O Rungreza ~ Episode 1 Review

O Rangreza is a story of colors… colors of love … colors of hate… colors of nuances in between… colors of life.

Written by Saji Gul, directed by Kashif Nisar and produced by Moomal Entertainment, O Rungreza is an exploration of love as a many splendored thing, as explained through the metaphor of color. Here, love is not just sweet and bright but also cruel and dark. Hence even as the serial opens in a dazzling riot of colors –  the vivid palette of Khayyam’s house matched by the vibrancy of Sassi’s chulbulapan – here and there are to be found hues of a different kind – Mammo’s drab clothes and dull eyes, and Qasim’s eloquent silence for instance.

Khayyam is a well-reputed good-looking man who writes about love and fidelity and unfaithful beloveds. For a man who feels so deeply he is unconscionably harsh towards his wife. He sees nothing wrong with his behaviour, in fact feels justified in his cruelty, because in his eyes she’s an unfit match for a man like him. No matter how hard she may try, Mumtaz aka Mammo will never come close to being the woman Khayyam wants. And how could she? Her husband has made no secret of his desire. Sonya Jahan is his ideal. The beautiful temptress with millions of fans is Khayyam’s woman of choice.

In a fabulous bit of subversion, sassy Sassi is her father’s daughter. She idealizes him. Following his lead, she has no qualms in berating her mother, deeming her as unworthy of the lofty title of Mrs Khayyam. Where her father has Mammo, Sassi has Qasim, an orphan cousin she treats as a slave, whose only purpose in life is to do her bidding.

Saji Gul’s writing is deceptively simple. Ostensibly straightforward, there are layers upon layers waiting to be peeled back by discerning viewers, and his dialogues are worth a second listen. Kashif Nisar is a skilled director who not only understands the nuances of Saji’s writing but also appreciates the aesthetics, and together they make a fabulous team, Sannata an excellent example of their creative partership. And here it seems like the same magic is at work again.

With O Rungreza it was crucial that the visual element match up to the text, and if the first episode is anything to go by we are in for a great ride. The background music was sparingly and effectively used as was the OST. Editing was great and the DoP does a fab job with lighting and camerawork. Kudos to the art directors and producers and whoever else worked on the color palette, sets, wardrobe, styling of characters, it is a job well done. Even the posters match up to the sensibility of the story. There is attention to minute details and it shows. My only peeve has to be the set design, where the cardboard facades and painted on designs were easily discernible, and there is a marked tendency to over decorate the sets – please don’t.

All this would have fallen flat if not for the excellent team of actors that make up the ensemble cast. Considering the amount of work he is doing these days, I have no clue how Nauman Ijaz does it, but he is Khayyam – personality, mannerisms, ,language everything spot on. Sajal Aly is great, she is very natural and believable as the cunning Sassi and I am looking forward to seeing her character grow in coming episodes. Bilal Abbas Khan was good as the bechara ‘ashiq Qasim. Fareeha Jabeen very effective as the maid who is the keeper of secrets of this household. And last but definitely not the least – my highest praise for Irsa Ghazal. I thought she was fabulous in Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahin but I suspect her Mammo’s going to be in a class all her own. That last scene – wah wah! Bas wah!!

Yes, I loved the first episode! What about you guys?

Written by SZ~

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34 replies

  1. Hi, have you seen ullu baraye frokht, how was it, will you recommend it and also silvatein, shukk and jackson heights are these dramas worth watching?

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      • okay thanks, found all the reviews but couldnt find ullu baraye farokht nahi reviews after 3 episodes. ALso how was sanjha? Counldnt find its reviews.

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        • Sanjha I reviewed for another website, google sanjha reviews and you’ll find them. Ullu, I couldn’t finish but by three eps you should get an idea.. also I usually find that watching for yourself gives a better idea.. by the first couple of eps you know whether you like it or not…. good luck with all these dramas.

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  2. Totally loved your review .. n yes i too loveed the first epi.. first the ost is magical gives a beautiful ambiance..all actors were just perfect in their characters.. matlab kis kis ki kitni tareef karun.. NI’s way of saying poetry, IG’s amazingly done last scene, SA’s fun take on sassi and BA’s bechara look.. superb…

    Orangreza makes a very interesting watch.. with this new concept and more so with layers in story.. yes i too was recalling Sanata.. man tht serial was phenomenal.. i was recalling tht haunted tree story.. uff. Vo alag baat he phir it took me while to sleep.. 😂

    So looking forward

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    • @Rehmat: Yay!! glad you enjoyed it as well .. otherwise main akeli akeli enjoy karoon tau no fun.
      That last scene gave me goosebumps like literally. Both of them were soo so good.. and Sassi’s lines, as she was dressing up her mother .. zara dobara sunna .. .so good! Actually as I watching I was thinking of KURQ’s writing vs Saji’s writing and how both write so deeply but so very differently .. KURQ is very flowery and longwinded, his lines are very literary and no one goes around talking like that in real life, but Saji’s are so much more grounded and real..

      And yes, a very new concept, and a very colorful new look to the TV screen as well … ab bas dua karna we are not let down … tareef karne mein bhi dar lagta hai .. pata chala 24-34 eps ho jayenge – taubah!

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      • Oh yes certainly.. thankyou for mentioning that scene…totally dialogues were so meaningful specially how names have been kept.. n its written so casually without any heavy loaded stuff like you said.. makes it eaaier on ears n brain n eyes too…

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  3. Loved your review, SZ! This episode was magical and entrancing – maza agya! Kashif Nisar is a brilliant director and the writing is sharp. I loved Irsa Ghazal and Noman Ijaz especially in the last scene – watched it twice! Sajal is fantastic as Sassi. This episode was a visual delight and I can’t wait for the next one.

    Bus I have a teeny tiny complaint: Khayam itne baray shaayr hain but he says, ”alfaazon” instead of ”alfaaz”, I see a lot of actors making this mistake, but Khayam is an Urdu poet here so it irked me 😉 Baqi everything was beyond impressive.

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    • @MM: Thanks! Glad youre on board as well – looking fwd to many fun discussions 🙂
      Visual delight it was indeed! But those ott decorated sets are something else all together .. I wonder if its the director’s personal preference because even in Pinjra we had every nook and cranny done up with all kinds of pots and plates and matkas and fountains and what not..

      Acha, I did not notice that slip of grammar … I shall check with Saji and see what he has to say about this ..

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  4. my my!! it was a struggle today. 🙂 I think it will post this time. fingers crossed. had to choose another outlet. so it was me probably.

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        • oh , for instance just use chrome if you were using explorer, or go to firefox if using chrome or safari .. basically just switch from one to the other .. I do that at times when wp acts up

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    • ah it did. success!!

      so, as I was saying..
      ….spot on review, as always. how do you do it?
      this episode was a visual treat, indeed. it was almost another character in the story. yes.
      cast fit to a t. is bilal related to wasim Abbas?
      please pardon the punctuation; trying to get this posted.
      in fact I’ve forgotten what else I originally wanted to say too. and will have to read review again.
      phew!!!

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  5. Hellooo SZ
    After catching a repeat of the first episode , one the first thoughts that came to my mind was if you had reviewed it? Came looking yesterday as well ….
    A visual treat indeed , true about the multi- layered full of subtext story… that play of emotions on Irsa Ghazal’s face from hope to dawning dismay to heartbreak …. fabulous.
    Sajjal was in her element, reminded me of her mun-phat, manipulative character in ‘mohabbaat jaye bhar main’. Am so sick of her dopatta- lapating dukhyari dame roles.
    Insightful review as usual , will write more when get back. Was just so excited to stumble upon something worth watching after ages…..

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    • Hello Hello! Lovely to hear from you – been ages – welcome back!!

      Exactly! Have a lot of expectations and looking forward to interesting convos .. brings back to mind our deep discussions on SeZ, where we talked about so much more than just what was happening on the screen.. Happy to have you back *hugs*

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  6. @SZ apologies for being late..
    aisa waisa wait.. and after watching this i dont know how to express myself? it was Fab..
    Direction and camera work was so good.. i m in awe.. opening scene where Qasim is trying to peek into sassi’s room, literally i felt myself in Qasim’s shoes, wanted to see the dancing queen but could only see her glimpses, and then dharhaam sey khirhki ka patt band ho gya mun pey… main Kashif nisar ki fan sey AC bnti ja rahi hun..
    Saji gul has once again showed us what he is capable of doing.. only 4 central characters till now, but all of them are poles apart.. which shows the variety of human nature..
    Actors have done wonderful job, but i m unsure of Irsa ghazal. Loved her in UBFN but after that none of characters played by her left any impression. Infact i was thinking k agr saba hameed hoti tau kaisay play krti is character ko?

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    • Atty: Last night I was going through reviews of Sannata and saw that apart from it being a fab serial it was also responsible for our introduction #howwemet 🙂
      Yes, it was a great start ab lets hope it stays the course and that we get something solid to discuss .. I remember our Sannata convos with a lot of fondness … and on that note .. any news of Ayesha? She is a huge Saji Gul fan and also SQ .. hope alls well with her . .if you are still in touch with her give her my regards…

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      • @SZ oh yes! i m still thankful to Ayesha for introducing this forum to me.. Nah, no news of her.. actually i m off Fb for quite sometime now, so no interaction with alot of friends..Hope all is well

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  7. SZ! Sorry for the delay busy time with guests…but I finally watched this yesterday and I loved it!! My dad nick named me sassi when I was young, but everyone thought it was inappropriate LOL….so it wore off.

    Anyways… Loved everyone but especially Isra… I still remembered her haunting performance in UBFN, as I only watched it a few months back… she was splendid in this episode… so looking forward to all the performances. Everyone is convincing absolutely enjoyed this :D… now only praying they do not drag this out like Pinjra :S

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    • @Seher: Hello! Totally get you on being busy with guests .. I had a houseful over the weekend and it was mad! Love having them but its a lot of work.

      Yes, I too am looking forward to Mammo’s evolution and seeing how Irsa tackles this character.
      Re: dragging: Yaar, I tell you i am almost afraid to praise anything these days .. jahan they get viewership and positive feedback they drag it out like anything… almost like being punished for daring to like a play! Lets hope and pray for this one.

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    • @Seher so with you on this dragging.. i could not watch 2-3 episodes of pinjra in between, and after that i could not catch up.. watching 6-7 episodes full of dragging is a tough task

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  8. Thanks alot SZ for this beautiful recieve… while reading yur reviews i recall many subtexts that i used while writing and myself hav forgotten now .. so thanks for that… O Rangreza as it unfolds itself will reveal that its a Feminist play unlike many others who seem to address women issues but in very patriarchal way… Head strong women like Sassi are usually despised even by woman on screen likewise in society itself… thats why they rarely appear on screen… Sassi challenges all norms of Male dominated society as she goes through different challenges she faces in the story… she even challenged and amazed me myself as a writer at many places in many different situations..she is unpredictable… she is dominent , overconfident yet innocent and immature… ull see this character’s transition throughout the script.. her journey affects n changes her personality like a living person…

    Ill like to thank all those who are commenting and appreciating our team’s work here… thanks alot

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  9. Thanks alot SZ for this beautiful review… while reading yur reviews i recall many subtexts that i used while writing and myself hav forgotten now .. so thanks for that… O Rangreza as it unfolds itself will reveal that its a Feminist play unlike many others who seem to address women issues but in very patriarchal way… Head strong women like Sassi are usually despised even by woman on screen likewise in society itself… thats why they rarely appear on screen… Sassi challenges all norms of Male dominated society as she goes through different challenges she faces in the story… she even challenged and amazed me myself as a writer at many places in many different situations..she is unpredictable… she is dominent , overconfident yet innocent and immature… ull see this character’s transition throughout the script.. her journey affects n changes her personality like a living person…

    Ill like to thank all those who are commenting and appreciating our team’s work here… thanks alot

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  10. Above all Sassi even made me question myself as a Male how do i treat women around me… her thoughts and arguments let me face the fears that i myself have kept hidden somewhere in my masculine subconcious hence successfully sensitized me even more…

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    • @Saji Gul: First off, congratulations on the stupendous reception to first episode – I am thrilled to see all the accolades for your writing. Mubarak!

      Thank you for dropping by and offering more of an insight into O Rungreza. The first ep signaled that this would be a one of a kind play so its good to know that we are in for quite a ride. Looking forward to Sassi’s evolution and also happy to hear that we are in for a different kind of a heroine.

      Looking forward to many more discussions with you about the various characters and motivations as the play progresses … Best of luck with this project!

      Like

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