Can we just begin with a standing ovation for Uzma Gilani?
The lady is absolutely amazing! How fabulous is she as Maa ji?! That opening sequence, even if it did run over by a few seconds, Uzma’s body language and her expressive face that expressed a gamut of expressions – from satisfaction and superiority, to surprise and confusion, to betrayal and hurt, to loss and helplessness, to a visible straightening of her shoulders, willing herself to stand up and calling on her last bit of strength from an almost depleted reservoir of emotions, as her daughter walked out the door – was like watching a master class in acting. Yes, I can totally understand why that scene was allowed to go on for that long. On their parts, Aabis and Ilyas Kashmiri did a great job of framing the opening sequence through the grillwork on the staircase.Before we came to Uzma ji’s moment, however, we had Payman coming out of her room, responding to Shams’ call. The flat voice, deadpan eyes, rigid back, fleeting hesitation and then sidestepping her mother, walking past her, towards her brother, and finally opening the door to walk out of her mother’s house and perhaps her life.. But walking out is never easy. Specially on your own mother. Payman’s silent look back gave voice to all that had remained unsaid for so long. It was in that moment that Sanam Saeed came of age as an actor. A huge round of applause for this young lady who continues to work on her craft and is going from strength to strength.
So good were these two ladies in that opening sequence that it was easy to forgot that Junaid Khan was in the scene as well. Shams. The brother who had walked out so many years ago and had now returned to rescue his sister. Shams is the catalyst who helps widen the scope of the story, leading to Payman meeting Roomi and Imroz.
But before getting to their takraa, I have to express my disappointment at Shams’ flatlined character. In a story that delves deep into human emotions I would’ve loved to have seen some kind of introspection on Shams’ part, possibly some feelings of guilt on having left his sister behind, perhaps a couple of awkward scenes between the siblings, a conversation about the new guest between the off-and-on sparring spouses? Instead all we got was an all- is-hunky-dory scenario between the once estranged siblings. Going by what we saw in this episode and in the precap for the next one, it is almost as if Payman has exchanged a crazy parent for a weird bhai n bhabhi.
And on the bhabhi, why is Sara feeling guilty? Wasn’t she the one who felt for Payman in the first place? As Imroz rightly points out, she was quite gung ho for her husband to make peace with his past, and was willing enough for the siblings to reunite, but is now stepping back. Guess her enthusiasm didn’t include her husband bringing his sister home. Now she’s feeling sorry for Maa ji? For once I found Imroz’s diagnosis relevant, although I continue to think that as a therapist he is a little too quick with his on the spot analysis and quick fix advice. I am finding that while the leads are well etched out, the others seem to exist solely for the purpose of propelling the story forward. Add to Cybil’s inexperience her unexciting character and I am left unmoved by not just Sara’s, but also Shams’ concerns and dilemmas.
Now that Payman has moved into her brother’s house, the spotlight has shifted from her troubles with Maa ji to her burgeoning relationships with Roomi and Imroz. Roomi enters her life as her painting instructor/life coach, rangon ki khushboo…. samjhna sab se zyada zaroori hai kyonke agar yeh samajh aa gaya tau tumhara kaam khud hi mehakney lage ga. I don’t know how Payman put up with his nonstop bak bak but I seriously wanted to muzzle Roomi – uff! How much does this man speak?! Koi full stop comma lagaye baghair! His lagataar bak bak and Saaroo-ing reminded me of all the reasons why I had hated Khizar way back when. Not that we saw it, but I guess somewhere along the line Roomi did pause to take a breath, hence the precap sees him declaring his interest in Payman, stirring up a rivalry with his bff Imroz.
While I failed to sense any spark whatsoever between Roomi and Payman, there was crackling chemistry between Payman and Imroz. Now that he has left his burgundy suit behind, I have to say Dr. Imroz has cleaned up pretty nicely. Ab if only he would keep his eyes on the road when driving, stop listening to old phone messages, not look at Payman as if he were continually analyzing her, and be less friendly with his bak bak bff, then I would say we are in business. His lines about emptiness in not only his house but also his life led up nicely to the first takra between the two. Ab lets see where the three go from hereon forward. I sincerely hope this promising story does not devolve into yet another trite love triangle. Mohib Mirza definitely left an impression in this episode, no mean task when you have the two leading ladies at the top of their game in a female oriented story.
So far so good. I am enjoying Mustafa Afridi’s script and his characterization of Payman and Maa ji in particular has been really impressive. The volume of background score was thankfully lowered and I liked the apt OST placement in the Payman-Imroz scene. Aabis Raza is showing tons of improvement since his ill-fated Kadoorat and Main Deewani. While I wished that some of Roomi’s bak bak had been judiciously trimmed, the Angelina Jolie reference was beyond lame, other scenes – the opening, Mohib and Sanam in the car, their ji ji intro, although it would’ve been nice if we could’ve seen them together in one frame rather than the cut up POV shots, and the one with Uzma and Mazhar Ali – were very well done.
I began with Uzma so it seems apt that I end with her. Loved her scene with Mazhar Ali! Am in total awe! You hate her but cant help feeling for her. Also enjoyed the way Haider is gradually opening up and showing more depth. He is not as placid as he had seemed in the opening episodes. So yeah, so far no firaaq between me and the serial!
What did you all think of this episode? Still on board?
Written by SZ~