Written by Asma Nabeel, directed by Anjum Shahzad and produced by 7th Sky Entertainment, the first episode of Khaani aired on Geo on Monday. The fresh pairing of popular stars Sana Javed and Feroze Khan ensured a lot of publicity but did the first episode live up to the hype?
Khaani has started off as a story of two families from very different socio-economic backgrounds – one a barely making the ends meet but a happy family, and the other a stereotypical rich feudal family with political ambitions. These families live and move in very different circles and ordinarily their paths would never cross but providence steps in.
Sanam is a very gentle girl, who gets easily riled and more often than not her emotions get the best of her. Her family, including a set of loving parents, a twin brother and two younger sisters, give her the nickname Khaani making fun of her kamzor chota sa dil. So easily perturbed is she that the thought of her twin applying to go abroad for higher studies is enough to upset her. This story traces Sanam’s evolution from this easily scared girl to someone who goes on to own her nickname.
Living on the other side of the metaphoric tracks is Mir Hadi, the über spoilt only son of a feudal family. As far as his indulgent father is concerned Hadi can do no wrong. His mother, however, is very concerned, not as much about the right or wrong of her son’s doings as she is about the optics. Nothing and nobody can stand in the way of her husband’s election campaign.
By the end of the first episode the characters and the differences in the lifestyle and dynamics between the two families were etched out pretty well. The climax ensured that the two families would come face to face in the next episode. The promos have given away quite a bit so it is safe to say that Hadi will meet his nemesis in Sanam.
On paper, this is a great beginning to the serial one that should have left me waiting for the next episode. That, unfortunately, was not quite my reaction. The problem is with the repetition and reiteration of the same basic facts, particularly about Khaani being a gentle/weak/scared girl. That Khaani is from is a very loving, happy family was easily established in a couple of scenes, so to see that being hammered in throughout was a drag, and her vacuously smiling parents also came off as patently fake. The social message insert – about giving young couples their space – stuck out like a sore thumb in a painfully long rain scene. Sana Javed’s entry scene was patently unfunny.
By contrast the feudal family did not take that much time and their case was thankfully made with a couple of quick scenes. But then, perhaps to make up the difference, Feroze Khan’s hero wali entry scene went on forever. The Bollywood inspired fight scene in the college and the earlier scenes with the tons of gunmen were way too over the top. That this serial is directed by Anjum Shahzad has come as a surprise, because he is generally so very subtle and understated. His Mora Piya counts among my favorites, and so this in-your-face kind of storytelling was unexpected.
In terms of acting, the leads, Sana Javed and Feroze Khan, looked good but were singularly unimpressive. Were I to follow this serial then it would be for two ladies. Salma Hasan, who is a fabulous actress but unfortunately doesn’t seem like there is much for her to do here. And the other one is Saman Ansari, who is doing interesting work these days, bringing something different to each character that she plays. I am intrigued by Saman’s character and would want to see more of how this woman evolves and interacts with Khaani as and when they cross paths.
All in all, as first episodes go, this was not worth the hype and not my cup of chai. I also have reservations about the basic premise of the story as well, but will wait till a bit later to air my concerns. So yeah, this was my take. What about you all? How many watched? Are you guys planning on following this one?
Written by SZ~