Action-packed, is how I how would describe this latest installment. The chase sequence, Rahim and Sajid running after Abid, was very nicely executed, and great fun to watch, the extra thudda, Rahim to Abid, even more so. This scene was the highlight of today’s episode of Baghi.
After trying all means possible to stop her impending marriage Fauzia decided to take matters in her own hands. Left behind were her sharminda family and angry baratis, but what did Fauzia care. She had always had a devil-may-care attitude but this was the first time where she publicly defied her family. And surprisingly there was not much of a price for her to pay for her misdeeds. Chaudhry sahab intervened, her father went along with the village elder’s wishes, and by the end of the episode Fauzia and Abid were happily engaged and could be found frolicking around in the gaon ke sabz lehlahatey khet.
In a culture where daughters are severely beaten up for merely stepping out of the house with their heads uncovered (I am exaggerating but you get my point, hopefully) I found today’s episode a bit too pat and too convenient to buy into the filmi happily ever after moment between Fauzia and Abid. If chaudhry sahab was indeed so progressive and so concerned about betiyon ki razamandi aur khushi and girls’ overall welfare, I wonder why Fauzia’s sister, Nazia, also didn’t go file her complaint with the kindly and just village elder. Why were girls still being abused on his watch? Also, if he was so aware of Sajid’s harkats why hadn’t he stepped in earlier to stop him from harrasing other village girls? Didn’t they too have similar rights as Fauzia’s and expect to be able to move around freely, without being harassed by the local lout?
Among other things that didn’t jive quite as well was Sajid’s reluctant but ultimately resigned acceptance that Fauzia was no longer going to be his. In fact the relative ease with which not just him, but Fauzia’s parents, Rahim and even Asma accepted this whole scenario was quite unbelievable. Honor is everything in our desi society and more so in such a rural setting, so that after mitti paoing on her family’s izzat Fauzia was back to her normal routine of hanging around Abid’s shop was difficult to believe.
Also surprising was the speed with which Fauzia got re-engaged. Again, yes chaudhry sahab had her back, but still I expected Abid’s mother to have put up more resistance to the mangni. What is to say that Fauzia would not pull another such drama after marriage? Yes, Abid’s mother has seen Fauzia’s posters and not been impressed and made a mental note, but woh tau ba’ad ki baat hai.. abhi tau Fauzia’s gotten everything she wanted, right down to her Dilwale Dulhaniya inspired sarson ke khet mein moment with Abid. Writing has been a major issue with this serial and today it was major let down. I have seen many such rural setups up close and nowhere in any of them would a girl have been let off the hook so easily. This plot twist did not work at all, at least for me, given the very real zone of this story.
Despite my problems with the writing, the fact that I am watching and keenly at that is a testament to the effort of the director, Farooq Rind, his technical crew and his cast of actors. The cinematography and lighting are absolutely fabulous, making the village mahol come alive in viewers’ living rooms. The set design, with all the patently new bartans and furniture, heck even Saba Faisal’s brand new chappals, is yet to grow on me.
Saba Qamar is the primary reason to tune in to Baghi, she has Fauzia down to a Tee. Her scenes with Ali Kazmi, their typical gaon type flirtation and chichora romance, are very well done. Ali Kazmi is another who impresses here. From the precap we see him undergoing a transformation, from the besotted ‘ashiq to an angry controlling shohar, and I hope that there is a proper transition there, not just a sudden about turn. Simi Raheal, as Abid’s mother is a delight to watch, and her ankhon hi ankhon mein evaluation of her bahu-to-be was fabulous, and Fauzia responded right back in kind. Loved this moment between the two actors.
Sarmad and Nadia are a delight to watch but I really do wish they had been given something more solid to work with. Their scene, when Asma sulked outside and wouldn’t let Rahim go into room where the mangni was happening was very good. Irfan Khoosat sahab made for a believable beleagured father, and I half expected him to suffer a heart attack or some such – beti ghar se bhaagi thi! – but I guess he is made of sterner stuff. From the precap it seems like fireworks are about to start, what with Abid’s mother finally getting the chance to get her bharas out and Abid’s 180° turn.
I hope Fauzia is enjoying her song and dance in the khet ’cause it sure doesn’t seem like there will be much of that after her marriage. Let’s see what unfolds next week.
Written by SZ~