch today’s episode, it was amazing.. seems like v.few episodes are left.. its about to end!

    • @UM: Aah you and @Zarqa and @Rehmat have really tempted me and I’ve even set up my play list, just haven’t had the time to sit and watch all the missed eps, and I hating watching while skipping over eps .. fingers crossed, I will catch up soonish!
      Glad to have you and @Rehmat on board, and am looking forward to some good serious conversations! Get prepared to write and discuss 🙂

      • i havent watched missed episodes of Ullu but just resume watching after Ramadan episodes.. and can get it.. cant gather strength to watch remaining episodes as well 😀 but yes @UM made me excited as well to discuss about this drama 🙂

        • Yay! I’m glad you guys are joining the UBFN bandwagon! It’s gonna be a fun journey lol!
          @Annie: In the beginning, there seemed to be random characters & random storylines but as the plot progresses, you’ll realize that there is a bigger picture. You’ll understand who’s actually the victim & who’s the culprit. Basically, the drama is about money/land & how it dictates the life of people in the haveli. I hope my little rant makes sense!

          • thanks UM and Rehmat! yes at the beginning the whole sexual bits were a complete turn off for me. I’ll catch up once a few more epis have passed so I can watch them together and make some sense out of them.

  10. As usuall enjoyed your review. My take on first episode is that Sania Saeed as Mahjabeen is just perfect choice, a challenging role for Mr.FK , lets see what happens there, his fans wouldn’t be bothered that much about what he delivers in terms of a character as Wali Bakht… Farha did surprisingly well , the most irritating character is Neelam , or should I say the actor is irritating as there is a lot of depth in Neelam,s character which a wrong casting choice have kind of ruined it , I agree so many seasoned and trained theatre actors are not given chances, just look around and you can tell who has real talent and who are just there because of looks only ( even that is questionable) I was not impressed by Usman Peerzadah,s dialogue delivery ( and dialogues too) it felt as if he is trying too hard to sound feudal which he didn’t need to. The haveli scenes and intro was nicely done. But I agree with Annie or Rehmat that there is trend going on these days similar to each other with haveli, feudals , women, regression, suppression etc etc … My main reason to watch this show is Sania Saeed, but aren’t there too many shows of hers in one season and two of them to do with feudals ???!!!! Bad timing…. It’s a slow drama which I don’t mind if done nicely and aesthetically ….. It would be a test to bare the girl who is doing Neelam,s character , does she have an accent or was it only for this drama????

    • @Sheema: Glad to know you’ll be watching this one with the rest of us … Sigh! yes, I think Neelam’s complex character will be a real challenge for Kanza and from the promos doesn’t look like her performance is going to improve any time soon .. lets see…
      Yes, it is bad timing indeed that out of no where we have a glut of Sania Saeed dramas … don’t think it was planned that way, b/c they were all shot at diff times. Aseer Zadi was shot before Rehaii, but it is airing just now .. but oh well!

      Regardless of whether this follows a trend or not, I think this one will generate quite a few serious discussions, so even if the onscreen narrative is not up to mark, I’m sure our conversations will more than make up for it! 🙂

  11. SZ – mad props to your from recognizing the bit from Inheritance of Loss! I heard the line and was just thinking…hmmm that sounds vaguely familiar….clearly my grey cells are rusting.

    I think your review and commentators pretty much sum it up. The first episode sets the scene for unfolding events.But is it just me, or is FK’s character inert or indifferent? Not sure I feel any sympathy for his helplessness – your love of fancy cars sighing you into acceptance of your feudal lifestyle? Or just the easy way out?

    At least Sania’s character isn’t seeming like a doormat and despite the acting chops (or lack thereof) of Kanza’s character – she is the only one questioning her situation and the absurdity of it all.

    • @amusingmuslim: Thanks 🙂

      I actually dont see FK’s character as inert or indifferent at all …. lets just give him some time to settle down and figure out his proper course of action without upsetting too many apple carts in the process… remember he’s just returned from abroad, and we don’t know how long he was away. As he tells Neelam, its not just a simple matter of saying yes or no.. their union was a matter bigger than either them or their families. Lets wait and see how and why Neelam’s father was killed, and what role did Wali’s father play in settling that murder/death matter. It was very clear that Neelam’s family holds Sikander Bakht in very high regard and if his grandson were to refuse to marry Neelam than it would be taken as a personal affront by her family .. so its not just a simple marriage proposal that can be easily accepted or rejected depending on the guy or the girl’s whims.

      Re: Neelam’s protests vs Mahjabeen’s seeming acquiescence, I would say comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. Neelam is protesting because she is like a free bird that has just been caught and is in the process of being caged. Mahjabeen, on the other hand, has been living this life for at least 20 if not more years, judging by Wali’s age when his father went to seek revenge for his brother’s death. I would think that 20+ yrs are more than enough time for all protests to have died a natural death … I’m sure Mahjabeen’s thought about escape/freedom many a times during these years and probably even tried to do so at one point or other .. even now though she’s seemingly docile or submissive or dutiful, various adjectives being used to describe her, her body language is telling a whole different story … she is angry, resigned, frustrated, and all other emotions in between … I am very very intrigued to see how the two women interact when they finally meet and start living together .. I’m sure there will be occasions where Mahjabeen will see herself in Neelam.. the difference being that Neelam will be married to a mature man, whereas she had been married off to a boy … Of course all this is my interpretation … would love to hear what other’s think!

      • @amusingmuslim: I agree with SZ, I don’t think Wali is indifferent or accepting at all, I think he too is a prisoner of his circumstances. His brooding looks, questioning his dada was it necessary to bring another woman into his life, albeit his questioning was subdued, resigned even.

        Wali is the product of a lot of traumas, his father taking the life of another man in front of him, father’s assumed death, mother’s resulting insanity, his marriage to a woman who was much older to his own 10 years. Can we say PTSD?!?!!

        I’m reading him as a manipulated, abused, neglected victim of his family and the Zamindar/samajhi political climate he was born into.

        I don’t think Wali is keeping silent for the Benzes, or the money, or the lifestyle. Quite frankly his pained, brooding expressions seem to paint the picture of a tortured soul, not that of a spoiled rich kid who needs to be pampered with luxuries.

        I’ve read very different reactions to FAK’s initial portrayal. I realize as an ardent fan, I might sound biased, but I think his silence and his steely gazes are very well acted. I didn’t see Ashar, Zaroon, Armaan or Hasan in Wali, and I don’t want or expect to.

        Based on the scenes from the original 12 minute promo, I think Wali will change and react and take control of his situation. That’s not to say it will have the desired effect, I’m sure he’ll encounter many obstacles, namely Dada and perhaps other rival clans.

        Neelam yelled at him for not protesting, but I think he has a deeper, stronger understanding of the situation, and the implications of certain actions. It is not complacency rather he is considering the long term, far-reaching impact of these decisions.

        Quite frankly, we complain that women in our dramas are always expected to sacrifice and stay in bad relationships because of societal expectations, but in this case it’s a man who is being shown as a victim as well. Wali is not choosing between two women, and quite frankly those women are not fighting over him (at least not yet). Both his wives have been forced upon him.

        • @Nur: this perspective of 2 women not fighting for wali but have been force upon him is being understood by few.. and i so enjoyed reading ur this comment.. gives you detail insight understanding of characters from other’s view point 🙂

        • @Nur: Just so you know, am not hating on Wali – yet- ’tis just the first episode. Brooding becomes him methinks. I just predict lots of cigarette smoke and silences.

          Would be awesome if they aired a serial and waited for responses and revised things – sort of like crowd scouring for serials. =)

      • @SZ, It’s hard to tell ages, but Mahjabeen said to Wali, tum bhi to sirf das saal kay thay. If Mahjabeen was 15 or even 20 at the time she would be anywhere from 5-10 years older than him. He has just returned from college so we can put him in his mid to late twenties (about 15 years after his father’s death), that makes Mahjabeen between 30-40 years old. Neelam is most likely between 17-20 years old, since they have been betrothed from childhood. If she is the daughter of the murdered man, then she had to have been alive when Wali was 10, making her at most 8-9 years younger than Wali.

        Actually I meant to ask you SZ, how did you know Neelam was the daughter of Jehangir’s brother? I think she is the daughter of the rival clan that was responsible for Jehangir’s brother’s death, explaining why NQ/dadi was so formal/polite with Sikander Bakht, and in turn he was that way with Neelam’s mother. I think this marriage is just another tender in the peace brokerage that took place between the two feuding Zamindar clans. That’s what I could surmise from the limited info revealed so far, though I admit I could be off base about the relationship between Wali and Neelam’s family.

        • @Nur: I have no idea how they are related at all… I said that I think that Sikander seemed to have played a role in settling the matter of Neelam’s father’s death, therefore if Wali were to simply back off, as Neelam wants him to do, then there would be severe repercussions … From the promos, it seems that Mahjabeen is the one whose family was implicated in Jahangir’s death and she was made Vani in order to compensate Jehangir’s family.

          oh wait, I see, I wrote cousin in the review .. I think I wrote it right after I watched and I thought I heard it mentioned somewhere they were cousins… My initial understanding was that Neelam was the daughter of a more socially appropriate family and was engaged to Wali since she was born, and yes she’s much younger, because she is shown as attending high school in the first episode. What you say makes sense and could be entirely possible. Another possibility is that Neelam is Jahangir’s brother’s daughter, the one who was murdered…. guess we’ll have to wait till Sat to see who’s related to whom how and why!

          • P.S.
            @Nur: I re-watched and the grandfather tells Nrelam’s daadi that we are all from the same family and after her father’s death I am the elder of the family and so its my responsibility to take care of the family… now, not quite sure how exactly they are all related, just know that they are … hopefully things will get clearer in the next ep!

  12. SZ Loved the review and yes- I think I agree with all you say.
    I’d been so looking forward to something totally different from Fawad and this has not disappointed – infact I loved this first ep. I think it had just the right balance of everything, introductions, some past, some progressions- perfect! All credit to the director, script writer, FK, SS, and others.

    Aur Ahson Talish ka shukriya jin ne Fawad ko jhinjhor kar uthaya hai. Allah kare ab utha rahey….

    • @Afia: Yaar, bari der kardi aatey aaytey .. I was so waiting for your take on Numm.. kuch adhoora adhoora sa lag raha tha … LOL @ Ahson Talish ka shukriya, indeed good to see FK in a non suit and briefcase role 😉

    • LOL Afia at Ahson Talish waking up FK 😉 Let’s hope he keeps a good grasp of the story and editing moving forward. I surely don’t recall any of his previous works – I am sure they were for Geo.

  13. Hey great review SZ! Agree with you on almost all points but unlike some here I liked FK’s acting in this epi (and no, I’m not just saying this because I’m extremely partial to him). He succeeded in portraying the two sides of Wali’s personality. One that is a victim and helpless and where you kind of pity him and the side which is the typical feudal chauvinist. Hated Kanza’s acting, she was extremely annoying. Over acting ki intehaon pe thin mohtarma!

  14. Hello everyone! @SZ, as always, loved your review! I am here mostly for some clarification (ahem, what else is new?) – Being relatively new to pak dramas, I don’t have the historical background of all things feudal, so I’m a little lost in the rituals, so I have a few questions.

    In the flashback scene, when Wali is a young boy, who is killed? And who does the killing? This death is the reason that Mahjabeen and Wali are married?

    Can someone briefly explain “vani” to me, particularly in the context of this serial – I am a bit lost.

    Who is Jehangir?

    Okay, I’ll start there. I’m sure I will have more questions later! Thanks in advance for the explanations!

    • Even i dont have any idea about this Vani or feudal thing, it would be great if someone explains it.

      @BSK in flashback scene it’s Wali’s father’s who went on to kill someone from Mahjabeen’s family because they killed his brother..which somehow later resulted in wali mahjabeen marriage i think

    • @BSK: Hey girl! Good to hear from you.. how was summer? Good to know ke you’re also gonna be following this one 🙂 And no worries about asking questions, hum sab hain ne to help each other understand things better … so here goes…

      As at @Huma said, Wali is about 9/10 when his uncle is murdered by a rival tribe/clan/family.

      Re: Vani, as per the unwritten feudal code, there is no bigger blot on the khandani izzat then to let a son/brother’s death go un-avenged and thats what we saw here, Jehangir (played by the director) was rushing off to go avenge his brother’s death, despite his wife begging him not to go. Notice how the grandfather stood by and watched quietly… even though he knew that in all probability his son would not come home alive, but still he let him go – b/c thats what a man is supposed to do.

      From this point on it is easy to surmise that once this revenge cycle is put into motion, there is no end to it and these blood feuds tend to continue for generations. In order to put an end to this, in some cases families have been known to offer their daughter to the rival camp in exchange for sparing their son’s life. This handing over of the daughter is seen as a way of settling debts, and it is an unsaid understanding that the daughter is now left at the whims of her new “family”. Here the age of the daughter being handed over does not matter. So there are recorded instances where girls as young as 3 or 4 have been “married” off to men in their 40s and 50s. Here, in Numm we see an older daughter being married off to a much younger man, whom she has almost brought up like a child and who is now a grown eligible man. Ostensibly her family saw this as the most pragmatic way of bringing closure to an otherwise never ending cycle of death. Mahjabeen’s wishes and desires hold no value here, all that mattered was that she was a female, nothing more than a mere commodity in as male dominated society.

      I hope this helps explain the Vani system as well as the tension b/w Mahjabeen and Wali …

      Anybody else with other insights in to the feudal set up and or the Vani system?

      • thanks SZ for reminding me about the Vani custom. I had forgotten a lot about it and as soon as I read your explanation, it reminded of a play that Rubina Ashraf had directed (back when dramas used to be 13 epis) called Vanee (up on YT for anyone who wants to watch it) and she had taken her daughter in the main lead. I remember thoroughly enjoying that drama because it addressed quite a few issues and was well written, acted, and directed.
        Numm is putting a different spin on it with older woman, younger guy when generally it is a very young girl and a MUCH older man.

      • It’s so complicated, too bad such things happens in reality. Thanks for explaining though, now i understand the storyline better 🙂

  15. OMG LOL @ FK’s clothes discussion hahahaha and here i thought i was only one who kept noticing his clothes, when i saw the grey shirt in the promo which he wore Humsafar i got seriously confused har drame ek se kapde kese lol

    Khair jo bhi ho he looks good in whatever he wears 🙂

    • glad to see Huma that you enjoyed it 🙂 for some reason the girls are given designer wear or at least stock character clothes from the production house but the guys (have no idea why!) have to wear stuff from their own wardrobe. Poor FK ke paas waisay hi limited amount of t-shirts and dress shirts and jackets hain so we get the same 4-5 shirts and sweaters on repeat.

    • I think Fawad needs to be told that we remember all his clothes 🙂 so better start changing warna SZ bohat naraaz ho gee 😉

      • haha! kaisay baataein – na tow miyan FB per aatay hain na hi Twitter per. Aab Sadaf bhabhi ka phone number dhoondna paday ga.

      • SZ and everybody elese! not that it really matters! maybe they were all shot around the same time or maybe he doesn’t like wasting money on clothes till now!! 🙂

        His entire wardrobe in Behadd was different though! =)

  16. @Annie: I’ll try and check into what other work Ahson Talish has done. Re: Umrao Jan Ada, the film was directed by the fabulous Hasan Tariq and the serial was done by Rana Sheikh.

    • ok then Wiki was totally wrong about crediting him for directing UJA :p Safe to say I haven’t watched any of his works.
      @Rehmat I don’t think I saw Neeli Chatri.

  17. I will be watching for sure! Life has been crazy lately but will try to keep up, FK as a feudal and a pretty interesting opening has me on board! Thanks SZ for a great review, I know I have been MIA lately but will try to participate more as the weeks go by…I miss the whole forum and all the brilliant discussions:(

  18. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen such a dark and brooding male lead, given this is just the first episode, but something about the character lingers. Not necessarily sinister but certainly not charming like the aptly noted “shohar” avatar. Sania Saeed doesn’t cease to amaze me especially now that she’s playing Badi Sarkar in Aseer Zadi where her role is that of the new wife and here she’s essaying the bechari, mazloom pehli biwi. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of her storyline. It seems this is going to be a study in contrasts. Overall I loved the episode, which gave away just enough to bring one back for the next instalment without resorting to spoilers. Can’t wait to read more of your reviews!

    ~R

    • @Bollyqueer: Hey! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment – welcome aboard! Great to know that you’ll be following this one with all of us. I hope you will continue sharing your thoughts and join in our conversations as we see more of Mahjabeen and Wali’s relationship unfolding! Looking forward to seeing the developments in tomorrow’s episode!

  19. great review 🙂 my favourite scene was the same one as yours, the delivery of dialogues was just too good. As for Fawad Khan, thank god we got to see him in a new look, I was sick of his roles in Hum Tv dramas.There’s still some mystery but overall as the first episode it was really good. looking forward to the upcoming episodes, I hope the pace isn’t slow.

  20. A Fawad Khan drama is like the super bowl. Whether you like the teams playing or not, chances are you will end up watching it. Same goes for a FK drama.

    For me, Numm had a pretty good start. Fawad Khan has stepped out of his comfort zone and is exploring different characters, how can one not enjoy that. I don’t understand the people who want to see him do the same roles day in and day out yet claim to be his biggest fans.

    Anyways this new girl, wow she cannot act to save her life! And does she have a lisp? Well I mean whatever it is she is not convincing at all, in what seems to be a quite challenging role.

    I would like to know what exactly happened to Farah Shah and some light on FK’s and SS’s relationship.

    I am sure in the forthcoming episodes of this drama they will show possible solutions to all these feudal beliefs where ladies are treated like crap, but for us to expect to see that from the first episode is asking for a bit much.
    Looking forward to the second ep!

  21. I read all the comments & discussions on all characters & feudal system…. I wnt to bring up another point of discussion ….. every one is going gaga over Mahjabeen being 10 years older then Wali, what about where men are always older then women in marriages….. !0, 15 & 20 years older…… Have we ever thought of what goes in women’s mind & heart for such always miss match marriages….. What a big deal of Mhjabeen being older here.

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