Teri Raza ~ Episode 3 Review

Color me crazy but three episodes in Teri Raza is beginning to look and feel a lot like that bhoola bisra sa drama… you know the one that began with an H?

Anyone here remember Humsafar

Much like that other massive hit this one too has a done-to-death story with very predictable scenarios. But more than the story it is the story-telling that sets Teri Raza apart. Aabis Raza tells a simple story simply, keeping the melodrama at a minimum and giving his actors the freedom to make these characters their own. There is also at work here a certain x-factor, a certain chemistry not just between the leads (minus one) but other cast members as well. Humsafar may have been all about Khirad and Ashar but I am sure none of us have forgotten Farida, Zarina, Baseerat or Batool khala, all of whom were memorable in their own right.

For all its clichés, Teri Raza should be applauded for working within the envelope to introduce some much-needed freshness in terms of characters and their characteristics. Suhana’s dadi is an English-speaking “modern” woman who does not have an issue with her granddaughter choosing her own life partner, but then at the same time she is also very religious, a firm believer in the isharas of the istikhara. Such boundary blurring characters are extremely rare in fact almost non-existent in our dramas and it is refreshing to see one here.

Similarly Suhana’s family. I love how this girl’s parents give her the confidence and space whereby she can not only voice her reservations about a prospective rishta but also put forth her own choice in a straightforward way. For her part, the mother forwards Suhana’s choice without adding any mirch masala. Simple. No drama no nothing. The family members’ reactions in turn are equally applause worthy.

Please, can other drama makers follow suit? I don’t know about you all, but I am fed up of the haww haye yeh tum ne kya kar diya type lectures we hear in every other serial these days. I like that all the familial moments here are very natural and relatable. Be it Suhana and her dadi, she and her parents, or Imtiaz and his mother, all are made memorable because they rely on actors who work on their characters and make them come alive beyond the written word. 

While all this worked, what did not work at all was this undue emphasis on the istikhara. For a drama that has been very middle of the road so far, Suhana’s long-winded apprehensions about not heeding/questioning the isharas of the istikhara struck a very sour note. Even though dadi corrected her later the damage was done. Suhana might learn otherwise later, but for those who may watch only this episode or this one long scene, this haphazardly handled religious issue sends out a very wrong message.

My other issue, script wise, is Ramiz being painted in all shades of black, ridding him of any redeeming qualities whatsoever. I wish there was some nuance there, some grey, something that could help us empathize with Suhana’s heartache and make us see what she sees in this guy. The simplistic portrayals – Ramiz = bad vs Imtiaz = good – take away from the story and turn Suhana’s character into a flake. Hence, where we should want Suhana to get the guy of her choice we are all rooting for impeccably dressed Imtiaz.

Re: Imtiaz: Sanam was the main attraction here and we were all excited for her, and she is fantastic for sure, but honestly, it is Sarmad who has turned out to be the star of the show. Theoretically speaking, Imtiaz is a boring fuddy duddy – again, shades of Ashar in Humsafar – but Sarmad’s humanistic interpretation has put a whole new spin on this guy. Despite the crumpled suit and that ghastly black wrinkled sateen robe (no istris on set?) he is stealing the show. I don’t care what that ‘ishq ki andhi Suhana wants, bas she should just marry Imtiaz. That’s that.

Where Imtiaz’s wardrobe is crying out for an extreme makeover, Suhana’s wardrobe game was on point today. She looked lovely in almost everything she wore and I liked how the stylist had given her an appropriate youthful look; loved her kurtas and scarves, and the engagement outfit was a beautiful shade of green. That said, the show stealers today were the older ladies. Loved Ayesha Khan’s ghararas and Shamim Hilali’s sarees. Actually, let’s just simplify and say I love these two. Ok, no, I love the made-up maid Manzura too. What a character she is! Poori ki poori desi agony aunt aka thaali ki baingan. Just last week she was going on about Ramiz’s charm and today she was running him down to praise Imtiaz. Suhana beware!

Precap shows ranjhey Ramiz ki waapsi and I am so not looking forward to all the screaming and shouting. Aunty ji and Imtiaz can you please move up the shaadi ki date? Preferably before next week’s episode? Thank you.

Yes, I’m hooked. What about you all?

Written by SZ~

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37 replies

  1. Interesting review yet slightly baffling at the same time.
    Doesn’t look like there are any stand out moments in terms of something ‘new’ but perhaps you spoke of it early in that the charm is in the story telling and how the cast seems to gel together.
    I couldn’t get the sense of ‘being hooked’ feeling in the review; maybe more in awe of the actors assembled together as they are clearly some of your favourites.
    Look at me!
    Giving a review of the review..tehehheh.
    Sorry!
    I do want to give it a try but am so weary of these “gharayloo masla pay masail aur mahoul” that even when they are being given the correct treatment, it still doesn’t entice me enough.

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    • Hey Arisha, long time!
      Chalo baffling hi sahi at least the review got you to comment 🙂

      So, re: the review .. after reading your comment I went back to read and evaluate and look at what I missed out, the standout moments etc .. but here’s thing, which I perhaps didn’t convey clearly enough .. there are no standout moments, there is no particular scene where I can say wah kiya baat hai .. nope none of that.. its all as ordinary as it gets .. but it is the way a very cliched script is being translated on to the screen is what has me hooked .. hence the comparison to Humsafar. The warm feeling I have is from the general family scenes, the kind you see in every drama, sitting around the dining table etc, but its special here because they do infact gel together. It is not because I’m in awe of the actors.. yes, I love watching them onscreen, but never if its something blah .. the seniors are in tons of dramas, none of which I’m watching and similarly Sanam had appeared in plenty of doozies before her sabbatical. But its this particular combo (minus one) that is clicking, for me atleast. Basically, its nothing I can explain in writing because there is nothing special and the script has issues and there is some bad acting – I guess you would have to watch it and then decide..
      I totally hear you about not wanting to watch the same old .. I am with you on that .. that I am enjoying this one is a surprise for me.. If you want to watch something different, and you haven’t already, then I would highly recommend Dhund.. thats different for sure!

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      • You remember me !!???!!?

        You’re awesome.
        Wow.

        Just amazing. You must have so many contributors..anyway..thank you.

        No need to re evaluate on my behalf. You were pretty clear as day. My thoughts were all over, I think. It was a reiteration of what you’ve written on my part. Manufacturing fault.

        I may give it a try.I may.

        But this Dhundh business is definitely not for the scaredy cats like me. That I am certain.:)

        On that note, let me find your blog about O Rangreza. And Baghi. Plus the just posted Yaqeen ka safar.

        Ciao for now

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        • Of course I remember my commentators!

          Haha! Dhund is def not for the fainthearted but it is a fun watch .. Try Chinar Ghati when it starts .. thats also got some supernatural ements but a very different kind of story. I have reviewed the teasers here

          https://desirantsnraves.com/category/coming-soon/summer-2017-dramas/

          O Rungreza, Baaghi havent started yet, so dont have anything on them as yet … but will review them IA. Baghi starts 27th July and Rungreza after Yeh Raha Dil ..

          And do share your thoughts on Yaqeen .. hope that review is less baffling 😉

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          • Oops, meant to post reply here.

            Coming back to a couple of points, I wanted to add, that these “hawe Haye, yeh tum nai kia Kia” moments and statements(read thinking) do occur in real life too. And not always amongst the kind of people generally attributed towards.
            It’s rooted in fear at times, uncertainty, fear of the unknown, concern and plain jealousy as you have it.

            The task is to get everyone to realize change is inevitable; can’t be living entirely like the generations before us, acceptance is key and tolerance is the answer.

            Easier said than done.

            Again.

            Now, I don’t even know if these thoughts are still related in some way to the actual story or the message they wanna portray indirectly, but reading that did trigger me to share it.

            PS; Am I right in thinking that the person you think is the weakest link in the plot, characterization wise, is who I think you are thinking of?

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            • I don’t know if this was a conscious choice at the conceptual stage but it has evolved into that, atleast that’s how we here are choosing to read it. And yes, mindsets do not happen overnight there is a long history of experience and conditioning behind it all and so every little step taken towards reorientation should be applauded, IMO.
              I think there is a universal agreement among all of as to the weakest link ..

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  2. Yep, color me hooked as well! I’m not as articulate or as practiced at watching these dramas as you are, so I’ll just jot down some random thoughts I had while watching:

    1. I had kind of a facepalm moment today when I heard the OST for the first time. It’s Ali Sethi, yes, but it’s a cover of that famous Mehdi Hassan ghazal, right? It took me way too long to figure out why the song was so familiar!

    2. I know Sanam is too old to play a college student, but I really felt the character’s youth today, both in the scene where she blows up at her mother and grandmother, and in that later scene when she cries in her mother’s arms. All her concern over the istikhara didn’t quite work for me, but I also didn’t feel like we were beaten over the head with it or anything.

    3. I really like Suhana’s family. I like that they’re present and available to her, and that they don’t judge her too harshly for her actions, and that they all treat each other with such respect and polite dignity. I also really like Imtiaz’s interactions with his mother (and the fact that he actually remembers to thank her…yeh TV waley betey are usually such ungrateful wretches, lol).

    4. Rameez….whatever. Moving on!

    5. I don’t mind Sarmad’s clothes anymore. I’ve decided that their slightly rumpled and awkward state is in keeping with the character. That is, he’s wealthy enough to be a really snappy dresser, but he can’t quite carry it off because he’s actually kind of an awkward nerd. This is, by the way, my favorite sort of character, lol.

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    • Its my favorite too! I had actually linked that Mehdi Hasan ghazal in the coming Soon post that I had done a while back 🙂 btw, Farida Khanam has a lovely version of it as well ..trivia, sure you already know this, ali is a student of Farida Khanum’s. Also it was ages ago but I was at the concert at Harvard where Ali sang for the very first time!

      Good to know we are on the same page. Yes, I too am kinda sorta getting over the age thing more so since we have moved from the physical setting of the college and those silly friends – the jury is still out on Manzura fyi. And agreed, she was really good today .. I just wish they had tinkered with the script in her scenes .. it was a bit too much to see someone’s childlessness being dragged in unnecessarily.
      Haha you are such a Mr. Imtiaz AC aren’t you – sab gunah maaf types 😜
      That hug for his mother was ❤️

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    • I like your buletted style of conveying your thoughts. Make sure you cover everything and get to include each aspect separately.
      I’m going to practise this was now too.
      🙂

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  3. Hi SZ, RK… I am happy you both are enjoying this drama. I just watched episode 3 and my only questions is why Sanam why are you doing this serial…and only because of this question I will keep watching. I was hoping that despite the cliches they would bring some much needed changes in such drama’s like for instance Imtiaz could have wondered why Suhana was so damn gloomy on the engagement. He should have shown some concern. Atleast have a conversation…before you put a ring on it. I could understand Suahana’s thoughts, she probably did feel like a ‘bakri’ because that’s how women are supposed to act when they get engaged. Like a soon to be slaughtered animal…. Nothing was good, even Sanam’s acting wasn’t great…..hoping for some betterment next week.

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    • Haha! That’s a tough question.. will be interesting to hear your take, if you’re still following it, a bit later into the serial.

      What I have realized in so many years of serious drama watching is that either a serial works for you or it does not. No matter what people or the writer or the director or the actors may say, ZGH just never worked for me. On the other hand, Numm I got even though there were ek hazar chhey sau nau problems with it. Similarly Udaari did not work for me, even though it was supposed to be this very important serial, but Preet Na Kariyo Koi worked, even though it was ostensibly a doosri shaadi scenario .. Basically, watch if it works for you otherwise mitti pao. The one thing I am liking about TV these days is that there seem to be options. Its not like how it was a few months ago where you either watch that one big serial or there is nothing at all … Also, I am excited about the stuff yet to come .. O Rungreza and Baghi. Lets see how those shape up 🙂

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      • Yes… thank you for letting me rant and not minding my opinion. I still have my fingers crossed that the story will turn out beautiful here….I agree I never understood the hype about ZGH or Humsafar for that matter…

        What do you think of the mixed opinions on Bhaagi? Should there have been a drama on QB’s life or not? I guess we’ll know once the story starts….:) looking fwd to it.

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    • Ha! First, props on the sneaky Beyoncé reference. Second, it’s possible there’s nothing special going on in this drama. But it checks a lot of boxes for me, including “two people who shouldn’t be together at all, but have fabulous chemistry.” 😊

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      • 🙂 It’s all in the acting and I guess being comfortable in your skin…I really wish they had cast anyone else for Rameez…Sheroz just looks like he’s searching for a light in the dark lol

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  4. I agree story telling is simple with no melo drama which makes it easy to watch along with naturally acted family scenes and some great chemistry among few actors.. so yea all in all i am in too.. only if they dont repeat few phrases literally again n again.. we get it seriously..

    AK and SH are such treat to watch.. they make every scene so beautiful n i tou even love their hairs.. AK’s cute little pony n SH’s v shaped hairs.. wah too good..

    Precap was more interesting than epi itself.. Suhaana doubting on istikhara and Rameez questioning his father and ultimately lieing again..

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    • @Rehmat: That istikhara ki repetition was too much! I really wish they would edit out at least half the mentions per episode.

      Haan the precap promises a lot more drama .. but I wished Ramiz wasnt so 1D and so in your face OTT .. if nothing else this dramas highlights how imp good casting and good interpretation skills are, and how much a difference these make to a character’s reception.

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      • Totally agree.. it makes a heck lot of difference.. i guess jab tak shadi nh hojati they will make us hear istikhara aur uske fawaid

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            • Ooh.
              Spoiler alert.

              Is that going to be the story then? Going with or against Istekhara and finding things still work out/don’t for you?

              That could be interesting.
              Potentially.
              If handled tactfully.

              That is a debate that is ongoing, in real lives, for sure.

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            • Tactfully? This is a pk drama – they’ve already mentioned the “I” word atleast 1567782 times so far in three eps!

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  5. Haha!
    You won’t let me live it down, will ya?

    I’ve read what you wrote about CG, when u were making a list of dramas to watch in the summer. Contemplating.

    I have to watch Yaqeen ka Safar regardless.
    Just realised that if I read the reviews, it will give the story away, potentially? No?

    Like

    • I haven’t written anything that is not public knowledge — but sure come back after you’ve binge watched .. just remember to keep the remote handy. I was reviewing it so didn’t but you don’t have those issues, so..
      haha! Nahin bhai gonna have fun with it for bit – don’t mind plz #merichotichotikhushiyan

      Like

      • Bilkul, bilkul.
        🙂
        Who can deny the author of the blog that? After all, I am a guest here in a way, enjoying the delightful selection, your contributions to the online community. I know my boundaries.

        PS: to the weakest link, all I can say is “poor kid”.

        Like

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