Pinjra ~ Episode 2 Review

16325417_10155721051738662_520030048_o

When you know how a story is going to unfold there is very little room for surprise, a kiya baat hai! moment, but this week Pinjra manages to do just that. Kudos to Imran Nazir, Kashif Nisar, Samina Ahmed and Nauman Ijaz for fashioning something different from the same old material.

Last week set the groundwork for the clash between the Mazaris and the Chaudhrys and this episode picked up the narrative and the expect feud happened, and by the end of the hour Bibi had called for a meeting of the panchayat (village elders) to avenge her son’s death.

It is to the writer and director’s credit for opting to show rather than tell, to subtly underscore the control exerted by feudals. The way Bibi summarily dismissed the police FIR and asked for Mubashir to be released was beautifully done. That she was getting him released only to bring him in front of the jirga was clearly understood by all parties concerned. And at the tribal council meeting the corrupt witness was yet another testament to the length Bibi was willing to go to get her desired punishment for her son’s murderer.Even though no part of the country is outside of the purview of law, but such jirgas, panchayats, councils of tribal elders, all continue to exist, right under the nose of the law. At the very least these illegal parallel law courts are testimony to the power and influence of feudalism.

Feudalism thrives in a patriarchal system, but Bibi’s position and power are testament to the fact that social systems would not continue to exist if it was just one group oppressing the other one. Here we see how women too play a part in upholding patriarchy. Just like their male counterparts women too get sucked into the system seduced by the magnetic pull of power. A dictatorial woman like Bibi not only oversees family matters but also commands a seat at the jirga council. Her contemptuous smirk at her late husband’s picture and the way she deals with the police, handles her sons, including the brutish Raga, her insistence on delaying the burial, all point to a woman who is as much a despot as a despot can be. Its her way or the highway.

Bibi’s is the central character so far which is pushing the story ahead. Ranga’s was another character with a very colorful, larger than life presence, but that is now snuffed out. Alongside these, other characters, Zulekha, Jahan, Aasiya, Mubashir, and Ranga’s wife, all are still in the process of shaping up. Of these, Zulekha seems to have potential for interest as she has the makings of another Bibi, given that her husband Jahan seems to be quite oblivious of his wife’s interests and activities. Aasiya, of course will be the other main character since she plays the title role of the vani. Daniyal Raheal’s character is yet to make an appearance.

As compared to the first one, this second episode, sans gratuitous violence and in-your-face symbolism, made for an engrossing watch. The narrative unfolded smoothly, events happened in quick succesion but was all handled so well that it never seemed convenient, forced or fake. I am particularly appreciating how Pinjra not only addresses a relevant issue, but also never loses sight of the fact that at the end of the day the primary purpose of a drama is to entertain, hence we see texture and substance alongside a social message subtly woven in the writing so far.

Taking shape under Kashif Nisar’s direction and Rashid Abbas’ cinematography, Imran Nazir’s story is brought alive by some great acting. Samina Ahmed is simply brilliant as Bibi. Her getup, her accent, her body language, everything is spot on. Her dance, on seeing her son’s dead body, was something else. Similarly in the jail scene she was fab. Nauman Ijaz was simply brilliant as Ranga. I had not realized his was a guest appearance, but wow, what an appearance. He was fab when he was dancing and later with his mother. The little quirks he adds into his characters are superb. Among others, Kiran Haq is doing well as Zulekha and I’m waiting for Yumna Zaidi to get more screen time.

While the storytelling part was really well done, I have to complain about the makeup on the younger ladies. Aasiya, for instance, wakes up in the morning but her hair and makeup game is on point. And, my complaint with over bright sets still remains but now, with the story going well I have reconciled myself to it. The rest, editing is effective, and I appreciate that background score has been toned down and is being used sparingly.

All in all this one I enjoyed. What about you guys?

Written by SZ~

Advertisements

4 replies

  1. Lovely review. And agree to it totally..
    Thats how it should be done.. very interesting watch i must say.. even i didnt have clue about NI ‘s guest appearance..  though i found him bit repetitive but his some variations to character were v.nice.. the way he threw orange’s seed was superb  and his dancing… v.well done  …

    Samina Ahmed stole the show ..uff she give chills seriously  .. her dance n her looks at her husband and then spitting .. brilliant.. in first epi when muni asked her mother who would she save between aasiya n muni.. i thought it was just to show love for àasiya… but next week epi shows what they actually meant.. impressive really

    So mubashar ex was ranga’s wife and jahan’s wife is in love with mubashar.. lol.. i thought zulekha was his ex..

    Definitely tuning next week .. my guess aasiya would sacrifice herself for munni… 🤔

    • @Rehmat: So I watched this around 2 am and got really into it so wrote it up immediately .but later I wondered if I was so enthused because it was so late in the day or if it was really that good .. but now after your comment I am now relieved that I was not imagining stuff – so thank you 🙂

      Yes, I too loved how the dialog looped back to that convo .. good work by the writer n director.

      Also, your comment on the previous episode, the comment about Sammi being “local”, as compared to Pinjra, was absolutely hilarious .. took me back to my childhood days when anything we didnt like, or didnt meet our standards, was disdainfully termed as local …

      and then even as i was laughing I was amazed anew at our deeply embedded biases and complexes and how much a part they are of our culture .. .we all mouth these terms without thinking even for a sec that by repeating them we not only keep them current but also are unconsciously passing them on to the next generation … another one I often hear is: shakal acchi na ho tau kam az kam baat tau acchi kar lo!! Matlab ke bas hadd hi ho gayi!! Sorry, went off on an unrelated tangent again *goes backtohercorner*

  2. SZ, I watched this to try it out and so far so good. Thanks for writing about it, otherwise I would have never tried it.

    It feels like the writing is quite good. There are layers, multiple tracks and substance and definitely lots of potential. Add to it a director who seems to understand what the essence of the story is and good actors, I think this one will be an interesting watch.

    Samina Ahmed is a good example of how talented artists are just not getting the right projects to show what they are capable of. I recently watched her in Dil Banjara and now watching her here was so refreshing. Kiran Haq is another artist I’m keen to watch, her role here has more potential than what she’s been recently playing. I liked the accents and language as well, it does give a flavour of the setting.

    They’ve got a lot of the things right but you are right to call them out on the loud makeup of the ladies – is that an A plus thing – remember Mera Naam Yusuf Hai? No matter what life throws at you, don’t forget to straighten and blow-dry your hair!! Also, the set is indeed terribly colourful – I mean it looks like some kid went berserk with all the colours when grown ups weren’t looking. And that pinjra in the title card and the accompanying screeching OST is just tauba! Even on your review, that pinjra keeps on rotating! Anyway, as you say, as long as the story is strong these issues won’t bother us so much. Let’s see. Will keep my fingers crossed for this one!

    For now, it looks like you won’t need the raincoat SZ 🙂

    • @VZ: Phew! Im relieved! *goes to take off the heavy raincoat*

      Seriously though, thank you for watching this on my rec… I would’ve felt very bad if you hadn’t liked it and felt you had wasted your time..

      Haina! As compared to the much hyped Sammi, this one actually has a story first and foremost and then the issues are very nicely woven in .. and yes, Samina A is fab fab here! How scary is that woman when she dances beside her son’s dead body!! For this one I am really hoping and praying that it doesnt derail I have hopes, solid ones, from this one.

      Yes, unfortunately aesthetics are not their strong suite at APlus … what to do :/ I guess one can keep writing and keep highlighting and hope someone pays attention.

      That pinjra title card I’m using is from the APLus website.. can you imagine someone actually thought it would attract ppl??? Sad the Hum aesthetics cant be combined with the strong story telling we are seeing here 😦

      Ab lets see what tom’s ep has in store for us .. it will be interesting to see if the story can sustain interest without Nauman Ijaz’s towering presence.. great hook by the producers tho.. I probably wouldnt have tuned in if it weren’t for his name and the director’s…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s