Like a lazily meandering river this second episode of Sadqay Tumhare continued its laid back style of story telling; the writer and director allowing the characters and their story its sweet time to develop into something concrete and more meaningful.
Picking up from where we left off last week, Shanu and Khalil both made their respective ways to Tooti Chak, she and her family, sans the iklota bhuka bhai, in a dhaka start Volkswagen and he and his mother via bus and tanga. While they are yet to cross paths or lay eyes on each other, their extended family members played their part in ensuring at least an aadhi mulaqat if not a poori one, missing no opportunity to remind Shanu and Khalil of their bachpan ki mangni and rishta.
Even as the rest of the family appears to be approving of, to say nothing of being fixated on, Shanu and Khalil’s rishta, the parents of the bride-to-be seem noticeably reticent in joining in the general air of merriment. Rasho, Shanu’s mother, in particular has more than a few qualms about this match, but somehow I think her disapproval of Khalil has less to do with his badtameezi and not salaam-ing and more to do with the long-standing familial tensions hinted at in the first episode.
Samiya Mumtaz meanwhile has played her part brilliantly; the fleeting half smile/slight pursing of her lips beautifully juxtaposed against her otherwise stiff posture and stern countenance, the visible effort Rasho puts in to appear happy and the palpable sense of deliberately relaxing herself so as to not stick out like a sore thumb at this otherwise happy event. It is at times like these when you really feel for fabulous artists who are being wasted in one bakwas drama after another.Looking forward to seeing more of her track unfold in the upcoming episodes.
Where Rasho appears stern and unyielding Shanu is soft and compliant. Though she lives in a world of her own, where days are filled with bright colors and nights inhabited by soft romantic dreams, Shanu is also Rasho’s daughter. Given how she’s written, Shanu could easily have been turned into a ditz, but it is to the director’s credit and the conviction with which Mahira plays her that this young girl comes across as a very sensitive person, a daughter fully attuned to the various nuances of her mother’s moods – the way she immediately stood up and took responsibility for Khelu’s roti ka rona was very nicely and subtly done. Mahira Khan is effervescent as Shanu – absolutely loving her here. Don’t quite know how she does it, but somehow even the plain yellow outfit looked like designer wear on her, making her stand apart from the rest of similarly clad khawateen.
While our heroine is husn-o nazakat and adab-o lihaaz personified, hamarey Khelu sahab is handsome no doubt, but unlike his mangetar he is not one to keep up appearances or temper his akkhar mizaaji – bara gosht nahin pasand tau nahin pasand. Like a spoilt, ziddi child he refuses to greet his elders, sit with others, and insists on being fed before anybody else and that too food of his own choice. And then but of course, Shanu aayi hai tau makai ki roti Shanu hi pakayegi! Kitna maa ne samjhaya tha aaatey huey, sab sabaq bhool gaye hamarey hero sahab. Its a good thing Adnan Malik plays Khalil with a lot of panache otherwise I too would be standing alongside Rasho saying no to this rishta. Charming though he is, Adnan is very raw and the rough edges were quite visible today, particularly in the scenes where Khelu was greeted by all the rishtedar aunties and later when complaining to an aapa about bhook lugi hai .
On this issue of rough edges, while I am enjoying the nostalgic charm (loved the gaon ka deejay!) and the old-world feel (although it is supposed to be the late ’70s/early ’80s and not the ’40s or ’50s), I do wish the pace of the narrative would pick up a bit and the scenes be more tightly edited. The opening scenes, Dr. Maqsood and Khelu arriving one after the other went on for about ten minutes, then we had Shanu and her family and their car troubles, all this aana jaana seemed to go on forever. Yes, I loved the shots of incoming trains, harey khet, kaccha rastas, tangas and tube-wells, the detailing of the interiors and exteriors, the jhandis and the lights, but did we need to be walked through every step and every moment? The khandaani meet and greet at the haveli, again very likeable and sweet, went on forever. Same goes for the dholki and songs. Much like Amin khalu’s broken down car, the pacing here too seemed to be dhaka start at best.
While my complaints about editing remain as yet unanswered, I have to thank whoever is responsible for lowering the volume of the background score, and I enjoyed the ladies’ signing being used in lieu of the jarring added on music. Last week I had commended the innovative filmy look of the poster, and this week we got yet another filmy touch – lip syncing. While I enjoyed this new addition, I wish the sound people had played around a bit with the end part, perhaps having the singer break off midway rather than a mechanical muting of the sound, making it sound unnatural.
Two weeks in I’m charmed but waiting to be sold enough to say haan main sadqay tumhare!
Written by SZ~