Gar Maan Reh Jaye, written by Mona Haseeb, directed by Mohsin Talat and produced by Rabiya Kazi, opened its account on Monday, on Express Entertainment. The pretty engaging first episode introduced us to a widowed, lower middle class salesman Ameen Ahmed and his three daughters, Nissa, Asma and Dania. While the three daughters are happily whiling away time, playing little games of one-upmanship and lagao-ing each others’ shikayats to abba, Ameen sahab is stressed out by the burden of being a single parent and the sole bread winner of the family. That not one of his daughters is mature enough to deal with the harsh realities of life weighs heavily on him. He is particularly worried about his oldest, Nissa, because she is engaged to be married to Ahsan, a mama’s boy if ever there was one – and what a mama he has!
Khurshida Begum, aka Ahsan’s amma, ab what to tell you about her… this burqa sanbhalti, paan chabati khatoon you have to see! Bas kuch alag hi sample hain! Whether she is danto-ing her students, or getting riled up when her son dares to question her, or her uninhibited demand that Nissa bring a thandi hawa wali machine in her jahez, or the speed with she marches off to Ameen sahab’s house to break off the mangni, in ke sab mood niraley hain aur dekhney laiq hain. Though she has thrown us curve balls in the past, be it her avatar as Bibi Janom, or Shamshad Bibi, or her fabulous Appo ji, the very sophisticated Hina Bayat’s completely uncouth Khurshida is in an altogether different league. Bas wah!
While Khurshida Begum was undoubtedly the star of the first episode, I appreciated Bilal Qureshi’s very different look as Ahsan and was intrigued by Noor Hassan’s Farrukh, a corrupt police officer. I look forward to seeing where and how Farrukh fits into the larger narrative. Among the other actors Kiran Haq is improving with every character; this is the first time I’ve seen Sanam Chaudhry and Manal Khan and they were okay. I wish that our younger actresses could take a leaf or two out of their seniors’ book and work on their characters’ styling etc. Nissa’s curls remained perfect regardless of the time of day, and it was not just her, Asma’s backcombing skills were equally impressive and Dania’s hair and uniform looked as impeccable late in the afternoon as it must’ve looked in the early morning. All these issues pale though when compared to Nadeem sahab’s disappointing take on Ameen. The long drawn out melodramatic scene, his shikwa shikayats with his dead wife, looked like it belonged in a 70’s Lollywood film. Ameen’s language seemed more in keeping with that of a successful, highly educated businessman rather than a lower middle-class salesman. Actually most of his scenes reminded of Qudrat, Zulfiqar and Ameen could’ve been twins given the similarity in their body language and dialogue delivery.
Apart from that one long drawn out scene, the narrative was paced well and the scenes flowed smoothly. I had loved Mona’s Nanhi so her name, along with Hina’s, ensured that I would be tuning in to the first episode. I haven’t seen director Mohsin Talat’s work before so wasn’t sure what to expect, but I enjoyed his visualization of Mona’s promising script. I liked that the makers opted for a different location (Hyderabad ?), enjoyed the very creative opening and Dania’s introduction was done very well. DOP Luqman Khan has done a fabulous job, making full use of the picturesque setting. The scene where Nissa comes to meet Ahsan was beautifully framed, lit and shot. Whilst all this was great much of the overall impact was diluted by the loud background score. Hopefully there will come a day when the our drama makers will use the OST sparingly, allowing for the visuals to speak for themselves.
So yes, bar a few issues here and there all in all I enjoyed this one and from the precap it seems like we are in for an action-packed second episode.
Did any of you watch this one? What did you guys think?
Written by SZ~
Gar Maan Reh Jaaye ~ Episode 1