Mera Naam Yousuf Hai ~ Episodes 3-4 Review

MHYH

Aur bhi gham hain zamane mein muhabbat ke siva
Rahatein aur bhi hain vasl ki rahat ke siva
~ Faiz

Had Faiz Ahmed Faiz met the characters that populate the world of Mera Naam Yousuf Hai he would’ve definitely re-thought his classic lines and penned them thus

Koi bhi ghum nahin zamane mein muhabbat ke siva
Rahatein aur nahin hain vasl ki rahat ke siva  

I have no clue where such people live, how they make ends meet in the real world, and most importantly how they manage to have perfect hair and makeup 24/7, but hats off to Mehreen Jabbar, her gifted DOP Qasim Ali, the uber talented cast and crew, and excellent sound design that has me sitting through long wordy scenes and a story that is crawling at a snail’s pace.

Since the past three weeks we’ve been witness to the ongoing battle of words between maulvi Noor Muhammad and his wife Afia, and while the winner is yet to emerge – it’s taken them twenty five years to come to this point so don’t think there’ll be a resolution anytime soon – it is clear that while maulvi sahab is a scary sight to behold, bulging eyes and all, it is really the easy-on-the-eyes-Afia begum, the smooth operator, that everyone should be wary of. She may appear as soft as silk but underneath that sweet exterior is a woman with a very strong clear cut agenda. Hina Bayat is really killing it here as Afia. Every line, every word, every gesture, every smile, pretty much everything this woman says or does is laden with meaning. Forget about Yousuf and Zulekha and their insipid love story, for me, so far, Afia is the true hero of this serial.

Here, I have to hand it to Khalil ur Rehman for penning fabulous lines. Maulvi sahab and Afia begum’s scenes, the conversation between maulvi sahab and his sister, Bushra’s entry and the way Noor sahab’s second marriage becomes predicated on Imran and Zulekha’s shaadi, Madiha’s walking in to Zulekha’s house posing as her long lost BFF, the multiple choice question sequence from last week, Zulekha and her sister’s heart-to-hearts, and Hamza’s scared reaction to Zulekha’s response – all scenes are great fun to watch.

The problem, however, is that in as much as the dialogues are snappy and flow beautifully, taken as a whole, the scenes, though each one great on its own merit, sound very wordy, tend to go on forever, and do not help the overall story move forward. Hence, even though its now been four weeks we are still pretty much at the same point we were in episode 2 – Yousuf in love and Zulekha not. The two new additions, Madiha and Bushra, add their distinct flavor but cannot compensate for the lack of a strong story. Mansha Pasha was very fun as Zulekha’s long lost bachpan ki dost.

Four weeks in though I’m yet to be sold on the story, there is much to be applauded here, and allow me to begin with a huge shout out to the people in charge of sound. Yes!! This is how you do sound right! The opening scene, when Zulekha wakes up and we hear the radio playing in the background, was brilliantly done. And not just that scene, throughout these four episodes the sound design has been outstanding. People in charge of Diyar-e Dil’s over loud background score should watch this serial and learn how to do things right.

In terms of acting, Hina Bayat is the pick of the lot. It is good to see Imran Abbas giving a mature performance here, Maya Ali too is turning in a very restrained performance as Zulekha. I like Mizna Waqas as Zulekha’s sister, and missed Mahrukh today. Waseem Abbas has his moments here and there but mostly seems to be operating on autopilot, hopefully that’ll change after the hair dye does its job. Mansha Pasha is great as Madiha, as is the actor playing her brother.

Four weeks in, though still a passenger on this MJ driven rail gari I can see myself watching out for the next station… wahan utarti hoon ke nahin yeh tau waqt hi bataye ga …

Written by SZ~  

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6 replies

  1. “Qimat bi Bata ka rate ki tarha fix” i am only watching this drama bcz of these witty and sharp dialogues and I am loving the dressing alSo. Story abi nikli hi nai tu comment kia krna..

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    • @asma: Exactly! I too am watching for the lines and the acting, and yes the bright colors are very pleasing to the eye ..wohi tau masla hai na .. we finished he fourth episode but nothing really solid has happened as yet .. hopefully something starts happening soonish warna tau mishkil ho jayega .. :/

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  2. Ok I am actually enjoying this and maybe it’s prob more to go with direction and acting and the fun conversations going on. Each character is pretty interesting that they add.
    I feel like the pace is fine, and smoothly on track
    I know narrative wise we are prob at 2 but a lot of things have still happened.Afia begum briought Her nephew to the house who zuleokha rejected also , we met Phupo and bushra and madiha lol and Yusuf finds out she’s getting married how anyways looks like the couple will meet in the next episode maybe more will happen but if the scenes are fun to watch I don’t really feel it’s slow
    Anyways like you enjoying Afia begum and molvi Saab conversations a lot!
    I am also finally liking Maya ali in this and Imran Abbas is also doing his role well!
    Mansha pasha was also brilliant in the friend scene so all in all I thought it was pretty interesting
    Love the bright colours and dialogues are funny too
    So yeah I think Khalil Saab and Mehreen seem to be gelling so far even though the story is nothing new!

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  3. Great review… Finished watching episode and i must i am in love with bright colors and music..and yes the superb acting and brilliant direction.. Hina Bayat and Mansha Pasha are pick of the lot.. HB scenes are absolutely treat to watch.. Specially when she came in room when moulvi sahab kalak mal rahe the daarhe per 😉 her body language, her witiness is amazing.. I am also loving Taaji and Madhia relationship.. And same goes for other 2 sibling pairs.. .. Keeping this ‘love’ aside lol.. There is still something i tend to miss in drama…i lack that interest which normally increases on that day or sense of looking forward or waiting in anticipation to next episode… May be its too early to comment on this thing… But overall it’s beautiful to eyes and ears till now 🙂

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