Kyon ro rahe ho? Kya hua? [Tum ne socha ke main] mar gayi? Fikar nahin karo, itni jaldi jaan chornay wali nahi hoon….
And yes, she is alive! Haider uncle, waqai… aisi bhi kya ghabrahat ke unko saans letey bhi nahin dekha! Tabassum is one tough cookie and I for one am thrilled to see her not give up that easily!
Maa ji, you are the soul, the raison d’être of Firaaq. Without you to hate and love there is no story worth mentioning. Uzma ji, it is you who breathes life into this serial, making it rise above the rest. It is you who makes Mustafa Afridi’s lines take on a life all their own and you who make me want to applaud Aabis for understanding the depth of this character and giving you the space to own Tabassum. Your eyes, facial expressions, body language, all come together to tell a story so compelling in its intensity that it needs no further explanation. I would not be doing you justice if I compared you to other world class actors, because like them you are one of a kind. A standing ovation is too small an appreciation for this ginormous talent of yours, and my words will do you no justice, so let me just say that a couple of hours after I am still awestruck.
Tabassum’s is a character so much larger than life that it would have been very easy for a subdued character like Haider’s to get lost somewhere along the line. It is, however, a testament to Mazhar Ali’s caliber as an actor that he makes it impossible to ignore this gentle man of a few words. For an ostensibly weak character, Haider has an understated dignity, a subtle steel to his spine such that he is is not merely a foil to mercurial Tabassum, but a force to be reckoned with in his own right. The perceptive way he deals with his wife and her moods, his encouragement as Tabassum reaches out to her estranged son, his emotional breakdown when he is finally declared worthy of being a father to his stepchildren, his astute handling of the news of Payman’s nikaah, all are moments where Mazhar Ali has has made mark. He and Uzma Gilani have taken their very well-written roles and turned them into unforgettable characters. Tabassum and Haider will be remembered long after Firaaq becomes a distant memory.
Watching this powerful duo in action, it is very easy to forget that these are not our so-called hero and heroine, that title is reserved for Imroz and Payman, played by Mohib Mirza and Sanam Saeed respectively. It is to their credit that even as the senior stars are breathtakingly brilliant these two are marking their territory as the next generation of superstars. Payman is gradually coming into her own, recognizing and valuing her sense of self. Unlike the Payman of before, this girl now looks her mother in the eye and declares her coming of age. She is a person in her own right and will not be told otherwise. Sanam is fabulous as Payman.
For his part, Imroz made quite an impression in his confrontation with Maa ji. Quiet but firm, romantic but not a chichora, Mohib Mirza is playing his part exceedingly well. I am still not on board with the way Imroz diagnoses and instructs Payman on how to respond to her mother and step-fathers overtures, but theek hai … so far the narrative is so well-knit and the director and his actors are doing such a fabulous job that I find myself overlooking quite a few yawning gaps in the plot.
Speaking of gaps, what a huge gap in the acting abilities of the newbie Cybil and the rest of her co-actors. I’ve said this before and will reiterate, I understand the need for fresh faces, but for a role as potentially important as this one, I really wish MD had cast a wider net. I almost feel sorry for Junaid Khan who has the most scenes with the newcomer. As for Shams, Junaid is showing some real growth here and I like how he and Aabis have managed to keep this angry young man quite a few shades shy of black. Finally Roomi. Can someone tell me what purpose this guy serves, other than being an agony aunt for all and sundry. Filhaal tau main yeh samajhne ki koshish kar rahi hoon ke how does he support himself? I am no art expert but even my untrained eye can see those paintings are definitely not paying the bills… hmmm…. kahan se aa rahe hain yeh paise kaun de raha yeh paise??? Looking forward to seeing what painter bhaijan character has in store for us.
All in all going great so far and no firaaq between me and the serial ~ aap sunayen?
Written by SZ~
P.S. For those of us who are just being introduced to Uzma Gilani I thought you might enjoy getting to know her a bit better through this recent interview. Check it out!