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Have to say Mr. Sultan you’re more slippery than a wet fish – just when ...
                    Darmiyan started on a very high note as expected & i completely fall in love ...
Episode 22 of Dastaan embodies today’s Pakistan’s conditions that were marked out by the people ...
Ek Kasak Reh Gayee highlights many clichés that exist in our society; from the molvi ...
This drama is based on Nazir Ahmed Dehlvi’s classic novel of the same name. Published ...
There is good news and bad news. First the good news: my pleas for a ...
Wow!I'm really not sure how to start today's review. The newest episode of Sirat-e-Mustaqeem has ...
The cherry on top of today’s episode would have been, if Neelum started circling around ...
After this week's episode i don't know if I should be annoyed , angry or ...
  Regular visitors to Drama Pakistani will know we are a tad obsessive, maybe even borderline ...

Archive for the ‘Hum TV’ Category

LAA: episode 3 review

Posted by Sadaf On June - 22 - 2014 6 COMMENTS

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There is a corny old song which begins “you always hurt the one you love; the one you shouldn’t hurt at all” which like most clichés rings sadly true. Danyal is confused and angry but in the process he manages to hurt not only Naina but his parents too. I felt really bad for the Maliks, after so many years they are again childless as Danyal sets of on quest of self-discovery. I really wish Danyal had been kinder to his parents ,who actually love him more than anyone else in the world.Mikaal plays Danyaal so well that it is easy for the audience to connect with his dilemma, and we all know jab khoobsoorat log rotey hain tho hamdardi thori ziyada hee hoti hai.

Talking of beautiful people , Naina did not have much to say in this episode and actually did better than last week .Her struggle deciding whether or not to keep Danyal’s Taveez and her near silent disappointment played out well. Her mother played by the wonderfully expressive Seemi Raheel could not underplay anything and managed to keep me smiling.

So Danyal is not a Malik, that veil has fallen: so who is he? The only person who might know is Naimat Khan, the stranger whom Danyal keeps bumping into. Naimat Khan invites him to Nawabshah, telling him that that it is Danyal’s Taey Amma who is his biggest enemy .She wanted Naimat Khan to kill him but instead he was given into the safekeeping of the Maliks. In the tradition of a good mystery Naimat Khan refuses to tell him why or when this happened, saying “the time will come.” Danyal also meets another stranger played by Sabreen Hasbani at the train station. From the promos it seems their relationship continues to where Danyal visits her house. Watching Sabreen Hasbani is always a treat and I am sure her role will only add to the story. At this point, just like Danyal I am not sure who to trust. Naimat Khan might easily be manipulating the truth for his own ends and was the meeting between Danyal and Sabreen Hasbani’s character really just a matter of chance?

It is always nice to watch a serial where in the hard work has been done for the audience, so just sit back and enjoy the show. The threads of the story line are deliberately scattered but seem to be slowly drawing into a nicely woven narrative which is leading the viewer forward without the usual distractions of side tracks.

Sorry this review is late and a little short but hopefully there will be more to say next week.

written by sadaf

Rung Hum Sitaray Review Episode 1-6

Posted by Guest Reviewer On June - 18 - 2014 23 COMMENTS
Salaams to every one who is reading this review. This is my first time posting a review for a drama and hope you readers enjoy it. First of all, I would give a shoutout to Sadaf and RB for encouraging me to write a review for Rung. Likely, I wouldn't have written this review if it wasn't for those wonderful critics.
 
Okay, here we go. Rung airs on Hum Sitaray every Saturday at 8 pm. It is directed by Ali Tahir. I know that Ali Tahir was someone from Mikaal's family in Muhabbat Subh Ka Sitara Hai. He was also Resham's scared husband in Geo Tv's Tar- E- Ankaboot. The write-up is by Amna Khalid Malhi and Maliha Haider. The drama stars Imran Aslam as Zafar, Kiran Chaudary as Sania, Asma Abbas as Maimoona who plays Sania's mother and I don't know they guy's real name who plays Sania's father but in the drama, he plays Dr. Ashraf. Shaista Jabeen plays Bajjo- Zafar's mother. I know people hate Asma Abbas from Janam Jali but to love how great of an actress she is, you gotta watch Rung.
 
6 episodes have taken place and it's a pleasure to say that I'm in love with it! Rung begins with the confident teenage Sania and her loving parents. Maimoona constantly advises Sania to achieve to highest level in education. She wants Sania to become a successful doctor. Dr. Ashraf, on the other hand, is more soft with his daughter. Like any father, he wishes the best for Sania but doesn't constantly place her under the pressure cooker.
On the other side is Shaista Jabeen as Bajjo and her son is Imran Aslam who plays Zafar. Imran Aslam is an excellent actor who's talent was wasted in Rukhsaar. However, he's back to being flawless in Rung. Imran Aslam plays Zafar to perfection. There's a charm yet maturity we see in his Zafar.
Zafar and Sania have been childhood friends as well as cousins,as their mothers are sisters. In a conversation, Bajjo suggests to Maimoona that when Sania and Zafar grow up, their marriage should take place. Maimoona, not being sure, says that she cannot make a decision right now as she wants Sania to pay attention to her studies.
 
As years go by, Sania and Zafar grow up and don't meet a lot as Sania is busy being a doctor and Zafar a businessman. As they do meet up in a celebration party kept for Sania becoming a doctor, Sania and her parents see how mature Zafar has become- pointing to the fact that Maimoona starts thinking about their marriage. The moment when Maimoona announces that Sania has achieved what she has tried so hard for was a moment to cherish. All the hard work of Maimoona paid off. The loving relationship between Maimoona and Sania is a delight to see. Also, we don't see much loving relationships in today's dramas.
As Sania starts her job at the hospital, her high confidence is challenged when the doctor in charge tells her not to think that she knows everything but Sania is headstrong and gives back a firm answer every time. It's fun to see a strong female lead, which Kiran Chaudary for a newbie brilliantly performs. She has also sang the ost for Rung.
The twist comes when Maimoona and Dr. Ashraf go to the hospital for a check-up as Maimoona experiences a minor pain- Maimoona has leukemia. The shocked expression and grief the couple expresses is flawless. Finally her daughter had become what she had dreamt of and the news of likely death had come upon her. Dr. Ashraf, being a very loving husband, starts thinking what he'll do without his beloved companion, which he delivers naturally. Finally we see a husband who considers his wife to be equal to him and the respect and love present in Maimoona and Dr. Ashraf's relationship is fresh to the eyes. Maimoona, as she is on her last stage, requests Sania to get married to Zafar, to which Sania - although hesitant at first - agrees to. The recent episode has shown their marriage and the next episode aims to explore Zafar's family side.
 
Rung for me is a very special drama. It not only offers a fresh out of the box story, the characters shower a sense of warmth and comfort in all directions. And hey,in today's world of scheming characters and "ghissi pitti" storylines, who doesn't want a natural and new script to delight themselves with. I am not guaranteeing that this drama will appeal to everyone. However, I assure that if anyone wants to watch something light yet brilliant in terms of emotions, natural characterizations, and a heartwarming story, I would sincerely recommend all drama lovers to watch Rung.
~~Written by Aisha

LAA: episode 2 review

Posted by Sadaf On June - 15 - 2014 27 COMMENTS

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Finally an entertaining family drama with interesting characters which addresses social issues without rubbing our noses in the sermon. Suffice to say I really enjoyed this week’s episode of LAA and any reservations I had last week are happily cast aside now all we need is a Taveez which makes sure that the quality of this serial and story are maintained and perhaps even taken up a notch or two to give it that sheen reserved for serial which we love enough to recommend to our friends or better still want to watch again and again just to relive the pleasure of a good scene.download (33)

Mikaal the actor is back, he is perfect as Danyal Malik. The first half of the drama showed us the slick city boy taking full advantage of Naina’s sudden attraction for him,playing her along to win a bet with his other talangey type friends. I simply adored the scenes of Danyal and Naina wandering around the back streets of Lahore’s famed Liberty market (which may well by my most favourite place in the world too). As usual Mikaal adds his own brand of easy charm to character which might come over as a little mean and carries the whole premise of the film ….oops did I say film ? Well it seems like one, with beautifully shot scenes, great production values and a story which has depth. In a few scenes that, flippant laidback Danyal Malik is gone forever when he overhears his and Naina’s father discussing the fact that he is adopted. Mikaal again brings the gravity necessary for such a life changing event without losing the essence of the main narrativeimages

Naina’s character is simply wonderful, Sarmad Sehbai has written a woman of substance who is strong and outspoken but does not cross the line to rudeness or vulgarity. Real women are like this because honourable women are not afraid to speak their minds or make decisions because they have their moral compass well set from the beginning. Sadia Khan is no doubt beautiful and her character has just the right chemistry with Danyal. She is playing Naina very well but here and there she does fall a bit flat.

We see flashes of the mysterious stranger and in the coming episodes we will probably find out who Danyal Malik really is. In the meanwhile a disappointed Naina must return home.

Will the real Faruq Rind please stand up and take a bow for this great episode and tell the guys who is directing Mere Mehrban to come and learn from him. I have to give a shout out to the Dop for a job well done and the person who did such an excellent job of=n the background music too. Qavi Khan , and especially Seemi Raheel just added more great flavour to the mix. Loved the exchange of looks between Mikaal and Seemi Raheel …simply brilliant! Well done team Laa,   you have me at least waiting with excitement for next week’s episode

written bySADAF

 

LAA: episode 1 review

Posted by Sadaf On June - 8 - 2014 58 COMMENTS

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LAA Kalima Sharif Ka Pehla Harf ..is ka matlab hai Nahi ...Laa hasb e Nasab, Laa Manafaqat, Laa Jhoot ...Laa Darog ...Laa Jhoot... laa Havs"--------------  Laa is the first word of the Islamic declaration of faith …there is no God But God ..it means “not ‘ or “ without” like the French term Sans… without family status , without hypocrisy , without falsehood, without greed. My Urdu may have let me down so if someone has a better translation you are welcome to add to the conversation.

Laa begins in the manner of a thriller with a swirl of images from past and present, deliberately intriguing the viewer into the hope that there might be more to this drama serial than just the simple romance between Danyal Malik and Sayeda Naina Razzi. Danyal Malik is a cheerful idiot who has somehow managed to complete an MBA and qualify for an American University, without gaining an iota of sense or maturity on the way. He fancies himself a master marksman and we are introduced to him trying to shoot some defenseless animal for fun. I am a Mikaal Zulfikar fan but he just did not look young enough for this. Danyal and his silly friends egging him on to patao some girl really looked forced and I think unnecessary.  Sadia Khan’s introduction seemed equally forced; with her pro forma fight with Danyal at their first meeting. Having said that the scenes of them alone and their other conversations were good to watch and they seem to share a certain chemistry right from the beginning.download (33)

Naina’s parents are Sayyads (for those who don’t know this term they can trace their ancestry back to the Prophet Mohammed’s family) and are in Lahore to see an equally ‘well born’ young man for their daughter. Danyal is a Malik (landowning feudals) …….or is he? There is a stranger who waits to speak to Danyal, one who may put all of Danyal’s background into question. That stranger is Naimat Khan who we see in the beginning sequence as peasant whose precious daughter Amina has died, possibly murdered, after being threatened by some Feudal Malkani.images

This serial is written by Sarmad Sehbai and seems to be an interesting story. The script is well written, aiming for a depth that we seem to have lost in recent times. I like the fact that the cast system in Pakistan is being addressed, often times we brush this under the rug using code words and sleights of expression to cover what is plainly distasteful to say out loud yet exerts such influence on our lives. More importantly I get the feeling this story maybe about self-discovery and how we perceive our identity. The Saieen Baba who sells a taweez to Danyal hints at this deeper meaning: who are we without our names, our family histories and all the lies we tell ourselves ? Farooq Rind’s directing is just passable in this episode at least .There should have been a lot more editing and at times it seemed a little disjointed. I have high hopes of this serial, Mikaal and Sadia look good together and Mikaal at least is a good actor. Most of all , finally a story which addresses deeper societal issues without lecturing or condescending to it’s audience.

written by SADAF

Bunty I Love You Episode 20 – Finale

Posted by RB On May - 19 - 2014 45 COMMENTS

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Ek zamanay ki baat hai jab ek chottay say jazeeray par bahut makhluq rehtay thay. Unhi kay saath duniya ka har ehsaas: Khushi, Ghum, Ilm, Mohabbat aur bhi kai saaray ehsaas wahan rehtay thay. Ek din khabar aayee kay jazeeray doobnay wala hai aur sab ehsaason nai jor-shor say jaanay ki taiyari kar li siwaye Mohabbat.

Mohabbat nay bada israar kiye ki woh akhari minute tak jazeeray kay saath rahe gi.

Kuch dinoo baad, jab jazeera doobnay hi wala tha, Mohabbat nay soocha ki woh aab madad maang lay. Tab usnay ek baday say jahaz mein Daulat ko jatay dekha aur kaha: "Daulat, mujhe apnay saath lay chalo?" Daulat nay jawab diya: "Nahi, meray jahaz mein sona, chaandi, aur bhi kai tarhan ka khazana hai. Tumharay liye koi jagah nahi."

Tab Mohabbat nay Ghuroor ko ek aali- shaan jahaz mein jatay dekha aur phir say kaha  "Ghuroor, meri madad karo!" Ghuroor nay kaha: "Mein tumhari madad nahi kar sakta tum bheegi-bhaagi meray khoobsurat jahaz ka satyanaas kar do gi."

Aaisa kai bar hua. Jab Ghum pass say guzara to jawab mila: "Mujhe akelay rehnay do", jab Khushi pass say guzari to apnay deewanaypan mein usnay Mohabbat ki awaaz bhi nahi suni.

Tab aachanak, ek boozurg ki awaaz aayee: "Idhar aao, Mohabbat, mein tumhe aapnay saath lay chalata hoon." Mohabbat khushi say jhoom uthi aur apni khushi mein boozurg ka naam poochna bhool gayee. Jahaz kay kinaray pohonchtay hi boozurg chala gaya. Shukarguzaar Mohabbat nay ek aur boozurg, Ilm, say poocha ki mujhe bachnay walay ka naam kya hai.

Ilm nay kha: "Uska naam hai Waqt."

"Waqt?" Mohabbat nay kaha, "Lekin Waqt nay meri madad kyun kari?" 

Ilm nay muskura kar kaha: "Waqt say behtar Mohabbat ko kaun pehchan sakta hai."

They say all stories have a beginning and an end. Is it any coincidence then ki har mohabbat ki shurwat hoti hai aur "the end" bhi.

When I first started watching BILU I thought it was a the same old journey of a girl who becomes a woman after she's married to a much older man. Boy was I wrong! Our girl happened to remain exactly that, a girl, our boy on the other hand did become a man. Alas, too little, too late.

From the moment Dania ran over Boy Wonder, I knew their paths were star-crossed, perhaps, one more than the other. To say that there were obstacles on this road would be an understatement. From Amir's infidelity, to Mehvish's swift departure, Beenish's test of love, Zain's daaghabaazi (let's hope that's the only baazi in this picture!), and Seherish's little game all thrown in a large stockpot with Babaji's, Kutta's, detectives, tarkhi buddhas, and a very trusted ADC aka Qutub-u-din, Bunty I Love You was certainly not short on twists or rather steep turns!

Within this game of obsession and double-cross, Patel was my one source of introspection. Like a haunting spectre (quite literally too!) week after week he had me coming back for more of his poetic words of wisdom. From his anguished Dania "To phir tum sisak, sisak kar maar jao gi" to the rather profound "Mohabbat fitratan azaad hoti hai", his words, right from the beginning of this series were what had me hooked!

In all honesty, I'd given up on BILU after episode ten solely because I couldn't relate with Dania's obsession (Allah'Talah ka shukar hai) but the complete 360-degree turn that the writer (Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar) and director (Siraj-ul-Haq) gave me after Beenish's zahar kha lain tactic caught me completely off-guard, and in a good way!

Endings they say give us the ability to retrospect. Therefore, in retrospect, I much rather sit through the rather mediocre middle few episodes than have changed the course of events.

At this juncture, I'm not craving for more nor am I left with thousands of unanswered questions, in fact, I am happy at a timely end and more importantly how almost every major plot line was neatly tied together without a loose end in sight. We know Beenish is happily married and is living her ever after (at least someone is!), Seherish is engaged and pushes Bunty in the right direction, Zain is enjoying his moolah, Mehvish is probably doing more of the same, and Amir, well, he's finally been forgotten if not forgiven.

Then, why I am a tad bit sad?

Every sign in this episode pointed to a less than happy ending but I never ever thought it was going to be Boy Wonder! From Qutub's foreboding "Dinner par miltay hain" to Dania clutching a dibbiya full of poison the scene was set for a tragic conclusion. I won't go into details solely because I want you to enjoy the episode and come to your own conclusions, but I'll definitely share mine with you.

Yet another googly! In a series that's thrown one surprise after another is it any wonder that it goes out with a bang!? And most things about BILU were bang-worthy. The writing, for instance, was simply stellar simultaneously deep and eloquent. Patel's dialogues will live with me for longer than I hoped they would.

Yet, writing alone cannot make a good series and I was more than satisfied with the actors. Saba Qamar, Abid Ali, and Afzar Rehman were flawless in their roles. Interestingly, in this episode I saw Bunty coming into his own. He didn't look odd coupled with Dania, I guess, love does have that effect! Actors playing Qutub and Abdul Samad did justice to their respective roles as well. Not once was I left stranded between acting and writing, as has been happening of late.

Then, there's the music. There were episodes where I wished they would have steered towards silence, yet, even then both the OST and the background score were haunting and left me with a sense of loss and longing, exactly what they were meant to do. Need I say they were well-used too!

Finally, BILU was the first drama I reviewed from start to finish for DramaPakistani. In the process, I've made many mistakes and I've learnt a lot. A quick browse from the first review through to the more recent ones will show how much I've evolved and for the better might I add. This journey would not have been the same without all of you - readers, commentators, my fellow reviewers (shout out to MM, Sadaf, and Kanwal!), and most importantly Faraz. Thank you for the opportunity!

I began with the story of Love and Time in the hopes of stressing that BILU is not a happily ever after, it was never meant to be, rather it's a tale of the here and now.

As I conclude, I'm reminded that exactly thirteen weeks ago I said "Love always betrays" and indeed it does.

Till we meet again!

This is RB signing off.

Muhabbat Subh ka Sitara Hai– Episode 23 FINALE

Posted by A musing muslim On May - 17 - 2014 14 COMMENTS

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Honestly I didn’t see this coming so soon. You know, the light at the end of the tunnel, or perhaps in this case, little light but at least, the end. Well props for not stretching it to the current TRP max of 28.

This one belonged to Adeel Husain. His Zeeshan was firm with his parents and his sister and remained the voice of reason while most other folks addled brains were out to pasture and were also not afforded the luxury of voice or opinion. That he felt duty bound to take care of them in a loving and dignified way speaks to the fact that he must have been adopted because as we know all the other apples in this basket are rotten to the core. He did however, have the better end of all the stereotypes here.

Maham tugging at his heartstrings was the right touch of credibility and the slow pacing of the last few episodes brought home the fact that change is in store for Romaisa and Zeeshan though it is slow and will take time. So no rushed walking into the sunset ending but escape for Romaisa all thanks to Zeeshan.

And that troubling image this drama perpetuates is what is indeed shocking.

When Zeehan calls out her lack of anger at her situation as an abnormality, he isn’t far from the truth. Often the readers too have wondered about Romaisa’s intellectual capacitance and limited IQ and the directors lack of direction succeeded in making her look like a complete and utter moron. I think with her slow reaction time and brain processing prowess, am afraid she does have some serious issues. Drama shrinks must make a killing no?

Once an Allah miyan ki gaye, always a gaye – waiting for someone to either led her to slaughter or to the pasture. If character growth was too much to ask, the director refused to even give her a voice. Forget her own voice, she wasn’t even allowed to come to her own truths and realizations. And don’t point me to that lame voice over it doesn’t count.

All of her realizations were spoken by Zeeshan to which we got a halfhearted voice over of “Meine yahi socha tha….aur ye bhi meine baad mein socha tha…Theekh keh rahe hain app jo bhi keh rahein hain…” So poor orphan child first needed a man to buy her hand and then she needed another knight to save her from a life in the kitchen and its confines. Correction: moneyed men.

In case you missed it here is the moral of the story: Girls listen up your education, learnings from life and your very own self are nothing. Please hand in all degrees and head to the kitchen and cry into the kheema (saves namak). Sit quietly and wait for a man to come in and save you. Why speak when you can look pretty crying silent tears. In fact, don’t speak at all. Let the men do it for you na?

Do these directors, producers and channels even think for a second what images they are propagating? We live in complicated times and when Pakistani women are standing up for their rights these regressive mindsets are dragging them back to the 15th Century where Romaisa came from.

You would think that having women writer (Umera Ahmed) , producer (Momina Duraid) and director (Sakina Samo) would raise the bar on this project and allow for women’s perspective, sadly all they do is present the patriarchal values dictated by men. Or TRPS. Or both.

When you make an adaptation of novel (or is it novella?) that is already in print, the audience is looking for some vision and new interpretation to turn the written word to visuals. Any vision or novelty was sorely lacking here. These strong,  thinking, independent women who could have turned around perceptions, reduced Romaisa to property: first to be bought  and then bartered and in the end gave her no agency to her own life.

The lock, stock and barrel of zalim characters as a foil to a bechari mazloom ladki didn’t bring on the waterworks. Even with glycerin. Though of course, this is an Umera Ahmed drama so no surprises there. Only black and white, the good and the bad. Also thank you for making a primer on how to be a lalchi khala, mean step-sisters, zalim saas and nand along with lessons for evil bhabhi and dewar Next time at least try and introduce conversations that don’t just revolve around money or at least find some synonyms for jayadat .

Lack of nuance was the biggest misstep here. We need nuance to recognize ourselves in these characters. We all have daily struggles with good and bad and no one lives their lives as cardboard cutouts. Ok, ok I know.  Too much to ask.

I guess I started watching for the right reasons and there I was not disappointed. There was plenty of eye candy to go around. There were very few highs – all of them involving some combination of Nabeel and/or the dream team of Nabeel and Zeeshan. Though if you are going to show a man in uniform keep at it for more than 20 odd minutes out of 960 OK? (Petition for more Adeel here).

Nabeel was actually an awful character - as an enabler, harasser, buying his way through life. It was only because Mikaal Zulfikar added some nuance and boatloads of charm that it worked. Also, he has grown as an actor which was a pleasure to behold not that we need much persuading to be charmed by him.

Sanam Jung as Romaisa with her lack of expression could have done so much better if she was given some or any direction other than keep it stupid. Simple. Adeel Husain, terrific as always (see above). Only now I want to see him in a different role. No more second marriages and you have our permission, go on, be a bad boy for a change.

Over the top but highly enjoyable performances by Farah Shah and Mansha Pasha  along with that adorable little Mahum were also some of the highlights. But alas, all that eye candy wasn't enough to hold this fluff together.

A big thank you to all the readers and commenters for sticking this through though we lost some very wise souls on the way. Lesson learnt. If eye candy comes in wrapped in regression then I am going to have to kick it goodbye. Hard.

On a more positive note however, I am now President of the Adeel Husain Fan Club so come on folks let’s get going. Petitions don’t sign themselves you know.

MM (aka A musing Muslim)

Bunty I Love You Episode 19

Posted by RB On May - 13 - 2014 25 COMMENTS

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Iss ghar ko aisay saja daina jaise meri baraat aanay walee hai... Aakhir dil ki baat zubaan par aa hi gayee na.

In the past few weeks, three to be exact, Bunty I Love You has given us one guglee after another, to use a very cricketing term. In quick succession we have seen the departure of Zain, Abdul Samad, and Beenish, the return of Amir, and Bunty finally coming to his senses. With so much happening is it any wonder that I'm hooked?

Let me begin by tackling an often cited critique of this series. Yes, it's finally that time!

Some of us called BILU cheap, others said it was vulgar, other still said Saba Qamar can't act, and a few of us silently watched from the stands as we usually tend to do. Ding-Ding-Ding. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. And well... we'll still silently watch from the stands so there's no point dinging that one.

There are many flaws in Bunty I Love You, I agree, but vulgarity is not one of them. Neither is Saba Qamar's acting. I think the problem lies with us, the audience. Why is it that we cry ourselves hoarse about "creativity", "innovation", and "new story lines" yet refuse to accept them when our directors and writers hand them to us on a silver platter? Why is it that our level of tolerance let alone acceptance is non-existent when it comes to difference? Are we so blind, deaf, and dumb that we cannot acknowledge a good piece of work and the people behind it? Why is it that making fun of difference is perfectly acceptable, in fact, even encouraged, when that difference is "light years" (to quote a commentator) ahead of what you're being served on a daily basis?

Is it okay to lambast Dania by calling her vulgar, cheap, and trashy yet not once bestow the same courtesy on Chauhan, Mirza and Patel? What is vulgar, cheap, and trashy - I ask you - a twenty-something-year-old widow falling for a younger guy or fifty-something married-men tadoofying and actively soliciting the attentions of a young widow?

Is she a piece of meat or better yet a toy to be played with as and when the men wish?

Is it okay to assassinate Dania's character because she's unwilling to bend down to the very men be it Patel, Bunty, Amir, or Zain who would rather have her locked in prison (both metaphorical and literal)?

Moreover, why is it that attacking characters is becoming a norm? Recent suggestions include things like she "dresses like a slut" or he "should wear pretty pink dresses atop a float"? Let me see any one of us in front of the camera doing a better job under a given set of circumstances and I'll be the first to retract my statements. The people who make these suggestions are the very people who hide behind the veneer of societal respectability all the while indulging in its worst traits.

What was it that Manto once said... khair chodo...

As if all this weren't enough many amongst us like to wear our simpleton glasses. For the love of God take them off. Life isn't simple nor is it black and white, we juggle more than fifty shades of grey, I assure you, and hence, our stories should reflect that diversity - of emotions, of characters, of plots, of locations, all of it!

It is exactly this diversity that Bunty I Love You exhibits and it is precisely the reason I like it.

Not only does this series( notwithstanding a stale and fragmented few episodes in the middle) throw one surprise after another at the viewer, it does so in a manner that is both aesthetically pleasing and good food for thought. Is it over the top? Not any less than Bashar Momin or a slew of other dramas. But does that mean it's best avoided? I think not.

In fact, as we quickly approach the final few episodes the director is tying up all the loose ends and (might I add) doing so rather well. The Dania-Amir track reaches its logical conclusion. If last week I thought Dania was using Amir to make Bunty jealous, this week I think she's finally searching for closure. After all, it was Amir's betrayal that led us to this entire sequence of events.

Sometimes, they say, letting go is better than clinging on. If Dania's finally letting go I'm all on-board and ready to see her move on. High time too!

The first eleven minutes of this episode were simply perfect with cuts back and forth between Bunty/Qutub and Dania/Amir. The editing was fantastic such that the cuts flowed seamlessly. This coupled with the dialogues made for one smooth transition into the second half of the episode.

Take, for instance, the word maafi, which was used as a concluding statement between Qutub and Bunty but became the point of departure for Dania and Amir. Beautifully done, Team BILU! Here's a full five snaps up! This is what happens when you have an entire team on-board and working together - a lesson some of us can learn here as well.

As for Boy Wonder how the tables have turned. Isn't it fun to be the one waiting? Although, I must say, Bunty's finally found a girl that'll send him packing on the right path or at least I hope.

The dynamic between Qutub and Dania is taking an interesting turn. There's more here and I'm sure we'll be seeing it come to some (ill)logical solution sooner rather than later. What did surprise me was Qutub's blatant: "Aapnay ussay maaf kar diye, Ma'am?" Hain... Je suis confused.

Again, Patel was flawless with good advice too. "Galay mein patta dalo aur usko apnay dog house mein baand kar do", "Dekho Dania bawafa mardon ki koi kaami nahi", "Tum aurat ko nahi samjhtay, Patel, aagay nikalnay kay mamlay mein woh tum mardon ki tarhan chaloo nahi hoti", "To phir tum sisak-sisak kay maar jao gi", this ladies and gentlemen is strong writing delivered with mature acting. What more can we ask for?

I could go on and on and on. Suffice to say this was a stellar episode simply because everything came together perfectly! Clearly, BILU is anything but boring. It's dare I say it "new" and I have no qualms admitting that I absolutely love it!

Take a bow Siraj ul-Haq and Khalil ur-Rehman sahab for giving us more than just filmi. Let's hope you keep the momentum going and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't Numm-Shukk us again (as one very witty commentator noted!).

Until next week,

Shaba Khair aur Rab Rakha

This is RB signing off.

Izteraab Episode 5 & 6

Posted by Deepika On May - 10 - 2014 1 COMMENT

Dua is trying hard to settle in her new life, become Zara and her husband Jazaib’s children’s friend if not a mother but failing miserably at it. I don’t want to blame her wholly because Sofiya’s equally at fault, she is making things difficult for her parents, for her stepmother Zara and more importantly for herself. But I feel as parents, Zara and Jazaib need to sit down with her for a chat and make her understand the situation. Having said that, I completely understand what children go through when parents decide to separate but Sofiya is old enough to understand the situation.

On the other hand, her brother Tabrez is warming up to his stepmother Dua, who isn’t that bad . I mean she seems to be bholi bhaali and we don’t know yet if she’s actually THAT bholi bhaali or just pretending to be but at least for now, she isn’t bad, yes she is not a mother so has no experience on how to raise and deal with children of Sofiya and Tabrez’s age but it is commendable that she is still trying despite being humiliated so many times by Sofiya. She is trying to become their friend-cum-caretaker rather than a mother. Zara may have her differences with Dua but I do like she doesn’t encourage Sofiya to call Dua names and humiliate her but of course she knows half truth and Sofiya covers up most things.

My favourite scene has to be the one where Zara is politely explaining Sofiya the meaning of a lie and later Sofiya confessing the truth. I really love Sofiya and Tabrez and I really really hope things get better in the serial and Sofiya mends her ways. Like I had mentioned above, Zara and Jazaib need to sit down together with children or maybe just Sofiya for a chat because if they don’t then things are only going to get worse.

Saba Qamar, Sania and Mikaal Zulfiqar are doing a good job but the show stealer are the two children who are acting SO well. So talented these two are. In next week’s preview, they did something that I was sort of dreading, they killed my favourite character in the serial i.e. of Nano. I wanted to see more of Nasreen Qureshi but alas, they killed her. :(

Written by Deepika

Muhabbat Subh ka Sitara Hai– Episode 22

Posted by A musing muslim On May - 9 - 2014 6 COMMENTS

Mohabbat-Subh-Ka-Sitaara-

‘Tis the season for silver linings. First here and now right here.

Last week saw a rather grumpy Zeeshan resisting every kind word or gesture from Romaisa but this week given his family’s apathy to his condition and little more than a formal hazzri he realizes his position in their hierarchy of work, shaadis and other assorted amusements of the rich and farig.

So after months of being ignored he seems to notice the one person who geniunely cares  and waits on him hand and foot (no pun intended) as well as a little heart melter. After all, who can resist that cute little pudding face? This drama wins the eye candy of the year award for the most good looking folks on screen in the span of 40 or so odd minutes

Zeeshan is melting his hardened demeanor and is it lovely to see him falling in love with Maham and her childlike innocent ways. This feels more real and believable than rising humdardi track that dramas are prone to exploring. The breakfast scene where Maham eyes his toast and juice, ends up grabbing his finger and when she falls asleep with him are fairly natural and as his falling in love with her has been gradual. So kudos for nicely written and executed scenes.

Zeeshan stands up (pun intended) to his family for both Maham and Romaisa which is nice to see. Now if only Romaisa could learn to stand up for herself without always needing a man to do it for her, how much more would we like her?

Zeeshan also realizes the unfair treatment meted out to Romaisa by his family and begins to set things right. A firm talking to his brother, the reinstatement of the fish tank, and his realization that all of Romaisa's and by extension Maham’s life is confined to their room, and this house and their happiness remains locked up in her box of memories.

It was a quiet episode, with slow and gradual dawning of the realization of their positions and changing dynamics of their relationships. While Maham, as children usually do, is able to call him Papa and recognize his place, Romaisa perplexed by this change in Zeeshan dares not to even dream of the possibility of another man, another life. And if Zeeshan’s family has their way, she might be right.

The acting today – both by Sanam Jung and Adeel Husain was very good – muted, internal and quiet with moments of solitude that reflect their angst and transformation.

Now if only they reduced the screen time for the fishes, and had got to this point sooner, there would have been more of us swimming along.

MM (aka A musing Muslim)

Bunty I Love You Episode 18

Posted by RB On May - 6 - 2014 11 COMMENTS

bunty-i-love-you

Khuda aapnay gunagaroon ko maaf kar daita hai lekin mohabbat apnay gunaygaroon ko kabhi maaf nahi karti.

I knew last week was a one off episode that came together so perfectly that I had an inkling it won't be too long till the train derailed from its tracks again.

Okay, okay maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit but did we really need another love interest for Bunty? Seriously? How many girls does he need to go through to realise that true love is not going to happen for him. Nahi, Bunty bhai, aapki fate mein nahi likha to paraphrase Laloo Prasad Yadav.

As we are quickly approaching an end to our journey, and boy what a journey it has been(!), there are new twists and old ones that come back to haunt us! Indeed, if there's one word that I can use to describe Bunty I Love You it is haunting.

And the single most important factor when it comes to this sense of chills and thrills is the particularly wistful and perhaps to some extent unforgettable background score. There are numerous occasions - Patel recollecting his own memories, Dania engrossed in her thoughts, Bunty moping at the beach, Babaji performing his wazifas - where these subtle notes add a particular something that no amount of acting, direction, or camerawork could.

Dania and Bunty's logical segue to the terrace was a brilliantly executed scene. Bunty's dejection at Beenish's betrayal, (yet again lost in love, Bunty Baba!) that I wasn't prepared for the conversation that followed. From young love's tragic ending we move to Italian food in one swift transition only to be greeted by Amir!

Amir's remorse falls on a chillingly vindictive Dania. Clearly this woman hasn't forgotten what he did, and if you ask me how will she, given that she watches that damn video over and over and over again! Thank you, Qutub, for pointing that out!

With Amir back we're in for more games. HUM TV, if you're reading, please, please, please don't go down the Shukk route! Spare us! If you start wrapping up you'll end up with a drama that in years to come will be seen as departure point for every innovative and risqué story. No matter what the naysayers might say, I think you're on to something with Bunty I Love You, now if only you can pull it off with class.

In Boy Wonder's universe, he's yet to recover from heartbreak, and what do you know, we have another damsel enter his life at the beach! Is this really love?

Clearly this isn't a story about "desiring the soul" but I wouldn't necessarily say that it's only about "desiring the body" either. A point well made with allegorical references to the kuttas (no, I'm not talking about Bunty!). Finally, we get to the importance of the dogs eighteen episodes in! This entire scene, this conversation between Qutub and Dania - well-shot, well-scripted, and well-done!

Speaking of well-shot, I found Babaji to be in his element this week holding his own against Dania's questions. Not too bad a sideline. Well done, Team BILU!

With a good script, a director with a firm nukta-e-nazar, excellent sequencing and editing, a haunting background score, and stellar acting from the cast, I am hard pressed to see why the story is a difficult sell?

On a final note, there's so much angst that Saba Qamar adds to Dania's suffering, which coupled with the stellar dialogues and haunting music literally set the screen on fire. It's as though this character was written for her and boy has she done justice to it.

To conclude with same analogy as I used above, the train hasn't derailed yet.

Until next week,

Happy reading!

RB 

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