This is not the next best thing since sliced bread nor will watching it help you find a cure for cancer and it does not purport to highlight any deep dark societal menace – nope, this is not that kind of hat ke serial or a super special mega project. Set aside these kinds of expectations, however, and Teri Raza makes for an enjoyable Tuesday watch.
Picking up the strands from last week, the second episode moved along rapidly. Now that Suhana’s graduated her family would like her to get married, and so would she – to Ramiz. Ramiz, however, leads a life not as uncomplicated. His father is sick from the stress of business losses but Ramiz refuses to let such mundane matters stop him from weaving an alternate reality. Pretending to be what he is not comes very easy to him.
Ramiz’s difficult relationship with his parents – one spoils and the other abuses – has left him emotionally untethered. Superficially charming, he is a liar, has anger management issues and is an emotionally abusive person. Sadly Suhana is so madly in love that she cannot/does not want to see the darkness that lies just below the surface.
Imtiaz, the other man in Suhana’s life, is the complete opposite. He’s bashful, awkward, not quite as smooth with the ladies, but yeh sab chorain. His biggest shortcoming is that he is much older than the girl his heart desires. But woh jo kehte hain na ke dil tau hai dil.. tau bas Imtiaz’s dil wants Suhana … problem is ke Suhana’s dil wants Ramiz. Ab whose heart wins and whose gets broken is a question to be answered in the coming episodes.
This second episode of Teri Raza felt better than last week’s. Partly because of adjusted expectations, and partly because some rough edges were smoothed out. Thankfully gone were the repeated references to istikhara and with the college track now behind us also gone was the perceived need for Ramiz’s college stud attire and Suhana’s giggly friends. I’m not quite sure what kind of magic happened the minute he graduated, but Ramiz’s dressing improved overnight. And along with the wardrobe Shahroz’s acting too looked less affected this week.
That said, I am still not on board with the execution of the whole Ramiz track. The scene with the parents was so off and didnt look convincing at all, neither did the screaming and shouting at Suhana sequences. What worked though was the scene where Ramiz was simply sitting by himself while the OST played softly in the background. Why can’t we get more of such stuff – so much more effective than the OTT shouting matches.
Sanam Baloch’s Suhana bring to mind Bano from Dastaan, the early happy episodes when she was the darling of the household. While her acting skills are just as impressive, she does not look as young as she did then and making matters worse is the harsh lighting and dark makeup. Hence it is difficult to be persuaded by the basic premise of her character. That said, I enjoy watching her on screen. She is effortless as Suhana and I enjoy her scenes with Sarmad Khoosat. Their chemistry is fabulous and their banter very natural. While Sarmad and Sanam are very good, the real superstars here are the two senior ladies. Ayesha Khan and Shamim Hilali are flippin’ fantastic!
Last week’s episode established the derivative nature of the story and so wasn’t expecting much on that front, but what has surprised me, and pleasantly at that, is the progressiveness of writing. When Imtiaz expresses his desire to marry Suhana, his mother does not automatically latch on to the idea of a younger, chand si bahu. I appreciated how she gave her son a reality check and tried to dissuade him. Later she is almost apologetic when she brings the rishta.
For their part, Suhana’s family deserves a gold medal for not being the clichéd drama family and going gaga over the prospect of a rich damad. Along similar lines, I like that Suhana is not the typical sati savitri, and after an initial hesitation actually tells her mother about Ramiz, who in turn does not freak out at the thought of her daughter liking somebody. How I wish more of our dramas featured evenly sketched characters like Suhana, Imtiaz and their families.
Amidst all that worked, what did not quite gel, in addition to the lighting issues mentioned above, were, the continuity error – Suhana tells her dadi she’s graduated but in the very next scene Ramiz refers to their impending graduation – and the off timeline. Imtiaz picking up Suhana for the mehndi, their shopping trip and the main event later – didn’t add up at all in my book. Also, by now we get that Imtiaz is older hence conservative in matters of attire, but surely the poor guy has clothes other than formal layered ensembles? Aisay chalta raha tau he garmi ki wajah se he will melt into a puddle before he gets married!
Rounding up to where I began, Teri Raza is not a masterpiece but what I appreciate is that it does not claim to be one either. For sure it has its share of flaws but for now I am enjoying Aabis Raza’s simplicity of storytelling, the characters and their nuances, and the acting. What about you all? Yay or Nay??
Written by SZ~