Laa ~ Episode 3 Review

laa 1

Laa ~nafi. Laa ~ negation. Laa ~ looking beyond that which is apparent.

Laa ~ Sarmad Sehbai’s very well-written and well-knitted story of a man looking to find himself after being stripped off the identity that came with being Daniyal Malik s/o Tareen Malik. Sans the Malik family name who was Daniyal? A man who did not even know if his present name was the one given to him by his birth parents, a man who did not know when, where and to whom he was born, a man with no past and an uncertain future – where did such a man belong?

Daniyal talked big about valuing people not for their caste or creed but for who they were on the inside, but without his hasab o nasab to give him his sense of self, this man felt totally adrift, completely lost – everything he had ever held dear was now Laa.  Angry/confused/pained/ lost as he might feel at this moment, it is with this negation that he has set foot on the path towards affirmation. His trip to Nawab Shah to meet Naimat Khan raised more questions than it answered: Where was his mother? Who was his father, and what did he do to earn Naimat’s Khan’s loyalty? Why did Daniyal have to be hidden away in his childhood? Who was Tayi Ma, and why had she wanted him dead? So many questions, and for a man as eager for answers as Daniyal, this promises to be one heck of an arduous journey.

While most of the episode focused on Daniyal and his disturbed state of mind we also got to see Naina and her family make it back to Karachi. Though he had rebuffed her, it was not quite as easy for Naina to forget Daniyal. Zainab, beautifully played by the ever so fabulous Simi Raheal, is not a fool and the straight shooter that she is, she asks her daughter to straighten up her act and get on with life.  Oh how I wish Zainab ji had stayed back in Lahore. The Tareen’s didn’t know it but they desperately needed her patented brand of no-nonsense advice – ASAP!

Granted Daniyal is the apple of his mother’s eye, but honestly the lady needed to get a grip! What was going on with the full on filmy sighs and Aunty’s aansooslarzti hui awaz, and I-am-going-to-wait-in-the-lounge-to-give-my-son-home-cooked-khana-no-matter-what-time-of -the-night-he-comes-home? Seriously?! The more I watch these dramas the more I am convinced ke I must be the worst mother ever. As far as can be from duniya ki khoobsurat tareen maa, I am more likely to leave this sticky note: Beta, love you tons but neend tau aakhir neend hai, aur waisey bhi microwave kis marz ki dawa hai!

But seriously all kidding aside, in my opinion all that over acting from Mikaal and Qavi sahab and Saiqa Khayyam was unwarranted, and left me unmoved. What I don’t get is when the story is so beautifully written why the need to over tell it? Yes, what Daniyal heard was shocking and it was certain to have an effect, but this much overacting, and tears and the sad music and the parents behaving like their favorite pet had died … I don’t know about you guys, but I was really turned off.

And if dealing with this ghamon ka pahar was not enough, we also had to deal with bloopers galore. Shots of Daniyal brooding were repeated from last week. We had already seen the stunning shot of him sitting on the bench and here we saw him again, same bench, same shot, same clothes, the only difference being that he received the phone call from Naimat Khan. I guess its best not to ask how he got a hold of Daniyal’s phone number, so chalein us ko chor detey hain. But even when I let that go, I still don’t get why his parents couldn’t call to check on Daniyal, cell phone ghar bhool gaya tha?  Forgetting things reminds me of his backpack that went missing after he got off the train, didn’t make an appearance in Nawab Shah, but somehow made its way back with Daniyal when returned home. I was also confused about the timeline earlier in the episode. Did Daniyal leave  Lahore before Naina? If so, then where were they when all this conversations between Daniyal and his parents were going on, and how did Daniyal find enough time to squeeze in one more quick trip, another recycled shot, to Hiran Minar?

Underwhelmed though I was, I have to say that I am enjoying the outdoor scenes. Loved the train station scenes and appreciated how seamlessly and naturally Sabreen’s intro was woven into the narrative. I also liked the rural, run down look of Naimat Khan’s dera and was happy to see how creatively  Baray Sahab’s haveli had been transformed into Tayi Ma’s Nawab Shah residence. The haveli scene, peasant women busy with everyday chores, was nicely done, though we had seen this one in flashbacks as well. Rabia Naureen is in a very different avatar, and I am eager to see where and how she, Sabreen Hisbani fit into the larger narrative – Daniyal’s quest to find himself.

After three episodes, I am yet to be impressed by Sadia Khan. She was passably good in that one scene where she agonized over the taveez.  I guess over time I will just learn to accept her as Naina, but accepting her wardrobe – nope, that ain’t happening. Mikaal disappointed me with his overacting, and I am still puzzled as to why the director, Farooq Rind, chose to go the filmy route with Daniyal’s track. I enjoyed watching Rehan Sheikh as Naimat Khan and Simi Raheal is still the actor whose scenes I wait for. Above and beyond all I am watching Laa primarily for Sehbai sahab. His original script, with its particular blend of intrigue, suspense, romance, social issues and the intriguing subtext, has me hooked, booked and cooked. So yeah, despite all my complaints I am waiting to see what comes next.

What about you guys? Kaisi lagi yeh qist? Looking forward to your take on this episode!

Written by SZ~

19 replies

  1. @SZ spot on review!
    Just caught the episode chalte phirte.. Need to watch it properly but wth with the OTT-ness and the filmy route! I was so looking fwd to it but they killed it! Sighhh!!! I was thinking abt HB and how different it wouldve been if she was Danyals mum.. The perfect mummy ji material.. Its not the same thing but i had MeJ and HB as the aching mother in my head.. Yes go ahead call me crazy! Lol
    BS dark haveli looked so lively and colourful for a change.. No? Amazing how the same location can look so different.. Also loved the train station..
    I found editing to be all over the place and the bg score ugh, and the overall patchiness, which is killing this story… And thats such a shame!… Somebody pls get grips with it!
    I have a whole lot of munkinats in my head but ill be back for those later aram se..


      • re my mumkinat: Ok this is reaaallly far fetched.. but here u go..
        im not quite sure how it works, so correct me if im wrong.. but ive seen quite a few families who r custodians of tombs etc esp in lower punjab and sindh who happen to be syeds (sometimes also titled shah)…We kinda know Danyal is somehow related to the dai maa and the some-peer-o-murshid’s-aklota-waris.. now what if this family is syed.. and Danyal is also a syed.. But by the time he finds this out hes already over all the hasab nasab… this could be another test from nature thrown his way.. and this way he would complete a full circle of being somebody, to nobody, to somebody he would have desired to be but couldnt be (be it for naina or her family).. so hasab nasab or no hasab nasab we would see the acceptance/role/significance of laa in every scenario..
        im not sure if im making any sense lol..


  2. Script ki toh aisee ki taisee de rahain hain- baqi kasr cast nikal rahi hai (some too old for their roles, some can’t act)….the best part of this ep was the introduction of Sabrin….breat of fresh air I’d say.


  3. Ufff the torturous bgscore… Those melodramatic scenes were pain to watch..but I am really glad that next week focus will be on Nawabshah and fresh faces… Sick and tired of roote hue loug ..

    Sabreen’s entry was really cool.. The train station was nicely shot.. Even the Haveli looked so bhari bhari.. V.nice effort done… The scenes with Naimat Khan were bearable too.. Starting episodes of any drama always need proper attention to make audience glued… So far the editing is so worst that the real charm of writing is almost lost.. But never the less.. Will keep watching as its still much better than whole other lot.. 🙂


  4. SZ,u are so right about the mother,she really needs to get a grip!! she was freaking out as if he was a 2 year old !
    this epi was very sust and naimat khans ambiguous answers didnt answer much as to to who Daniyal is .


  5. Mujhay tou kafi maza aya haan bgscore mujhay pasand nahi aya..koi behter chahay loud yaa filmy bhi hota tou thik tha 🙂 ..nahi mujhay story yaa acting wise bhi kuch filmy yaa over nahi laga…situation k hisab say justified tha..come on yaar ager koi family member gher chorh ker chala jye tension tou ho gi wo friends k sath party per tou ahi gaya tha..phir pk jaisa mulk jahan itni uncertainty hai subah ko aap k father/bro gher say niklein nahi pta hota k aap sham ko dekh pyn gay yaa nahi..itna kuch tou ho raha hai…phir ye reaction person to person bhi vary kerta hai mujhay yaad hai meri mom kabhi nahi soi thin jab tak mere bro gher wapis nahi aa jatay jab k main unhain kehti bhi k aap sou jyn lekin meri aunts bhi hain jo kehti thin k hum late night nahi jag saktay is kaa ye matlab nahi koi ziada achi yaa ziada buri mom hai bus apni apni nature ki baat hai..ab problem kahan hai?

    ..senior actors main saiqa weakest link kahan say nikal ker aa gain itnay arsay baad..pta nahi ….lekin kisi aur ko cast kertay tou bohut ferq perhta I mean character main koi problem nahi naina ki tra ..phir sehbai sahib bohut achay writer hain is main koi shuk nahi lekin naina ki characterization jis tra ki gai hai wo ziada convincing nahi..oper say sadia jaisi average actress nay rahi sahi kaser poori ker di..phir meekal 🙂 ab main kia kahoon kafi logon ki ankhon kaa tara hain lekin emotional acting main hamesha say weak hain idk kisi nay notice kia yaa nahi lekin expressions main koi khaas variation nahi day patay..same old same old…koi character dekh lain oos kaa kuch bhi back ground ho mekaal sahib k acting main koi change nahi nazer ata…aur emotional acting main kitnay fake expreesions detay hain..mujhay hamesha hunsi aa jati hai in k ronay per..lekin comedy in kaa genre hai wahan inhain koi beat nahi ker sakta..sadly ye comedy drama nahi hai is liay ye OTTness actor ki waja say bhi hai

    main sirf ye kehna chahti hoon is main writer / director / casting director aur end main actors sab kaa hath hai….her cheez k liay farooq ko responsible thehrana thik nahi hum sub jantay hain acha yaa bura koi bhi project team work kaa nateeja hai…kher mujhay her episode k sath behter hota mehsoos ho raha hai..ager ab main first pi yaad karoon wo teeno episodes main weakest thi…pace bohut hi achi hai aur sabreen aur next epi main mazeed characters k anay say interest level kafi berh jye gaa..tou dekhtay hain 🙂


  6. Ufffff. As much as i really want to like this drama, it is REALLY painful to watch. Everyone’s acting is either painfully bad or completely OTT. That whole scene with daniyal’s mom being all “pata nahi meray bachay ne khana khaya hai ke nahi. Woh toh bahar ka khana nahi khata” would have been totally plausible had he been shown to be a momma’s boy but you’re telling me he doesn’t eat out with those friends of his jin ke saath woh hamesha hota hai?? Puh-leaze. I’m sure the theme n plot of this play r nice but the execution is beyond poor


    • P.s. watch the telefilm aghosh on hum tv. Super disturbing story but some harsh realities. U’ll like it me thinks


      • @Atika: thanks for the heads up .. I did find it and have it up on my yt channel for those who might wanna check it out .. I watched bits as I was uploading, but will sit and watch it araam se later …If you come across other interesting stuff please do keep me posted 🙂


    • @atika: Hey! Yaar, I totally hear you 😦 I had expressed this fear in my first ep review and I’m really saddened to see how quickly mediocre direction and bad acting has made a first rate story go down the drain …. I was unwell so couldnt review the past two eps, but I did watch them and all I can say is ugh… totally unimpressed. Farooq Rind had done a great job with Sanjha but here it is like watching a brand new director at work … more on this in Sat’s review ..


    • @Sarah Hey! Sorry! For some odd reason your comments were getting stuck in spam. You should be good to go now 🙂
      I wasn’t well this week so was unable to post the latest review, but please do feel free to share your thoughts. Will look forward to hearing more from you 🙂


      • Hi SZ was worried about you, hope you are ok. I said. To my self before go to sleep one more time let me see if SZ write review .


  7. im still definitely underwhelmed by the drama. the acting is mediocre, definitely some major overacting going on. i think you guys are a little rough on the mom imo. i mean her jawaan son whom she raised since an infant finds out hes adopted and just picks up and leaves. id be worried too. and i really didnt appreciate Daniyaal going on and on about his Maa and how thats the only goal of his life now to find his Maa. And saying this to the lady who has been your Maa, whos raised you this far, oh please. Can we say lack of sensitivity?! Oh and as soon as he finds out hes adopted, the phone rings miraculously and its Naimat Khan?? wow what a coincidence. that was so unbelievably dumb. I agree the only scene that i enjoyed thus far was the train scene, and i too am enjoying the location shots. Im not crazy about the choice of tai maa, i mean she was the most annoying mother in Maat, so im not a big fan, but im curious how she will take on this role. I dont know how much more I will watch, but i’ll try the next episode.


    • @Masooma: Hey! Yes underwhelmed is exactly right, and just what I had said back then in this 3rd ep review and after catching up with eps 4-6 I have to say this serial has become even more underwhelming, if that make any sense :/ Im still gonna watch it for the storym but yes, we are on the same page here ..
      Re: D’s mom: I get what you’re saying and even agree with you… but I dont get the need to over play the scene as they did here .. I think her pareshani could’ve been shown sans the rona dhona as well… and yes Daniyal’s reaction was also OTT .. but did you notice his parents had the funerary expression on their face even before they knew what the issue was … he had just said no to a silly girl’s marriage proposal, why were they acting like it was a matter of life and death?
      And yes Rabia Naureen is not doing this role justice, again underplaying wouldve worked better .. I like the character more than the actor … and Rabia N was actually good in Silvatein … another serial that started off strong but fizzled out because it was unnecessarily dragged out 😦


  8. I think you’ve been so generous here. The acting, especially by Naina, is atrocious. Mikaal is struggling to bring in the emotions and facial expressions needed for a role like this. Apart from that, the script is terrible and predictable, making this very “drama-like” and not realistic at all. Daniyal’s mum’s acting is almost pitiful, although Naina’s parents have done extremely well, almost so good that I thought for a second that they had moved away from the script and acted ad lib.
    The story itself is not so great. Although it’s the first I’ve seen of a Pakistani drama that’s trying to tackle ideas about identity, the way they’ve made him react to it is frankly pathetic. Getting all huffy and puffy at an orphanage, falling in love with Naina when (1) I don’t see what’s so amazing about (2) How did he not see this “love” before? (3) What exactly does he love about her that he didn’t find in anyone else? – this is not the behaviour of a “serious” man in search of his identity. And adding the “La” part to that is also weird. What is this “La”, and how is there a supernatural element to this (affecting behaviours, etc)? And why is it being drilled into us with silly phrases like “la hasab” etc., as if we didn’t understand it through the title of the drama itself?

    This drama should just stop here, really. There are other things wrong with it (like the mother of the haveli, wtf is up with that?), but these should be enough for them to think “Well, we tried, but the script needs to be redone, and we need to pick a better heroine.”


    • @Deena: Hi, lovely to to hear from you 🙂 And yes, I agree with all your critiques and questions .. The review above is for the third episode and I just posted the review for episodes 4-6 and would love to hear your take on that one 🙂


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