Noor Ul Ain ~ Episode 1 Review

Khizar and Noor are two very different people. He a laid-back romantic and she a no-nonsense realist. Khizar’s rich, the only son of a single mother who has her hands full keeping afloat the family business; their lives dry, colorless and regimented.  Noor, on the other hand, comes from a humbler background, has grown up in the frenzied hustle and bustle of a joint family surrounded by the flavor and fragrance of love and relationships. An accident brings these two together one night.

Polar opposites they may be but are they really as they seem to be? Is Khizar quite as easily swayed by Noor’s charms as he tells his friends? How much of a role (subconscious or otherwise) have his mother’s threats played in Khizar’s proposal? Is Noor as much of a pragmatist as she projects herself, or is there a part of her secretly thrilled by prospect of becoming the noor ul ‘ain of this eligible bachelor.

This then in a nutshell is what the first episode of Noor Ul Ain was all about. Scripted by Edison Idreen Masih, directed by Sarmad Khoosat and produced by iDream Entertainment this new Sajal Aly-Imran Abbas starrer opened its account on Saturday on ARY Digital.

As is obvious even from this bare bones synopsis there is not much that is new or hatke here. Khizar’s pehli nazar ka pyar, the iqrar to his friends and the campaign to convince Noor of his love, all bring to mind another Imran Abbas serial, the highly problematic Mera Naam Yousuf Hai, which glorified stalking by calling it divinely inspired love.  

While this one does not seem like it will go quite that far, but still the fact that any and all interactions between members of the opposite sex are shown as charged with an underlying sexual tension, and the whole pehli nazar ka pyar scenario is a boat load of rubbish that should by now be left well and truly behind. Surely there are platonic friendships worth writing about and highlighting? Can we stop showing girls dreaming about non-existent khwabon ke shehzade and boys sighing over husn ki devis? Focus on real life and real problems, people! 

For their part Sajal and Imran were both as unimpressive as their characters. Whether they will grow into these characters and make them their own remains to be seen but for now they seem as bored with them as I was while watching. Basically, this insipid begining of love story between two very bland characters did not do much for me.

What did keep me interested, however, was the zesty world that surrounds these two boring people. Noor’s chachi, Iffat Umar is great as Ghazala; she adds in a lot of her own particular spice to the going ons. Her son, is another one who I really enjoyed. Little touches, him taking his own sweet time to get dressed in the morning, the street scenes, the food cooking, were nicely captured. Irfan Khoosat sahab is great as Noor’s abba and I liked the girl playing her sister as well, just wished she had something more intelligent to say. Marina Khan is the love of my life and bas that’s that.

The change in location, from Karachi to Lahore, will, I think, be a plus point for this serial. In the first episode we got to see parts of Lahore not typically seen in recent times and I for one have started making a list of places I want to see and foods I want to eat on my next trip there. The interiors of Noor’s house were decently done and looked appropriately lived in and seemed to align up with the exteriors.

Thanks to the promos and the online synopsis there is not too much left to the imagination and it will be up to Sarmad and his cast and crew to make something halfway decent out of this drama. And speaking of decent, it would greatly help if people in charge could stop playing the OST every two seconds, pausing it only to alternate it with some other music. Why? Why do we need music for every single frame of the episode?

All in all an average opening episode, not much to write home about. What did you all think?

Written by SZ~

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32 replies

  1. SZ, HNY!

    I am back with this one- but don’t know will stay with this for long!

    The first episode didn’t work for me .. the same story, the same ghareeb girl and ameer guy!

    Sajal and Imran were not comfortable in their respective roles either, so boring as you put it!

    I was just focusing on Imran’s make up that he wore more than Sajal in their scenes together. The guy needs to have a mercy on makeup and start working on his acting skills! Though love him, but can’t stand on it.

    Anyway, I will give it a miss and may binge watch if reviews are coming out good in the next few weeks.

    Best regards
    Saadia

    Like

    • @Saadia: Hello hello adi! Happy new year to you too! Hope alls well on your end 🙂

      Haha! Imran and his makeup and hair are a pkg deal… ab tau I dont even think abt it LOL! But yes, high time he worked on his expressions .. I honestly couldnt figure out what he was looking at even half the time .. and he looked so bored most of the time, or perhaps that was an ada that I did not get, IDK … basically I was not sold. Dekhtey hain aagey … I have no hopes from his and Sajal’s track but I would like to see Iffat and Marina have a go at each other – now that would be a fun confrontation!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pehla tu shukar ha after reading your review mja tasali hoi that i am not the only one who is not thrilled after the episode. Totally agree with you after seeing sajal as powerful sassi, noor didn’t excite me much. hopefully in upcoming episode their is something exciting to watch. Filhaal i ll trust sarmad’s direction and watch next couple of episodes.

    Like

    • @Maria: This was just really banal and boring .. I knew the story was not anything new but I still expected something .. kuch tau ho. But shukar hai the other cast members saved the day. I really wish and hope producers start appreciating and realizing how important a role supporting cast plays in making mediocre plays rise above the fray. I’ll probably hang around a bit for Marina and Iffat and Irfan sb .. .rest Im not bothered.. and most def do not care for the chichori love story ..

      Like

  3. Hey SZ
    You’re right same old pehli nazar mein pyar wali love story 😒
    And once again Imran Abbas playing a rich privileged guy , same look , same style.Hes done this character a dozen times , dosent he get fed up?

    PS. OKBs vlog was fun today 😊

    Like

    • @Deeba: Hey! So I typed up a long response to you today earlier in the am but wp lost my comment – ugh!
      But yeah, basically what I was trying to say then was that yeah, seriously! hum loag buddhe ho raye hain yahi same pwhli nazar ka pyar type stories dekh kar and why arent these guys getting old playing these same old characters?? As you’re rightly saying, Imran has played this same character like literally 500 times if not more! As for bored, Idk .. Humyaun Saeed is still happily playing the college se abhi graduate hua hero tau I guess IA still has a few more years to go 😉

      Yes! the FB Live session was super fun! Glad you could tune in! You tau Idk how you do it, but you always manage to get the bestest answers… found the bts story of what all went wrong with Munkir very insightful .. It offered a very interesting look at what all goes on behind the scenes that we as audiences are never really made privy too … good job asking that question!

      VZ, RK, Rehmat, and a few others’ questions were inadvertently left out so he has very graciously agreed to do a second live session on FRI same time same place .. so dont forget to tune in!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree @Deeba asked very interesting question and answer was even more insightful.. even your questions SZ were so complex and thought provoking.. answers bhi itne mazedar the.. yes i figured out page 1 questions were left out. But so so glad and thankful to Obi for again agreeing to do it.. so excited

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    • @Ranjan: hello my friend! Seems like we’re on the same page here ..
      I don’t have expectations from this one but am rooting for Aakhri Station, which starts Tues so let’s see how that one fares

      Like

  4. Spot on review.. this was strictly decent first episode.. was never fan of Imran Abbas ‘s acting and here too im not impressed.. Sajal too needs to grow on me regarding acting.. like in Orungreza she was brilliant from scene 1 here It seems will take time.. story seems very predictable n yes so so agree with you it did feel like MNYH.

    Iffat Umer and Irfan khoosat and Marina Khan were indeed stars of show specially IU.. she was just terrific.. loved her Ghazala. Not sure if i will follow this.. already so much to watch

    Like

    • Hello Rehmat, long time yaar! Hope you, Baby Z and your other family members are all well.

      I completely agree with your comment. This is not even fun time pass type drama, feels like both leads are sleep walking lol.

      Love Marina so much, but what is she doing in this play – after her fab Michelle in Jackson Heights, this character is such a routine run of the mill saas – seems such a waste!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey VZ.. kahan gayab thein yar ap:) indeed long long time.. me and baby Z doing good.. time is flying and baby Z is now 1 n half year old:) everyone else too is fine..

        I know yar MKs character is bit pheeka but trust her in making it interesting..

        Please now dont go MIA… ❤

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    • Rehmat: Seems like we’re all pretty much on the same page here … but then there’s the whole other audience out there that’s loved the episode. The yt video’s already crossed 1 million views so there’s that. I guess these channels’ marketing teams do know better than us what sells so wait and watch for more of the same :/

      Yeah, I dk how long I’ll b able to watch as well … dekhtey hain … might be one of those dimagh ki batti ghul kar ke dekho type shows .. lets see

      Like

  5. Dear SZ,

    I’m writing after such a long time here 🙂 Thank you for the crisp and no holds barred review.

    Just as I mentioned in my mail to you, I am not one bit motivated to watch this. The same old same old chichorapan, class difference, only son of rich family whose mum is devil incarnate (hello Farida aunty from Humsafar), bored leads, sorry but this is not ticking any boxes for me as of now. Reminded me of the Bollywood movie Saathiya (Rani Mukerji played the lead) and gazillion other movies/dramas.

    Iffat Omer was the only one whose character I found interesting, wish story was about Ghazala lol. We have so many of these people whose lives are spent looking after ill family members or forced responsibilities with no respite – what must living such a life feel like? And how will they feel when they see a family member at the cusp of happiness that has always eluded them? Especially someone like Ghazala who seems to have bucket loads of romantic ideas (blame it on her digest reading habit)? I just loved how Iffat is giving that character a lot of layers.

    Baki the sights and sounds of the city were quite different from the usual fare – reminded me again of the opening scene in Humsafar, where they showed Mirpur Khas very realistically.

    I’m hoping Aakhri Station will be good. Let’s see. I’m not watching anything else at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VZ… maynnn missed you so so so much like literally.. hope you are doing fine and everything is well at your end.. ankhain taras gayeen thi to read something from your end.. hamesha khush rahe 🙂

      Yes I too was reninded of Sathiya when i read (read:blunder) description provided by channel under the first episode so yea v.flat :/

      Like

    • VZZZZZZZ!!! Helloo!!

      So lovely to have you back!!! You’ve been missed ❤

      Bhai ab whether you're watching a drama or not it doesnt matter, you should just drop in .. we always have convos going on and it is always lovely to hear your perspective. Idk if you saw it or not but we did manage to dhaka start a Desi Reads section, which is kinda sorta but not really fully functional yet. I have a short story – Gurmukh Singh Ki Wasiyat – up and if you have the time and/or the inclination do feel free to jump in. Its a Manto short story that was also beautifully adapted as a telefilm …

      Acha, so back to this one, yes, this is a no go .. I checked it out because of purely sentimental reasons and loved my two ladies, but yes as you rightly say, our dramas are not in that phase of maturity where they would explore a "side character's" back story. I am actually similarly interested in Marina's back story too … nobody become stern just like that and as single parent and a business woman in a patriarchal system I'm sure she's had to develop a tough exterior just in order to survive, and then this dreamer son of hers is not prize, tau bechari ab sakht na ho tau kiya kare … but again dont think we're ever going to go into those tangents …

      Re: this one seeming familiar to Saathiya, yes and so many others. I was very reminded of an old PTV drama Khaleej where the girl was rich and the guy was poor .. a lovely serial directed by Sahira Kazmi. But yeah, these class divide stories are a dime a dozen. Also, remember the recent Tum Kaun Piya, the Aiza Khan- Imran Abbas starrer where he was the rich cousin so impressed by his "intelligent" poor cousin and Khuda Aur Muhabbat, Imran Abbas and Sadia Khan, him the rich guy she the poor Mualvi's daughter.

      Aakhri Station, I am hoping and thinking will be good. I say this because this is Sarmad's home production, co-produced with Kashf Foundation, 7 eps and he's been involved in this project every step of the way from the its very inception. Also it involves names like Muneeza Hashmi etc. So I have hopes. Ab baqi tau lets see. Tomo is the big day!

      Like

  6. Agree with most of the above. Nothing new here. Imran, though once easy on the eyes, now just appears tired and predictable. Honestly in the world of PK drama bechaaris, he is the bechaara-est. I see him and the first thing that comes to mind is bebas, bechara – which are usually sentiments reserved for the female characters of television.

    I think he is capable of more – could he have pulled off Asfandyar (I know sacrilege, considering Ahad Raza Mir, is my new <3) ?? I want to believe that with the right director and dedication to his craft that he could. I feel like he is lazy when it comes to picking his dramas and always falls back on the forlorn lover.

    I, personally am not a fan of Sajal…I know I am in a minority, as her star is shining bright. I just can't buy into her top-billed status. Many in my family disagree, stating that she is versatile. I can't quite identify what I don't like about her. Maybe I can't separate her from this image of a whiny, bechari who is crying all the time. In her defense and to confess, I haven't watched many dramas in the last few years, so I can't compare all the characters she has played.

    Realized a few weeks ago, I need some entertainment and a little romance in my life 😉 I watched a couple of older Indian movies and for some reason I could connect better with the characters in PK dramas, so I watched Bin Roye (6 months ago) and binge-watched Yaqeen ka Safar (why do they spell yakeen with a K??!!!!) this week. Loved Ahad Raza Mir, but Sajal was only okay for me.

    Nothing compelling in Noor-ul-Ain, however, so far, I actually like the way Sajal is playing Noor as the educated, urban girl, with her head in the right place. Her expressions are controlled and consistent, and what may appear as being bored, I think is her playing a practical, responsible girl who has so far demonstrated an understanding of her family values.

    She is cognizant of her responsibility to take care of herself and her izzat, while still being educated and the first woman in her family to pursue a professional career. I loved her father's character – he is loving and supportive – and despite coming from a middle class background has supported the education and ambition of his daughter. I think she takes that seriously, and is not immediately impressed by this roadside Romeo.

    Her serious expressions, controlled smile, even subtle eye rolls seem deliberate to me and are in stark contrast to the bechari, or super-khilandari, or lost-in-love roles I have seen her play. I am seeing Noor dig deep and draw on a controlled elegance so as to maintain some power in this interaction, despite the fact, that somewhere deep down I do believe that she is flattered, confused, and intrigued…I mean who wouldn't be…after all Khizar has not proven that he is badmaash, or badtameez – maybe a little spoiled or privileged, which allows him to state his feelings unabashedly.

    So I will watch the next few episodes to see if Khizar learns there is more to life then just finding love and marrying Sajal. I am loving Marina Khan (still hard for me to translate Zoya to these characters, make you reflect on how much you change/mature with age).

    I was mostly neutral about Iffat Umar, but I have never seen her in such a traditional role, I remember her as an educated, urban woman. I am really enjoying the chachi – she is playing it really well and in character. She seems so sincere and wise when she speaks to Noor and I can see why Noor talks to her, but then she acts out away from Noor. I am waiting to see if she will turn on Noor or if she will actually think in her best interest. If I am not reading too much into it, the writer could be showing how people are always battling between the instinct to be good and the temptations or vices that pull us towards emotions like jealousy, envy, suspicion, competition. I would LOVE to see the chachi help Noor and not fall prey to jealousy and manipulation – that would make this hatke. To see someone reconcile between good and bad and choose to be good, despite our fatal human flaws.

    Sigh, again, this is me probably ascribing too much, expecting too much from writers.

    Like

    • Hello Noori, welcome to DRNR.. thank you for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts. Glad to hear from you 🙂

      So, it seems like we’re on the same page in terns of where we are in reading this series. My biggest beef here is that I cant see the purpose in this serial – its been three eps, and i was planning on writing this yesterday then got way laid, but generally Im at a loss to find any thing “new” to say here. when a producer can hire the best talent around then why not put in a little bit more effort and work a bit more on the story and even if its the same old story try and find a different angle… but alas … I dont know if you watched this last ep, but Noor has been persuaded by this roadside Romeo’s charms (another sigh) and is losing sleep over him.

      Re: Iffat Umar, I dont know if youre watching Aangan but there too Iffat is playing a middle class bahu in a joint family, not exactly a digest reader like this chachi here but still a different turn from her usual sophisticated roles.

      Imran A: ( A third sigh) He’s capable of sooo much more but Ive been waiting and waiting and waiting and now given up.

      Marina K: She is an absolute love and so good here in a very diff avatar.

      Sajal, I think your family is right 🙂 She has matured a lot from here bechari type characters that she used to play just a couple of years ago. She was phenomenal in the just ended O Rungreza. YKS was not her moment of glory, it was more a showcase for the men in the play. Re: the Q vs K .. that the marketing department of the channels (and their weak linguistic skills). They are the ones who put out the English translations of their titles and they become standard usage what with the hashtags etc we all have to end up using them.

      Re: your expectations from drama writers. My sincere advice: Have zero expectations. We’ve just come out of a terrible ending to a drama that we had great expectations from so … here I think the focus is more on the the couple and their relationship so i dont think there will be much development of the supporting characters, even though chachi has been given an interesting back story.

      Lets see …

      Like

  7. Also watching Aakhri Station – which I am loving so far. I will always be a fan of Sanam Saeed. My fear….Sanam is not an NGO/kherkhwaa…what if she is a brothel madam or a human trafficker…..OMG, that would kill me.

    Like

  8. Greetings SZ and all
    Haven’t seen the episode but wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your review.
    Mazaa aayaa yaar!
    Excuse me while I go nap
    JR
    😂

    Like

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