Do dreams come true? Can the impossible become possible?
A few days into her move to the city Fauzia Batool would say yes.
All those film stars whose fame she’d envied, the glamorous models whose looks she’d wanted to emulate, the colorful world of TV she’d wanted to inhabit – all were now no longer just a naïve starry-eyed girl’s day-dreams. No.
One phone call from an advertising exec and just like that her life has a new direction, a new option.
Abid’s wandering eye, increasing abuse and growing fondness for the T word had shattered any hopes that Fauzia’s might’ve nurtured for her marriage. This violent, philandering Abid was not the man she had married. Gone was the gentle charming man who had promised her the sun, moon and the stars. And it was not just disillusionment from her husband but also from those around her that had her falling into misery and despair. But with a child and without any familial and/or financial support where was she to go?
Gohar’s interest in her pictures shows her the way out. An invested backer, a glamorous makeover and a peppy photoshoot – Fauzia Batool’s dreams are on the verge on turning into reality.
Give and Take. Kuch Do aur Kuch Lo
Fauzia had always dreamed of becoming a star, a somebody. But that a price would be exacted for her dreams to turn into reality had never quite factored into Fauzia’s calculations. Here she was in the city but at what cost? She has already lost a child, what else was she going to lose on her journey to stardom? Would her dreams have been better left unrealized? Would it all be worth it in the end?
Eight episodes in Baaghi has a fantastic plotline and a fascinating protagonist but is yet to deliver on its potential. So much of Fauzia’s agency has been diluted by this halfway apologetic, halfway rationalistic narrative. The first seven episodes were marked by unimaginative, bland writing. Apart from Fauzia every other character was straight out of the clichéd box, and not just that but half-baked as well. Where did Fauzia’s brother disappear? Her other abused sister? Chaudhry sahab had stepped in to solve Fauzia’s problem once before why wasn’t her summoned when it came to reading the riot act to Abid?
Philandering, abusive men are an accepted fact, almost a norm in Fauzia’s village, why then is she so shocked? Sure, she expected better from her lover, but why did it seem like all this was a revelation to her? What was her brother’s reaction to this? Getting well-known actors to play bit roles is a sure shot way to attract audiences, but giving them something to work with would have helped anchor not just the narrative but also added some much-needed gravitas to the central character.
I am enjoying Farooq Rind’s direction but the pacing of the narrative leaves a lot to be desired. The rural part of the story took seven belabored weeks to drive home the point that Fauzia had no choice but to leave, but then when it came to her actually leaving it was over in a blink of an eye? Just like that she was in Gohar’s office and things start to happen? Her makeover too was elided over very glibly. All of a sudden she knew how to walk like a model in those killer heels? I get the need to move on but not at the cost of fluency.
While I complain about the writing and editing, I have nothing but high praise for Saba Qamar’s portrayal of Fauzia. The way she has slipped into the skin of this very complicated character is praiseworthy. While her makeover did not have as much visual impact as it should’ve (she was always too sophisticated for a gaonwali) Saba’s expressions and body language more than made up for that lapse. I love the way she conveys Fauzia’s iron coated fragility. If for no other reason, Baaghi is a must watch for Saba Qamar. Ali Kazmi is very good as Abid, conveying both his charm and menace convincingly. I am hoping we get to see Khalid Malik’s interesting character evolve. Of the rest, Irfan Khoosat, Simi Raheal, Sarmad Khoosat, Saba Faisal, Nadia Afgan all have left an impression even with their stock characters.
All in all here’s to hoping Baaghi comes alive with this new turn in Fauzia’s life. What do you guys make of Fauzia’s move to the city? Looking forward to your take!
Written by SZ~