Preet Na Kariyo Koi ~ Episodes 1- 4 Review

PNKK

Wary as I am of projects from MD Productions and HUM TV after their recent string of mega doozies I went into this one with less than zero expectations, but am happy to report that their latest Preet Na Kariyo Koi, written by Amna Mufti and directed by Ehteshamuddin, is shaping up to be quite an intelligently executed, entertaining and engaging serial.

Set in androon Lahore, Preet is the story of Shagufta Shehzadi aka Goshi, the pampered and headstrong daughter of Fayaz, a doting widower. Others in her family include a much younger brother, a widowed chachi and her only son Ilyas Kashmiri. Unlike most of our dramaland families, Goshi’s is a very loving khandaan, attached at the hip in more ways than one. Not only does Goshi’s chachi love her as her own daughter, and her dad and Ilyas co-own a shop specializing in ladies’ formal wear, but Goshi is also engaged to her first cousin.

Ilyas is a rare breed: a gentle, easy going, non-confrontational, shareef, seedha sadha banda who offers Goshi unconditional support as she sets out to pursue her dreams. For Goshi, however, these otherwise admirable qualities are Ilyas’ biggest shortcomings; she is looking for somebody strong-willed and forceful. Enter Shams Siyal, a fellow student and a feudal from Gujranwala with political ambitions. But, no need to shed tears for Ilyas. Goshi might not value him, but another girl from his muhalla, Maryam, has the skilled eye of an appraiser and knows that all that glitters is not gold.

The writer and director do well in introducing and fleshing out their characters and establishing the webs of connections. Particularly interestingly done is the societal critique in the way the two girls have been contrasted. Where Goshi is manipulative and conniving Maryam is straightforward and honest, but since Goshi lives under her father’s protective shadow no matter how chalu and chalak she might be it is all good. For her family and, by extension, the society at large she is a masoom bechari bin maa ki bacchi.

Maryam, on the other hand, is fatherless and lives with relatives and so is easily designated as a kothay tapni (loosely translated as a girl with questionable morals). This difference is further emphasized through their body language and attire – Goshi has quite the mouth, her chadar often found dragging by the side, and her hair is usually loose and disheveled; Maryam, by  contrast, is demure, tameezdar and her head and face generally covered when in public. Beautifully underscored is the fact that regardless of who she is as a person, in our patriarchal desi setup a woman’s character is pretty much always defined by the men in her life: kis ki beti hai, baap kya karta hai, shohar kaun hai, bhai kahan hai... god help the woman who does not have a man to be her protector.

The two men are similarly contrasted through their body language and mannerisms. Ilyas may come off as immature and dimwitted but look beyond the pecha and guddi facade and you meet a sensitive, wise man. Though at this point, Shams seems custom tailored to fit all of Goshi’s demands for a prospective husband, I suspect that our intrepid heroine will soon figure out that she has bitten off more than she can chew. For now though Goshi is happy spinning the truth to suit herself, uncaring of how many people she hurts in the process – all that matters is that she end up with Shams. Well-knitted side tracks help flesh out this thori hatke story as we meet Goshi’s adorable abba, Fayaz, and her loving chachi and Shams’ brother and bhabhi and her abused sister, Zarina.

The other thing that stands out here is how Amna Mufti subverts stereotyped gender roles and forces her viewers to squirm and re-evaluate. Goshi’s chalu-pan makes us uncomfortable when she repeatedly hits on Shams, but how many times have we seen men do the same and have shrugged it off with a wink and a smile (anyone here remember Zaroon?). Similarly Maryam’s forthrightness – be it her larkiyan-tau-aisa-nahin-kartein fondness for kite flying or her open declaration of love for Ilyas – may come as surprise to many but for me this is a refreshing change from sappy melodramatic heroines who find great virtue in playing either the victim or the martyr.

That so much can be gleaned from four episodes says a ton about the clarity of purpose and vision from the writer, director and producers – for once they all seem to be on the same page. Amna Mufti is in her comfort zone here and it shows in the  ease with which the script flows. Director Ehtesham seems to have a better handle on the nuances of this script as compared to his reading of Sadqay Tumhare; aesthetically too, so far this seems to be a better executed project than Aseerzadi. Credit also to the actors, all of whom seem to have done their homework and paid attention to developing nuances and focused on detailing etc.

After a very, very long time we see Ahsan Khan the actor in action here, and it is great to see him back with a bang. Hasan Noman is stealing the show as the beeba Ilyas. Hira Mani shows vast improvement from her very forgettable outing in Firaq. Here, she seems to be channeling Kareena Kapoor from Jab We Met, and while I see why she would look there for inspiration and also get that she is establishing a baseline for her character, there have been quite a few times when she’s gone overboard and it grates. Mira Sethi is very good as Maryam; her thehrav and body language is on point and it is great to see the young actress evolving with every project. Adnan Shah Tipu has not had much to do so far but a few ominous glimpses and I’m totally intrigued. Above and beyond all though is Erfan Khoosat – he is fabulous!

Applause worthy also is the effort put into the sound design, we actually hear birds chirping, cats mewing and roosters crowing. The background music too is thankfully lower than it generally is in MD Productions’ projects, but abhi volume thora aur bhi kam kardein, please- thank you. Editing too is generally on point, although there have been quite a few places – neverending picnic in Changa Manga, abba chachi scenes, Goshi day dreaming – which though beautifully shot needed to be trimmed with a pair of very sharp scissors. And on scenes being beautiful and beautifully shot, a huge round of applause for the art director, set designer,and DoP Azhar Ali. Each and every scene is fabulously lit and framed and the ambiance of androon shehr and daily life in gali muhallas is perfectly captured, giving Preet a very fresh look.

My one big complaint has to be about the need for pretty much every character to be fully made up no matter what their circumstances and what time of day. Zarina is depicted as a victim of domestic abuse but her makeup belies her story. Actually, its not just her, all of the ladies, excluding Maryam and including the very senior chachi, seem about ready to attend their phuphi ki beti ka valima. Why??

Four weeks in Preet Na Kariyo Koi has me engaged and interested, and am keeping my fingers and toes tightly crossed that this one stays the course, and does not tun into yet another long-winded melodramatic saga.

How many on board with this one? Your thoughts?

Written by SZ~

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25 replies

    • Hey! Happy Thanksgiving!
      Yes, do check this out .. I went in very hesitant but have so far been pleasantly surprised… would love to read your thoughts.

  1. Thanks SZ for reviewing this. Since Diyar-e-Dil we have been reluctant to commit to watching a drama weekly so it’s good to have your thoughts. Okay will give it go. Shame about the ladies in full make-up that’s another thing that makes me switch off.

    • Haina! This full make up business is so so annoying I dont get why these ladies need to be dolled up 24/7. aur tau aur even the elderly Naghma is wearing full eye make late in the night.
      That said, I am enjoying this one as it offers a different spin on the same old…
      Will look forward to hearing more from you after you catch up 🙂

  2. Aray wah so good to see yet again a review from your side.. I have always loved your different and honest take on dramas so will watch episode 2 and 3 that i missed..

    Reg:acting part.. I agree Hasan Noman is really brilliant as Illyas.. Isnt he the same who played Hira’s husband in Subh ka Sitara? He have made this character so likeable and not only he.. Even Ahsan Khan too.. Just look at him in Tumhare Siwa and here he is just rocking it.. Totally sold on Meera’s Maryam .. But think Hira’s Goshi will take time to grow on me :/ and what to say about Erfan Khooshat.. Just flawless.. The way he says mano biliiye.. Amazing..
    I particularly enjoyed scenes between maryam and Illyas 😄..

    Very interesting point you mentioned on gender reverse roles.. Didnt think about that way.. May be thats why this makes an interesting watch too.. Though really hope it dosent get ruined by its dragness..

    • @Rehmat: LOL! Yaar, I have been doing at leas one review a week for the past three weeks … its just that we are all still trying to find something to get us back in rhythm where we are watching and discussing stuff all week long . ab tau lagta hai ke woh sab gup shup karte huey ek arsa guzar gaya … these days its hard enough to sit thru an ep without ffwding, au review likhna aur discuss karna tau door ki baat hai 😦
      That said, I do have hopes for this one … lets all offer a ba jama’at dua ke this one stays the course and that I can keep up with it till the end.

      Yes, you are so right … Hasan Noman was Hira’s hubby in MSKSH and dekh lo Mira was in it too.. so I guess a reunion of sorts for them 🙂 Oh yes, do watch the second third eps, apart from the long drawn picnic scenes it is fun .. the patang contest is really fun and well picturized.

      And yes! Ahsan K is the a huge reason why I didnt want to go near this one …he’s in pretty much every third drama these days so much so that it is diff to tell one serial apart from the other, but here he does look and sound diff .. also same with Hira.. her offscreen persona is so loud and annoying ke I didnt know if I could stand her as a central character, but thankfully she is not as bad as I had feared, not great but still… at least Goshi doesn’t cry every two secs and has more than two sets of expressions. #Fingerscrossed!

      • @SZ: Lol…true my bad..got carried away as i read the review 😂 Totally with you k ghup shup karte arsa hua aur humari virtual food parties ki gathering ko bhi 😉

        Haan thankfully heroines are not crying buckets and even the male lead has pretty much needed attitude.. .. Oh haan Mira was also in that drama.. Poor lady have done so many similiar roles k yaad bhi nh rehta …

        Chalo ab atleast there are two dramas to look forward to. 🙂

  3. @SZ a spot on mazedar review.
    Preet is the only drama I’m following properly these days. Yes its loud but its almost satirical approach gives it the less in-your-face and more laugh-in-your-face wit.. yes the societal critique is very interesting to watch here… mard ka saath/hath ke sath sath there’s also badd acha badnaam bura, and particularly the question of sharafat.. A robbing ghunda badmaash and his sharafat ka bukhar in his personal life vs sharafat of a bechara type banda who dresses up in saris to earn his living but who would rather enjoy a feast than wait for his fiance whose bus was reportedly robbed.. the sharafat of a forward woman who proposes a man vs sharafat of a woman who would go to any length to get who she wants…

    Like u mentioned, its the role reversal that captured my attention, how the ladies are on the front foot everywhere.. I quite enjoyed how Ilyas was shown in a jharoka looking down with his hasrat bhari almost bechari-type nigahein at Goshi – a typical place where we almost always see a female protagonist.

    Re Ilyas Kashmiri : I wasnt keen on his totally buddhufied character to start off with but it is growing on me, and it makes more sense now that we are comparing all these characters, their merits and how society sees them. How a bechara like him is perceived, his issues and his inferiority complex. Im quite enjoying how we see the shift in his character from being Goshi’s pet, to him considering Maryam’s proposal and how that would give his self-respect a boost..

    Didn’t think abt peiron mein lotti chadar vs sarr dhakne wali chadar.. That’s what I love abt this blog! We get to see things that we miss out on otherwise..

    Acha we are also getting a healthy tarka of culture here that seems to be the trend these days, and I am all up for a cultural injection but please atleast contextualize it!!!.. the constant name-dropping of all things kashmiri – hareesa, shabdeg.. It would’ve been so much more nicer to actually get a tempting shot of these amazing dishes on a dinner table or being dished out rather than somebody shouting over and over again ke ao hareesa khao.. remember the breakfast prep scene in AA that was a visual treat!
    And that changa manga scene!! uff that seemed like a bunch of zoo ke bhaage bandars who saw a train for the first time.. bechari train was about to tip over.. I wonder when this story is set ke jab changa manga picnics were such a huge deal!..

    AK I’m really enjoying here and I think Hira actually blends here better than her other outings. Idk i think she works here as a mohalle ki chaalu larki.. MS looks fresh and yes she’s got that thehrao u mentioned here which is working a treat! Ive only ever seen her in a hyperactive two steps forward chalako massi type roles.. although she may also be considered here as a doosri aurat, I think the thehrao she brings to this otherwise a badnaam type character has added quite an interesting dynamic..

    Itna lamba phir se…

    • @FA: ab sab se pehley we need to join hands and pray that this one doesn’t derail and that the OST is not actually a warning ke don’t bother doing any kind of preet with this one … Ameen
      Yes! Where is all that food? My mouth waters every time the names are casually dropped into the conversation 😦
      That picnic – uff! How long did that go on?!? Sobs didn’t it seem like there were more ppl on that train than there were in that bus? And speaking of the bus, wasn’t it hilarious when the girls all gasped on cue when they heard of dakoos? That dakoo bit and the fight that ensued etc was pretty lame.

  4. Hello, SZ! Hope you’re doing great. Awesome review, I was not so sure about this one. The Jab We Met reference is so spot on. I will take your word for it and give this one a go.
    SZ, have you watched Daam? If you have, can you please do an overview for it? It just ended on Zindagi Channel so really wanted to discuss it with you and the others 🙂 Thanks!

    • @MB: hey! Im well, thanks for asking. Haan do give this one a second go. The first ep was kind of in your face with Hira going overboard but it’s now settled into its groove and I’m enjoying the characters and the way the story is unfolding. Do come back with your thoughts after you’ve watched.
      Re: Daam: Nope, not writing any more on your farmaish … mujh se Manto likhwa kar khud ghaib ho gayeen .. yeh kiya baat hui? Doesn’t work that way 😤Ab I will wait to read your thoughts there before I start thinking about Daam 😃

  5. @SZ: fab review on a fab serial! I’m a big fab of Amna Mufti and I love her writings though this one is really different from her others but really loving all the characters and storyline!
    Erfaan khoosat is really really flawless! Hassan Noman is superman here no no not for bravery but for all cuteness and sweetness with his non-stop ‘rrrr’!!!
    Goshi is like all teen-age girls not happy with seedha saadha fiancee but looking for a hero like shams at college don’t know what future will teach her but in the recent epi when his father was saying k maa baap betiyon k liye shehzada he dhondty hain and tumhain Ilyaas se zada koi khush nhi rakh sakta I think Amna Jee has raise this voice for all girls who expect theirselves more experienced than their parents in the context of marriages and their lives! I
    The colors of Basant were very cool in the last episode even after a long time Basnat has shown in any serial inspite of showing valentines celebrtaions and etc!

    Throughout, in complete Awe of this one hoping that it will continue the charm and story further! keep on reviewing it Enjoyed a lot after reading and commenting any review lol!

    Happy to be here after a long interval!

    • @Ayesha: Hello! Welcome back! Glad to have you back on board with this one… Yes, this is going well so far and let’s hope and pray me it stays the course.
      Agreed, it is different from Amna’s Ulloo or Dil Muhalley, but it is truer to her style as in the rural urban dynamic, the quirky characters, the strong female characters, and the homespun wisdom. After seeing some of her other recent works I had wondered if we had lost her to purely mainstream stuff and remakes etc, so am glad to see her back with an original story.
      I hope that you will continue reading and commenting .. Look forward to more discussions 😊

    • @Ayesha Hey welcome back! Long time!
      Re HN: I wasnt keen on his stutter and lisp added on to his total loser type character, but its grown on me. I thought he was brilliant as we got to see the other, more sober, more sombre, side of his character.
      Re Basant : Yes it was nice to see that.. but that also makes me think the play is set in an era gone by.. We have seen a more older/ mature versions of the leads in promos so I do wonder..
      Bass abb don’t disappear! 🙂

  6. @SZ… Hello dear hope u had wonderful holidays to relax & find enough time to watch Preet n to write a fab review….. I love ur honest n different take on dramas, so definetly going to give this one a try….. Haven’t watched any drama after MNYH…. You mentioned the writer is Aamna Mufti I am more entrigued to watch it, her stories are raw n vey basic….. I like the powerful and stronge women characters in her writings …… I want to hop in and join hands for this journey had been missing the company of all of you…. Haven’t seen it so can’t say anything about Changa Manga( kabi hum bhi picnic per hate the wahan) shab dagh or haresa and all the cultural thingies…. You mentioned about gender reversal role it will be interesting to watch but hope this play doesn’t get butchered in the dragging n the so called TRP stuff…. Per ur recommendation I am going to give it a try but most of all to keep this blog sada jawan n hara bhara with new blood n new thoughts pouring in…. Here I go UNO DOS THRES…. JUMP!!!
    See you soon…..,

  7. Hello SZ and all friends,

    Thanks for the review SZ 🙂

    I haven’t been following this one, but I was waiting for you to do a review (as you mentioned in your DeD post) then take a call (no pressure, lol). Will give this a go, I miss discussing stuff with everyone here, but there’s hardly anything on TV to discuss these days. Will try Preet…as you say, fingers, toes, all crossed and hoping for a decent watch from start to finish.

    • @VZ: hey hello.. Finally there is some drama which is worth of our time.. So as @FA said.. Catch up on all episodes and come back with a bang along with your interesting analysis:)

  8. Hey so good to see whole gang here.. SZ, FA, Rehmat, VZ.. aur tau aur Ayesha bhi.. ab tau dekhna bhi parhay ga.. will catch up on it..

  9. @Shamim Hasan @Atty @VZ: Hello ladies! Indeed its been a while since we’ve had something solid to rant and rave about tau chalo lets give this one a go and see how far we get with it 🙂

    @VZ: Haha! No pressure indeed 😉 Chalo I’ll go dig out that old handy dandy raincoat and you guys bring on the bouquets and brickbats, or to put it in desi terms main taiyar hojati hoon aap ke andey tamataron ke liye… bring it on!

  10. @SZ. Greetings! I’m glad I checked in on DRNRs and saw your review of Preet. In the absence of anything interesting, I’ve been enjoying Loose Talk episodes of MA and BA and the brilliant AM, and old dramas. Recommendations welcome!
    Back to Preet. Yes SZ the female characters here are welcome from the bezubAn, rona dhona types. My only slight irritation is that often when strong female characters emerge they are also portrayed as selfish, manipulative etc.
    I think this is the first time I’m actually enjoying AK and his portrayal of Shams. Nice! I could tell early on there was something dark lurking beneath.
    I’m a big fan of Adnan Shah since Jal Pari, so eager to see his character unfold.
    On to episode 5!

    • @JR: Hey hey! Long time! I hope you will continue joining us on this thread 🙂

      Re: Strong female characters: Interesting you should bring this up .. just the other day I was talking about this with a friend and she was talking abt what a strong woman meant for her and her listing of attributes that this woman must posses made for a fascinating listen … I dont mean to digress but after talking to her I wondered as to how this term “strong” has been used so much that it is impossible to even track what it means any more … I remember talking about this in the first episode review for Pehchan as well, where I said that we expect our “strong” heroine to be a literal paragon of virtues, she dares shed even one tear we are quick to point to her and say ke there she goes again turns into a bechari, or if the woman falters at any one point we are highly disappointed and then see her as a negative character rather than focus on her as “strong” woman who is far from perfect (like Kuku in Pehchan) .

      Coming back to Preet, and Goshi, I dont see her as “strong” as compared to a “weak/mazloom ” woman, but rather see both her and Maryam as women with agency… both are proactive rather than passively reactors to their circumstances .. and yes Goshi has her faults (which were probably exacerbated by the OTT manner in which Hira played her in the opening episodes) and we would rather not have her have those, but at the same time it humanizes her as well .. she uses her badzubani to empower herself. I am not condoning it, but just saying that she does not wait for things to happens rather she uses all means at her disposal to ensure her marriage to Shams. She is very wrong to do all this, but that’s a learning curve that she is yet to embark on .. so far at the end of the 5th episode, she is thrilled with life …

      Compare Goshi to Maryam and we see two very different women, but again Maryam too went ahead and made the first move, and then a second, and then third one … again whether right or wrong, but she empowered herself too … and unlike Gishi did it in a very straight forward way, with no badtameezi etc .. so for me if you look at this way, that a strong woman is a woman with agency and one who can dares to empower herself, who cares what the world thinks of her, then yes both these women can be counted as strong women… but if we are looking for paragons of virtue (hello Khirad) then these two definitely do not qualify ..

      But khair, leaving aside Goshi and Maryam and whether they are strong or not, we do have a full-fledged bechari in the shape of Zarina, Shams’ first wife .. and I have a very strong feeling that she is going to annoy the heck out of me, OTT makeup and mazloomiyat do not make for a good combo 😦

      Re: Older drama recs: Recently I have not been watching many, but Gar Maan Reh Jaye started off on a strong note.. Hina Bayat and the actor playing her son were fab .. it kind of petered out to a blah kind of ending but you might enjoy it in the ffwd mode. It aired on Express earlier in the year .. UllU Baraey Farokht Nahin was also a good one (on Hum written by Amna Mufti) its dark but a great watch …

  11. Hi SZ. I agree. What I like about these two women are that they are proactive. They go after what they want. And what I love (which I see in many Pakistani dramas) is that the characters have many shades. (Ahem…not 50 shades of…cough cough!)
    Enjoying this one! And your reviews of them.

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