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~