Twenty five weeks in and the stretch marks are showing. Though it continues to be engrossing, I sincerely hope that powers-that-be will stop messing with the narrative pace of Sang-e Mar Mar and wrap up this generational saga before it loses its originality and exceptionalism.
Any and all discussion of this week’s episode must begin and end with a round of applause for the actors, for it is they who kept me engaged and interested. Be it Nauman Ijaz as the tortured Gulistan Khan, Sania Saeed as the worried peacemaker Shamim, Uzma Hasan as Bano with her burning desire to avenge all perceived wrongs, Kaif Ghaznavi as Pari and her vow to show Shirin down no matter what the cost, Paras Masroor as Torah and his never-ending litany of grievances, and Mikaal Zulfiqar as Aurang re-evaluating his feelings about his father and Kubra Khan as the will-she-won’t-she Shirin.
Mustafa Afridi’s writing and Saife Hasan’s direction skills were on display as well in this episode, some scenes were beautifully framed and positioned, but because of the pacing, plot points I would have gone along with willingly earlier, now seem forced and difficult to buy into. Durkhane’s nikah, the lead up to it and the ceremony itself, for instance went on for too long, as did the so-not-romantic scene between the new bride and groom. I get that the larger purpose was to set the foundation for the about-turn to come, but this could have been conveyed in a more-to-the-point scene. Similarly, while it served its purpose, explaing the rushed nikah, but after today’s episode, the sang-e mar mar wala bathroom scene from last week also seems to have been a filler. I appreciate the humor, but the joke, about KaleemUllah’s mother’s immenint death, had already been established a few episodes ago and to repeat serves no real purpose except to stall the narrative.
Last week we were miffed about missing Gulistan Khan’s big reveal, but when it did happen today it hardly carried the impact it should/could have had. So much of the suspence had been diluted because of the wait and that we had come up with better probable scenarios. Also seeming dragged is the Palwasha-Aurang-Shirin triangle. I know many are watching primarily for the shaadi to happen, but for me this has to be most inconsequential track in the entire saga. After so much talk perhaps Aurang should just marry both of them and call it a day! Torah and Bano will thus have one less thing to fight about, giving them some much needed time to focus on the status quo of their own marriage.
While Gulistan’s big reveal didn’t do much for me, it clearly had a huge impact on Aurang, who found out his father’s secret thanks to his khandaani beemari of eaves dropping. I can see how this would’ve come as an unpleasant surprise to Aurang, but surely not as much as it seemed to have upset him? Again, had this occured earlier I would have bought into Aurang’s shock but now, after all that Gulistan Khan had confided in him and what he already knew of his father … no. All through this episode I couldnt but help wish that the makers had not slowed down the pace so much that I was questioning everything rather than just sitting back and letting my mind go with the flow.
On going with the flow, there was talk here last week that Pari’s pregnancy was suspect, well this week we got visual evidence that even Pari herself can’t make up her mind. There were scenes where she barely looked pregnant, but later seemed to remember that she was with a child. Nonetheless, vacillate as she might on the question of to be or not to be, the one thing we are quite certain of is her desire to make an utter mess of Shirin’s life. And of all the tracks this week, this is the one I enjoyed. What a piece of work she is and the pace at which her mind works is something else. In fact, Pari and Bano are a match made in heaven… both ladies with super sharp brains that are going to waste playing these silly games when they could’ve really been changing the world.
Yes, this week’s episode did not do much for me. The textures and nuances are there and the actors are amazing but the snail’s pace is not helping. Looking to next week: Thanks to Pari’s machinations many more evil ideas have been planted in Bano’s already churning mind and the promo promises a hopefully more happening episode. So here’s me keeping my fingers and toes crossed. What about you all – yay or nay for today’s installment?
Written by SZ~