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Archive for the ‘Mirat-Ul-Aroos’ Category

Mirat-ul-Uroos Episode 6-7 Review

Posted by howzzat On February - 1 - 2013 2 COMMENTS

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The beauty of Mirat-ul-Uroos completely lies in its characters. They are well-etched and brought to life by Umera Ahmed and every single character has an important part to play in the story. There's a lack of filler characters unlike other plays, which is quite a big relief as a result, every scene is to the point and straight-forward. But the best part has got to be the relatability of the characters with the viewers,that brings about an instant connect to the play. Umera Ahmed has managed to bring to life the story of 'Mirat-ul-Uroos' yet again and that too, by making Akbari and Asghari, age by two generations.

Most plays give the audience, a known hero and a known villain, but not Mirat-ul-Uroos. Yes, Ayeza's ideologies and manner of living might give away negative vibes but she herself isn't a completely evil ala black character (Saman from Maat). Neither is Ayema, your traditional 'Naik Parveen' who's seen regularly in every other drama. Ayema is someone who's intelligent and well-educated but also knows when she's being mistreated.

When everyone is busy praising Ayeza's cooking skills, the only person who appears to be affected is Ayema. Her fears are justified because she knows very well that this will only end up belittling her further in the eyes of her future-in-laws. Ayeza remains aloof at understanding why, her parents and Ayema are hell-bent on ruining her wedding. But she also doesn't realise the pains her parents will have to go through to fulfil this wish of hers. And making matters worse, Akbari refuses to side with her son and daughter-in-law, making Ayeza even more strong-headed about her desires.

Ayema is also afraid that once Ayeza and Hammad get married, Rafia will definitely refuse to get her bethrothed to Hashim. She knows, very well that her sister is selfish and only cares about her own happiness. But pressuring Hashim is of no avail since he already has other plans running in his mind.

Asghari is now certain, that Ayeza is a carbon copy of her elder sister, Akbari. Her fears come true when Rafia tells her about the demands being made every single day, whether its in the form of jewellery or even making sure that there's a servant definitely in their household before the wedding. Alas, the damage is already done.

But, the biggest surprise comes from Hammad. Initially, who would'nt do anything before consulting Rafia has not only bought a diamond ring for Ayeza but is now also forcing his parents to sell the piece of land which they had bought with their life-long savings for a rainy day. All this just, so that Ayeza and Hammad can have a big and lavish wedding.

The question that immediately comes to mind is, 'Is this really worth it all?' Are they really going to be happy by hurting the sentiments of their parents and family?

Mirat-ul-Uroos, this week stayed true to its script except that when you see two episodes a week, the expectations really run high in terms of content. The story moved forward but the pace was simply not upto the standards. But, otherwise the play is flowing smoothly with main emphasis on the conflicts of interest between Ayeza and Ayema. They are like two sides of the same coin, which definitely run in the same direction but will never meet.

Coming to the actors, Ayesha Khan and Samina Ahmed steal the show from the youngsters and there can be no better Akbari or Asghari between the two. Aaminah Sheikh is doing justice to the role of Ayeza and brings about a sense of authority to the character as well. Mehwish Hayat's Ayema is quite the opposite of what we are normally used to seeing her as, but nevertheless here she completely mesmerises the viewer with her simplicity. Mikaal Zulfikar as the suave and sharp Hammad brings to the table, the intellect necessary for the role. Ahsan Khan as Hashim, looks very good with Mehwish but it seems as a role that he's done several times. Moomal Sheikh does impress with the sweet sibling scenes with the brothers. Anjum Shehzad does manage in bringing forth a smooth transition from paper to the screen. Overall, Mirat-ul-Uroos has one which can be readily called, as an énsemble cast and crew.

This one's definitely not to be missed. :)

Mirat Ul Aroos Episodes 3&4

Posted by Sadaf On January - 18 - 2013 2 COMMENTS

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I am not sure why this serial is being shown in double episodes but it works for me. I might have given up after episode 3 which had more than the usual dose of lectures but since the disappointment was not allowed to fester for a week and a shiny new episode was available I jumped right in.

These two episodes had a lot of discoveries in them. First we discover Asghari’s source of income is her other, wealthy son in America, whom she calls to increase her allowance of course. This explains how Ayza and her Daddi have managed to maintain such an easy lifestyle in Karachi. ”Maal e muft dil e bereham”, I think the saying goes. Ayza  and the unfortunate viewer are treated to riveting sermons on not wasting electricity and the appropriate way to handle  male servants in the  house  and I for one am going ask for the lecture notes be faxed to me in advance …it might be easier. Hammad and Ayza ‘s rishta  track hits a snag when Asghari refuses to consider sending Ayza out of the country ,but that is easily resolved as Hammad lands an equally good job in Lahore and unceremoniously quits the Dubai one. Then we come to discovery number two, good boy Hammad has a phone call From a GIRL! His younger sister intercepts it but Hammad brushes it off as a wrong number.

I think the most annoying person in this entire series is Hammad’s mother; she is a silly woman swayed by any change in the breeze and tends to get one idea in her head and run with it without any evaluation or critical thinking. She is obsessed with having Ayza as a daughter in law and attributes all the good things happening around them to her. Umera Ahmed has characterized her brilliantly and Saba Faisal plays her so well. Then we come to discovery number three, Ayza and Ayma have a brother studying abroad (USA?) played by the ever adorable Umer Naru, who won our hearts in Durr e Shehwar. Meanwhile  Ayma is rightly worried about the impact Ayza might have on her rishta with the Hashem. By the end of episode 4 we see that Ayma has helped Hashem land a very good job in Lahore about which he immediately starts to complain. Funnily enough, even this piece of good fortune is attributed to Ayza by his mother. Ayza and Asghari are predictably obsessed with superficial and material things so they brazenly visit the Akbari Household to inspect their house and then (Quelle surprise) demand a fancy wedding.  Oh and I think I forgot to mention discovery number four; Hammad seems to have an actual girlfriend who pays a surprise visit, much to the chagrin of his family.

These two episodes seemed to define the characters of the main players in this drama. Ayza is a trap; her beautiful exterior hides a cold self-centered, person who does not bother to maintain relationships even with her own sister or parents. Hammad is very unreliable person, who changes his mind about jobs and women with ease. Ayma is  just beautiful and good, she has no vices, and as such I am beginning to hate her. Poor Mehwish Hyat is doing her best but how do you make such a paper cut out, real? I think next week she might become a little jealous of her sister and descend from the virtuous heights  where she has been placed  to become a little human. Hashim is actually a good person but a little lazy and given to complaining.

On the whole this week was better than last week. Episode 4 was actually very good apart from a few repetitive dialogues towards the end about the amount of money to spend on a wedding. I must say I love Akbari and Asghari they are a fabulous double act and I love seeing them. Akbari is still full of chalakiyan and adayen while Akbari is still outspoken and full of old fashioned virtues. Both couples seem to have good chemistry and I think by next week the deeper parts of the story will begin. The direction was much better and the narrative flowed really well.  All the actors are doing really well in keeping our interest. Last week I thought Amna and Mehwish were not quite into their roles but this week they were just right. Ahsan and Mikaal were as usual, right on the money and I think it is the interactions between these two couples which will keep us interested in the serial  despite knowing the basic thrust  of the story from the beginning.

BY Sadaf

Mirat Ul Aroos Episodes 1&2

Posted by Sadaf On January - 11 - 2013 9 COMMENTS

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This drama is based on Nazir Ahmed Dehlvi’s classic novel of the same name. Published in 1869, it tells the cautionary tale of two sisters: the foolish Akbari who creates nothing but problems for herself and the younger, exemplary Asghari, who is a blessing to all. To understand this story I think it is necessary to understand the context in which it was written. The nineteenth century was not a good time for the indigenous peoples of the Indian subcontinent, under the yoke of the British, a mentality of subjugation and withdrawal had taken hold of the Muslim Community in particular. Reformers such as Sir Syed Ahmed were encouraging female education and this novel was written as a response to the lack of “suitable” female literature available. Its popularity made it a necessity in any young bride’s dowry, both as a morality tale and an inspirational instruction manual. It is not the first time this work has been adapted for television, the first time was a PTV production and just recently as Akbari Asghari.

The drama opens simply enough and establishes its main characters and story lines very well. The original Akbari and Asgahri are now grandmothers and this is the story of their two grandchildren. For some inexplicable reason Aiza (Amna Shaikh) has been raised away from her family in Karachi by her grandmother Akbari while Ayma (Mehwish Hyat) lives with her parents in Lahore. Both are pretty and supposedly MBA holders but this is where the similarities end. Ayma is sweet, obedient and careful while Aiza is a self-assured, spoilt spendthrift. Not surprisingly the sister’s relationship is not close and Aiza seems like a stranger to even her own parents. Akbari has not changed much since her youth and manages to irritate her daughter in law at every meeting, finding fault where ever she can. Consequently there is always an undercurrent of dissatisfaction and unhappiness in that house hold.

Asghari has not changed either and as a result her household is a much happier, pleasant affair. She has three grandsons and a good relationship with her daughter in law who respects her opinion, so much that she decides to follow Asghari’s advice and choose a bride for her eldest son Hammad from Akbari’s granddaughters. For me the high light of both episodes were the wonderfully natural interactions between the three grandsons. Hammad (Mikaal Zulfikaar) is the obedient mother’s favourite, Hasham (Ahsan Khan) as the charming but feckless middle son and the younger son (someone tell me his name) as the baby, who is bossed around by everyone. Ahsan Khan stole the show in the first episode, I loved the car cleaning scene and how he plans to cadge a new car out of his older brother. Only then do you understand why, despite her sensible character, Ayma is in love with Hashem. In reality such a character might annoy the hell out of me but Ahsan manages to give his role just enough charm to get away with a few faults.

Superficially the other couple might be Mansoor of Durr e Shehwar meets Falak of Sheher e Zaat but by the second episode the viewer realizes it is deeper than that. Yes, Hamad is his Mother’s favourite and universal good boy but from the promos he loses a lot of his virtuous luster. Aiza maybe superficial but she is much cleverer than Falak and in some ways even more self-assured. She keeps her own counsel and is adept at keeping a quiet façade. It was quite funny the way Asghari and her family are worried about bringing home a talkative, gossipy Bahu but end up choosing meesni manipulative one instead.

Although both episodes were well put together, the themes were so familiar that I could almost predict each scene. I understand that human nature does not change but with time situations do. This story looks a little too obvious to me. However I will reserve judgment ,after all Umera Ahmed wrote the beautiful Qaid e Tanhai, Sheher e Zaat and Durr e Shehwar , all fairly predictable yet each one gripping the viewer to the very last moment. I have to say the direction was good but I wish some of the scenes were crisper and shorter. I felt both Mehwish and Amna were not comfortable in their roles yet but will do better in the later episodes. Amna looked fabulous and you could understand why Hammad could not take his eyes off her. Mikaal, Ahsan and the younger son were totally believable as a loving family of brothers.

If I had a wish it would be that this story had received the Dastaan treatment and we could all see the culture of Nineteenth century Delhi during British times. To understand and see this historically important novel in its actual context would have been amazing.  I am not totally in love with this serial yet but if there is a good response and other people are interested then I shall keep reviewing.

By Sadaf

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