Alvida ~ Episode 1 Review

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This first episode of Alvida reminded me of all the reasons why I used to look forward to Samira Fazal’s dramas. I say used to because aaj kal is TRP ke chakar mein sab ka haal kuch ajeeb hi ho gaya hai and pretty much every writer is being compelled to churn out one doozy after another. Magar khair let’s leave that story for another day. For now, because we are an informed audience and know how quickly dramas can and do change courses, lets start off with a ba jama’at  dua ke this one stays the course and doesn’t end up as yet another useles long drawn out saga.

Alvida opens with an introduction to Haya, a young girl eagerly anticipating the return of her cousin Hadi, a doctor returning home after spending a few years training and working abroad. Our heroine is a complete drama queen who lives in a rose colored fantasy where she imagines herself in love with her much older cousin. As the narrative unfolds we see Haya is not only immature but is also easily swayed by others. Hence even though her adoptive parents love her and pamper her to no end she still manages to find a negative underside to most of what they say. Similarly, just because the maid says so, she’s ready to believe that her father gave her away for some ulterior motive.

As for Hadi, the older cousin in question, he sees Haya merely as a precocious younger sister. Uroosa, his khala’s daughter is the love of his life. While ordinarily there should be no issues in them getting together it seems like there is some as yet untold reason why his parents are hesitant about this pairing. From everybody’s response it looked like there was something about Uroosa herself that appeared na-munasib to all. She looked older than Hadi, infact his age was brought up once, so was their age difference an issue? Or perhaps there had an untoward happening earlier in Uroosa’s life, she referred to zindagi pe bharosa nahin hota, had she lost a fiance or even an ex-husband?

Apart from the two lead characters and their complexities we also met Fareesa, yet another cousin from Hadi’s dad’s side. This girl seemed like quite the chalti purzi type and I can easily see her stirring the pot quite a few times in this story. For now she has the immature Haya’s ear, who loves nothing more than an attentive audience for her OTT  emotional dramas. Hamari heroine is so nadaan that she doesn’t see the covetous gleam in Fareesa’s eyes, nor does she know how she is ridiculed behind her back . Us ko tau sirf shaadi karni hai, dulhan banna hai, or Hadi ki biwi babba hai … nothing more nothing less.

As far as stories go there is nothing new here, nothing that is going to make you sit up and watch ghaur se. Nope, sorry not that kind. But what it looks like is that Alvida is a well-written, entertaining story backed by strong production values and is off to a good start… ab aage kiya hoga woh tau God alone knows best.

Ok, so where I enjoyed Samira’s writing I was seriously put off by Sanam Jung’s overacting. There is no doubt she is a pretty girl but she needs to really work on her acting skills. I had been looking forward to Naveen Waqar’s return and she didn’t disappoint as the quietly dignified Uroosa. What I didn’t buy was her relationship with Hadi. No matter how many long gazes they exchanged or how many times they smiled at each other, there was zip zilch chemistry between Uroosa and Hadi. And as for Hadi, Imran Abbas looks the part but I am yet to buy into his character as a serious, committed doctor/Buddha reincarnate. Sarah Khan also needs to take break from acting in every second serial and work on polishing her acting skills. In fact among all, the two actors who made their presence felt were Lubna Aslam and Mehmood sahab.

Alongside the largely unimpressive acting, the loud nonstop background was another buzzkill. I don’t know why our sound editors feel the need to overlay every scene with music. Today it was almost impossible to hear the dialogues over the music in quite a few places. Please, please could someone at HUM take a look into this issue, Thank you .

This is Shehzad Kashmiri’s third serial, after Dil-e Muztar and Mere Humdum Mere Dost, and though I enjoy the overall look of his serials I have been unable to connect with the stories he’s told so far. Today, while I appreciated the fluency of storytelling, the framing of scenes, etc, I missed the zing, that undefinable x-factor, that special magic that hooks you from the very first scene and makes you wanna root for a particular character or a track. That said this was only the first episode so let’s see how things pan out in the long run. For now I thought this was an average opening episode, with sharp writing in the plus column and average/mediocre acting and loud background music in the minus column.

Aap logon ne dekha? Kaisa laga?

Written by SZ~

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26 replies

  1. SZ .very nice review. I started watching because the writer and Imran Abbas and sanam jung. But she is overacting .no chemistry between uroosa and Imaran .Let’s see what happen.
    And I see another play in which Offat Omar is there. I want to see how that goes .
    Bundle up another round of snow and cold weather.

    • @Ranjan: Hey! Glad to now we’re on the same page with this serial. I havent watched that other serial, but as much as I respect Yasir Nawaz I honestly cant stomach the thought of two beautiful women fighting over one over weight middle aged guy .. think I’ll pass on that one … but I would love to hear what you think of it . do let me know when you watch it ..

      yeah I heard 😦 So fed up of this snow and it seems like no respite in sight 😡

  2. Great review SZ. I have gotten into the habit of watching the first few and last few episodes of every single drama serial nowadays which looks promising (and I skip the middle, dragged out, shot for the advertisers’ benefit episodes).

    Khair so I thoroughly enjoyed this first episode – yes, there was quite a bit of overacting and I am also not too thrilled about the lead pair sharing zero chemistry but… but… BUT this episode had Samira Fazal written all over it. Her characters break all stereotypes we see in other dramas. Uroosa seems to be from a modest background, dupatta-on-head and all… but she is ambitious and as Hadi said, when everyone else was concerned about his meals, Uroosa kept pushing him to chase his dreams. And she herself seems to be a doctor (I am assuming this as she was at the hospital too).

    So Samira ji, if you are reading this, two thumbs up to you for this characterization!

    Oh and about Fareesa, it is easy to see why the production house had not one but several people choosing and then opting out of this role. LOL! The role itself may be a supporting one but in their enthusiasm to push IA and SJ as the USP of this serial those who marketed the drama/made the promos conveniently forgot to show other characters. There wasn’t a single promo of Fareesa though thankfully they showed one with the Mehram guy (Zahid his name is I think). Who would want this step-treatment, esp people like Mawra who are now doing lead roles?

    • @DB: Haina!! As I was writing I was seriously thinking back to the fun we used to have with a Samira F serial and all our fun interactions on KPKP… amd so yes this episode had exactly that same vibe … and also did you notice how fast everything happened .. I was almost taken aback for the first three mins .. because I’ve gotten so used to the thought ke abhi to shuru hua hai ep .. das minute tau sirf closeups main guzar jayenge … but khair .. ab lets hope it doesnt get bogged down and stretched out for ever…

      Re: Fareesa’s role: they also had that other new girl, model Sadaf Kanwal, who also shot for a bit I guess … ab lets see how imp this character is…

      • Oh yes, I thought aik episode main sirf Hadi aur Haya kee interaction ho gee magar twist jaldi agaya. Now I do hope they don’t linger on at this point…

    • Hey SZ, so i am leaving Alvidaa after first episode even if its too early but clearly we can see from the promos that after Haadi and Uroosa (who don’t look good together at all-agree) get married, Hayaa will interfere in their lives and there is nothing surprising here. I really want to see Imran Abbas in challenging roles like in Mera Naseeb and Vasl but unfortunately, most of the roles he has performed are lover boy roles which I am sick and tired of. His expressions are not controlled and needs to work on bringing more maturity in his performances.

  3. I am confused. Is Haya adopted by her uncle? This is weird livimg in the same house and all I think he definitely sees more sisterly affection for her
    She also called him Taya abu right?
    And then navin is his cousin on moms side? And faressa another cousin, God I was so confused lol
    But was fairly interesting , will watch and hopefully stays good. Yes SJ was a little over lol but yeah characters aren’t black and white thank God it seems. Anyways after blank faces Romaisa actually was glad SJ is the opposite here and looks like there’s no mazloom ladies here… Yippee!

    • @SK: Yes, as the maid said Haya was adopted by her taya when her mother died (I am assuming during childbirth). Her father was already raising two other daughters so probably gave her to his older brother, who only had one son …

      Navin I am a bit confused abt, whether she’s Haya’s older sister or not …

      And Fareesa is his cousin from his dads side because she called him mamu .. maybe @Samira Fazal, if you’re reading you can help us out with the family chart!

      • I think Haya’s father, Hadi’s father, and Uroosa’s father are brothers because Hadi said: Abba woh aap kay bhai kee beti hai

        Fareesa’s mother is the sister of these three brothers which is why Fareesa says Mamu and Mami

        Haya’s elder sister is married to Fareesa’s brother 🙂

        Mujhay tou yehi samajh aya!

        • @DB: Watercooler aap ka hua!!! Ofcourse if @Samira F has anything diff to say abt this family chart then Im sorry but you’ll have to return the watercooler 😉

        • Round of applasue for DB!

          The sec we (my entire family) sw SJ’s overly chirpy character, I knew ke abhi jo rona shru hua toh akhri ep mein hi khatm ho ga….let’s see. Thought my hubby thinks she’ll turn evil and make life hell for Uroosa/Hadi.

          Thanks for the review SZ…watching and waiting…

  4. Thats why love to read your reviews.. Even your first episode reviews are interesting… Wont be explain to you why but they are 🙂

    Totally agree with you on writing part.. Its indeed crisp and very good.. But maaan the face was super fast and it made me reminded the Firaaq.. Oh bouy i so dont like myself for saying this LOL.. But no no hopefully it wont go that route 😉

    No surprises with SJ’s acting.. But liked NW.. I am excited for how fareesa and dont know what character Zahid is playing.. But these characters i am looking forward to… Though Sara khan have kinda spoiled half of that excitement.. Uff.. Kya bolon me aur inke baare me..

    What i thought the reason for hadi’s parents going against uroosa that might be uroosa is older than hadi but they never brought up this thing.. So its interesting to see what the actual reason could bhi..n yes such a poor chemistry betwen IA and NW

  5. An interesting start! But the last few months have seen many plays that started interestingly and then just went downhill (hello Firaaq!), so I am reserving judgement for now.

    Thank you for your insights SZ! I hope this play gives us some decent stuff to talk about in the coming weeks.

    I completely agree with your point regarding Shehzad Kashmiri’s work so far – it’s as if he has all the right ingredients, but somehow the final product doesn’t have that kick – it becomes very bland. May be he looks at what’s needed at a scene level, but doesn’t see the big picture when he’s directing? Not sure, I am no expert, but the zing is usually missing.

    I read somewhere that this is a love triangle, mujhay toh pooray pentagon nazar aata hai – so many characters and almost all are cousins one way or the other! Acting-wise, zero chemistry between IA and NW. so I didn’t quite buy their love story. I was happy to see SJ in neat clothes and hair, and more expressive than all her work so far (I haven’t forgotten her Romaisa yet :-(). Sarah Khan looks pretty, that’s it – hope this changes as the play progresses. Shafqat Ali’s singing (OST) is very addictive, but they should tone down the music at least during dialogues – oh how I miss Mehreen – she knows how and when to use music in her work.

    Holding my horses, but looking forward to episode 2.

  6. I liked the first episode but not enough to be totally invested in the story and watch it every week. Sanam jungs character was a bit too desperate for Hadi and she will probably become the typical jealous evil character later in the drama. Uroosa and hadi didn’t have much chemistry just like you said. They were okay together but not a couple that as a viewer you would root for. By the way sz are you still watching gar maan reh jaye?? That drama became so pagal ever since the dad got a heart attack. I got sick and tired of watching all the screaming, crying and screeching and have given up on the drama. Sad because I actually really liked it before.

  7. Beautiful review ..aur iss review ny mujhy yaad dila dia k main aap k reviews kiun perti thi 🙂 main aaj kal ye drama dekh rhi hoon abhi 17 epi pr hoon..aj mujhy khayal aya k shayed aap ny is ko review krna shuru kia ho..is liay socha check kr loon..aur yahan dekha k sirf first epi ka hi review hai

    kiun kia hoa tha?..aap busy thin ya second epi pr hi chand cherh gaya 🙂 …kher acha drama hai..yaani average lekin aap dekhtay rehtay hain aur bore nhi hotay..nhi actually beech beech mein bore hotay hain lekin itna pakaao serial nhi hai k aap bhaag jyn

    sanam k baray mein thik kaha..kuch jaghon pr overacting ki hai lekin phir bhi MHMD aur MSKSH k baad mujhy lagta tha k main zindagi bher in ka koi drama nhi dekh paaon gii..is hisab sy acha kaam kia hai..aur ye character oon k comfort zone sy bahir tha

    lekin zahid ki acting mujhay kafi achi lagi ager ye exp director k sath kaam kren tou future mein kafi agay ja saktay hain aur inki shakal achi khasi hai..main ny blog pr kahin perha k achi buri shakal k comparison mein ye buri shakal walay thay..kia ho gaya bhai 🙂 ..

    Imran k 3 dramas ek sath dekh rhi hoon..pehla yousaf phir ye aur 3rd aaj shuru kia hai..touba fk k janay ka intiqam main khud sy is tra loon gi nhi socha tha..3 dramas ek sath dekhnay ka ye nateeja k ab mujhy Imran ki acting thik lagnay lagi hai lol

    baqi time kill kernay k liay acha hai ab aur kuch hai bhi nhi tou kia kren..waisay bhi main ny apnay dimagh ka switch off kia hota hai iss liay koi tension nhi k story kahan jaa rhi hai..characters kia kr rahay hain..msg kia mil raha hai etc..

    acha iss k baad main koi aur drama dekhna chahti hoon tou koi recommendations dena chahay hai tou pls zaroor..last 5-6 months mein main ny koi drama nhi dekha..tou is doran koi acha drama (yaani average bhi ho ) aya tha tou zaroor bta den..thanks

    • Hello 🙂 Glad you are enjoying this one ..

      Re: your ques abt why didn’t I review this further .. For me to review anything it has to make a connect – good or bad – invoke some kind of response – positive or negative. Basically there has to be something that compels me to take out 4-5 hours of my time (yes, it does take that long from start to finish) think about it and write it up. I do not and cannot write for the sake of turning in a review every week. Hence if you go through my overall archive, all 400+ reviews, they are all individually crafted pieces and all have an inbuilt argument specific to that particular episode/telefilm/ whatever the project may be and all come with talking points that are then further discussed in our comments section below … and these are not necessarily all tareefs .. there are many serials – DeD for one – that are reviewed because they need to be highlighted for their negative impact and to mark my protest … and in sab ke beech mein there are plenty of humdrum serials like Alvida which merit no further discussion and are so bland and boring that I cant be bothered to watch after the first ep, review karna tau bohot door ki baat hai..

      Re further recommendations: I am not watching anything these days .. Yousuf was the last serial I followed, and even that i had left for abt 8 weeks … Perhaps others might have suggestions for you ..

      • @SZ haan ji majboori hai enjoy kerna perta hai..ager drama poora dekhna ho tou..lekin main ny drama ek aur waja sy dekhna shuru kia tha..jab ye chal raha tha tou fb per main ny dekha k kuch log keh rhy thy k ye bin roye ki copy hai etc etc..kiunk mujhy bin roye film aur drama dono dekhna tha..is liay iss ko na dekhnay ka faisla kia

        ab film k baad wo debate phir chal pari aur story characters actors ka comparison shuru ho gaya..main ny dekha nhi hoa tha is liay kuch samajh nhi aya kia baat ho rhi hai lekin main ny socha jab BR drama shuru ho ga ..phir ye point raise kia jy ga iss liay behter hai k isay dekh hi loon..atleast try ker loon

        ab jitna main ny dekha hai tou BR k sath iss ki story itni hi milti hai jitni humsafer ki meri zaat zara-e be-nishan say..aur characters tou bilkul different han..lekin sath hi ye baat bhi samajh nhi ay k hum tv ko kia soojhi k film release honay sy bilkul kuch arsa pehlay oosi tra ki milti julti story per drama bana ker dikhana shuru kr dia

        aur director sahib bhi wo hi hain aur production house bhi wo hi…aap apnay hi project k sath iss tra kaisay ker saktay hain..in ka kia khayal tha k audience ki itni short memory hai k 2 months k ander wo drama dekh kr bhool bhi jyn gay ya shayed itnay bholay hain k unhen pta hi nhi chalay ga k dono stories ek jaisi hain..mujhy nahi samajh ay kia tuk thi is ki..aur abhi BR drama chalna hai …tou teesri baar hum ye story dekhen gay..wo bhi chand mahinon k ander ander

        dosray BR ny ek aur debate bhi shuru ki..cousin marriages wali..abhi bhi main dawn mein ek article dekh rhi thi..phir zindagi channel ki waja sy humaray parosi bhi aa gai maidan mein..aur unhon ny apnay POVs share kiay….jis sy mujhy kafi nai chhezon ka pta chala..mujhy nhi pta aap DeD thread per iss ko discuss ker chukay hain ya nahi..aur mujhy yaad nhi perta k iss sy pehlay humari kabhi iss topic per baat hoi hai yaa nhi..lekin main bari curious hoon k aap aur baqi friends iss baray mein kia kehtay hain..kiunk ye topic bohat ziada humaray dramas mein dikhaya jata hai..tou ager munasib samjhen tou iss per apnay khayalaat ka izhaar kren 🙂

  8. dhoondnay sy tou khuda bhi mil jata hai yahan tou ek dramay ka sawal tha..aur wo mujhay mil gaya 🙂 ..bhala kon sa?..gar maan reh jaye….dekh len kitni zaheen hoon…hehe…kher apni iss achievement per main khaasi khush hoon kiunk jahan tak mujhay yaad hai ye acha drama tha aur iss per aap k reviews bhi hain..tou mera khayal main kafi enjoy karoon gi 🙂 bus aap dua kren

    yousaf pr reviews perh rahi hoon ..aur last 2 epi rehti hain..wo dekh kr ati hoon

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