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Chup Raho : episode 4 review

Sadaf . 14


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After last week’s debacle, this week was a definite improvement . Maybe I have been spoiled by the likes of Sanam Baloch, Saba qamar Sumbal Iqbal etc ….who knows ?  But Sajal Ali is still maintaining impossible amounts of backcombing and an appearance that constantly gives the lie to any suffering her character might be enduring but we finally got to see Ramin’s misery. Ramin is scared, very scared of Numair. She sees him everywhere and especially around Azar but her mother persuades her that marrying Azar is the best for her. Azar’s declarations of unending, all-conquering love should have made an amazing contrast to Ramin’s inner turmoil but instead fell like damp squibs around Ramin’s artfully draped duppattahs and flawless make -up. However, Feroz Malik/Khan kept his end up of the scene pretty well.

God forbid that any mother should have to face such a situation but the passivity of Ramin’s mother is unbearable. In every society there is pressure on women to keep quiet. A couple of years ago in the now famous case of the presumptive head of the IMF who assaulted a maid in a hotel room is a good example. Once that poor maid came forward, another woman stepped forward who was from a very wealthy, elite French family. Despite her being a highly educated woman from the highest levels of liberal Western society that woman had been advised similarly by her mother; to keep quiet. What rankles is the lack of anger or personal outrage at her daughter being violated and that too by someone the entire family had trusted. Ramin’s mother plays a pivotal part in the story so perhaps a better actress might have helped.

When forced to, Sajal can actually act. Her desperation and panic in the car , her visions of Numair all made this episode worth watching . Azar and Sajal share some great chemistry and work well on screen.

For me the highlight of the episode was the other couple with great chemistry; Numair and his friend Shiraz played by Yasir Nawaz himself. Like all criminals, Numair feels an almost pathological need to boast about his exploits. By now it is apparent that Numair is very good at manipulating people and even manages to convince Shiraz that Ramin “ asked for it “, that she somehow enticed or seduced him . Despite knowing his friend’s nature Shiraz believes him but when Numair suggests he might (for want of a better word) “share” Ramin with Azar it is too much even for him. I think this will become relevant later. So often in cases of assault the victim’s character is questioned before the perpetrators. As I said in an earlier review it is easy enough to understand who is guilty on screen but in real life lines are blurred, perceptions are easily created and altered and we believe what is easiest for us to comprehend.  I hope it is not the last time we see Shiraz. Meanwhile Jibran Syed is playing this role with great skill and really is the pillar of this serial. Overall a much better episode, now tell us what you think …

Sorry the review is late …will try to be quicker next time .

written by SADAF


  • Kanwal Murtaza

    I’m finally up-to-date with this one, Sadaf. First up, thanks for a beautifully written review. I watched four episodes back-to-back so now my head is spinning. Numair seems to be on a high after his most recent conquest. Jibran has completely owned the role. Sajjal Ali has been believable in parts. The biggest flaw has to be the mother. The lady can’t act to save her life. Sonay pe suhaaga, her character is poorly sketched out. With Ary, I’m starting to lose faith. They have managed to ruin one drama after another so I’m not expecting this to be any different. So far, I’m going to watch this one… If for nothing else, I’ll definitely watch it for your thought-provoking reviews. Glad to have you back. Stay healthy xx

  • RB

    You had me at artfully draped dupattas, Sadaf. Flawless indeed. I didn’t watch this after the second episode only because I knew Maa-jee would be a disaster and train wreck combined. Isn’t Ramim’s mother the same woman who plays Sajal Ali’s to-be-saas in Kahani Raima aur Manahil ki?

  • Mona

    Wonderful review Sadaf, thanks.
    This episode was better than the previous ones but still it does not look like a Samira Fazal play. Looks like the writer , director & actors didn’t spend enough time to make this play & were a bit too eager to finish it off & move onto the next project.
    Sajal Ali is giving one of her worst performances of her career. I wish she had spend more time trying to figure out how to act like a rape victim rather than giving attention to her hair & makeup.

  • FatimaAwan

    Thank you for the wonderful review Sadaf, totally agree with everything you said. I can’t relate to Ramin’s mother’s reaction at all, she moved on a little too quickly. I couldn’t help but think about how well this character was shown in drama serial Roag, the mother felt guilty and was shattered by what happened to her daughter. Ramin told her mother about Numair and she could have prevented this tragedy but I don’t see her losing her sleep over it. I am a mom and I know that if my child falls sick because I didn’t give him the right medicine on time I will feel very guilty about it so this should be a really really big deal. I don’t even want to think what a mother in her position must have to go through but she is a little too eager to move on like getting Ramin married will change everything, can’t she see her daughter needs time and probably professional help too.

    Numair’s character is brilliantly etched out, the way he shares everything with his friend shows how he justifies his actions. I was reading about the documentary regarding boys who are raped in KPK and one of the rapists said that he raped a boy because he was that kind of a boy and that is exactly what we see Numair doing here.

    I must say though that something is missing, somehow I am not warming up to Ramin’s character, like you said we probably are spoiled! Arjumand Rahim on the other hand is brilliant as usual, somehow I am more interested in finding out how she will react once she finds out her husband is not such a devta after all!

    Thank you once again for the honest and beautifully written reviews.

    • Fatima you are as usual too generous :) I agree I too am awaiting Arjumand Raheem’s character awakening … This is the thing about these kind of tragedies they open up the subtle fault lines in all the relationships around them . So far the mother’s character is a total failure , not once has this woman questioned herself or been guilty about ignoring her daughter’s fears . Not once has this woman considered the safety of her granddaughter or indeed her eldest daughter …what else would a man like this stoop too ?what limits if any does he have ?

      • FatimaAwan

        Sadaf I think Numair’s wife and Azar both will find out about the tragedy at some point but they will choose to stay quiet.

    • Mona

      Totally agree with you, Fatima.
      Rameen’s mother seems quite an open minded, modern, casual aunty. Her daughter went through such a horrific ordeal but she’s acting as if she went out to eat ice cream. I feel like shouting at her, “hey idiot! How about taking your daughter to a doctor & making sure if she’s okay & not pregnant?”

      • FatimaAwan

        There is something seriously wrong with her character, I can’t relate to it one bit. So true! I have a bad bad bad feeling that Numair’s daughter’s character is only there in the drama because at some point someone is going to do to his daughter what he has been doing to other people’s daughters….I sooooooooo don’t want that to happen! I want Numair to rot in hell but Naila is masoom.

    • RB

      I wouldn’t have watched this episode had it not been for your comment, Fatima. After watching it I’m of the same opinion as you, any sane person would have at least reacted twice at the revelation, at the news, at the shock of what had occurred, but this brushing under the rug was something I didn’t appreciate.

      About the documentary you mention, can you imagine living in a society that targets you for being weak and vulnerable – young girls (there’s another great journalistic piece a Pakistani colleague of mine was working on called the Flower Girls/Afghani refugee children, I’ll put the link here), young boys, women, and the disabled/handicapped? And for what… for some perceived notion on the part of the perpetrator/rapist/criminal? A notion that can be wrong (or in most cases is wrong). We allow criminals to get away with whatever crimes they may feel inclined to commit under the guise of patriarchy, orthodoxy, and public appearance. Such a shame. Rightly pointed out and rather brave of you too.

      As for Sadaf’s reviews they are always honest and well-digested, Fatima, agreed.

      • Thank you RB and about time we mentioned the patriarchy … I think the patriarchy is about to land on poor Ramin’s head in the form of Azar.

        • RB

          You’re a hoot and a half! Azar’s not like that (at least I hope not!)

      • FatimaAwan

        Do share the link RB, these documentaries serve as an eye-opener, it is so sad that most of these victims don’t even know that they have been wronged and many of the parents brush it under the carpet too but these people are really poor, they are living in a society with little or no respected for laws so Ramin’s mother definitely does not fit into the category!

        • RB

          Definitely Fatima, I’ll email you the link, let me look for it. :) Ramin’s mother is a big hot mess.

          • FatimaAwan

            Thank you RB:) Totally agree with you about Ramin’s mom.

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