Mol ~ Episodes 1- 2 Review

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Mol, loosely translated as price, is a new serial that opened its account on HUM TV last week. Conceived by Faysal Manzoor, screenplay and dialogues by Amna Mufti, and directed by debutante director Ilyas Kashmiri, this serial has been co-produced by Satish Anand and Momina Duraid.

The story, as it has unfolded so far, revolves around a CSS officer Shehryar Hasan, the only child of well to do parents. That their only son is a bachelor so far, he’s in his mid 30’s, is a source of great concern for his parents, more so because he has been engaged since childhood to his first cousin, a much younger Sajal.

Sajal is our typical TV land airhead with nothing but marriage on her mind, never mind that he’s much older or that she should be doing other things with her life rather than hanging around waiting to get married. Shehyar, on the other hand, is a mature man who envisions marriage as a partnership between two emotionally and mentally compatible people, hence the simpering much younger Sajal holds no attraction for him.

Shehryar’s disciplined approach towards life and his firm ideas, about wrong and right, are a source of constant aggravation for his father, who believes in a my-way-or-the-highway approach towards parenting. Needless to say this kind of father-knows-best attitude is a source of great annoyance for a grown man like Shehryar, hence he gets himself transferred as a DC to Sukkur. And it is here that he meets his subordinate Imtiaz sahab and his daughter Iman.

By the end of the second episode, his parent’s continued insistence on formalizing his mangni to Sajal pushes Shehryar to ask Imtiaz for Iman’s hand in marriage. To say that his boss’ proposal comes as a complete shock to Imtiaz would be an understatement.

The opening episode of Mol was a pretty bland one for me. There was nothing that stood out, apart from the fact that so much of this episode was shot in the historic city of Sukkur. But even in that apart from the interior of the DC’s office, some exteriors and shots of the majestic Landsdowne Bridge there was really not much else that could be pinned down as being intrinsic to the city.

None of the actors made any effort to adapt their accents, nor did I see any Sindhi junior actors, which was a huge let down. The dialogues, particularly Naveen’s, did not sound anything near normal everyday speak. Similarly, the conversation between Shehryar and Imtiaz, dariya bulaye ga, came off as a hodge-podge of  Philosophy 101, and did not jive with Shehryar’s pragmatic, get-to-the-point approach to life.

The second episode was a better one narrative-wise, as the connection between the title and the story was nicely  established. I appreciated the research in to Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s Risalo and the different interpretations of Leela Chanesar’s story to illustrate the various emotional  transactions that we will hopefully get to see as the story develops further. Looking forward to seeing how Amna Mufti retains the essence of this deceptively simple folktale, about love, envy, greed, lust, and fidelity, as she weaves it onto a mainstream story. Here’s to hoping this doesn’t devolve into a brainless commercial dusri biwi story. And on Leela Chanesar, I enjoyed the fakirs singing Bhittai’s vayee on the tambora in their traditional style, this was a desperately needed touch of authenticity.

In terms of writing, long-winded lines and seemingly repetitive scenes test viewers’ patience. In Karachi the talk of the khandani riwayat and the ancestral jora went on forever. The first scene between the two families easily established the ritual importance and significance of the jora and there was no need for yet another scene between the mother and daughter, still arguing over the jora. In Sukkur, the scene where Imtiaz and his wife argued over entertaining Shehryar went on for too long, and in all my visits to Sukkur I have yet to be offered coffee and sandwiches. Again some more effort at grounding the narrative into the local setting would help.

It is good to see Faysal Qureshi play a character more in keeping with his age and so far he’s convincing as Shehryar. Though from nowhere does she look like she’s from Sukkur, Naveen Waqar makes a good pair with Faysal and it will be interesting to see their equation develop as the story unfolds. Like Naveen, Munawwar Saeed too is misfit as a Sukkur-ite, but he’s a great actor and it’s always good to watch him. Imtiaz’s reaction to Shehryar’s proposal was fabulously done. Iqra Aziz is pretty and so far is good in her character as the bubble-brained Sajal. I am looking forward to seeing how she fits into the role of the other woman, Kaunro, as per the folk tale.

Mol marks Ilyas Kashmiri’s debut as a director and so far the visual narrative has been nothing to write home about and there have been no wow moments. And this actually pretty much sums up up the past two episodes – okay, nothing that stands out or has me eagerly anticipating the next episode. I will watch this one to see how the story unfolds and hope to review it periodically to read everybody’s opinions.

So that was my take on Mol … how many of you checked it out … kaisa laga?

Written by SZ~

Mol ~ OST

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7 replies

  1. Nothing new… Nothing there to grab my attention. Same old age story. Not bothering with it.

    Reminds of PTV’s Hawaein drama Where Qaiser Nizamani had played a similar role. He looked like a DC too.

    Now a days, there is Nothing to offer the viewers.

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  2. Mol was such a source of entertainment even before it began – I am referring to all the drama on its Facebook page. The drama serial itself pales in comparison. Not that I am actually watching it but from the promos, it seems Naveen Waqar walked straight from the set of Alvida to the set of Mol. She has almost the same get-up… This reeks of a dusri biwi drama so I am staying well away. I have seen enough dusri biwi dramas to last me a lifetime.

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  3. I checked out the first ep and had decided that this one’s not for me. I was very surprized to see ur review after the second ep, so decided to check out the second ep too.
    Thanks for adding the link to folk tale. I had never heard of it so it was good to read it and made it more relatable.
    I feel this is a play that sounds good on paper, but it’s richness and depth are not translating on screen. It feels rather flat and very disjointed .. I felt the dialogues were very unnatural.. and there are so many lectures ke it might as well be a degree course..
    After checking out the second ep and actually getting the feel of the background, and the cultural connection, I have to say it had such potential!!! It’s a shame that we didn’t get to see more of the cultural vibe here. It’s as if the river bank scenes were shot in isolation – which btw were fab!.. The drivers, servants, school staff – nobody had any trace of the local accent. I have the same issue with DeD.. Why choose interesting exotic locations but leave out the authentic native flavour, esp in this instance where the story is deep-rooted in heritage.
    In contrast to the folk tale, the whole dastaan abt the missing jora put me to sleep! The entire karachi track was so boring!!! Honestly, it took me 3 hours to finish this ep.. Now this family is so odd and farsooda.. they might as well be jahil, living in a remote village somewhere.. Aaj kal kon aisa hota hai yaar!..
    I think the only performance that was convincing was Faisal Qureshi’s. His dialogues made sense and fit in well. Even his lectures were sharper.. I wonder if he/they changed them around?

    Acha btw why was Iman covering her face in the night (even outside her own house) when she didnt even have a dopatta slipping off her head at school? lol .. it’s inconsistencies like these that are letting this project down.. I personally think that director is struggling big time here, and lambe lambe unnatural dialogues don’t help..

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  4. Oh one question : does the tradition/folk tale also mention Leela’s intention how Iman seems to perceive it? ie – a test for her beloved instead of falling for greed?
    oh another question : what does taapon mean literally? is it the river bank or the song/music itself?

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  5. nice review 🙂 …mazid ek do episodes k baad pta chalay gaa lekin aasar achay nahi hain..direction aur female cast ziada impressive nahi

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  6. Hi SZ, read ur review on MOL’s epi 1&2….. Made my mind to watch it but before that wanted to listen to OST & my lord it was drowning in the tears of the female characters, then came the stale, rotten,old eggs out of the basket impragnanted with old 2nd wify chicks…… how can it be swallowed tell me…… It turned me away, waiting to read ur comments on couple of epis & then decide to watch or no…… Thanks for ur reviews you posses a big heart to watch these dramas & let everyone know whats new happenings…………………

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