18
April , 2014
Friday

DRAMA PAKISTANI®

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"Yeh koi kapre hain?!!" "Uff, itne tacky kapre?!!" Just for affirming that Kiran indeed has the lousiest ...
I’ve been following this soap since it began and I am happy to report that ...
  This episode was like a poem, a sonnet to that first rush of emotion we ...
This latest episode had to be the best one out of the previous few episodes. ...
Though mellower, I thoroughly enjoyed this latest episode. Having received two huge shocks, one right ...
[caption id="attachment_9617" align="aligncenter" width="632"] waisay I am loving the safar from leechar and churail to ...
While Maha lies on the hospital bed feeling hopeless and despondent, she cannot help but ...
Wah! I was so cheering for Shumaila today as she fired her loser of a ...
    Turns out that Rabia is the one showing folks the light. Who would have thunk ...
Last week I commented on the pace being too slow – but boy oh boy ...

Archive for the ‘Geo TV’ Category

Uff Yeh Mohabbat : Episode 9

Posted by Sadaf On April - 18 - 2014 1 COMMENT

 

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Is it me or has this drama gotten better since it got serious?  Or is it that I want to see these two suffer? Ok, I admit it I want to see them suffer for marrying like this. This seemed like one of the best most integrated episodes yet. Samir and Dilkush’s woes are settling into a familiar pattern of boom and bust just like any newlywed couple. Dilkush is still lying here way around every situation and problem life presents her which Samir, not surprisingly finds unacceptable. Having said that Samir is sounding increasingly like Dilkush’s angry Uncle rather than her husband but again this is only natural with such an age gap between husband and wife.

One thing I am grateful for is that both are actually trying to make it work. Dilkush really does care about Samir’s feelings even if her careless comments are all that Samir remembers.What I don’t understand Is why Mr” I have a degree in psychology” cannot understand Dilkush. Why would a girl like Dilkush who had the world at her fingertips lie so much ? There must be a reason but now she is his wife Samir is busy reacting to her rather than analyzing or resolving the cause of the issues between them.

I had to smile at Dilkush’s “sughrapa “and her complete confidence (no matter how unwarranted) in the way she has improved Samir’s life .Her was at least one girl uncowed by the neighbour’s expectations. Mehar Bano seems more comfortable as Dilkush while Gohar has always been good as Samir. I am not sure if there is much romantic chemistry between them but they certainly know how to make a fight look real

Ps My apolgies for the late review .

written bySadaf

Bashar Momin Episode 5

Posted by RB On April - 14 - 2014 40 COMMENTS

Kuch loogon ki kismet itni acchi hoti hai dil karta hai uskon chura lain.

This past week A Game of Thrones debuted its fourth season with a record 8.2 million viewers. Since there has been much talk about TRP's and revenue, I thought it wise to begin with a tangent to this week's recap.

Why do I bring this up? Well, let me begin by asking why not? We're talking about popular culture after all. Not to mention our rather detailed conversation on what makes a successful drama series two weeks in a row.

A Game of Thrones is one of those epic pieces of fantasy literature not unlike our very own Hoshruba or the Hamzanama. It's sheer volume coupled with multiple  story lines can be a hard sell for any producer, yet, HBO manages to dramatise the books, and does justice to them! So, I begin by asking if they can why can't we?

With stories as complicated as the byzantine politics that inhabit the seven kingdoms of Westeros, A Game of Thrones draws upon a number of familiar themes: honour, love, anger, revenge, lust, greed, envy, faith, and so on, themes that many of us will recognise all to easily. Truth be told I am hard pressed to imagine this series without all its intricate complexities. Which brings me to my point, if HBO can invest time, effort, talent, and money in a story like A Game of Thrones, which is by no means an easy book to translate on screen, why are we unable to come up with innovative and new ideas to grace our television screens?

Why can't our producers, directors, and big production houses take a risk and give us tales of fantasy and lore Alif Laila style coupled with a modern, upbeat, and sophisticated touch. I kid you not if HUM TV came out with GoT-esque version of Hoshruba, I'd be the first to review, watch, and promote! Alas, if wishes were horses as they say... and instead we're stuck with the likes of family dramas à la talaaq, shaadi, jaydaad, and bachcha.. kiska bachcha.

This is why I actually like Bashar Momin. Even though I know Rudaba is heading towards mazloomiyat, the subject is different and tackled rather well, what with all the glitz and glamour (but there is much left lacking).

bashar-momin-ebuzztoday-cover

Taken in isolation, I loved how this week's episode began! With that pensive look on Sami Khan's face, that phone conversation between the two love-birds, and each lost in their own thoughts. It was altogether a well acted, well-shot, and seamless sequence with no odd moments here or there. Rudaba looked her part of a smitten girl, Buland's guilt came across as genuine (who said Sami Khan can cry in a heartbeat - girl you were right!), and the hazy, smokey camerawork worked perfectly for this scene (only for this scene mind you!).

Waise aapnay notice kara hai ki Ramzan Chacha kabhi wazifay karwanay ka mashwara daitay hain, kabhi Rudaba beti ki masoomiyat ki tareefain, Qutub aka Ramzan Chacha kabhi aapnay kaam hi kar liye karein.

The way they seem to be setting up the Buland-Tayabba track, I think is particularly noteworthy, as everyone likes Tayabba at the moment and the case is seemingly similar with Buland. The latter lends her clothes, jewellery, nail-polish, hell she even encourages Rudaba to make a go with this man (after all dil kay armaan kahin to pooray ho jaein). Similarly, Buland and his wanting to make Abbaji's decision work even though something tells me he has a wandering eye.

The number of times Team BM has talked about how expensive everything is, I could finally tell they were telling the truth. That's what happens when you use use good lighting, Team BM! Good job especially on the Buland and Rudaba scenes.

In what can only be described as a cinematic entrance, Rudaba knocked the socks off of Buland as she walks out to meet him on their first date (or some version of it!). Arrey yaar jab ladkay kay dil mein gaanay baj rahe hoon what else can you say. Did anyone notice how Buland went straight to some Dubai Marina with his to-be-wed (take note I said wed) wife?! Buland miyaan sambhal kay.

Again, the scene in the car was well-shot and rather different. Usually we get to see their faces inside the car here we saw them from the perspective of a by-stander, we were there but we weren't. Talk about voyeuristic!

Finally, finally, finally... if we have enter hero left then we must have enter villain right and (you guessed it!) Bashar is not to happy with Rudaba being wined and dined by her man to be. That scheming gangster dimagh might be cooking up a handi that'll be difficult to swallow for all parties involved. Here's hoping for Rudaba's sake that it isn't inspired by Mummyji from Humsafar.

Speaking of Humsafar, we have a watered down version of Asher-Khirad having lunch and professing their new found love for each other. For the record, Buland, before you take a ring out you don't tell a girl you had two girlfriends (and only two? Seriously who you fooling?!). As if the look of disgust on Rudaba's face didn't say everything (that was disgust not shock!), I have a piece of advice for our bride to be: Rudaba jao paani mein doob maaro, you're setting yourself up for a ghar ki murghi daal baraber scene.

A slow but by no means boring episode, I'm just wondering if this series will continue to elicit the same "innovative", "original" response from me three weeks from now.

My guess is as good as yours.

Until then,

Rab Rakha aur Shaba Khair

RB

 

Uff Yeh Mohabbat : Episode 8

Posted by Sadaf On April - 10 - 2014 7 COMMENTS

 

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You know that song “all you need is love”? Well it’s a lie. No marriage can survive without some compromise and a lot of work. This episode I actually felt sorry for Dilkush, who has yet to learn diplomacy and thought she might be on equal terms with her husband despite the 12 year age gap. Think again Dilkush. Samir Malik is not your friend and he is carrying a lot of psychological baggage. As with all newlyweds the adjustment period of fighting and making up is weighing heavily on these two. I thought Samir was being entirely unreasonable and literally refusing to see Dilkush’s point of view while Dilkush …hmm well Dilkush is Dilkush.images (15)

Gohar is again just right as Samir and this time Mehar Bano managed to bring in a lot more empathy for Dilkush too. Samir malik seems to be the perfect role for Gohar Mumtaz and he has brought it to life well. Mehar bano managed to tone down some of the theater histrionics for this episode which allowed Dilkush a more softer ,relatable image. The scene when they make up after their fight was really cute. Like most men, Samir cannot believe he could possibly forgive anyone the kind of behaviour he allows Dilkush to get away with: such mein “Uff yeh Mohabbat!” I think the director; Amin Iqbal is good at creating serious dramatic situations which is why this drama is getting better and better. Still I thought some of the funny one liners and cute quips which are a hallmark of Faiza Iftikhar’s work were a little lost in the crowd. Having said that, this is a fun and engaging drama where we can put all seriousness to one side.images (14)

Now trouble is brewing over Dilkush’s necklace or more accurately because of the lack of understanding between Dilkush and Samir .Next episodes’ promos show that both husband and wife are going through a learning curve. From this episode and next week’s promo I get the feeling Samir is acting like a head master teaching a pupil some manners .. I said previously that this whole drama is an illustration of how to marry in haste and repent at leisure; but really any marriage requires work and sometimes the most sensible people who seem well matched in intellect and temperament end up divorcing …….so perhaps those words “all you need is love” really aren’t such a lie after all ?images (55)

 

written by Sadaf

Bashar Momin Episode 4

Posted by RB On April - 5 - 2014 66 COMMENTS

Rudabaaaaaaaaa... Aa gaya tera deewanaaaaaaa! (Get the reference?!)

Step 1: Click the link.

Step 2: Put your earphones on and turn up the volume.

Step 3: Click play!

Step 4: Now, continue reading...

BM 10Let's do things Bollywood style, shall we. Why you ask? Well, if Syed Usman Saab has no problems why should we. Saat samundar... saat samundar paar mein teray peechay, peechay aa gaya. That's right girls and boys, aa gaya not gayee! Just when we thought things were getting stale - wohi same bhabhi, shaadi business - enter our knight in shining armour, well in this case, shining suit. Baarish, moombatti, chattri, darban, ek bhooli ladki aur uska gumshuda shehzada... baat samajh aayee?

Nahi. Chalain padtay rahen.

Four episodes in and Bashar Momin has me glued to the TV set not because of a riveting story or stellar acting but because I just want to know what happens next. Will Bashar play a mafia version of vatta-satta? Do Buland and Rudaba really fall for each other? Is Bashar really the capital-B Beast? And will Tayabba ever stop crying?

We begin exactly where we left off last week with Bashar screaming his lungs off and Tayyaba crying her eyes out. Between the crying and the screaming we have Sahira to the rescue. I, for one, find Sahira as the useless phuphi (::you may insert relative of choice::) that can add no new insight into an already bad situation. What Bashar needs from Sahira is the ability to comfort, to nurture, as he obviously is at a loss to provide that to Tayyaba. Funnily enough the only person he knows who might possibly help is Sahira, seriously Bashar sahab?

From what I saw of that interaction, I would rather see Tayyaba wallow in her pity than have Sahira come boost her confidence. Believe you me, Tay-Tay (pronounced Tai-Tai) is better off without the support and comfort Sahira offers which just happens to be my two cents on the situation.

It seems to me that Sahira is only there to add namak to the zakham. Some choice one-liners from that conversation include Tayyaba you're over-reacting now, Rudaba has gone through worse, she's keeping her faith strong, she's better than you - truth be told Sahira I don't think comparisons are the route to go at this point in time. Hats off to Faysal Quraishi though for adding much needed emotional depth to that scene especially when he says he'll willingly leave if that helps the situation.

Bhai tum kaheen maat jana, tum chalay gaye to humara kya hoga. What could have been a tear-inducing, heart-wrenching scene instead played out in true Bolly-fashion eliciting not one tear from me - the heightened background music, Tayyaba's OTT sobs, Sahira's pooch-pooch, nothing had an impact except Bashar getting up to get a glass of water for his hysterical sister. Full snaps up, Mr. Gangster!

Elsewhere in the world of Bashar Momin, Adil and Sahira are quickly ushered off to a waiting jet to sort out a matter of some ninety-odd crores.

What happens to Rudaba then you might ask?  She's left to the mercy of the "Beast" himself. This was truly a Faysal Quraishi-Ushan Shah episode. No where were Sahira and Adil to be seen nor were Tayyaba or Pari of much consequence when it came to these two interacting with one another.

Agar aankhon hi aankho mein ishara ho jatay hain to Rudaba Baaji aap ko iss haftay isharay hi isharay milay hain. Pehlay Bashar bhai, phir Buland miyan, aur koi bhi hai scene mein...?

Annnnnd what do you know Khan's still around. No AWOL-action going on as of now. He even gets to escort Rudaba to her chambers. Set amidst those lavish (read: ostentatious and seriously over the top) surroundings our damsel in distress looks anything but happy.

Speaking of lavish surroundings, what I find with Bashar Momin is a serious lack of perception when it comes to visuals - the house is huge and grand but the furnishings are cheap and run of the mill - paintings of horses in bright blue, green velvet curtains, and so on. Instead of fancy headrests on the bed and silken linen, a simple manji with an Ajrak bedcover could have conveyed a sense of class along with money. If wishes were horses as they say... (side note: A&B if you're looking for an aesthetically inclined designer please do get in touch with me, I'll make sure you do better than Humsafar and Shehr-e-Zaat!)

The scene that really stood out for me was once again in the dining room. Here we get to see how Bashar perceives himself - he doesn't really care if he's labelled a monster or a beast (incidentally both monikers are courtesy of Rudaba), it doesn't matter to him, and he can laugh it off. What matters to him is his inability to control the women in his life, which try as he might he can't. Sahira, Tayyaba, Pari, and now Rudaba all challenge him and his sense of mardaangi.

Kya hua? Ruk kyun gaye. Gaana khatam ho gaya hai? Yaar replay kar lo.

In the same vein of controlling and dominating we have yet another baarish scene, this one far from memorable, with Rudaba, Tayyaba, and Pari all frolicking sans Bashar. I wonder what bothers Bashar more - that Rudaba went ahead and did what he expressly forbid or that she didn't include him in the garden party? Either way he quickly loses his cool and is then rather apologetic at his loss of temper. Again a scene that could have been so much more than what we got to see - lost opportunity, A&B!

And finally, as if on cue, we have Buland's entry. Batti gul, moombatti on and that too a three-tier candelabra, baarish, aansoon, and Qutub - whoops! - Ramzan chacha filling Buland in on Rudaba's virtues we have the beginnings of true cinematic romance.

One final note I actually loved how Tayyaba and Rudaba talked with each other sharing their secrets - something that this series has lacked thus far. Hopefully we'll see more secrets being spilt in the coming weeks.

Until then,

Shaba khair aur Raab Rakha.

RB

Uff Yeh Mohabbat : Episode 6 and 7 review

Posted by Sadaf On April - 3 - 2014 16 COMMENTS

 

images (61)The only reason to watch a romantic comedy is to be entertained and Uff Yeh Mohabbat is once again delivering the goods. Episode 6 showed some promise and episode 7 was excellent. The serious part of the story is coming to a head and I think this may well be what the director Amin Iqbal is good at because we finally had the kind of gripping and well balanced episode that makes a drama worth watching.

Samir and Dilkush attend the reception given ostensibly in their honour by Dilkush’s mother and the battle for hearts and minds begins. The start of any relationship and especially a marriage involves change. Some things have to be let go in order to move forward .Hina Bayat is one of those rare actresses who lend style and grace to every performance and she has not allowed the cold, bitter character of Firdause Hayat to become a caricature. Despite her ruthless, Dickensian (shades of Miss Havisham) plans of complete independence for her daughter it is hard not to empathize with Firdause .Her pain at suddenly losing all rights to the child she brought into the world and raised for 17 years is visible and understandable.

Samir may look like a prize catch to the teenage Dilkush but his prickly sensibilities are just as much to blame for the ill feeling between him and his in laws as Firdause’s behavior. Samir’s lack of experience with family shows. Most normal people would happily take the help offered and if he had a sister or a cousin he would make allowance for the pain he has caused Dilkush’s family by their precipitous marriage. Gohar Mumtaz played Samir perfectly as a basically good man out of his depth. He has had a difficult life and all the control and balance he has won after so many years of effort is fast slipping away at the hands of his teenage bride.download (26) Gohar’s scenes at the party were spot on, the doubts about his clothes, the realization that his profession was an embarrassment to his wealthy in laws and his confrontation with Firdause.

images (60)All the situations and reactions were natural and well played. Mehar Bano Crying all the way home after the hold up, her confusion at who to obey and her childish wish that Samir stood up to the thieves were nicely done. Dilkush may not be a child but she is very immature and age difference between her and Samir is becoming a hurdle. The only disappointment this episode was the way most of the comedy fell flat. Part of the pleasure of any good “RomCom” is the switching between salty and sweet and that just has not materialized despite a well written script. Samir and Dilkush’s neighbours are beyond annoying and so far have added little to the story.

written By Sadaf

Bashar Momin Episode 3

Posted by RB On March - 29 - 2014 92 COMMENTS

Sab bikta hai. Everything is possible. I get it, Bashar, I really do, but can we please move on.

I am hard pressed to write a review this week. Not because I'm at a loss of words, not at all, I have a lot to say but I don't know where to begin. There's the acting and the story not to mention the sets, camerawork, pacing and sequencing, yet, I am for lack of a better word, "meh"-ing at this episode.

Meh-meh-meh!

Okay, okay... you get the point. In a series that I'm solely watching for its entertainment value - clearly this is not the next Humsafar - it is never a good sign to have the audience give out verbal equivalents of a shrug in the third episode. Never! A test of truly good pacing and sequencing is that it keeps the audience glued and wanting more and in all honesty this episode started out like that but somewhere in the middle it lost me, and I was nowhere to be found till the preview rolled around for next week.

Again, I'll stress the fact (and this time in no uncertain analogies) that Bashar Momin is full-on entertainment. It's not compelling drama, it's not a Bombay-noiresque crime thriller, nor is it an out and out romance, it is a typically Bolly/Lolly genre with everything thrown in - action, romance, thrills, perhaps, even comedy.

Solely based on that entertainment factor, Sahira's dramatic (all melo and all!) "mein tumharay haath joodti noon apnay bhai ko sach bata do" had me both smirking and wanting more. Now this is entertainment (for the trashy amongst us!). And we weren't the only ones laughing, if you noticed Adil couldn't keep a straight face either, and he's Sahira's shohar to hum to siraf audience hain. Even though Sahira seems all happy and placated, in my opinion, she is only buying time to strike when it hurts both brother and sister.

If marriages are made in heaven, then, this one was definitely wasn't made on the seventh, or the sixth, or the fifth... Time and again we see Adil and Sahira on opposite sides of the fence (no, I'm not calling Rudaba a fence!). Whether at the breakfast table (side note: they love their breakfasts in BM!), in the car, or in the drawing room our couple seem to be at constant loggerheads usually because of Rudaba.

RudabaSpeaking of Rudaba. Ushna, Ushna, Ushna, girl you can act. You can't fake your emotions when you receive a phone call, you can't spill chai on yourself like Kashaf, but you can withstand the tirade Sahira spews at you and that too without once breaking out in laughter. For that and that alone you've won me over. If Sahira's dramaybaazi had an honest response it was from Ushna. I could literally feel for the girl with her pleas of: "Nahi bhabhi, aap yeh kya kahe rani hain." Job well done, Ushna!

In another part of Bashar's universe, Salman and his becharay Abbaji are being punished ostensibly for money laundering but actually for breaking Tayyaba's heart. Poor Abbaji ko apni fakirana aukad ka pata chal gaya hai. First round goes to Bashar.

Waise Bashar sahab aapkay takiyan kafee reshmi lagtay hai.

What I loved, loved, loved about this episode was Rudaba's flashback. Yes, I confess, I love my flashbacks. Here we see cuts back and forth between Rudaba thinking and Abbuji talking and that too next to the pool. Aisay cool Abba mujhe milwa dain. Mein to galti say bhi unki study mein chala jaaon to woh naraaz ho jatay hain. What I did see here was a young girl who needs a female influence in her life - a good one - not the likes of Sahira. The sad part is the manipulations are only beginning.

Bashar, I thought, was rather restrained in this episode till he threatened to kill Khan. Does this mean Khan is gone for good?

For a man who knows his business, his clients, his henchmen, and even his brother-in-law, what surprised me was his less than astute reading of his sisters especially the theeki one. My surprise was quickly countered when Bashar and Tayabba were driving back. Here's a man who might be loud and obnoxious but loves Rudaba's understated and composed reaction, a fact that won't be lost later in the series.

One final observation whoever is working behind the camera needs a quick shout out. I absolutely loved how the DoP framed Sahira in front of a fountain as she is talking, again the sequence by the swimming pool (in the flashback and between Sahira and Rudaba), the breakfast scene, and when they're driving were all very well shot. If only everything else worked as seamlessly.

Until next week,

Rab Rakha

RB

Uff Yeh Mohabbat : Episode 4&5 review

Posted by Sadaf On March - 29 - 2014 6 COMMENTS

images (14)To cut a long story short the manipulative devil spawn that is Dilkush has managed to blackmail the slightly slow off the mark Sameer into marriage. How exactly does a 17 year old get the better of Man 12 years her senior? Well she sits outside his house in the pouring rain no less and plays the well-worn “meri Izzat” card. Look I am sorry, Doctorate or whatever in psychology notwithstanding, but Mr. Sameer Malik strikes me as a one sandwich shy of a picnic .A more sensible man would have marched her home and said “see you in two no five years’ time “. Of course he doesn’t because this is a romantic comedy and sense is the first thing thrown at the window.images (54)

Dilkush has to be the least likable character I have seen in a long while. She is rude, loud and cares nothing for the hurt she is causing other people. Mehar Bano has not added any charm to her role either and in some scenes I felt she could have underplayed the larakapan a bit. Her confrontation with her head teacher left me mortified and I really can’t see what Sameer sees in her.  If that scene was meant to be funny in anyway it failed miserably. I am still hanging in there because episode 5 showed that these two are about to discover the realities of their situation. Dilkush is just a little girl who has no idea where the money for her lifestyle comes from. It is quite clear that though her heart maybe full of love and understanding for Sameer but she has no idea how to deal with Sameer and her mother’s clash of egos. That old saying about marrying in haste and repenting at leisure seems to sum up the story so far.images (52)

The bright spot in all of this has been Gohar Mumtaz whose, Sameer is likable and quelle surprise sings really well. The music has to be a huge plus point for this entire drama. What I am missing is the usual laugh out loud comedy in a Faiza Iftikhar script. Most of the good lines have somehow gone to waste: when Dilkush says her friends are the most kamina people ever. Samir’s neighbors had a few good lines but these things require timing and editing which I am not sure the director took full advantage of. Despite my complaints this serial is high on TRPs and I am guessing Gohar and his fan following may have something to do with that. As I said still hanging in there to see what happens.images (55)

Bashar Momin Episode 2

Posted by RB On March - 22 - 2014 65 COMMENTS

Theatrics. This word sums up Bashar Momin and we're only on the second episode.

I could start by listing everything that's bad and perhaps do the same for everything that's good. If that's what you're looking for I suggest you go somewhere else. Kyun? Well, for starters, writing a review is not always about listing things, this isn't a lecture and you're not taking notes. Writing, they say, is an art, and my reviews talk about someone else's masterpiece, thus, the least I can do is be fair to their efforts.

And it's in all fairness that I say Bashar Momin is like a Bollywood film. It's colourful, it's bold, it's innovative and unique, there are new actors (Ushna Shah) and old ones in roles that we didn't think they could do (Maheen Rizvi), the story is far removed from our obsession with mazloom aurats and gharayloo sadeeshain, even the scale at which things come across is large and grand (what with three butlers serving food!). Yet, I'm not impressed but that doesn't mean I'm not curious to know what happens next.

If we want a story-strong, character-driven drama, then we won't find it here. And that's okay. Not every single drama series has to be the torch bearer for Urdu adab.

sundus-tariq-bashar-mominWhat I see in Bashar Momin is aspiration. Aspiration for a glitzy, glammy, showbiz industry on-par with it's regional cousin (read: rival). A momentary glance will tell you that Bashar's screaming-shouting disposition is inspired by Vikram from Chotti Bahu or Sahira's teekhi aadayeen are courtesy of Komolika from Kasautii Zindagii Kay. Elsewhere the aaleeshan bangla (with palm trees and mediterranean roofs!) is symptomatic of Ishq-e-Mamnoon. Even the clothes and jewellery are a sign of changing domestic tastes. There's no arguing that our dramas are inspired by external factors but that inspiration simultaneously leads us to look beyond our borders.

What we have here is a drama that is being catered to a wider television viewing audience and not necessarily one that is just Pakistani, Indian, or Bangladeshi.

This episode is proof of this two-way exchange. Ushna's dramatic Paro-esque jaunt from the bedroom to the staircase coupled with oh-so-dramatic music - all aaahs and uuuhs - leads us to the maiyat where we see Sahira in a red dupatta (seriously at your father-in-law's funeral?!). As though Ushna hadn't been through enough grief we're reminded that Buland is not the right match for her, and this time around by mohallay wali Aunties too!

Sahira, I find, is hiding a deeper, darker secret. One that stems from insecurity, the same insecurity that plagues Tayyaba, of a khandani, sharif man not valuing her as is evident from the sisters' conversation. In true naya pasia fashion, it is all about being weighed in gold here!

What I absolutely loved about this episode was Faysal Quraishi's eye for detail. As he walks in on his sister crying he sends his niece and the manservant out of the room before screaming his lungs out at her. This, my friends, is khandani contrary to what the Bashar Momin team would like us to believe. I think Bashar's character is tarnished by his illegal ventures combined with an angry demeanour, otherwise his manners (at least around his sisters) are rather impeccable.

For Bashar, the main problem stems from an inability to fulfil Tayyaba's wish to get married, it has nothing to do with Salman or his family who just happen to be on the receiving end of his anger. Aadmi chahay jitna janglee kyun na ho bahan par gussa nahi nikal sakta.

yasir-mahzar-bashar-mominAnother scene that caught my attention (and was very well-shot) was the meal at Adil and Sahira's house. They had it pat down to a T. Excellent lighting, perfect sets, the maid used as a prop (a bit out there agreed!), and the stressful family dynamics, all done without a lot of words.

The relationship between Adil and Rudaba is somewhat far fetched because I cannot fathom a hipster-haired Adil calling Rudaba "Beta" but hey that's just me. On the other hand, Sahira seems to be speaking the same language as her brother especially when she tells Tayyaba that "You're over-reacting". I wonder who's over-acting, then. Although I will say Bashar and Sahira make a good team!

As much as this is Bashar's story, it is also Rudaba's and we saw the first sparks of that relationship in another beautifully shot scene, even if over shadowed by Bashar's screaming!

What I hope for next week is a bit more restraint for that will surely add to the story. Sometimes, as the say, things are best left unsaid, which is the strength of Urdu adab and by extension our dramas. The audience can read between the lines, give us a chance to do that with Bashar Momin.

Until next week,

Shaba Khair aur Rab Rakha.

RB

Bashar Momin Episode 1

Posted by RB On March - 16 - 2014 37 COMMENTS

Talk about an entry! Boy oh boy! Faysal Quraishi certainly knows how to make one. But I'm jumping ahead of myself.

For a drama that's been hyped beyond measure the first episode was rather mellow and (as much as I hate to say it) a bit flat, but flat isn't necessarily bad.

Our story commences, as most of our stories do, with a mangni and soon to be wedding. Buland and Rudaba's fathers have decided on a match made in drama heaven - sharif, khandani, rayees. With the mangi out of the way we're in the thick of things, and thick they are.

FQ BMKehtay hain har ghar mein ek bhadi zaroor hota hai. Iss kahani mein lekin ek nahi, do nahi, teen-teen bhadi hainHamara pehla bhadi Adil ki begum aur Rudaba ki bhabhi: Sahira. I think we're on trend with the evil bhabhi (aren't they all?) and in this case there's not one but two! Sahira seems to be a spoilt girl with a bad attitude especially with her words. She's constantly on someone's case, if not Adil then Tayyaba, if not her then Bashar. Although she reserves the most teekha andaaz for hubby dearest. Woh kya mohavara hai kaman say nikla hua teer... I wish Sahira would pay heed.

Next up: Tayyaba, the lesser evil (at least for now) of the two sister-in-laws. From what I can gather Sundus Tariq is perfect for this role, since her last performance as Alishba in Humnasheen was particularly pacheeda. She did seem nicer than Sahira though as she quickly acknowledged that arranged marriages "have their own charm". Side note: Why is it that we've come to a point where we believe arranged marriages are a sign of the past, that they are wrong and bad, yet, love marriages are the future and accompany with them all things good?  

And as though on cue enter our teesra bhadi, ji haan, Bashar saab. Now I think Sahira has met her match in Bashar, agar woh teekhi hai to Bashar utna hi tedha. Enter a rude, uncouth, brash, loud and at least momentarily unlikable man. Mulazamon par chilana, mehmanoon kay saath bad-tameezi, Faysal Quraishi owned the character and this is just the start! We have yet to see him interact with Rudaba, Tayyaba, and Adil.

Maheen-rizvi-in-bashar-mominTo complicate matters Bakhtiar and Abbaji are shot on their way home. Ab kya yoga? (Waise we all know kya yoga).

In a nice surprise I got to see Qutub (of BILU fame) in a more toned down version of the gharayloo mulazim. Gone are the white gloves, tuxedo, and smattering of English and here we have kurta clad, topi wearing, namaazi naukar. At least Rudaba will have some moral support for the trials she has to face.

What I can gather from this episode is that it seems to pit good against bad, virtue against vice, and so on. On one side we have Rudaba - unwillingly engaged to a khandani ladka of her father's choosing - Bakhatiar, Buland, and Abbaji. On the other we have Bashar and his sisters. In the middle is Adil, quietly relinquishing his rights as an elder brother but not necessarily giving up his morals for Sahira and her family. Quite the balancing act if you ask me.

Usually such dichotomies can get tiring very quickly, I mean life is not black and white, there's a lot of grey area involved, and I hope we get to see that.

Not really a stellar premiere but not half bad either. Maheen Rizvi was flawless as Sahira, Faisal Qureshi didn't have enough screen time in my opinion (but we'll be seeing more of him, I guess, that was the idea), Adil was good, as were the older gentleman, even Ushna was convincing (enough) as a bhooli-bhaali, masoom ladki (what with not talking to her fiancé on the phone!).

The editing was good as was the camerawork lekin meri ek darkhaast hai ki lighting ko theek karein. Kaafi andharay hai!  

Until next week.

RB

P.S. Mein aap say mazart chahoon ga ki mujhe thoodi dairi ho gayee is review mein lekin thoodi masroofiyat thi.

Bashar Momin Preview

Posted by RB On March - 14 - 2014 8 COMMENTS

Bashar MominIn less than three days we'll finally get to see Bashar Momin! Much has been speculated about this series - big budget, grand scale, great production values, a dapper leading man, and above all it's export to Indian shores and television sets (and believe me we need a good story on Indian TV!).

You must wonder why I'm doing a preview? Well I do this for two reasons. First, as a space for us all to share what we think might happen or what we hope we'll see. Discussions, I find, are always more productive when we can see how much we've evolved talking about certain themes. And if there's one thing we can all agree on dramas certainly make us think. Don't believe me, check out our Radio Show!

Second, I just want to give you all a DP Preview. Wondering what that is? Read on.

Now I don't know much about Bashar Momin. The story has been kept strictly under wraps. The cast has been relatively hush-hush about their riles. Even the executives, those all deciding men in suits and ties, have kept a low profile (as much as they hate too). So going in I wonder what I've signed up for.

First thoughts after the slew of promos released: Why is Ushna such a mazloom aurar? Is this another mazloom, mazloom-er, mazloom-est feast for the senses? Is Faisal really an evil, evil man? Although he does look good in the screenshots! What's with Sami and the tears?

The production values - sets, costumes, makeup, art design, camerawork - seem to be stellar. I couldn't help but think this might be a Pakistani version of the The Godfather, all dark and brooding but I'm not here to compare and contrast rather I'd like to appreciate Bashar Momin for what it is.

Till this Friday then! Happy guessing.

And just a heads-up they're soliciting votes for the Hum Awards. Go vote! Let's give Kashaf what she deserves!

RB

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