Dipped in the ink of nostalgia, his beautiful words lovingly committed to paper, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar’s Sadqay Tumhare is an ode to days gone by, to an era when life was simple and worries few. A time when time itself held no meaning. A time when love was the be all and end all. A time when real world concerns paled in comparison to that one benevolent gaze. A time when aashiq and maashuq were indistinguishable. A time when even the semblance of a separation between them was deemed unbearable. A time when it was all about Shanu and Khalil, and Shanu and Khalil were all that mattered – the rest all trivial and irrelevant.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a full-on love story and for that reason alone I was eager to see this one unfold. That it was penned by Khalil sahab and was based on his own life story, made this one that much more special. Add to that Mahira Khan’s return and the introduction of a fresh face, Adnan Malik, and some enticing promos, and there was no question that I was definitely gonna be checking this one out. That said, I have to say I did temper my expectations because of the spate of recent doozies from HUM TV, and so it was with my fingers and toes crossed that I sat down to watch this first episode.
Sadqay Tumhare opened in Bhopalwala with Shanu’s introduction. Shanu is a girl whose world revolves around her absentee mangetar, Khalil. Though nobody from her family has seen the guy in ten years, where do such trivial issues matter to those afflicted by love – for Shanu its all about Khalil. She has her fair share of fears, but so firm is her belief in love that she wills herself to overlook the obvious, that Khalil might not be equally interested is a thought not allowed. As the overburdened and stressed mother of five children, four daughters and a son, Ammi ji has little time to spare for her oldest daughter’s rose colored dreams, and so it is in her best friend Humera that Shanu confides her innermost thoughts. In a beautifully shot dargah sequence Humera brings neighboring girls together to join them in praying for her best friend’s dreams to come true. Rows of girls carrying lanterns through darkened fields, lighting of diyas, praying at the saint’s tomb, tying of the mannat ka dhagah, all made for a stunning visual.
Beautifully interlaced with this Bhopalwala dargah sequence was Khalil’s restlessness in Lahore. He who leads life in the fast lane, filled as it is with cricket matches, studies, and teasing his bookish cousin, Dr. Maqsood. He who had initially laughed off the notion of a bachpan ki mangni and that too to a gaon ki larki, and he who had no problems spurning the affections of the muhalley ki wanna-be heroine, batting eyelashes, come hither smile n all, now finds himself haunted by dreams of a stunning girl, jis ki thori pe til tha. On learning that this mystery girl could be Shanu, forgotten are his objections to the bachpan ki mangetar and we have our hero sahab counting down days to their pehla takra – at Liaquat bhai’s shaadi in Tooti Chak.
As far as first episodes go this was a good start. In terms of story telling, Khalil sahab does well in introducing his main protagonists and etching out their personality traits. Nicely embedded within the romance were hints of estrangements between sisters and some other familial tensions. Listening to Shanu’s parents it is evident that they are none too thrilled with this bachpan ki mangni, whereas Khalil’s parents seem relatively ambivalent about the whole deal. Also woven into the narrative is Dr. Maqsood’s track, it will be interesting to see where he fits into Shanu and Khalil’s love story. Given there are lot more characters waiting to be introduced along with more details yet to be revealed about those we met today,seems like story wise there is plenty more to come.
In terms of actors, welcome back Mahira! Even though I didn’t buy her wig/extensions, her non-gaon ka accent and the pink gloss, I loved her as the hopeless romantic Shanu, and yes, she looked absolutely stunning. Samiya Mumtaz was another actress I was looking forward to here, but there wasn’t much of her today. I look forward to learning more about her character as the serial unfolds. Same goes for Rehan Sheikh, and I do hope he will be better utilized here than he was in the disastrous Laa. Farhan Ali Agha, his patently fake mustache notwithstanding, is another one I am looking out for. Shamil Khan’s character has me intrigued, hopefully he will have a significant part to play here. As for Saniya Shamshad, I am hoping that Humera will have a bit more to do than to smile every two seconds. This serial also marks Adnan Malik’s debut, and I confess that I was not particularly impressed with him in the promos. But that was then. After watching him in the first episode I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. His was a very confident debut as he stood his own and made a definite impression. Looking forward to seeing more of his Khalil in the coming weeks.
All in all this was a good opening episode, director Ehteshamuddin seems to have a good handle on the story. The DOP has been very successful in conveying visually the feel of the story. That said, I would, however, stop short of calling this episode fabulous or brilliant. Though the locations were great, from the verdant rural scenes to the busy, narrow streets of Lahore, the interiors painstakingly detailed, and the styling of characters aptly done- a shout out to Feeha Jamshed for nailing it yet again – for me the loud, constant background score was a huge turnoff.
Similarly, the OST has compelling lyrics, but I did not find the composition reflective of the overall ambiance of that which was being visually narrated.The taans and alaaps were loud and overlong, a softer kaafi would have worked wonders instead. Another issue was the over long scenes. The introductory scene made for a creative entry point but it went on for over six minutes. Similarly the scene between Humera and Shanu, when they talk about Liaquat’s upcoming shaadi, though visually stunning went on for too long, as did the praying at the mazar scene. Here’s to hoping for a tighter edited and easy-on-the-ears, aesthetically pleasing episode next week.
What did you all think of Sadqay Tumhare? Looking forward to reading your thoughts…
Written by SZ~
P.S. Almost forget, but a huge round of applause for the person responsible for the poster .. loved the painted filmi look! Was so reminded of the Lollywood era of the ’70s…