Dhund ~ Episode 3 Review

History texts tell us that Pakistan was formed in the name of religion. Seventy some years after, we find ourselves in a society severely fragmented, highly divisive, excessively polarized and stubbornly intolerant. There are problems galore, but sectarianism has to be among the more pressing ones, tearing away as it is at the fabric of Pakistani society.

But all this is not news, in fact this is the dirty little secret that we as a society prefer to sweep under the rug. Out of sight out of mind. In any case what good is talking about such inflammatory stuff? Why risk invoking the wrath of powers that be? Willing or unwilling we are all participants in this conspiracy of silence.

And to bring up such stuff on TV? Never! So much easier to pretend that shaadis and talaqs and extra marital affairs are Pakistan’s biggest problems, hence dramas upon dramas with stories featuring the saas-beta-bahu triangle.

Given this context, I must begin with a huge round of applause to Team Dhund for daring to go where few have dared before. Ahmed and Sakina know their relationship will never be accepted by their respective families therefore they elope. For Sakina’s family the magnitude of this crime is such that their honor can only be restored if they kidnap Ahmed’s sister, Rida.

As the story plays out there are tracks nested within tracks. Sakina and Ahmed’s story is used as a lead in to Saugandhi and Mehmood’s story. Theirs was a love that was never destined to be. Their families had been friends forever but times changed and with it people’s attitudes. In a brilliant piece of writing the two love stories are compared and contrasted, different but exactly the same, underscoring the inanity of violence perpetrated in the name of difference. What purpose did Saugandhi’s death serve? What does Rida’s murder resolve? Violence to what end?

Weighty issues these, but such is the story telling that it never gets too dark or heavy. Nasreen Apa’s is a character that I now find myself looking forward to watching. She injects a much-needed dose of levity in each episode – last time it was the missing gulab jamuns and this week disappearing pakoras. Given that these are two of my favorite foods I wonder if I should be worried about ghosts with tastes like mine?!?

This latest episode also shed light on Maria’s track. Arjumand’s entry introduced quite a few unexpected twists and I am now even more invested in this track. For once I have no clue as to how Imran’s disappearance dilemma will be resolved. Looking forward to more of the mystery and please more thrills and chills!

Where writing had me totally hooked, loved the nods to Manto, Amrita Pritam and other classic writers of the period, overall this episode was not upto the standard of the previous two. The reason, in my opinion, was the less than stellar acting. So much of what was being said between Rida and Zain ended up sounding flat, lines being read rather than delivered. Christina was a delight as Saugandhi, but her accent seemed to come and go and Mehmood did not leave an impression. Angeline Malik, on the other hand had no such problems and she was very good as Arjumand. Her entire persona has caught my attention and I have a ton of questions about her character. I hope we continue seeing more of her.

All in all, week after week Dhund raises the bar in terms of choice of issues, the writing is sharp and pointed, without being in your face preachy. So much is said in each episode with the various tracks stitched together with a lot of finesses. My only concern here is whether the acting can stay on par/do justice to the written word.

Here’s hoping for a better episode next week. What did you all think?

Written by SZ~

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5 replies

  1. Arjumand as first wife.. that was a what ??!! Moment and also that Imran was not real dad of Neeli.. this made it more interesting.. why do i feel Maria knows alot more than she shows.. so looking forward to know more about her story..

    Parallel story’s concept was nice.. just the actors ruined it. Christina was nice though.
    I cant understand one thing..1st episode showed maria not willing to help JahanAra and thus Waqar got murdered too.. however in third episode how all of sudden all spirits coming n saying you are helping us.. Also the guy from that couple in this episode who was murdered by his own father.. was saying thanks to maria.. why??

    Nasreen Apa is amazing indeed.. the songs she sings to the way she do shikayats of unseen is just too good.. waise hai bari bahadur aurat.. me hoti tou foran nokri chor deti..

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    • @Rehmat: Oops! Missed this one! Yes, I too was shaocked at the arjumand twist and indeed Maria knows more than she lets on .. waisey kaafi complicated personality hai Maria ki, as complcated as her hairstyle -uff that bothers me so much!

      Lol! yes, the maid! I too would have been dead the first day .. would never have continued!

      Yes, that candles scene was kinda confusing .. bit maybe they were thankfing her for atleast listening to them,, because pehley tau she was in complete denial … lets see what happens today.

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    • @SZ. Yes. i watched.. vo baat nhn thi tbh.. i mean the suspense factor was minus right from scene1.. it was so obvious that he is no more… only thing i like that they r keeping endings open.. baqi tou not good..

      How you find it?

      Like

      • I didn’t care much for this one, as you very rightly said it was predictable, and the bit with the maid too is kinda a given by now. More than anything else, however, Maria Wasti’s hair and makeup is really getting to me .. she really needs to go easy with it all. I think Marina Khan is next week so that ought to be a good one.

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