O Rungreza ~ Episode 2 Review

Killing does not necessarily require violence, words do the deed just as well, and then there are instances when words are rendered superfluous as well. Ask Mammo. Is she alive?  Is that really a living person who moves around the house like a silent ghost? Why does she not have a voice? Why does not anyone hear the stories her eyes are trying to tell?

Khayyam sahab, you might be a well-known poet and you might have the likes of Sonya Jahan swooning over your every word and you might have a daughter who thinks the sun rises and sets on you, but know that you are first a murderer, a killer responsible for Mumtaz’s murder. The Mammo you see today is a  mere shell, someone  who dies a new death every single day she is with you. That pseudo apology at the breakfast table might have appeased Sassi but after all these years Mammo knew better.

The praise for her parathas was an admonishment, a reminder, to never forget her place in his household. How dare she make the mistake of ever thinking that she could catch his eye. How dare she dress up like the Sonya Jahan he so admires. How dare she ever forget she belonged in the kitchen. Yes, that was her real place in his house, slaving alongside Kariman bua. And she better not make that mistake again.

I had ended my last review with a wah wah and I must begin this review on the same note – wah! wah!

I fell in love with O Rungreza in the very first episode.  That last scene, Mammo and her heartbreak broke my heart as well and I thought it couldn’t get better than that – at least not any time soon, it was just that good. Well, I was proven wrong. And it didn’t even take that long – the very first scene of the second episode. Simply brilliant! Saji Gul, Kashif Nisar, Nauman Ijaz, Irsa Ghazal, Sajal Ali, and Bilal Abbas – taaliyan!

It is rare that one comes across a serial where every frame commands attention and every line demands to be heard atleast twice. Khayyam and Mammo have a brilliant dynamic together, and Nauman Ijaz and Irsa Ghazal are fantastic! But it is not just them. Sajal is so natural and so real that it is hard to believe she is not really Sassi and these are not actually her words. Her reactions when she was hanging on Khayyam’s shoulder, as Sonya put forth her request, for a script, were fantastic. Equally fabulous were her scenes with Bilal Abbas, who is really very good as the bechara Qasim. Actually it is really hard to pick one scene over other, all were not just written beautifully, but acted and directed in a way to that did justice to the written word.

Set designers and stylists have done fab job, the DOP is very good as well, except in Sonya’s entry scene where the lighting was very unflattering. The background score goes very well with the overall ambiance of the story and setting and is nicely overlayed on to the narrative. The OST is used very well. Editing was well done.

In a nicely paced second episode we also met Sana Fakhar as Sonya Jahan, her naz o ada and particular dialogue delivery making her a perfect choice as the woman who is about to wreak havoc on an already dysfunctional household. The scene where she knocks on the door and asks to be let in –  her tanzia dismissal of Mammo, followed by a very quick summing up of the family dynamics and picking on Sassi as her ally in Khayyam’s household – was superbly written with lines that spoke on so many levels.

Another favorite scene of mine was when Kariman bua was berating Sassi for inviting Sonya Jahan in their house. In a brilliant piece of writing and directing, even though it was Kariman bua talking, she was actually giving voice to Mammo’s thoughts – yes, she wanted to say exactly that, ask exactly those questions. I loved Irsa’s expressions in that scene. There is so much to hear in Mammo’s silence and I for one am very intrigued to know her back story. Why do I think she is not really as jaahil or bewaqoof as Khayyam would have us think. Who was Mumtaz before she became Mammo?

Also noteworthy here is the subversion. Sassi is the sassy, badtameez girl and many are uncomfortable with the way she’s behaving. Qasim, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. I love the role reversal that Saji has put out here for us. Had it been the other way around no one would’ve questioned a badtameez larka and a bholi shareef larki. Flipped this way we are being asked to confront our own preconceived notions and expectations. It will be interesting to see how Sassi evolves as she steps out of the secure chaardiwari of her father’s house. For now heavily influenced by her father’s harsh treatment of her mother and massively starstruck by Sonya Jahan’s glamor Sassi has now declared her intention to be a star. There were a lot of things that wer set in motion in this episode and the precap promises that we are in for an equally engrossing third episode.

This second episode confirmed that my love for the serial was not misplaced – it is indeed that good. Ab hoping and praying that we are not let down. Looking forward to the next installment.

Written by SZ~

27 replies

  1. Finally we have a drama to actually look forward to.. everyone played their part beautifully but Sajal ali is the star here.. what a talented girl.. her urdu pronunciation is right on point.. i liked Bilal abbass in Dampukht and he is equally good here.. Pace is good, without wasting time they introduced Sonya jahan and also made a way of her repeated entries in Khayam’s house.. now i cant wait to see Soniya mashal’s entry..
    BTW why are there so many framed pictures of Sonya jahan in Khayam’s room?


    • @Atty: It is indeed good to have a drama which makes you think and reflect.
      Re: Sonya’s pics .. From what i gathered, Khayyyam is/was a huge fan and so had these pics up in his room.. I think we saw him gazing at them in the last ep and thats aso how everybody also knows abt his infatuation. Sonya is his idea of what a woman should be like and also his way of rubbing it in to Mammo that this is what she is not and will never be .. how cruel is he! Were their roles reversed I doubt very much if he would like his wife putting up another man’s pics in the house like this ..


  2. like MM pointed on last episode review, a teeny tiny mistake again.. why were Qasim and Sassi calling “hatheli” a “kalaae”?


  3. Finally caught up, and I could not agree more with everything you’ve said in this review. Every frame and scene has been perfectly engaging so far, and I’m really curious where the writer is going with all the characters and Sassi in particular.

    It’s interesting to me that a poet–one who should see beyond what they eye can see and who should feel the unseen and unsaid–can’t see his own wife’s pain. Or maybe he can? Familiarity can be a terribly cruel weapon to wield in its own way. I’m so moved by Mammo’s plight that I hate both Khayyam and Sassi just a little bit right now.

    I was a little thrown by Sana Fakhar’s character being not that different from the one she plays in Alif Allah aur Insaan, even if the characters occupy very different spaces in each show. Something about her styling and her mannerisms seemed almost the same, and I found that a bit distracting.

    Can’t wait for the next installment!


    • @RK: Yaay! So glad to have you on board for this one – the more the merrier 🙂
      Re: Khayyam: I think its interesting indeed to have a poet who uses his sensitivity selectively. I am sure he sees the pain but he enjoys this power he has over her .. its like he’s toying with her and her feelings, because he knows she’s in his control and it gives him a high each time he gets in a hit – that scene at breakfast wsa very telling. Also the way he blatantly displays posters of Sonya Jehan in his room, the love letters he writes.. oh, hes fully aware of what he’s doing, IMHO.
      I wonder how differently he wouldve behaved with Mammo had she been out of reach or off-limits, been a friend’s wife or someone else not related to him… I think her back story would be very interesting, I have a feeling Mumtaz was a lot more colorful and cheerful than Mammo is .. also will be interesting to see how Khayyam treats Sonya Jahan once the novelty has worn off and she becomes his…


      • Do you think we’ll actually get Khayyam and Mammo’s backstory, or we’ll just be left to guess about what might have transpired between them? I’d like to think he once cared about her, because otherwise her life is simply too to contemplate.


        • @RK: Saji Gul, the writer will be joining us from time to time.. maybe he’ll have an answer for us? Did you read Saji’s comment on last week’s thread?

          Irsa said last week that Mammo has a significant role to play here so let’s see…


    • Re: Sana, I agree. I am behind A3I, haven’t watched since my overview so I didn’t mind her, but yes similarities are there, at least for now. Lets see where we go from here.


  4. Orungreza is setting its bar really high.. its such a fantastic serial… just 2 episodes in and i am already in love with the characters.. Irsa Ghazal is just brilliant as mammo.. maan her eyes convey so much.. her take is super awesome on mammo.. Sajal too is fab..but the way she was looking at Sonia Jahan.. gave such z real touch and i loved how father daughter tilted their heads after Sonia Jahan left..

    Sana Fakhar was good as SJ.. things have started to stir. Good pace i must say.. i thought we have to wait long for promo scene between Qasim and Sassi k is me hum kahan hain.. but wow just in 3rd episode.. wah

    so looking forward to this


    • @Rehmat: Absolutely, only two eps and so much has happened, without rushing anything.
      Yes, Sajal & Nauman were so so good in that scene when Sonya comes visiting .. itni ronaq on both their faces .. honestly brilliant acting – it looked soo real! And Irsa tau bas honestly has me floored here … what I like about Mammo is her dignity, as in there is a lot on zulm done on her, but she is not like a 24/7 crying mazloom aurat.. I like the way she holds herself in check around Khayyam.

      Me too! Looking fwd!


      • Oh haan that scene.was purely treat to eyes.. nothing said n conveyed so much . n also when he says dont throw my papers.. n next moment she drops that scarf..


        • Yes! And then the way he was having his own little party with the scarf .. kiya aadmi hai Khayyam! NI is so perfect here ..nobody else could’ve played Khayyam!


            • That was so chilling, wasn’t it? His laugh was so much more cruel than any words he could have used in that scene. Then his apology the next morning, far from being an apology, was almost like rubbing Mammo’s face in the whole incident.

              I don’t know how Noman Ijaz does it, but he’s amazing at playing these slightly negative characters, and frankly, I’m a bit frightened of him now, lol.


  5. What a brill actor NI is, nahin?! Compare him here and in SeMM to him in Jackson Heights …what a range! And think of how much work he’s doing .. I dont know how and when he preps for his characters but he’s spot on each time, with all the little touches, the nuances etc ..I’m like one of Khayyam’s mushaira attendees .. wah wah muqarrar irshad!


  6. Hey SZ .I just love this drama.
    Sassi is such a patakha, so sassy and rude to her mother but I love her character.
    How are Mammo and Sassi so different ? Very bizarre mother and daughter relationship.
    Qasim is adorable and NI is fabulous as always.
    Must be tough for Irsa to talk in that low tone.bechari doormat , Mammo , tum bas rasoi ka khayal rakho as Sassi rightly said.


    • Sassi is indeed a patakha – you have hit upon the correct word to describe her!
      I think children look up to their parents as role models and given the power dynamic in their household it is no surprise that Sassi would choose to emulate the stronger model — Mammo jaisa kis ko banna hai.
      Qasim is indeed fabulous – I love how the character is etched out – he’s so dabba hua and so trying to always please Sassi that he can’t even see that he has s


    • Ugh stupid phone!
      .. he is so smitten by her that he is oblivious to the fact that he is a very attractive man, someone who can and does garner female attention, and so he could easily walk away and find a more qadardan woman, but nahin.. ishq andha hai us ka .. wonder if he’s Suhana’s bachpan mein bichra hua twin .. both are exactly the same!


  7. Thanx alot SZ and readers here… Desi rants n raves is MA doing a great job letting viewers reaching and undertsanding the subtexts… im noting down all your appreciation and criticism as well… thanx alot for yur worthy feed back… my team has put all its efforts to make it a quality show .. now its the viewers job to make it successful as an offbeat show changing the dynamics of the content we usually encouter on our screens..


  8. Thanx alot SZ and readers here… Desi rants n raves is MA doing a great job letting viewers reach and undertsand the subtexts… im noting down all your appreciation and criticism as well… thanx alot for yur worthy feed back… my team has put all its efforts to make it a quality show .. now its the viewers job to make it successful as an offbeat show changing the dynamics of the content we usually encouter on our screens..


    • Saji Gul: thank you 😊 I’m glad that you think I am doing justice to the very rich material you have put out for us.
      Yes, hopefully we shall continue doing our best to support you and your team and hopefully convey to the channel and producers that there is indeed an audience out there for hat ke stories.
      Please keep reading and visiting.


  9. Great review as always! Got a chance to catch up this weekend. It’s a hatke kinda drama. If you can hate some one and find them adorable at the same time that would be how I would describe my feelings towards Sajal’s character. BAK is adorable! Nauman Ijaz is a beyond words and its nice to see Isra Ghazal not screaming at the top her lungs as she did in Andaaz e sitam which I stopped watching halfway int


    • @Tasneem: Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Bilkul! You have described my feelings exactly for Sassi .. I love her fire and zest but am also glad Im not her mother .. taubah! Kiya larki hai!
      Haha! took me a bit to figure out who BAK was, but aakhi samajh aa hi gaya .. he I do like him a lot and this kind of a character is not an easy one but he has performed it really well .. .
      Irsa, I think has been very unfirtunate in terms of her project choices .. I;m glad she’s in this one .. I am liking her a lot here.. NI tau bas ab Kiya keh sakte hain siwaye MasahAllah ke!


  10. – [ ]
    It’s been a while since I have followed a tv drama in real time and fell in love with it.

    So far, so great.

    Fingers crossed, it remains so.

    Everyone doing justice to their roles; it is a delight to watch each in their own element. Only slightly not feeling the Irsa Ghazal tone/voice she is maintaining for her role. It seems forced, not natural. Wonder if that is a part of the puzzle too. Her body language and dialogue delivery, expressions remain on point.

    Looking forward to seeing what else Magic the writer and director have woven for us through the actors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.