This fifth episode marked a turning point in Suhana, Imtiaz and Ramiz’s characters. No longer straightforward and transparent, these three are now people with ulterior motives, what they say and do very different from what they actually think and want. Credit to the Team Teri Raza for elevating a routine love triangle into something more textured and nuanced.
Ramiz had always been a troubled young man, but it was immaturity and idiocy and not malice that governed his actions. That slap from Suhana, however, has changed things forever. And his dysfunctional parents do not help matters either. Now he is a man on a mission, out to teach Suhana a lesson, no matter how high the cost, for either of them. Ramiz goes through an emotional rollercoaster in this episode and Shahroz gets him right this time around. He is very effective in communicating Ramiz’s anger, frustration and eventual determination. That said, there is still nothing that tells us why Suhana likes this man. Surely there must be at least one redeeming quality? This, inability to convey Ramiz’s charms to the viewers is, for me at least, a gaping hole in an otherwise reasonably well-knit narrative.
Though she fails to convince us of Ramiz’s charms Suhana is a quick learner when it comes to Imtiaz. Though she showed Ramiz the door, she is clearly not over him as yet. She is torn between desire and duty and feels equally pulled in both directions. She dare not upset her ailing daadi but snaps at her father and is rough on her mother. Her best, however, she saves for Imtiaz. Their dinner scene was all kinds of fab. Suhana had always been an open, honest girl, but she is now playing games, manipulating Imtiaz to come to her aid. There is now a discernible edge to her and it is easy to see that the cheerful fun Suhana is now a creature of the past.
For his part, Imtiaz doesn’t say so to her face, but he knows he’s being played. This is where I am glad that though he appears to be a big softie he is no pushover. He agreed to help, but after listening to her he withholds his wholehearted consent. There is now an element of doubt in his mind. Though his mother tries to explain it away, but from this point on Imtiaz will always second guess his fiancée’s seemingly unaffected banter. Gone is the easy, unquestioned affection he had for Suhana. That dinner scene was superbly played by Sarmad and Sanam both.
For a seemingly routine story there is quite a lot going on in Teri Raza. I am enjoying Aabis’s handling of the characters and his pacing of their graphs. The three tracks are nicely woven in, moving from one to another with practised ease. I am particularly taken with the many sweet and visually interesting moments. Daadi’s passing on her shadi ka jora to her granddaughter, her telling her bahu how she preserved it with neem was all kinds of aww-inspiring. Imtiaz and his mother discussing stuff while going up the stairs made for a nice change from the typical living room setting.
Another noteworthy point is Suhana’s styling. I like the look for this character, where not only is Suhana’s youth emphasized but her artistic flair and conservative streak are also highlighted through her penchant for jewel toned tops, the colorful accessories and usage of scarves. Imtiaz, on the other hand, needs to buy better fitting suits. That one particular suit, in the dinner scene, was all kinds of bad! Aunty ji, bahu ko chorain, your son needs a new darzi, ASAP!
While all this works, I am not as happy with the constant references to istakhara as an absolute. I am also not on board with the inherent idea that Suhana’s life would inextricably changed after marriage. Why couldn’t she do her internship after marriage? I realize she was using this as an excuse, but how I wish Imtiaz had burst Suhana’s bubble on that account. Or her mother when Suhana was going on about cooking classes and impending marriage. Aur koi nahin tau Manzura should’ve chimed in.
And speaking of chimes, can any one explain the reason for all the clocks in this serial? There is a whole wall full in Imtiaz’s house and one huge one hanging, quite randomly I might add, in Suhana’s living room – why?? What am I missing here?
Peeves and problems considered, I am still invested and interested in Teri Raza – what about you guys?
Written by SZ~