Mera Naam Yousuf Hai ~ Episode 2 Review

MHYH

Like the opening episode, I watched this second installment in one go as well, no power naps no paani breaks in between. That I sat through something where I had very little  interest in what happens next is a tribute to Mehreen Jabbar’s narrative skills and a testament to her very talented cast and crew’s abilities to keep viewers glued. Yes, in and of themselves Khalil-ur Rehman’s scripts are unquestionably beautifully written; his characters are generally interesting (though repetitive), I applaud the subversiveness we see in his writings, like the ease with which he plays with language, enjoy his dry sense of humor and appreciate the flow of his scripts, but go beyond the lines to the story itself and there is nothing. I don’t know about you all, but frankly, my dears, I am just plain bored with dramas that have nothing 11069178_10153682726468662_199412477_nelse going for them besides ‘ishq, pyar, muhabbat, and but of course the all important shaadi!

To begin with the track I like the most so far, I thoroughly enjoyed the gamesmanship between maulvi sahab and Afia begum, neither of them ready to cede an inch to the other. Unlike the dari sehmi women in other serials here we get a role reversal in the says-it-like-it-is Afia, who is quite unafraid of standing up to her husband and giving it back better than she gets it. y9Waseem Abbas and Hina Bayat have some of the best lines in this episode and they do them complete justice. The scene at the dinner table was fabulously executed and the give ‘n take about khana khate waqt baat nahin karni chahiye was hilarious. It is in brilliant scenes like this that Khalil sahab’s writing really shines.

Another role reversal I enjoyed was where Wajeeh Ahmed was oiling Yousuf’s hair. Typically an activity reserved for y5mothers ‘n  daughters, here we had the father and son bonding over a hair massage. While I am not on board with such an unquestioning, wholehearted parental endorsement of a son’s purported love affair, I liked how the father, conscious of the strained relationship between his son and his second wife, was shown making an effort to get his son to confide in him. In that same scene it was a nice touch to see Mahrukh and her mother in the background, giving it that sense of relatability – just another typical Sunday afternoon in a middle class desi household. And speaking of Mahrukh, I love the little firecracker – she is so much fun to watch!

Its not just his entire khandan, but even Yousuf’s best friend seems toy2 find this most non-happening love story of all times very interesting, hence his constant push for details. I am quite convinced that had all these people not pried we would have been dealing with the world’s shortest love story, but nope. They all asked and becharey Yousuf ne itna socha aur zehen par itna zor diya ke us ko Zulekha ke khwab aaney lagey and bukhar ho gaya. Enter Madiha with her suji ka halwas and thande paani ki pattis.

Had Taji, the poor guy known ke his own sister was also mareez-e y10muhabbat he wouldn’t have pushed hid BFF Yousuf so hard, but khair, ab tau ho gayi ghalti. Going by what we saw today madam Madiha doesn’t seem the kind to give up very easily, so I’m guessing we will see a lot more of her in the coming episodes. Loved Madiha’s intro shot through the glass doors – very nice!

On the one hand we have Madiha as Zulekha’s rival for 10596276_10153682726408662_846005504_nYousuf’s affections and on the other we have not one but two rivals – Ali Hamza and Imran Mughees. Ab yeh alag baat hai ke bechare Hamza bhai tau is a total non starter in this race to win Zulekha’s hand. The scene in the train with his mother was funny and his character is yet another subversive twist from the writer’s pen. Such a seedha saadha mard he is! His literal understanding of Zulekha’s marney maarney wali baatein is hilarious. Imran comes across a slightly better prospect, but Zulekha is not enamored of both so un ka bhi qissa khatam.

Mu11073442_10153682767583662_783603318_nch like Yousuf’s BFF, Hajra, Zulekha’s younger sister too keeps giving her chaabi, reminding her of her oft-voiced desire to marry after falling in love. The preview for the next episode indicates that Hajra’s constant talk of love marriages and finding a Yousuf to her Zulekha does manage to strike a chord. Ab dekhtey hain hamarey hero heroine ka teesra takra kab aur kaise hota hai…

All in all this was a beautifully executed episode. The direction is absolutely top notch and bears the MJ stamp that we know and love. Actors like Hina Bayat, Behroze Sabzwari, Wasim Abbas are seasoned actors and they all have brought something different to the table here. Noor Muhamad sahab’s bark is worse than his bite and Afia’s silken soft demeanor hides a 11051309_10153682959378662_842068887_nsteely spine and a determined mind. Maya Ali and Imran Abbas’ performance that have me pleasantly surprised, full marks to Mehreen for getting them to think about their characters and emote accordingly. Mansha Pasha made her entry today as the lovestruck, chalti purzi Madiha – kaafi mauqa shanas hain yeh baji! The new faces, or at least I haven’t seen them before, Mizna Waqas, Ali Sheikh, Azam Khan, Taqi Ahmad, Marium Waqas, have all made their presence felt and add a very welcome freshness to the overall look of the serial.

And on the y11issue of look, kudos to Qasim Ali for adding texture and depth to the onscreen narrative. The second train station sequence was equally well captured, more so because this time around it was a girl trying to make her way through a busy compartment. Also lovely were the interior shots, Zulekha and Hamza in the corridor, the dining table scene, the two sisters laughing and planning their next move over a shared apple, the play of light and shadow over Yousuf’s sleeping figure when he was dreaming, and Mansha’s introduction, all were very well done.

And finally a big shout out to the editors and the sound techs. The scenes were short and editing crisp; loved the use of filmi songs and ghazals, much like a radio playing somewhere in the background, the sound wafting in and out, adding to the overall ambiance 11063268_10153683033158662_1542918264_ninstead of taking away from the scene as is usually the case.

Overall this was an solid second episode; acting, directing, cinematography, the well written sharp lines everything works really well together – the only thing missing is a story that can keep viewers engaged for the next 20 or so weeks. There are only so many love stories we can watch with the same pyar pyar pyar aur phir maar maar maar formulaI so wish we had seen something more experimental from Khalil ur Rehman’s pen’s this time around, magar I guess we’ll have to wait for that to happen. So yeah, I am on board this rail gari for now but don’t know for how long…

Written by SZ~

Mera Naam Yousuf Hai ~ Episode 2 

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22 replies

        • @Nabz: chalein ji, glad you broke your silence and decided to join us – the more the merrier! And agreement and disagreement to chalta rehta hai .. its more that we get to share our views with everybody here and I always find it fascinating how the same thing can be watched in so many different ways …

          Ab I hope we keep hearing from you .. dont go silent again 🙂

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  1. Wonderful review. It’s treat to watch imran abbas so innocent . Henaji is wonderful no words .i like the way she dresses. I wish Deepti gupta was in it . Mahreen jabbar is exellent dirction small detail. I am enjoying it . Specialy the train scene reminds me of my home.
    I hope I am not asking too much ,can you ask question to mehreen like you ask to sanum saeed and vs all.

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    • @Ranjan: Hey! Yes, absolutely this is MJ’s show and it shows .. and the actors are all doing a fine job. Hina is so good here … I love the way she gives thise looks to maulvi sahab and their dinner table put downs were so fun to watch.

      I will ask MJ, and if she has the time then definitely .. 🙂

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  2. thanks SZ for the review…was expecting one 🙂
    yes, had enough of the shadi equation but chalo aik aur sahi…enjoyed the ep, specially the dinner table scene…and the dream- wasn’t that cute?

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    • @Afia: yes, when I had seen the BTS of that scene I couldn’t understand why Maya was back at the train station but then in the ep I liked the way it was fit in, and I enjoyed the role reversal there 🙂

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  3. SZ, I am going to wait till this finishes and then watch it all in one go. So I am waving you goodbye from the train station 🙂

    I don’t watch Sadqay Tumharay, but I heard things have taken a very unpleasant turn there. I am sure with MJ at the helm, we will see responsible stuff, but at the moment I just want to literally wait and watch.

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    • @VZ: Dont blame you … so far the stunning visual narration and the acting is keeping me hooked, but as I mentioned above, dont know for how long … aaj kal my bardaasht ki capacity is waisey hi overflowing to the max so keep a lookout I might be right there behind you 😉

      Are you planning on checking out DeD?

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      • Haan, I am planning to watch DeD. At least I’ll check out a couple of episodes and see how it goes. I haven’t watched the director’s previous work – how is it?

        Tell me about bardaasht ki capacity – it feels very frustrating that there’s no consistency in any show on air just now – what starts off well can swiftly become mediocre and back to interesting again, stories can suddenly morph into cliched stuff (doosri biwi, misunderstanding, the lot), characters can become inconsistent with their previous behaviour for no reason, the list goes on. Fancy packaging, good music and crowd-pulling stars can only go so far to keep viewers’ interest – ultimately it’s about a good story and how well the director tells it on screen…

        I know cast and crew work really hard, but hey, I am investing a lot of my time too…sorry for the rant, just venting out my frustration 🙂 And yes, I will keep a lookout for you on the train station 🙂

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        • Kya baat he @SZ and @VZ… Whole heartedly agreed with what you both ladies are saying… For how long stunning visuals and perfect direction can keep us hooked..

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        • @VZ: The director for Diyar-e Dil, Haseed Hasan, is a very good and experienced director .. I infact rate him very highly .. if you’ve seen his Nanhi then you would know why I praise him so his earlier works include Tum Ho Ke Chup (check out Hina B in that one ), Bol Meri Machli and the most recent Ahista Ahista, which again I followed for a bit primarily because of him …

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      • Salaams SZ, only reason i’m not watching this drama is because it’s on the lines of Sadqey Tumhare, Romeo+Juliet- the only different and refreshing thing is Mehreen’s high-class direction. However, what else is new about it- two forlorn lovers who will fight against their rivals to be together, another tragic love story, Yousuf just like Khalil in ST will get beat up by a bunch of guys for loving the heroine. Imran Abbas needs to take up mature, more versatile roles and had thought that Mehreen Jabbar will be able to give Imran Abbas exactly that, but unfortunately that didn’t happen – he plays the same bechara aashiq:(
        Anything that you can suggest is different in this drama?

        Khuda Dekh Raha Hai, now that is a must watch these days, comes on Thursday at 8 pm on A-Plus, love Sabiha Sumar’s brilliant direction, fresh and new characters and brilliant actors Bushra Ansari and Qazi Wajid, lovely ost and wonderful dialogues. It’s not about tragic love, it’s worth watching.

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        • @Aisha: Wasalam: If you’ve read my reviews for this serial then you know that I don’t say anywhere that there is anything different about this serial – in fact quite the contrary 🙂 That said I wouldnt call it a Romeo Juliet type, but yes it is of the same kind as we have seen from this writer earlier as well.
          Re: Khuda Dekh .. I havent had a chance to catch up with that one ..

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  4. I literally second you on your review… This episode no matter how much it made me excited with the direction point of view or superb acting… There was something that putting me into ‘nothing new’ mode… Could be back to back work of writer was the reason.. I don’t know… The thing that put me off was repeatition…ALLAH meri taubah.. I was like mere bhai seedha jawab dedo please… Kyn bardasht ka imtehan le rahe ho… Yousuf ka dost and abba.. Majal he jo baat chordain..

    Anyways I absolutely loveee the role reversal scene .. And how both dream sequences were directed… Beautiful..
    Madiha looks super smart … And from looks of it quite an interesting character too.. Loved MP here and after her awesome take on her character in Ghoonghat .. It was good to see her with that same boost..

    HKB takes the cake overall.. Her scene with WA was too cool.. I must say new faces are really doing their part well.. Specially that young girl Mahrukh..

    All in all.. Have to see how far can I enjoy this train journey:)

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    • Thanks Rehmat, just within 4-5 years the quality of dramas has changed so much, it is unbelievable. I am on-the-fence about this show, so I’ll wait and watch once it is finished. I hope Diyar-e-Dil will offer some refreshing performances and nuanced storyline, fingers crossed 🙂

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    • @Rehmat: Lets see how far we can make it before dropping this one .. but again who knows… I for one would love nothing more than to be convinced to carry on with this one till the very end ..
      Like @VZ I too am fed up but still check out stuff waiting to be blown away .. lets see if this one proves to be the one …

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  5. I hope like you;I too will b on this rail gaari till it reaches it final station.sigh.I absolutely agree with you;the performances;the execution,the dilogues and the editing everything was perfect.It was a treat to eye (beautiful execution) and sounds good to ear too( KuQ’s script dialogues) and this is something rare to get.I really hope they wouldn’t drag this one;we have a new producer here so I hope the director and writer woulddn,t be having pressure of making it to 25+ episodes.

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    • @Ruba: I have heard this one is 22 eps… so lets keep our fingers crossed and hope it doesnt cross that number… as for the rest .. yes, like you watching for now and hoping for the best 🙂

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  6. I’m not watching the show but I agree about KRQ’s shows. Very similar and don’t seem very plot-driven. I haven’t watched many but I cant seem to like any of his shows except maybe Manjali.

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