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).
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.
Rab Rakha aur Shaba Khair