Sang-e Mar Mar is all kinds of fab but first and foremost it serves as a much-needed reminder of the quality of creative talent going to waste as drama industrialists insist on meddling in the creative process, churning out one nonsensical project after another. Every once in a while, however, there is one that slips through the cracks and leaves its mark – Sang-e Mar Mar for one.
Here, be it the writer or the director or the cast – all have come together brilliantly and made this a memorable serial. Mustafa Afridi’s writing is taut but nuanced, Saife Hasan has his finger on the pulse of the story and the actors are living their characters… viewers like me are thrilled. But is all this too good to be true? The classic bait and switch tactic – missing scenes from last week’s promo – has me concerned. Keeping my fingers crossed that the powers-that-be will not stretch this one like elastic.
For those waiting for a resolution to the dilemma of Aurang’s marriage – who, when, how – this episode did not do much other than add yet another twist. Palwasha might look like a quintessential seedhi saadhi but she too is as much a product of the system as any of the other characters, hence the taunt to Bano last week and now this barely veiled warning to Shirin. This girl knows what she wants and is not ready to give up quite as yet.
Palwasha is not the only one. Bano too is not planning on going down so easily. The way she put forth her reasons, for opposing Aurang and Palwasha’s marriage, was absolutely applause worthy. She is astute and knows her emotionally weakened father’s sore spots, hence couching her argument in terms of children and lack thereof. Earlier, in a softened tone, asking Palwasha to go visit her mother, later her malicious glee seeing her sister in law cry, her impatience with her mother and finally the dance of joy – all very well done! Uzma Hassan was all kinds of brilliant in this episode.
On great acting, Sania’s Shamim is fabulous, imbuing life in a character that barely exists on paper. She sees Gulistan Khan making yet another mistake and warns him, but after spending a lifetime with him she knows he will learn on his own time. A man can only change so much in so short a time. Things that had just started to normalize are being put in jeopardy again by the decision of an emotionally wrought man. Her beloved son is being pulled and pushed in every which direction and all she can do is pray and hope for the best. One wonders if and when this woman’s trials will ever be over?
Aurang is as yet unaware of the drama going on behind his back. He thought his relationship with his father was now of equals, but as events have shown that was a mistake. His father is a complicated man and knowing him is not an easy task. He gives on one hand but takes away on the other. He granted Aurang the freedom to decide the future of his family business, but when it came to his personal freedom, choosing a life partner, that is a right that Gulistan kept for himself. Father knows best is his mantra. What happens when Aurang finds out has me looking forward to next week. Meanwhile, I shall go back and watch that excellent scene between the father and son. Mikaal Zulfiqar is very impressive as Aurang.
As for the father in question, Gulistan Khan, what a performance by Nauman Ijaz! From angry to remorseful, from adamant to tearful, we saw so much on display today, but so fine tuned was his performance that it all seemed organic and effortless. The scene with the Afghan refugee was fabulously written and enacted as was the followup. I do wonder about his extreme reaction to dancing. Is it something to do with his past? Was his father involved with a dancing girl? Or was it him? I hope HUM will stop its unfunny games and give us the answer to this riddle next week. And please, could somebody lower the volume of the background score? Thank you.
All in all, an intriguing and engrossing episode. While there is much to applaud here, I think Mustafa Afridi’s writing is really the key ingredient and I am thoroughly enjoying the way he’s knit this very textured story together, every scene has a reason and purpose. And on that, I wonder what if any role will Kaleem Ullah’s marble tiled bathroom play in episodes to come … any guesses?
Now, looking forward to reading your take!
Written by SZ~