There are serials you watch because they intrigue you and keep you hooked; they have that indefinable something that keeps you from switching channels or walking away, something that makes you think about them throughout the week. On the other hand there are those that are no more than a mishmash of everything you’ve seen before and the story belongs to the been-there-done-that category, so much so that ten fifteen minutes in and you walk away knowing you’re never coming back to that one again. Falling in between these two extremes are the majority of dramas airing these days – nothing wow worthy, nothing memorable, nothing you lose sleep over, nothing you think about for even a minutes after it ends… pure time pass and that too a mindless one.
Written by Batool Bhojani and directed by Barkat Sidiki, the new drama serial Qudrat is interesting because while its not wow worthy, its not same-old-same-old either. As a concept it promises much, differentiating between those who are god-gifted and have the ability to help others get through difficult times vis-à-vis individuals who are out to scam people by playing their weaknesses against them. The problem, however, is what must’ve sounded good on paper does not transition well on to the screen and after two episodes what we have is a gobbledygook of way too many tracks, a plethora of caricatures, sermons in lieu of dialogues, and quite a few really OTT performances.
After a long-winded preface the story opened with an introduction to Zulfiqar, an astrologer, or rather a seer, his wife, who also seems to be blessed with an extra sensory ability to perceive change, and their children. Zulfiqar is very conscious about his gifts and tries to use them sparingly to help people. While his family is onboard with his abilities, Sukaina, his son Momin’s love interest, questions the family’s faith in this matter. Now if the story had just revolved around Mr. & Mrs. Zulfiqar, their children and their partners, and their trials and tribulations, burdened as they are with their ability to portend future events, it would have made for a great watch.
Unfortunately this track is not deemed interesting enough on its own merit so we have more stuff thrown in – a quasi-retired qawwali singer and his messed up family dynamics. And just when you thought you had enough on your plate with these two families, we also get a neighboring family’s nand bhabhi saga thrown in for good measure. But wait… this is not all …. we also have a bad (read really bad) pir who routinely indulges in black magic, voodoo dolls and all. And, no not done yet…. pretty much every character here is involved in some way shape or form with future events, lucky numbers, qismat ka haal, aap ka din kaisey guzray ga, nahoosat, etc., leading to quite a few long talking scenes and some really loud screeching and screaming.
So far, as we waded through the innumerable characters and their significant others, two deaths, a constant reiteration of how manhoos Zehra was, and really loud background score, the only moments that stood out were the Hina Bayat and Nadeem moments – there is a special sense of calm about them, a particular thehrao about this pair as their eyes look out to beyond what we can see. Apart from their scenes, everything else was a washout. I had looked forward to seeing Talat Hussain sahab, but his character is in severe need of cough medicine in order to be remotely effective. Ahsan Khan is in so many serial these days that it is well nigh impossible to keep track of what character he’s playing where. Sajal Ali also needs to cut down on the number of serials she is doing and focus more on her acting rather than her pal pal har pal changing hairstyles and makeup. Moomal Shaikh is another one who is well on her way to turning into the female Ahsan Khan, har serial main maujood.
At this point, despite the fact that I am mildly curious about Hina -Nadeem sahab’s track, I’m not sure if I can sit through Sukaina and Momin’s lackluster romance and long debates, Zehra and her step family and their gharelu chik chik, the parosi nand and her Romeo, and pir sahab’s track… so dekhtey hain …
What about you all? Did anybody else watch this one? What did you all think?
Written by SZ~