First off a huge heartfelt hug for Sitara aunty. Bechari aunty ji. Pehlay tau woh akeli theen, that was a problem, then she got saddled with a crazy bahu and ab tau un ka so-called samjhdar beta bhi haath se nikal gaya.
Rather than have his immature wife follow his lead we have an otherwise mature Imtiaz turning a 180° and dragging Seema, an outsider into his private affairs and telling her ke thehro bibi, beemaron ki timardari ba’ad mein, pehle come offer safais for your na-karda gunahs to my biwi. And not like the said biwi is kahin se bhi sane. No, she is the kind who can confuse confusion, pal mein tola pal mein masha types. And then he has the temerity to call this deewangi?! Imtiaz, arrey yaar tum ne tau bara hi disappoint kiya… tum se aisi umeed tau na thi! Haye aunty ji, kahan aap ke arman aur kahan yeh sab kuch!
Sarmad Khoosat and Sanam Baloch are fabulous actors, work well together and are an absolute treat to watch. Nine weeks in, Teri Raza has parts that are simply brilliant and then are times where scenes seem to make little or no sense and add nothing to the overall proceedings.
This latest episode continued with Suhana’s bipolar behaviour. One of the one hand she seems to be on the verge of succumbing to Imtiaz’s charms (have to say he’s laying it on pretty thick now), but then in the very next scene she is back to playing the main-kahan-phans-gayi type dukhiyari. I can see how a young girl like Suhana could get very confused by the mixed messages from her heart and mind, but this internal struggle is not translating quite as coherently on screen.
Suhana calls Rameez and gets upset when he’s rude to her, but a few minutes later she loses it with Imtiaz for taking Seema to the hospital? All without blinking an eye? Later, towards the end of the episode, after a morose car-ride, Suhana is all worked up about Rameez’s udaasi, but then in the next scene she is all chirpy and cajoles Seema into accepting her apology, and by the end of the episode she is happily calling Imtiaz an akhrot. I don’t know about you all but I had a hard time dealing with Suhana’s waxing and waning affection for Imtiaz. Had Suhana’s mood transitions been handled more smoothly it would have added much needed depth to the narrative and not detracted from it.
On things that don’t work: Rameez’s track and its larger purpose. I mean, yes, we know he is there as the kabab mein haddi, but other than what is he all about? We have seen his dysfunctional parents, personality disorder, anger management issues, his playing fast and loose with the truth, but all this information to what avail? We haven’t learnt anything “new” about him nine weeks later that we didn’t already know in the first episode. The precap hints at something happening with Rameez so may be there will be something that will justify the import accorded to this character.
Amidst all that does not work, there are the Sarmad-Sanam scenes and those are what make Teri Raza a cannot-not-miss serial. This one is not about the story but about characterizations. Many had initially tuned in because this was Sanam Baloch’s comeback serial, but nine weeks after most are watching for not just Sanam but for Sarmad as well. He makes a fabulous Imtiaz, doting to the point of losing it. And then we have Sanam as Suhana. Together they are magic and even the most mundane of scenes becomes that much more special and it is hard to pick which one of their scenes I enjoyed the most in this latest episode.
While we have seen plenty of love stories in the past, Teri Raza marks a new turn with the portrayal of its male lead. Imtiaz, despite his old-fashioned name, is a truly new age hero. A welcome departure from the desi leads of yore, he is not just charming and romantic but actually spells out what it means to love a woman. It is not just about the gifts he gives her and the sweet words, but about respecting her individuality and treating her as a partner, someone with an equal voice in the relationship.
Unlike our quintessential desi heroes, Imtiaz does not ask Suhana to change for him, rather he changes, and that too without her asking. Typically it is the desi woman, the Sita syndrome, who has to prove her innocence in our culture, but here he is the one who offer proof of no wrongdoing. And all this accomplished without turning the male lead into a less of a man – this is good writing and good execution. A huge round of applause for those responsible for Imtiaz!
Sadly hamari Suhana is not mature enough and is confused about kaun hero aur kaun zero… let’s hope and pray ke bechari ko jald hi aqal aa jaye and Aunty ji ki arman poorey ho jayen – Ameen!
Written by SZ~