Dil Banjara ~ Episode 1 Review


Dil Banjara, penned by Faiza Iftikhar, directed by Siraj Ul Haque and co-produced by Momina Duraid Productions and Nauman Masood’s Naughty Forty Productions, opened its account on Hum TV on Friday. Set in scenic Nepal and featuring a fresh combination of leads – Sanam Saeed, Adnan Malik and Mira Sethi – along with a seasoned ensemble cast, there seemed to be much to look forward to here and the attractive promos promised something alag and hatke.

The first episode introduced us to Nida, Sikki and Shama. Nida is a college student who yearns to be free, much like the pigeons in her house she too sees herself as caged and wishes to grow wings and fly away to explore the vivid colors of that world which lies beyond her drab middle-class household. Having grown up in a joint family, with a gentle, physically handicapped father, a mentally challenged mother, a stern, ultra conservative tayi, an envious cousin, and an irritating phuppo who also doubles as her mother-in-law-to-be, Nida has her hands full; her biggest challenge, though, is to continue her studies in the face of strong opposition from her aunt and uncle. For now, her dreams of travel remain just that – dreams.

Other than sharing her love of travel and poetry, there is no ostensible similarity to be found between Nida and Sikander, or Sikki as he is known. A photographer by profession, Sikki is careless, live-in-the-moment kind of a guy. Having lost his parents at an early age, he has been brought up by Mehtab, a family friend and a single parent to Shama, Sikki’s friend and confidant. Though Mehtab loves him like a son, she is now getting irritated by his casual attitude towards life and would like nothing better than to see him adopt a more responsible approach towards life, and for her this can only happen one way – through marriage, and that too preferably to her daughter.

Though Shama is Sikki’s best friend, she is less than enthused about his penchant for travel. Nonetheless she plays along and makes a show of caring because it suits her purpose, keeping him close. She imagines herself in love with him, a feeling fully endorsed by her mother, even though the guy in question has never actually said anything to that effect. He likes her and humors her, sure, but whether his words mean what Shama reads into them is highly questionable. For now, Shama and Mehtab have bought into Sikki’s vague promise of marriage in the foreseeable future, that he’s not mentioned Shama by name is an oversight that is sure to come back to haunt the pair.

And on being haunted, just one look of Nida and Sikki is a goner. What happens next between Nida, Sikki, and Shama and how their families react to the changes in their lives is something to look forward to in the episodes to come.

As far as first episodes go, this was a very average opening, verbosity, repetition, and long scenes being a big contributing factor. At times I found myself tuning out and had to go back and make sure I hadn’t missed anything of consequence. I had been looking forward to seeing Sanam Saeed back on TV after her uni-dimensional Roohi in Diyar-e Dil, but I was less than impressed. One scene in particular, where she was describing her dreams to her friend was performed so theatrically, complete with dramatic flourishes, and seemed very out of place in a TV serial. Mira Sethi, on the other hand, left more of an impression as Shama.

Of the three leads, Adnan Malik made most of his screen time and looked very comfortable in his character as the everyday Sikki, much more so than he ever did as the angry Khelu in Sadqay Tumhare. To say that Hina Bayat is versatile as an actress is akin to stating the obvious, and here again she makes her mark as Nida’s mentally challenged mother. That said, I am not taken by the idea that a handicap be used as a comic device; I sincerely hope this is something that is handled with a lot more sensitivity in future episodes.

In terms of personal peeves, once again we got the easy resort to visual stereotyping. Nida is from a conservative middle class family so she dresses up in full sleeved shalwar kameez with her dupatta pinned firmly pinned on, whereas Shama is the liberal who wears western clothing all the time. Interestingly though, even as these two are as alike as chalk and cheese they are remarkably similar in terms of their makeup and hair, both fully taiyar to attend a shaadi at a moment’s notice. I have no idea which father drops off his daughter alone outside a college or anywhere in Karachi at fajar, but irregardless, Nida was made up to the nines even at that early an hour. And it was not just the leading ladies, even the exterior of Nida’s house was made up to the gills with a patently fake facade, complete with colored cutouts and flying curtains, add to that the fountain, the pigeons, the bowl filled to the brim with rose petals and jasmine flowers, aur tau aur... even a moonbow?!? Are these the reality based dramas we are known for producing??

Basically the first episode was not persuasive enough for me to buy into Dil Banjara quite as yet. What about you all? How many watched? What did you think? Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

Written by SZ~

53 replies

  1. Hi SZ , shukar hai you are back 🙂
    I was missing your reviews !
    Dil Banjara seems ok so far , let’s see….
    Good to see Adnan Malik , I had been wondering where he had disappeared after sadqay.
    Nice to see Hina B playing a different personality.on that note Hina B is in every drama aaj kal or so it seems but one never tires of her .
    What other reviews will u be doing ?


    • @Deeba: Hello my fellow night owl! Trust you’ve been well! I was seriously wondering if after such a long absence anybody would even bother reading! So thank you for reading and commenting ❤

      Yes, Adnan S makes for a welcome change from the same three four faces we are seeing on screen these days ..ab lets see how this serial shapes up …

      Yes, it does seem like Hina is doing a lot more serials than is usually the case for her … I haven't seen Deewana apart from bits and pieces of the first few eps (cant believe its now over 40 eps!!) but am trying to catch up with Sanam .. I am hoping to review it soonish. Apart from Sanam, I will do Bin Roye, and maybe a couple more …Khuda Mera Bhi Hai (or something like that ) is a serial I'm keeping my fingers crossed for … Rest, Im trying to play catch up so lets see … But I can safely say that the days when I used to do regular weekly reviews of serials are behind us, more like overviews every few weeks ..
      What are you watching these days? Any recommendations?


        • Aah! Dumpukht looked and sounded interesting but after a few experiences with A Plus extending dramas like nobody’s business I’m not too keen to start .. I don’t know abt you all, but 20 eps, is just abt my limit, unless it’s something exceptional..
          Sanam and SeMM are on my watchlist 🙂


      • SZ; I started watching Mann Pyasa because it had a good first episode and the plot of water mafia drew me in. I’ve speed-watched some episodes in between but it is now getting interesting again. Bonus: no saas/bahu stuff!


        • @JR: I had started MP, liked the concept for precisely the same reasons but somehow it was not quit well-knit enough to hold my interest. The poet heroine was particularly annoying.. now that you’re telling me it’s getting better I might go back to it one of these days.


          • @SZ. The brother has regained his sanity (sorry haven’t watched enough to know characters names), and some mystery (perhaps murder) emerging. And of course, no does ‘bad’ like Ijaz, yaar! 🙂


  2. Glad to hear from you and we missed you.
    Hope you R live and kicking.
    Watched first episode, fingers crossed, hope they put things in order as I do want to watch this drama.
    Something has been nagging me for a while.
    How come we didn’t review last episodes of


    • @Farah S: hello! Good to hear from you – hope you’ve been well and had a good summer. I’m well too .. had a crazy summer with tons of guests and then was in Pakistan for a month n a half so been totally out of it .. but am back now and gradually catching up.

      Re: Udaari: given that DRNR is a one person blog if I can’t get to a serial then I can’t .. I don’t have anybody else to cover for me. And to be honest I had started watching it but couldn’t get into it the first couple of weeks, then it got busy on my end and so was unable to get back to it. Also, i kept reading so much abt it that I would think that all has been said and discussed and there is not much left for me to add 🙂


  3. So glad you are back. Watched first episode and it’s so so. I hope it gets better as I had been waiting for this drama. Something has been nagging me…… no review on last episodes of Udaari!? I think finale deserved review on this site.


  4. A drama review on DRNR finally 😀

    I watched last 15 minutes first.. And it seems nice to me how Sikki was clicking photos and found Nida and then tayyi ami and phopoo ki baatein…full on FI touch.. And amazing supporting cast.. I loved HB in her character but yes making fun dosent seems good but if HB has taken this character, there must be more to it than just comic relief.. I hope so..

    Ok then i started watching from start.. N wow first scene itna filmy.. With curtains hawa me lehla rahe hain and pigeons and everything..not impressed with SS’s getup.. What yaar.. I am tired seeing her in shalwar suits n dupata pinned up.. Meera on other side was looking gorgeous…that particular scene you mentioned of SS..her friend was better than her.. Adnan Malik was himself.. An effortless acting.. Enjoyed watching his scenes..

    So far bit okish but will tune into next week as kya he na thore dheeth hogaye hain jab tak inteha ki bhi inteha nh hojati.. Wont leave drama 😂


    • @Rehmat: You are spot on abt the dheet comment — this is precisely what’s happening ..viewers are now so used to watching a drama per day that after a while it doesn’t really matter what’s on .. it’s abt finding something watchable from all the other stuff out there .. and keep watching it regularly and it becomes the norm.. hence stuff which would’ve been rejected outright just a couple of years ago is not only being accepted but also felicitated as being “masterpiece” quality.
      Don’t think I’m making much sense here but I’m just trying understand all the wah wah and the high TRPs that so many nonsensical serials are achieving these days 🙄


  5. Yayy! My face lit up when I saw your review! Where were you, bhuii??
    Wonderful review!! The scene where Nida describes her dreams was laughably bad. Actually, there were quite a lot of scenes that forced me to wonder aloud: who talks like that? No, seriously, who? Not even close to everyday speak.
    I love Hina Bayat, but like you, I am concerned about the representation of mentally challenged people in our dramas. If the sole purpose of her character is to provide comic relief, then I am sorry, but I don’t find it funny.


    • @MB: Hey! Thank you so much for the very warm words – I’m very touched 😘. It’s fab to be back and have the DRNR gang back as well, as feisty as ever 😜
      Thank you so much for agreeing that this opening episode was less than stellar.. Yes.. the lines were pretty questionable, particularly when Sikkimabd Nida were going on and on abt poetry and their passion for travel .. I honestly don’t get the need for repeating the same thing 5000 times .. we might not be the brightest bulbs around but surely we can get that much?!?
      Ab let’s see what the second ep brings us.. I hope the bumpy storytelling settles down and we as a group last long enough to atleast make it to Nepal …
      What else are you watching these days?


  6. You’re back!!! Yayyyy! Where’d you go, @SZ? How are you? 🙂

    Posting this comment here without reading the review lol. Have yet to watch this show but will do asap since you chose to review this one after so long. And now that you’re back here, please stay 🙂


    • @Nashra: Hello friend! *Hugs*
      It’s so lovely to hear from you – thank you for coming back and commenting.
      I’m good and happy to be back.. this break was much needed for my sanity’s sake because all these dramas were making my head spin and I could barely make myself watch anything, forget abt trying to analyze and rationalize them. I am just sorry that I should’ve said something on the blog abt taking a break, but I kept writing these half finished reviews that weren’t going anywhere ( you should see my drafts folder!).
      Khair, I’m back now and hopefully we’ll find something that we can sink our teeth into and get the rusty brain cells going again.

      Lol at choosing to review Dil Banjara: Actually the very real reasons for reviewing were: Hina, Sanam S’ return to TV, and the fact that it was just starting .. it’s much less painful than watching a bunch of eps together 😜 So basically, don’t beat me up if you don’t care much for this one .. I’m still on the fence abt it myself.

      And yes, ab here .. if not for the drama then def for you all .. missed you all – a lot!


    • @Ranjan: hey! Lovely to hear from you – hope you’ve been well and had a good summer. Aww! Missed you all a lot too .. now let’s get the convos going!


  7. Finally!! Thank you for coming back SZ – fans of your writings were missing you, especially me!! Really glad that you chose to review Dil Banjara as I always value the critique on this forum. Yes, Fasiha is mentally challenged whereby she has trapped herself in an age that is her security blanket. No, she isn’t there for comic relief but she does bring some joy to an otherwise sombre household. Keep watching please – I hope you won’t be disappointed.
    As for my appearance in a lot of serials – it’s probably because things don’t always go according to my plans 🙂 Sanam I recorded a year and a half ago, Deewana earlier this year and Dil Banjara in July / August – fortunately or unfortunately they are all airing simultaneously. I’m just glad they are all completely different characters warna aap loag to mujhe Kabhi muaaf na kartay! Lol
    By the way, any thoughts on Aik Thee Maryam?


    • @HKB: always always loveee your take on charcters you play.. Sorry i didnt wait for @SZ to reply you regarding Ek thi Maryam.. But if Sanam Baloch brought tears as maryam, you as her mother made me cried.. You were just.. Flawless.. this was yours, Sarmad and Sanam absolute brilliance.. Loveed it 🙂


    • Hello HB 🙂
      I agree with Rehmat , you were absolutely flawless in ek thi maryam.
      The part when u went to accept the award teared me up.
      Did you get a chance to meet Maryams parents ?


    • HKBji! Want to say how much I love your portrayal of Shabnam in Sanam. You have created a character and you walk the walk and talk the talk! It is the mark of excellence in my book. We don’t see the elegant HKB but the character. Brilliant!


    • Sorry, I completely missed your comment Hina, my mistake.

      It’s good to hear from you! As I mentioned in my comment below, the character you are portraying in this play is very relatable, because of my personal association. You have got the mannerisms and dressing spot on! Looking forward to seeing more of your character, we know you’ll give the character your best like you always do. Is this your fourth play with Sanam Saeed? Can’t wait to see your interactions. 🙂


    • @HKB: Hello hello! You, my friend, are as gracious as ever! 😘 thank you for always reading and responding to our comments and concerns. It’s always special to hear from you.
      Thank you for clarifying abt Fasiha (thank you also for telling us her name). Various commentators on social media have been happily describing her as a pagal and that has really bothered me, because like @VZ I too know of someone similarly challenged and pagal she is definitely not.. hence my concern. I hope there is some kind of an arc for this character, if for nothing else than to just clear up that she is not pagal. That said, it’s fab to see you take on yet another challenging character .. looking forward to seeing how she fares.
      Re: Aik Thi Marium: I have a draft started but then left it incomplete thinking nobody’s be interested but now you’ve given just the incentive and I will post it to coincide with the theatrical release. 🙂


  8. Hello friends, missed you all! SZ, thanks for being back. Some health issues meant that I was off all TV, internet, basically cut off from the world for a while lol!

    I’m now getting better, so I’m allowed one drama a week lol. I’m watching Sang e mar mar and enjoying the story so far (started watching it for Sania Saeed). Today I saw your post and I’ve negotiated (with hubby) to watch this play, saying if SZ has reviewed it, it must be worth a dekho and I want to join my friends after such a long time.

    Rehmat, congrats yaar! MA, boy or girl? Hope you’re keeping well.

    So I watched this episode. Honestly, it wasn’t as good as I was expecting, given that both Sanam and Adnan do such selective work. I wish it wasn’t the same old shaadi, love triangle etc. Haven’t watched the OST, but the title song showed some scenic locales, so there may be more than what came through in the first episode.

    Completely agree with how tayyar these girls looked. Not a hair out of place (talking of hair, what was going on with Mira’s hair?!). Sorry, Sanam in her designer lawn and flawless make-up, reminded me of Kashaf (ZGH, post-marriage), did not get middle-class vibes at all. I can’t see her helping out her tayi ammi in the kitchen in that costume (which I presume she does, given that they emphasised they didn’t have any house help). That scene describing her dreams was very artificial indeed.

    And it was disappointing to see Mehtab, a supposedly liberal, single mother, a business woman, still defining “settling down” as marriage.

    I loved Hina Bayat’s character. There is someone close to me who has the same condition and Hina’s portrayal is very realistic. The innocence, the way of talking, dressing are completely spot on. The reactions of those around her were also very real. I share your worries about her character becoming a laughing stock in every episode, but fingers crossed, as it’s Hina.

    Sorry my comment is all over the place. Haven’t written a word in ages!


    • @VZ: First of, a huge big hug for you –so sorry to hear of your ill health – glad to know you’re feeling better. And a huge thank you on all our behalfs for your hubby for letting you join us despite his concern abt your health. So so happy to hear from you 😘 Ab bas get back to 100% soon because if I’m reviewing I want to hear from all of you, otherwise no point 😎

      Now to the serial: Lol! I’m so sorry for making you and @ Nashra watch this 😂. It’s just that it was easy to begin with a brand new serial as my first drama review back in five odd months .. like you I too was not enthused by what I saw .. it just didn’t have the polish and finish that one would expect from a great cast, good director and premium production house combo. Like we’ve discussed in the past HUM TV has mastered the art of glossy promos that make the serial in question look like the next best thing since sliced bread but more often than not it turns out to be quite the obverse 😐
      Yes, Mira’s hair had me scratching my head too .. at some points it seemed like she was wearing a wig, bit at other places it seemed like her own hair 🤔
      Yes! Mehtab was a huge disappointment .. I guess at the heart of it all it is still the typical love triangle. What does interest me here is to see how the make protagonist shapes up, since for a change ( from the usual drama heroes) he actually seems to have a functional brain and a clearly defined profession and he is driving the narrative .. ab let’s see how it all unfolds ..

      SeMM I too am catching up on .. hopefully this week..

      I know you’re not allowed to watch much, but whenever you are up to it do watch Sania Saeed in and as Lorilie…. if you think she’s good now you will be amazed by her in that one!


      • Dear SZ, hugs back 🙂

        Will definitely catch up on Lorilei. Thanks for the reco. SS is such a talented artist, MA. Will let you know what I think.

        When I watch SeMM I keep thinking about what you would say about a particular scene or a dialogue or a character. Can’t wait to read your thoughts!

        Re: Dil Banjara, something wasn’t quite right. There was this glossiness, but the spark is missing. May be it’s just my expectations. You know that scene where Nida is winning the debate, was that really needed, given that we didn’t hear what she said? I was thinking of Daam and how well that scene where Zara wins the debate was woven into the narrative… May be it’s early days and it will settle down to be a good watch, fingers crossed!


        • @VZ: Arrey bhai, no comparisons should be made with Daam – thats almost sacrilegious! LOL! No but seriously, think of how sad it is that instead of progressing we are regressing and that too so rapidly. Every next serial lowers the bar that much more 😦

          Yes, SeMM next week.. just got done with BR… SeMM’s quite a few eps in so am still catching up and it doesnt help matters that I am still trying to figure out what comes when :/


    • @VZ: hey hey.. Been so long.. Glad to know you are much better.. Missed you n this place so much 🙂

      Awww thanks alot yaar.. Its a girl AH.. Yes i am doing fine..

      And no your comment is great as always 🙂


  9. SZ & all! Great review as always, SZ. Waiting and watching. Is this drama shot in Nepal or is it situated (in the story) in Nepal? I somehow missed that.
    I have become accustomed to (and somewhat bored with) the same shots of ‘defense’ and Marri etc., and would love to see shows with other areas of the country as part of the backdrop. I’ve seen some old PTV shows with Multan etc., which added so much to the narrative.
    “Birds in the cage” ah! seeing a lot of that. Remember Bhai and also Dil Lagi. I was checking in some episodes of shows I don’t know the names of to find something to watch post-surgery, and I have noticed peacocks in yards of fancy homes, and water birds as well. Something about birds. SZ any thoughts other than the caged bird metaphor? Is it a (perceived) sign of status?
    Needless to say I’m watching for SS and HKB.


    • @JR: so glad you’re watching this one with me as well. You always have such fun observations abd discussions are so much more fun with your input :).
      This drama is set in Nepal, as in they will eventually move to Nepal, right now they are in Karachi.. so the new location adds some incentive ( at least for me since I haven’t been) to watch this serial.

      Re: caged birds: I know it’s hackneyed by now but I think for our drama ppl this is still new or maybe they don’t see it that way at all and only we read it that way. I say this because had they intended it to be read that way then why the verbal emphasis on the same thing as well .. sometimes it seems like our TV ppl forget that TV is a visual medium and not everything needs to be verbally spelt out, and that too a thousand times! There have been times when I’ve just listened to a drama while doing some other work in another window 😡 .. sorry that’s me going off on a tangent ..

      To your question: yes having peacocks or other similar birds or pools or ponds or horses, all are signs of elevated status.

      SS has been a disappointment in her last few outings on TV.. her last good drama I remember was Shukk, before it went all crazy, thanks to channel’s directives to stretch the serial. I hope this one turns out well for her sake. She is a good actress who needs quality projects to polish and showcase her skills.

      And thank you for the tip abt Javed Akhtar- will look for it.


  10. Hi SZ, good to see the review here 🙂
    Good enough 1st ep. A bit too much of flowery urdu (didn’t go with Adnan’s character I thought), lipstick and flowers/curtains etc. But a fresh look nevertheless. Looking forward to how things unfold.


    • @Afia: Hello hello! Good to hear from you here 🙂
      Yes, lets keep our fingers and toes crossed .. hopefully it’ll all settle down soon enough..


  11. hello hello and hello SZ. Long time no see. I managed to catch about 15 minutes of Dil Banjara before my two year old insisted I put on Peppa Pig. We are not watching any current drama at the moment, not even the much hyped Bin Roye. Just so disillusioned with the drama scene at the moment just don’t want to commit to watching something. This drama caught my attention like many people because of Faiza Iftikhar and Sanam Saeed.

    The scenes I saw were where Sanam Saeed was describing her dreams to her friends, I nearly changed the channel as it was so unrealistic and over the top. I next saw Sikki taking photographs outside of the birds and street. Again it just looked exaggerated and artificial.

    Overall the drama has a very polished and clean look. Sikki’s room looked more like a studio then someone’s bedroom. For someone who doesn’t take life seriously he seems to take particular care of the look and arrangements of his bedroom. The cafe also looked very upper class and clean.

    I don’t have much knowledge on camera lenses and the exact terminology as such but it looked like they were going for the ‘soft focus’ rather then the more realistic sharper picture. This sort of camera work makes the picture look more soft, comfortable and relaxing. Its something the U.S.show NCIS uses to great effect. It can dare I also say make the harsh realities of outdoor shoots of a 3rd world country appear less severe.

    However I will give this drama a go. I read a comment by Faiza Iftikhar where she admits the story itself is nothing new but she has tried to make a serial with strong characters. Also despite my 15 minutes snap look, the drama did catch my attention and I will try and watch the full episode soon. And if Hina Bayat is in the drama it deserves a closer look.

    By the way I want to thank you for recommending drama serial Pehchan. With nothing much worth watching at the moment and finally having the technology to watch Youtube on the TV I finally started this drama. I am only on episode 5 at the moment but my goodness its like watching something ‘grown up’. The dialogues, the scenes and set-up was realistic. We did watch the drama serial Dil Lagi recently and the sharp dialogue and exaggerated nature of this drama was a contrast to Pehchan. I felt that all previous drama relationships I had watched to date were just ‘bachi’ compared to the real adult dialogue and exploration of human emotions on Pehchan. In Pehchan the characters were supreme, not the scenery, the furniture (note: Sikki’s bedroom), the houses or the characters clothes. In Dil Lagi you could see how much organisation had gone into the main lead’s wardrobe and the set-up of the scenery. When I think of Dil Lagi I think of Mehwish Hayat’s short kameez’s and Humayun Saeed’s salwaar kameez’s and shawls, I think of Humayun Saeed’s house and the balcony. When I think of Pehchan I think of Laila’s dreams, her uncertainty, her anguish and the emotional journey she will take. I think of Kuku and her loneliness. Dramas like Dil Lagi may leave a visual impression after you finish watching them but Pehchan I feel will leave an emotional print which will last longer. Okay sorry for going off topic.


    • @NKhan.. Loveed your comment but mostly loved your comparasion between Dillagi and Pehchaan.. And now you made me recall those amazing characters.. The things that were done so calmly without melodrama and stuff..


    • @NKhan: Hello back! Indeed, been a while.. but its good to be back and catch with friends 🙂

      Aah! Im so so glad you finally got to watch Pehchan and even more glad that you are enjoying it as much as we all did .. if you have a chance do check out the review archive …we had quite a few interesting discussions on those threads.
      You make a very imp point with your comparison of Dillagi and Pehchan and that is exactly the problem … so much effort goes in window dressing a serial that the real stuff, the content gets sidelined somewhere along the way. And it is also very telling of our audiences that Pehchan was considered a massive flop whereas Dillagi a super hit.. and with this scenario then you cant really blame the channels for dishing out more of the same .. I guess we are getting what we are asking for :/

      Re: Dil Banjara and the soft focus .. good point .. this is a Hum TV/MD Productions specialty, where even the trash gets airbrushed so as to not look ugly, I remember an interview of Sultana Siddiqui’s where she actually came out and said that she instructs her teams to not show ugliness.. so not much of surprise then when we get beautiful people living in beautiful houses wearing beautiful clothes in all Hum TV dramas … even Udaari, which dealt with a very dark subject an was set in a village had no scenes which showed anything dark and dingy …

      And on that, I ont know if you all have watched Queen of Katwe .. if not I highly recommend all of you must watch it .. talk about doing realism in a real way! Acting, writing, directing all in all the story telling is amazing!


      • Not surprised at all Pehchan was a ‘flop’ It broke all the rules.

        Firstly there was no likable male lead, no hero. Mansoor has no redeemable qualities and the actor himself although attractive is not one of these ‘pretty boys’ that we see regularly on our screens which may adhered him to some of the audience. (although this is something I liked, more realistic then the gelled sleek and ‘foundationed-up actors’ we see nowadays). I know there will be another man in Laila’s life but I don’t think she gives him the importance that she gave Mansoor.

        From what I know of the direction of the drama will go the two female protagonists will commit the ultimate faux paus of not settling down. As mentioned even in Dil Banjara Shama’s mother wants her to settle down not by having a career but by marrying.

        Finally there is Kuku’s adultery, yes I said Kuku’s adultery not Mansoor’s. Our dramas may have a revolving door policy when it comes to marriage and divorce but a married woman is only just forgiven adultery if she is in a seriously-seriously bad or violent relationship or if the man in question was her ‘first true love’. Kuku is too independent and although Khurrum isn’t perfect he is not bad enough to warrant Kuku breaking her sacred marriage vows.

        If it was a film Pehchan would be classed as a chick flick and this does not fit in our society which believes a woman’s journey ends with a marriage. Even female Pakistani audiences believe this so this drama did not have much of chance of success.

        But I am so glad it was made. Sorry I know much discussion on this drama took place during the actual reviews (which I have read, thanks for these SZ) but just wanted the opportunity to share my views.


  12. SZ, nice to see you back! The first episode of Dil banjara was very disappointing. Expected more from Sanam Saeed. I felt both the leads were out of their depth and their pronunciation of flowery urdu was way off mark. I dont understand why talaffuz is not given importance in our dramas anymore. HKB’s acting was the saving grace. I hope the drama gets better in the coming episodes.


    • @SI: hello! Good to hear from you 🙂 thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts .. glad we’re on the same page.. I was reading a comment on social media according to which this review showed how biased I was against Sanam Saeed! So I’m particularly glad to see that I’m not alone in feeling let down.
      Uff you are so right abt the talkafuz .. to begin with I don’t get the need for such OTT lingo and then we have the off pronunciations .. what is wrong with saying simple everyday lines in the writer’s part and for the actors to get coaching for fixing their diction. This is the one area where Mor Mahal got it right.
      And on talkafuz… do check out the teaser for Kitni Girhain Baqi Hain – season 2. Not only is it aesthetically off- big time!!- but watch and cringe at Nadia Hussain’s pronunciation of bhadon 🙈🙊🙉


  13. Wow! You guys are so generous and yet so honest in your critique that I am scared to read your take on each piece reviewed here but am still compelled to read every word. SZ you truly bring something extra to the drama itself with your insight and analysis. Please do post the piece you have written on Aik Thee Mariam – especially now since it is releasing on the big screen. @Deeba I did meet Mariam’s parents – once by chance before I committed to the project and once again after I did. My perception of them was quite different from the way the writer had penned their characters, so I am grateful I had the opportunity to meet them and portray her mother with a certain amount of honesty and truth. @Rehmat if I made you cry it’s because I truly felt the character. Yehi to masa’ala hai mere saath – glycerin daal ker rona nahin aata! And congratulations – I’m guessing you have a new addition to your family 🙂
    @VZ hope you are feeling better. I hope I will not disappoint you and the others especially @NKhan, @SI, @MaryamMB and @JR regarding Fasiha’s character. I was intrigued by it and put in a lot of research and thought into developing it with responsibility because people like her are labelled as “pagal” and marginalised. Hope that comes through because there wasn’t much of an arc provided in the actual script.


    • Thank you for your kind words Hina 🙂

      Like SZ, I too want to watch Sanam, I will probably start in a few weeks’ time. You mentioned here in DRNR (on Osman Khalid Butt’s sawaal-jawaab session) that there was going to be reunion of some of the cast from Aun Zara – I am guessing you meant Sanam? I’m looking forward to watching it, especially given your powerful performance in the earlier Haseeb Hasan project Tum Ho Ke Chup 🙂 Aik Thee Mariam – I’ve heard so many good things about it, will watch it very soon.

      Best wishes for all your upcoming work!


    • @HKB: I totally agree with VZ… You are indeed very kind and must say so honest too 🙂 you truly feel your characters thats why we love watching you…keep doing such amazing work 🙂

      Thank you so much.. Yes been blessed with baby girl 🙂


  14. Great review, SZ. This drama was such a letdown; I think the saving grace (if any) will be the senior actors. I’ve always found Adnan Malik’s (and Osman Khalid Butt’s) acting quite terrible and rather forced. As usual, the female leads are cliched and predictable – mashriqi larki vs. the “modrin” girl. Sigh!
    Back to watching PTV classics.


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