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Durre Shehwar – Episode 1

SZ . 46

Yes!! Haissam Hussain is back – and how!! Durre Shehwar is a winner!! I totally, absolutely, unquestionably, loved the first episode, right from the stunning opening scene. Imbued as it was with a sense of utter calm and peace, that brilliantly shot sequence – the close up of hands with the prayer beads, to Durre Shehwar praying, to where she wakes up her husband – transported me to a whole other world, to a different time and place. I was hooked right there and then…

As first episodes go, this was a highly effective one. We were introduced to an elderly Durre Shehwar and her devoted husband Mansoor. Though empty nesters, their children Shandana and Mateen live away from home, they enjoy a full life with close friends and their hobbies, Durre Shehwar paints and Mansoor keeps busy with like-minded retired friends. Sharply contrasted with the serenity of Durre Shehwar’s household is the frenetic pace of Shandana’s household. Right from the get-go it is clear that Shandana is a highly strung woman. In trying to maintain a balance between running a household, raising a child, fulfilling the demands of a career, and keeping a husband happy, she seems to have lost her soul somewhere along the line, causing her to be irritable and short with everyone around her. Haider, her husband, and Sophee, her daughter, are both understandably angry with her, causing her to become even more defensive, and therefore pricklier. Even as these two tracks are contrasted, flashbacks suggest that Durre Shehwar’s life was not always so rosy; she has had to learn to adjust and perhaps make sacrifices along the way. With Shandana coming back to her parents’ home, it remains to be seen as to how lessons from Durre Shehwar’s past can teach Shandana how to fix her present. Looking forward to seeing the story unfold, I’m intrigued.

What remained with me even after I finished watching the episode, twice – a rarity for a first episode, was the fact that all cinematic elements came together beautifully, so much so that at times it seemed like I was watching a lovely painting come to life. The direction, the cinematography, the lighting, the editing, the wardrobe, make up – all help create an ambiance that I think will become a hallmark of Durre Shehwar. I would be extremely remiss here if I did not comment on the actors. Samina Pirzada and Qavi were superb as the elderly couple. Samina’s quiet smile, her slow unhurried movements, her understated grace, were complemented by Qavi’s portrayal of Mansoor, a now charming man who once must have been difficult to live with.  I loved the little nuances he added – the way he sat with his back rigid, indicating that he had spent a good part of his life in the army. Nauman Ejaz was good as Haider, and it was great to see him playing something other than a wadera. And yes! Nadia Jamil! Welcome back! My highest praise, though, must go to Sophia – I just loved her! A natural, she was absolutely adorable as the petulant child growing up in a household where adults fight all the time.

While I unabashedly loved everything else, the background music, though beautiful and apt, struck a discordant note with me. Couldn’t MD Productions/Six Sigma have hired somebody to compose an appropriate original background score. In these times, where our plays are reaching a global audience, playing an unacknowledged version of an iconic A.R. Rehman tune, from Zubeida, is just not befitting of these big production houses. Rehman should have received credit in the end-titles. Surely we want our Pakistani dramas to be remembered for more than plagiarism and copyright infringements.

Written by SZ ~
  • Tariq Zia

    Plz anybody give me its background music. only music instrumental. plz plz.

  • Anam

    @SZ I too, like Aijaz Yasie said, miss your Mora Piya review. I regularly read all the reviews and but never commented much. Just recently, I've started commenting on the ones i find intriguing, so definitely i'll comment on this review too. =) Looking forward to read it.

  • SZ

    @Aijaz: Sorry – I did very much notice your comment/question, but since I am not well-versed in the technical aspects of cinematography I couldn't respond … I was kinda hoping that somebody who knew more on the subject would answer your query … but yeah, I absolutely agree with you that the overall look and feel of the three serials is very different and as a viewer I'm really enjoying it.

    IA I will put up the review of Mora Piya in a bit … do not be discouraged and comment freely. I look forward to reading your thoughts, and discussing the various enjoyable/negative aspects of this serial…

  • Aijaz Yasie

    @ SZ

    I regularly read your reviews on Mora Piya so yeah I also kinda missed your review on episode 16…

    Comments…hmmm…I for the first time commented on this website when you reviewed Durr-e-Shahwar and asked you a question but no one kinda noticed so I was discouraged to put any more comments…

  • Annie

    Liked the first episode mainly the Samina Peerzada parts. She's got her role down pat. Let's see how the story progresses and shapes up. I am still on the fence about this one, and bored of seeing Sanam B. and Haissam yet again working together. Enjoyed Qavi's dialogue about "mere se zayda puraani aur qeemti cheez is ghar mein kya ho sakti hai" :-)

    Shandana's problems seem to be self-imposed and self-created. If you don't know how early you are supposed to wake up in the morning to get your child (who looks like she's around 10 yrs old) ready for school and you ready for work on time then what have you been doing for the past 6-7 years that your child has been in school? And then who is keeping her at night while you go out to eat dinner with friends? And if the first thing your child utters to you in the morning is that she hates you then you really need to sit down and re-evaluate what you are doing with your life and don't pass a comment like "yes everyone hates me"! As someone mentioned it seems like it is more of an attitude adjustment and time management lesson that are needed here for Shandana. I hate the fact that she is being portrayed as a working woman/mother who cannot keep it together. Sends out a negative message about all of us who are working mothers and do manage our children and household properly.

    As much as I was looking forward to seeing NJ back on the screen, I haven't warmed up to her working woman cliched story yet.

  • aa

    yes sz i promise IA i will comment :)

  • S Z

    @Anam: I have been reviewing Mora Piya regularly for the past few weeks, but the lack of comments and discussion on that thread made it seem like nobody was interested, so I decided to give it a pass this week. However, if you promise to comment I will write it up … :)

  • Anam

    Btw no review of mora piya episode 16?

  • Anam

    @Jazz Yes i agree about Sanam Saeed's flat acting in Mata e Jaan and her being paired up with Fawad Khan. But i don't object it completely because i've read the novel Zindagi Gulzar Hai and i think Sanam Saeed is just perfect for Kashaf. Kashaf isn't the pretty or witty or the girl next door kind. She's just a regular girl, coming from a less than middle class family, who has had a fair share of problems all her life and thinks that God doesn't love her but still tries to be the bold and confident kind in front of everyone. But then again, all this depends on her acting skills. Let's see if she really brings the novel Kashaf to life …

  • Drama Buff

    @ Jazz

    Seriously, I was so surprised to learn Sanam Saeed is playing Kashaf. Maybe she will surprise us, who knows?

  • Jazz

    @anam..I feel ure pain but I think Mikaal Mahira is wayyyyyyy better than sanam saeed and Fawad..She is doing fallin extremely flat in Maat e Jaan thus far.. Mikaal is way better than her.

    As for dus..loving it! Pakistan ie Muree never looked so haunting..mysterious and intriguing.kinda makes me wanna retire in the hills :)

  • aa


    u forgot the wonderful pani jaisa pyaar

  • Drama Buff

    @ Anam

    Well, after Dil Hai Chota Sa and KPKP, I think Mikaal can do the lead role just fine:). I am actually intrigued to see him with Mahira.

  • Wow, great review! Thank you, and I couldn't agree more; the visuals are breathtaking!

  • Anam

    I'm not saying that Mahira should come with Fawad again. That would be just horrible! Ashar and Khirad should just remain as that and not become any new character. But, to me, casting Meekal just doesn't seem right opposite Mahira. Let's see how i turns out, I could be wrong. Like after Neeyat we had no hope from Mahira, maybe Meekal could surprise us in Durr e Shahwaar or Shehr e Zaat.

  • Drama Buff

    @ Anam

    Yes, I read that too! Well, I am all for fresh on-screen couples! Don't want too much Mikaal-Sanam or Mahira-Fawad:)

  • Anam

    Ok, i know this is way out of topic but i just read on Umera Ahmed's official fb page that her novel Shehr e zaat is being dramatized. The director is Sarmad Khoosat and lead couple is Mahira Khan and Meekal Zulfiqar!!!! WHY, WHY, WHYYYY!!! Why Meekal?!?!?! He was just OK in KPKP, only by the end i liked him a bit more. But just asking for other's opinions … Is casting this couple the right idea? I love Mahira Khan. She's really grown as an actress since Humsafar, but not sure about Meekal Zulfiqar. =S

  • marvi

    guess wat guys zaib bangash is recompomsing the ost of durr e shehwar n the reason is same that v mentioned above…. umera ahmed official page administrator hasan wrote it on its wall….

  • Hina

    Can someone summarize the story for me really quick, because this drama just doesn't seem to be clicking with me. Again, not giving away too much detail :D

  • SZ

    Awww Marvi … KPKP has truly been something else … I hated it and loved it both at the same time … waisey DB's doing the finale review … but I am eager to know your reasons … and btw misssed your coments on lst weeks ep of KPKP … I actually had good things to say abt it :)

  • marvi

    sz this time i want u to write something really very bad about kpkp ….i will tell u the reason but after ur review….

    no i think i should ask forgiveness from u for loving this betuka drama….

  • Drama Buff

    Mera Naseeb was based on Sister of my Heart – a novel.

  • marvi

    mera naseeb story was also inspired (should i say copy) from some indian novel.. sorry i dont remember the name n fb raised this issue that they should give credit to that novelist….but they didnt…. so wats ur expectations this time…

  • SZ

    @Marvi: and thanks for the compliment — does this mean I'm forgiven for KPKP? :p

  • SZ

    @Marvi — we have so much talent and to resort to this is indeed a pity …. I hope that they give credit in the end-titles. All they have to say is OST and background score inspired by A.R. Rehman…

    Seriously, this is a huge problem — we saw this in Humsafar also where copyrighted music from all over was patched into the background score.. hopefully HUM TV will take note of this issue and avoid it in future.

  • marvi

    hahaha….this is our revenge from india…..they have copied many of our songs so y cant v…jokes apart they should not have done that….one of the main reason of humsafar's success is its ost……

  • SZ

    A R Rehman's so gaye hain from Zubeida – listen to the opening and then go back to the DeS background score, a bit too similar to be accidental ….

  • Hina


  • marvi

    durr e shehwar ost

  • Hamza kashif

    Samina Peerzada is playing the older Sanam.

  • Hina

    I'm confused as to whether Samina Peerzada is playing Sanam Baloch in an older role?

  • zka

    Thank you SZ, as always, for a brilliant review. I was bowled over by the first episode. It was not what I was expecting at all. Durre Shehwar has certainly left me wanting to come back every Saturday. I am interested to see how Shandana's story progresses. It is said that "agar larki ko dehkna hai to uski maan ko dekho…." I love the way Murree has been shown, especially the scene where the fog is creeping slowly… captured beautifully.

  • Watching the first episode right now, and I am impressed – the cinematography is hauntingly beautiful. Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out

  • Drama Buff

    Marvi, I am with you – the OST was excellent and somehow complemented the story but maybe I feel this because I have not heard this before…

  • marvi

    @ sz i m addicted to ur reviews now… excellent job like always…

    this is the story of every second married working woman….i loved the way they have dramatised it…..awsome direction….atlast haissam is back with a bang….

    sz ost is somehow similar to kho gaye hain from zubaida but still its so soothing….

  • What a brilliant Review. I watched the first episode and no doubt it was amazing. They way they shoot , the location , Camera angles , Dialogues. Every Thing was superb.Hope this serial can replace humsafar in future and get good TRP.

  • Aijaz Yasie

    Hi SZ,

    I read your reviews regularly on Dramapakistani. You do as great a job as our drama industry is doing these days. Bravo!

    I had a question. I loved the cinematography of Durr-e-Shehwar…The smoky and slightly blurry picture…added enormously to the peacefulness of Durr-e-Shehwar`s life…I just do not know how to describe it in technical terms and contrast it from the cinematography of Humsafar and Mata-e-Jaan…These too serials also have awesome cinematography but different from each other as well as that of Durr-e-Shehwar.

    I also want to say that the background music does sounds similar to that of Zubeida but I think it is not the same…I tried to look for the OST song sung by Komal Rizvi but could not find it…May be once we listen to it then we could decide if the music is same as that of Zubeida.

  • Drama Buff

    @ Muneeba

    Well, if he is, hats off to him for a job very well done!

  • Muneeba Tariq

    Loved DS. Cant wait for the next episode.

    @ DB : as far as I know the Editor of DS is Haissam Hussain.

  • Ash

    brilliant review!! there is nothing left for me to add, as you have beautifully covered the entire episode in your review! Loved it!

    a really good start to DureeShewar and i am sure its going to be a treat to watch as the story unfolds and we see the life of DureeShewar, both in flashbacks and present day.

    I love how they are showing the lives of 2 couples and how both their lives are poles apart. it can be because its a generation gap, but the way its been shown is just flawless. DureeShewar, leading a peaceful, quiet life with her retired husband who now wants his wife's full attention and love for himself vs. Shandana's chaotic life where she has to juggle a full time career, her husband, and daughter all at the same time. Clearly its just too much for her to handle and at times she's losing it. Her daughter isn't too fond of her, she and her husband constantly bicker over the smallest issues.

    So happy to see Nadia Jamil after such a long time, as well the other new actors that were introduced in today's episode.

    All in All it was a complete package! This is how all first episodes should be, so promising that there are no negative points to pick out of them, and have you eagerly wait for the next episode!

  • Drama Buff

    SZ, I am so glad I did not have to write the review this week, or I would have been totally gushy!

    Yes, I just LOVED the first episode. LOVED IT! It was mellow, yet gripping. You could not touch the fast forward for even one second, and in the age of YouTube, it is an achievement in itself. The transition between the scenes was smooth – even though most of the scenes were small, they didn't seem choppy. I give full marks to the editor. It is not easy to transition between scenes and show a stark contrast between the lives of two couples.

    The first episode gave an excellent insight into all the characters, along with the peaceful atmosphere of Dure-Shehwaar's house and the frantic one of Shandana. The dialogues by Umera Ahmed went straight to my heart. And finally, FINALLY, there is characterization to which we all can relate in one way or the other. Finally, we see a retired couple taking life slowly, choosing to be on their own, taking up hobbies, and of course, reliving the memories of the past. There is no talk of the son being evil because he lives abroad and does not visit too often.

    In contrast, Shandana and Hyder are battling issues which every other couple has to face, especially if the lady of the house is working full-time. Methinks the problem is more with attitude – let's see if Shandana learns to take a leaf out of her mother's book, and Hyder realizes how life is without the wife and the daughter in the house. So far, there are no black and white characters – and I hope it stays that way.

    The background score blended perfectly with the visuals – interestingly, I had no idea this was not an original score. I hope credit is given to A. R. Rahman if it is indeed his music.

    Overall, an excellent, excellent start! Hats off to Haissam Hussain, Umera Ahmed, and the entire team. It is evident they have exerted a lot of effort, and it is indeed paying off!

  • Saadia Y

    one word came to mind after watching it, Beautiful.

    I loved the way in which the 2 couples were shown in complete contrast.

    the calm & quite in the lives of the older couple & the complete chaos in the lives of the younger couple.

  • SK

    Nice review SZ..I really enjoyed this drama from the get go, for first episodes it wasone of the best! I'm more excited to see how this pans out than mate e Jan, it seems like a really interesting story! I hope it continues in this manner, so beautifully directed and excellent dialogues. I was so sad this morning because the first thing I used to do was put Humsafar on, and there wasn't that sense of urgency today. I wasnt even going to watch this till I saw posts on FB about how great it was, now I'm glad I did!

  • Rehmat

    your reviews are worth reading!! i too noticed the 'zubeida' background music in promos but during the play in some scenes it was going over the board.. bg music is not doubt superb but still..

    i never expected it would start from older age of dur-e-shahwar and this what makes it really interesting and keep you glued! Simply brilliant direction and Umera's original scripts are full of magnetic capabilities.

    All actors were so outclass in every emotion they depicted.

    i really hope it maintain its pace :)

  • Amna Zia

    WOW!!!! what a play. Absolutely amazing.

    From the story, to dialogues, to direction & acting ….everything perfect.

  • Faraz

    SZ: brilliantly done!…… however after reading your review ,i am dissapointed at the fact that MD productions have used AR Rehman's track… there is nothing wrong in that… however if they used his track.. they should give him credit or at least acknowledge it… We don't want people to point fingers on Pakistan.. specially when our industry is on a rise …..

    I remember when i used to work at a gas station in TX, one of my duties included cleaning the entire gas station including all the pumping machines… one day i left them uncleaned and the old man just told me that.. Faraz… no one will notice that how clean are the pumping machines… but the moment you leave them dirty.. everyone will start complaining.

    So no one will appreciate the fact that our industry is producing world class dramas.. however our competitors will not forget to point out that we are using Indian music scores…

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