Laa ~ Episode 2 Review

laa 1

All men are created equal, so goes a popular saying. When born a baby has no name no past and no future, it exists only in the present. With a name come trappings of family, lineage, expectations of a future path, and most importantly a sense of self – a right to stake a social claim. Take away the name and all you have is a lost soul. image_65All roads leading up to this moments seem to disappear and the future appears bleak, all that remains is a murky rudderless present. Mere moments, that’s all it took for Daniyal’s world to be turned upside down. Stripped off all that he thought was rightfully his Daniyal was left reeling with shock . Gone was the laid back, happy-go-lucky young man we met earlier, in his stead now stood a bewildered man, with no identity, even his name was perhaps not his own. Where had he come from and where  was he to go from thereon forward? If not Daniyal Malik then who was he?

Gravity set off by levity, profound questions overlaid with a veneer of lighthearted banter make Laa an easy watch. Seamlessly picking up from last week, Daniyal continued his efforts to charm Naina. Though he was effective as the attentive charming guide, I did not quite expect image_16Naina to give in so easily. But just a few smiles, a taveez, nau nau chooriyaan, and some never-drying mehndi, and hamari heroine was ready to stand up to her parents and declare she loved this man. Main ne yeh faisla bohot soch samajh kar kiya hai! Say what?!? Forget about her parents, even the man she was claiming to love was shocked. When had he ever thought ke us ka chota sa mazaq would turn into a zindagi bhar ka tension. How fabulous were everybody’s expressions at Naina’s idiotic declaration! I have to applaud her parents’ sabar, if she were my daughter, and had done such tamasha, Naina would’ve been on the next flight home – cheeti or not!

Khair, since her parents are bigger and better people than LI could ever aspire to be, Naina gets off with a mild daant, by my standards at least. Magar, just because the beti gets off easy does not mean ke shohar ki bhi chutti ho gayi. In one of my favorite scenes of the episode, bechare Razi sahab gets quite an earful from his wife. I have say I agree with pretty much everything Aunty ji says. But obviously after so many years together, Razi sahab knows how to deal with his wife and he promises to take care of matters. Here I have to say ever since their Khuda ke Liye Naeem Tahir and Simi Raheal have been one my all time favorite onscreen couples.

It is this conversation, between his dad and mzNaina’s, that changes Daniyal forever. Forgotten are the silly bets with friends and the dreams of education abroad, all that mattered was to try and make sense of what he had overheard. This was no longer about having the right hasab o nasab, this was way beyond all that – this was about coming to terms with the realization that his entire life had been based on a lie. He never was and never could be Tareen Malik’s son. Who was he?

From here, the story takes on a very different turn and I expect the third episode to be a continuation of this thrill ride. Yes, this was another good installment. I was pleasantly surprised with the narrative pace and the editing too was much better than in the previous one. I particularly enjoyed how smoothly the one rural scene was slipped in to the narrative, and liked the way in which fun and games gradually gave way to the darker side of the story, and enjoyed the ease with which one scene flowed into the other. Each and every character has a distinct personality and the scenes are judiciously divided up between the various characters. Sarmad Sehbai or not, I don’t think I could have sat through the episode if it was just Daniyal and Naina.

While Mikaal is easing into his character – his expressions when image_421Naina dropped her bombshell, and later when he overheard the truth about his background were excellent – his co-star is faltering. To be fair to her, she has a kooky character to begin with but Sadia Khan is unable to bring even a semblance of relatability to Naina. Here the director is equally to blame as well. Even if the scenes were written in a particular way, a few changes here and there would’ve made a world of difference. I cannot fathom any girl talking so casually to her parents, that too with their friends sitting there, about meeting prospective grooms at restaurants or talking to them on the phone. If that was the case, then why come all the way to Lahore, Karachi se ghar baithey phone par baat kar leti. 

These peeves aside, I appreciate the director, Farooq Rind, for opting for so many outdoor shots. But I do wonder why Daniyal loves the Hiran Minar so much- so far he’s been there at least three times! No, but seriously, the hustle and bustle of the bazars, colorful shops, street scenes, all added a much needed breath of fresh air to the tired old living room/bedroom shots we usually see. And yes, talking about interiors, what was up with Daniyal’s red, black and white bedroom?! Are mismatched side lamps the new trend in Pakistan? And finally, how many sofa sets does this house have?
As Zainab put it … ghar bara ajeeb sa hai , namoon[a] kahin k[a]... well said Aunty ji, well said! Simi Raheal’s Zainab is hands down my favorite character so far.

sofacollage1All in all, despite some shortcomings here and there, I enjoyed this latest episode. So far it seems like Sarmad Sehbai has penned yet another winner and I am loving the text and the subtext. The direction remains shaky, but overall I felt this was a technically better episode than last week’s. The DOP Nadeem Kashmiri has done a wonderful job – loved the shot of Mikaal on the bench. From the precap it seems like we are in for quite a happening third episode and I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to it!

Written by SZ~

Laa ~ OST



15 replies

  1. Hahaha your review has seriously all ingredients.. From great LOLs to some thoughts to ponder on 🙂

    I was barely watching the scenes where Naina was going crazy both in love and in acting.. But jahan jahan senior actors were coming onscreen.. Wahan i was enjoying.. Totally agree with @SZ about zainab saying ‘ajeeb ghar he’ hahaha.. Simi Raheel is simply marvellous.. Her body language, expressions are joy to watch.. Watching Naeem Taahir’s Razi made me remind Sitara drama and his onscreen wife… What a great difference.. Writing and co actors se naqsha hie badal jaata he 🙂

    The moment Daniyal heard the conversation.. Drama literally took an interesting turn..MZ was great.. The bgscore added so much to it.. If not Malik even Daniyal.. Then who is he.. This revelation is enough to shatter any person.. I was glad that in second episode itself.. Plot is making its base.. I love how lyrics fit the narration so perfectly.. Hai Ishq ki pehli Manzil LAA.. And daniyal just said no to naina… Story moving to Nawabshah next week is making me so excited to look forward 🙂


  2. @SZ Just like the ep ur review was equally balanced in gravity and levity.. What a fun read!
    Re our heroine: Abb i dont know whether im more annoyed with Naina or sadia.. To be fair to Sadia, Its this character that Im struggling with. I thought acting-wise Sadia was much better this week , but Naina I simply couldnt relate to. Like u highlighted ”’Main ne yeh faisla bohot soch samajh kar kiya hai!’ ..bohot soch samajh ke- aik din mein??!! aur wo bhi sub ke samne faisla…?! Like i pointed out last week, this girl doesnt seem to have come from karachi, nor does she seem have had a brought up in a very traditional, and conservative family. Choorian aur mehndi dekh ke itna khush?? Na choorian kisi kam ki thin na mehndi!.. and to top that 9-99 kab huin pata hi nahin chala.. aur aisi super wet mehndi! waise The only place i could begin to see the real naina, was when when she went up to Danyal to explain why she wants to marry him.. to wash and iron his clothes.. Naina is not just a ziddi brat, but she is actually very childish… thats the only thing i can understand about naina..
    MK’s falak in SeZ was a ziddi khudsarr girl too, but that worked because it fit in with her brought up and it was explainable… So @SZ like u said I think some blame does sit with the director and the writer too.. and not to mention whoever is dealing with her wardrobe!! thats also seriously annoying!

    and coming to wardrobe choices, whats with the umbrella? why did MZ carring that chatri in the hiran minar? Is that some new fashion statement? lol

    re why hiran minar? : Im loving it! I think it has a sense of solitude.. the tower standing on its own, in the middle of nowhere.. although we see ppl and balloons and a life going on around them, that essense is still there no?.. and Yes the bazaars and colours were great but im loving the scenes here.. The DOP has done a fantastic job here!

    MZ was fab and so were his friends.. I quite enjoyed their nok jhonk.. But I tell u what now I know why MZ seems to have lost so much weight.. Iss drama mein kitna bhagaya hai bechare ko!! I did enjoy his sprint to the gates lol.. but on a serious note it was heart-touching.. for someone whose world just collapsed around them in a matter of seconds.. what could he do but to run far away from it with all his might??!! bila soche samjhe.. sochne samjhne ki salhyat shall.. & yes the scene on the bench was fab..

    His denial.. not of the fact that he is not a Malik, but the fact that he denied laa…. the very idea that fascinated him the other day, now seems unacceptable…everything he took forgranted, and was ready to say laa to, mattered the whole world to him all of a sudden… Jabb baat khud parr ai tou its not easy to accept! & Its all easier said than done!!! And on the other hand the fact that he didnt deny the laa but infact it was all snatched away from him.. he didnt have the chance to say no no to his hasab nasab..

    One question. i didnt get the puppet thing.. I was wowed by that in the promo, but in the ep, it was totally out of blue.. any suggessions what that was supposed to be?

    After the 360 turn – The second half of the drama was gripping! Some of the scenes were border-line filmy, and i wasnt convinced with Danyals mums acting.. but nevertheless i was engaged full-time!!!

    Loved Seemi Raheel and when she mentioned the ajeeb ghar.. bass then onwards she is my bff.. I mean honestly whoever got the silver sofa should be dispatched to mars along with that sofa!! I mean honestly kis aqal se liya tha bhai!! It totally reminded me of those low budget sci-fi/ UfO / alien movies where everything is spray painted silver… I couldnt hear anything MZ was saying except why oh why?? and the red alert zone!!! I mean this whole house is red alert in terms of interiors.. from the red couches to red walls to red room with red bedding and red headrest, to mismatched red and white lamps, with MZ’s colour coordinated red shirt.. aur baat yahan pe khtam nahin hui.. even the friends r wearing red and so is amma.. I mean hadd ho gai bhai!!! @SZ ROFL @ ur collage of sofas.. Honestly how many sofas aur maze ki baat, bar the red numbers, they all clash!! i also spotted a blue velet one, a neutral beige one, and another red leather armchair!

    But anyway, Im thoroughly enjoying this one. the pace is really good, I love the mystery and the fact we dont know what to expect.. RS’s jhalaks were incorporated wel.. so we r still intune with the other track..Lots of raving and plenty of ranting.. sofa galore, or wardrobe disater, Im hooked!


  3. Much better episode than last one, not only does Naina’s character not have any tameez, Sadia Khan herself has an annoying voice. Waiting for the upcoming one:)


  4. Thanks for the review! thoroughly enjoyed the second episode. Simi Raheel stole the show with her apt comments and expressions of displeasure. Loved the face she made when her bimbo daughter showed her the bangles and mehndi. She totally did not find that appropriate or cute! In the true desi sense that’s a very bf/gf thing to do.

    Here are my two cents about Naina. Naina has been shown as impulsive, brazen, and possibly obsessive. The family is well off but still conservative so she probably did not interact much with guys her age or guys that were her peers. This explains two things:
    1. Her initial interaction with Daniyal where she orders him to pick up her bag and starts bossing him around. This indicates that she has had a limited interaction with men, probably in the capacity of a “boss” and never as a peer. I’ve seen this a lot with girls from such backgrounds. They are either very mousy and quiet around men or start bossing them around like they would boss around guys they normally interact with (dukaandaars, chupraasees etc). Similarly Naina clearly doesn’t know how to have a normal conversation with him
    2. Her sudden infatuation with daniyal when she realizes he is ACTUALLY a cool person and not just another “boy”. Another trait I’ve observed in girls who’ve had limited interaction with men. They have preconceived notions about men, almost like they are a different species and It takes just a smile or kind words to get them in “love” with them.

    Unfortunately Saadia Khan is best suited as the face of the latest lawn and not playing such an interesting character. Mekaal on the other hand, has come a long was as an actor. The guy used to be pretty expressionless and monotone when he first started acting. Looking forward to seeing his story develop and his journey towards finding the truth of his existence.


  5. Great review SZ!
    No girl in Kar or Lhr or anywhere in Pak acts like our heroine- pronouncing in front of all who and how she wants to meet prospectives, who she wants to marry….this character is just not right.
    So even if MZ falls for her, it’ll still look fake in a way.
    Chalo let’s see….


  6. Still not sold yet. The look of the drama is great, but the rest is leaving something more to be desired. The first 30 mins for me were eh, but the last 10 got me more interested. Naina is really annoying so far. I cant believe shes already in love and that all of Daniyaal’s confessions didnt effect her in the least. MZ seems to be getting better with every new drama im seeing him in, but hes still a little stiff to me. He still comes across as though hes “acting.” Simi Raheal is definitely the stand out thus far. Got a detail bit question for you…did you notice Naina’s green nail polish on her thumb while the rest of her hand was red?! lol


    • @Masooma: LOL! You know I noticed it when I was doing screen shots last week, but then thought maybe it was an extra’s hand they had used for the closeup, but guess what it was there today as well and I was laughing as I was watching it and thinking of you 🙂 Waisey it is in fashion, but I have never seen anybody with their thumbs painted in the diff color ad woh bhi only one, why not both thumbs?

      Batana is ep mein notice kiya ke nahin?


  7. btw, what does 9-9 chooriyan mean? i mean i know theres a song out there, but does it really mean something or just bakwas?


  8. What is the story behind the nau nau chooriyan why did he choose 9? He said there’s a reason… What is the reason?


    • @ Sara, Masooma. – I think he was just talking about the song , however if there is some deeper meaning to it , I am sure it’ll come up again. . lets see


      • Yea I really wish they tell us the meaning I mean it was just a flirty line but it has people wondering so much about it!!!


    • @Sara: Hey! Welcome to our discussions 🙂 Apologies was a crazy week so couldnt get back to you .. but yes, I am with Ash, I think it was just the reference to the song.. hey didnt mention it in this latest ep, so I’m guessing it wasnt that huge a deal.

      Looking forward to hearing more from you on this latest ep 🙂


  9. Great review SZ 🙂 mujhay aap kaa sense of humor bohut pasand hai aur bohut lutf aya review perh ker
    ..mujhay second epi first say bhi zada pasand aye…Honestly speaking sadia kafi behter thin is epi main…baqi jo kuch OTT tha wo tou character hi aisa tha oos k baray main aap likh chukin hain lekin mujhay nahi lagta sadia at least is epi main wo convey yaa portray nahi ker sakin jo oon ko kerna tha
    lekin ye silsila isi tra chlta rahay gaa ..kabhi behter aur kabhi 😦 …

    baqi cast thik hai meekal bohut arsay k baad kisi character main mujhay achay lagay epi main bhi achi acting thi..thank god laila ki annoying mom k baad humein ek sweet lekin caring aur bohut interesting mom dekhnay ko milin yaani zainub (simi raheel ? abhi thora time lagay gaa naam yaad honay main 🙂 …baqi actors aur characters thik thay sivaiy mikaal ki friend k jis ki zuban aur hath ek sath chaltay rehtay hain ..I think bohut ho gaya ab bus karo oos ghareeb ko peetna aur kia strange naam thay oon friends k..cheekoo pinto type ..mujhay kisi kaa naam yaadnahi hoa

    denial ko hiran meenar kiun pasand hain?…..aray bhai kiunk oos ko hiran bohut pasand hain ..first epi main dekh tou lia hum nay 🙂 …ab hiran meenar bhi tou sheikhoo mera matlub hau Jahangir nay apnay mehboob hiran k mernay per oos ki yaad main banwaya tha..ho sakta hai denial miyaan kaa bhi kuch aisa irada ho ..hiran kaa shikaar ker k shikar ki jaga per ek yaadgar banwana chahtay hon isi liay hiran meenar k chaker kaat rahay hain taa k kuch ideas lay sakein..nai ?

    mujhay pace of the story bohut achi lagi hawalay say naina kaa denial k liay itni jaldi fall kerna bhi thik laga hai kiunk hum jantay hain actual story y nahi tou phir kiun ek fazool point per time waste kertay liay khushi hai story quickly agay jaa rahi hai…

    acha ager aap ko naina kaa reaction strange laga ai tou mujhay denial k ooper utni hi hairut hai..betting wali baat thik hai boys akser ye kertay rehtay hain..lekin apnay gher main yaani father k best friendki beti k baat kuch hazum nahi hoi…denial itna tou samajh daar hai k apnay parents k samnay apna image kharab naa kray…nahi hi koi aisi awkward situation jis main os k father kaa apnay friend say relation main koi ferq aye…tou mere khayal say naina ho yaa denial dono hi ka behavior strange aur unbelievable hai..sirf is ko dramatic license k zeriay hi approve kia ja sakta hai ..bhai ab story nay agay jana hai kisi tra

    waisay denial k parents kaa naina k liay maan jana bohut surprising tha ..itni horrible /out spoken bahoo kis ko chahiay…pehla inkaar tou oon ki terf say hona chahiay tha lekin be-charay bohut seedhay hain…naina k parents k lhr anay ki actual reason mujhay pta chal gai hai…jaisa first epi main kaha k kia Karachi main lerhkay nahi yaa ager phone per yaa akelat hi milna tha tou wahin mil laity…actually uncle aunty ko pta tha apni beti ki herkaat liay unhon nay socha k chalo kisi dosray city main jaa ker insult kerwana behter hai bajaiy apnay city k…wahan tou rehna hai naa..tou beti ki aisi nake name k baad mushkil ho jye gaa liay be-charay itni door aye hain

    end main denial k paas wo stuff toy yaa animated figure type cheez kia tha?…promos main dekh ker main smjhi thi ye bhi koi character ho gaa..lekin yahan tou BG main ost tha aur sath wo nazer aya kuch samajh nahi aya kia hai…help plz…


  10. Your comments on the horrible interiors are hilarious! I was wondering who has RED RoSE bed sheets and so much red in their room! Def. not a GUY’s room otherwise I am scared for Mr. Daniyal! next time Mikael should say no to red rose bedsheets.
    I find the story to be VERY interesting and Intrguing so far it ‘s just that the 2 main actors are not very good! MZ ko abhi taak character mein sahi se dhalna nahi aaya. The glycerin induced tears were a put off – after learning that you have no idea who your parents are, there should have been much deeper emotional nuisanced acting there. As someone else it just felt like acting and not really grasping the character. Heck even Aemen in MHMD was slightly better than her husband from another drama. Sadia Khan ki tow baat hi na karo. She was AWFUL in that Geo drama with Imran Abbas. Here at least she can say her lines properly. I do like Naina’s quirky character. Find her kind of funny.
    I do wish the parents were more in their 40s than 60s. The 2 Dads can easily play Grandpas to Naina rather than Dads.
    Despite all the weirdness of the character layouts, I am totally looking forward to the story!


  11. @All: My sincerest apologies, was a crazy week, so couldnt get back to the blog long enough to respond .. but there were some great points raised, and if possible the issues that went unanswered in this episode can be discussed in the comments … and yes, I;m with all of you who questioned the puppet .. I have a theory, but since we didnt see any reference to it in this latest ep, I am even more annoyed with the director/editors …this is most un-artistic artistic serial I have ever seen… there was so much here that could have been narrated more creatively more artistically… yeh to kuch ajeeb si khichri hai .. 😦


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