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Firaaq Episode 2

RB . 34

Maa-jee say darti ho.

Nahi, unki umr say darti hoon. Betay kay baad agar beti bhi apni manmaani karnay lagi to woh nahi sahe paayen gi. 

Moments – beautiful, everlasting, painful, striking, filled with love, and maybe even anger. We all have them.

Firaaq’s second episode gave me quite a few of these moments. I saw the initial curiosity between two strangers somehow tied by fate, circumstance, and familial bonds, as I saw Paiman and Sara. Then, there was the banter between Amroze and Roomi, which is somewhat telling of things yet to come. I felt Sara’s unease and Shams’ withdrawal at Maa-jee’s revelation. Momentarily, my heart went out for Paiman as she sat gardening with her sautala-Abbu, only to be suddenly shocked by Tabassum’s fit of anger.

In fact, I’m still reeling from that shock! Phew!

As I sit here typing, there’s a funny thing I just noticed, for an episode that had so many moments, the story is still held captive by Maa-jee. Kyun? Well, Paiman is still stuck in that house. From last week’s promo, I thought Sanam Saeed was supposed to leave suitcase in hand with bhai-ji, yet, we end with these stern words: “Tum yeh kamra chood kar nahi jaa sakti, bas.

Maa-jee, mera ek mashwara maanay, hooni ko koi nahi tal sakta.

Even though I’m slightly disappointed at the stilted progression of the narrative (we all know Paiman is heading out, then, why the less than cliffy cliffhanger?!), there is enough in this week’s episode to keep me temporarily satiated.

As much as the narrative focuses on Shams and Sara’s relationship or Maa-jee’s crazy antics (really with that danda?), which are important to the overall structure, this is undoubtedly Paiman’s story. We see how she acts and thinks, we are made to feel for her, for her situation. Our voice resonates with that of Haider, “Iss ghar mein tum murjha jao gi.” Sanam Saeed breathes life into Paiman, and I know some may disagree, but her expressions especially her eyes convey far more pain than they are meant too. Paiman is a sad, quite, demure, and reclusive creature not by choice but by circumstance. And Saeed’s big glasses, scrunchie-d hair, printed suits coupled with the dialogues and her acting present a character that is at once conflicted by right and wrong, by perceptions and desires, and most importantly, by a question: should she live for herself or for someone else.

Sixteen years of living like a prisoner, no matter how beautiful the cage, can take a toll on anyone and Paiman is no different. She is bursting at the seams to leave, to explore, to experience, to make mistakes, to fall in love, to be heartbroken, and maybe even find herself. Experiences, as Haider rightly notes, she’s being denied by a mother who’s lived her life. Ironic isn’t it?

The source of Paiman’s earthly misery, Maa-jee, is an enigma (and not the good kind). Why is this woman so hateful, so insecure, so angry? If there’s anyone in need of Amroze’s services (and desperately at that) it is Tabassum. I still haven’t gotten over her danda antic (and this is just the beginning), I’m not sure whether to laugh, be horrified, or maybe feign disgust? Either way Uzma Gillani is a formidable powerhouse of acting in Firaaq, because this story needed a villain like her.

In many ways, Maa-jee is a warped and twisted version of Farida from Humsafar, which is why, I think, Shams left. His “betrayal” of mother and sister had nothing to do with Haider, in fact, Haider served as a ready and easy excuse for escape, but I could be wrong. Shams is a character full of anger, which bursts forth on occasion such as when Sara goes to the park or decides to visit her saas (of course, thanks to Dr. Amroze). Seeing Junaid Khan being every bit as dark as his Adam from Mata-e-Jaan Hai Tu, as he waited quietly for Sara and then just stood there looking at her: goosebumps (no, seriously!). Let’s hope HUM TV has insurance lest the character get into Juni’s head.

Getting into heads, though, is Dr. Amroze’s forte. After all, that psychotic couple is still in therapy. Waise, HUM TV nay itnay paisay kharchay, location par, kapdoon par, cast par, thoda paisa extras par bhi kharch laitay, baat yahni choodon ga, as they say, akalmand ko isharaa kafi. I have yet to see Mohib Mirza truly woven into this story, he seems (as of now) to be an outsider looking in, which is why seeing him in a rather candid conversation with Roomi was a tad bit revealing. These two have an odd friendship, they sit around while one paints the other, talking about tanhaai and women in their lives. Could this be yet another love triangle with both Amroze and Roomi falling for Paiman? Triangles or not, the boys looked good together, be it Roomi and Shams or Amroze and Roomi, their interaction wasn’t stunted but rather natural and impromptu (what with Noor Hassan laughing through his dialogues?!).

For an episode that had promised us a climax, we were let down, but by no means disappointed. The writing, editing, direction, and acting are in tandem with the overall narrative. The camerawork was equally flawless and the background score never disappoints. But I hope they’ll give us some silences (awkward or otherwise) – like they did today with noises of traffic, of the wind, of rippling water – because the story deserves them.

Till next week,

Rab Rakha

This is RB signing off. (Tweet me!)

  • RJ

    excellent review …loved this epi :) …SHUKER…ok is epi mein main nay aur kuch nahi kia sivaiy sab characters k naam yaad kernay k kiunk 2-3 dramas ek sath dekhnay ki waja say kuch samajh nahi aa rahi kon kia hai…last time comment kertay paymaan ko sara bana dia…phir ek jaga aap “roomi” ki baat ker rahay thay aur main soch rahi thi k Eeeein ye roomi tou shuk main tha yahan kaisay aa gaya…ab is epi main aa ker pta chala

    tou mazid confusions say bachnay k liay filhal ye hi goal tha jo achieve ker lia…aur abhi first 2 episodes k comments dekh rahi thi oosi main nazer pari.. “bohemian-hippy-awaara artist type”…nice observation I like it :) …haan bechara bohemian hippy awaara artist sabhi kuch hai bus shehzada nahi hai ;) …haal hi main khoobsurat dekhi hai isi liay her cheez “royal” nazer aa rahi hai

    acha ab mujhay forun third epi per jana hai is liay drama per ziada baat nahi karoon gi…mujhay her cheez pasand aa rahi hai lekin pace of he story per mujhay aitraaz hai ..sab kuch bohat fast ho raha hai..thora time den characters ko develop tou honay den…viewers k liay bhi digest kerna asan ho…lekin yahan sab jaldi main hain…shamas aur roomi k demiyaan honay wali 10 min ki conversation shamas k liay bohat kafi thi itna saalon purani narazgi khatum kernay k liay ..forun dinner aur forun sis say milnay kaa decision…waah bhai bohat tez jaa rahay ho…mujhay ye unbelievable laga

    aur achi khaasi serioius situation main dunda touch…pooray scene kaa impact hi khatum ho gaya..maan ji ko koi samjhai ye Pakistan nahi hai jahan aap dunday say apnay husband ki thukai ker den gi wo bhi beech bazar ..yahan ager kisi neighbor nay uncle per honay atiiyaachaar ko dekh ker police ko call ker di tou maza aa jye gaa..
    .
    jahan tak love trio ki baat hai mujhay lagta hai roomi pehlay sara ko pasand kerta tha lekin sara shamas main interseted thi aur ab bechara paymain k mamlay main bhi hath malta reh jye gaa…uff aisay dost kisi dushman ko bhi naa milein..pehlay shamas ab imroz..waisay imroz past ko kehtay hain..dekhtay hain naam kaa character say kia link banta hai..ok ab nexr review per miltay hain …RR

  • Kanwal Murtaza

    I’m liking Firaaq for now. But I’ve been letdown by Hum one too many times lately and I’m almost afraid to commit to any of their dramas. Trying to watch this two episodes at a time to see if its worth the trouble. What else are you watching, RB?

    • RB

      Just Firaaq at the moment don’t have time for much else. What about you? I forgot you’d been bitten by the Janam Jali bug, no wonder you’re in doubt over Firaaq. Let’s hope it stays good.

      • Kanwal Murtaza

        I’ve replaced Janam Jali with Mohabbat Ab Nahi Hogi! Lol. Nothing else really since Pyarey Afzal, Pehchaan and MHMD ended. Undecided over Firaaq and Chup Raho. Looking forward to Jackson Heights and Goya :)

        • RB

          You and your bad drama obsession! Don’t we all have one though?! Jackson Heights starts tomorrow on Urdu 1!

  • AW

    I really wish Junaid from Call (that’s how he will always be known) would stop doing the angry young man (borderline psychotic), living abroad roles.

    • RB

      Haha! I’d forgotten about the band, yaad dila diya aap na, shukriya! He has a penchant for such roles, na? I’ve noticed that too. At least in Firaaq he has the role pat down. What did you think of the episode, though, accha laga?

      • AW

        Yes, not a bad episode. Although, like you said, I was expecting Paiman to leave like they showed in last week’s promo. I’m not going all out there to praise this drama just yet. Aahista Aahista was such a huge production and an even bigger let down. Let’s hope Firaaq does the viewers justice.

        • RB

          Aahista Aahista is a disaster! I marvel at the people who can sit through it, just as I marvelled at myself for sitting through Bashar Momin. DISASTER! Firaaq is on to a good start and I don’t see it getting slow or boring for another few episodes. It’s after the first 7 episodes when the true test comes – keep the narrative fast and strong or stretch it out and ruin the continuity. I’m still wondering where they’re taking this story and how it will pan out – love triangle, death, divorce, kya?!

          • AW

            I haven’t gone back to watching Bashar Momin since it restarted.
            Firaaq’s storyline can’t be deciphered as yet. There’s definitely a love triangle, but between who because I can’t figure out from the promos if Noor Hassan likes Sanam or Cybil.

            • RB

              Neither have I. I want poor Rudaba to just call a time out on her life!

  • Annie

    Enjoying this drama so far. LOL @ Farida aunty reference. I think Farida aunty went to Tabassum aunty’s school for “evil moms/saas” and miserably failed and was ‘daanda’ed” out of the school gates – no cap and gown here. UG is totally in her element here. Infact I think we mentioned this last week. the trio makes the perfect dysfunctional family.
    I really liked the Roomi-Shams scene outside – the dialogue the lighting everything was very well thought out and put together. The other scene that was excellently done was when Shams is entering his mom’s house and the trio is at it. The flashbacks and all – well played Aabis Raza. I am enjoying our directors taking these artistic liberties and making the scenes more visually interesting – I am pretty sure it was tough to manage that whole back and forth scene between Shams and the family fighting. Full points to the editing team as well.
    Another good episode makes me get a little more cautiously optimistic :)

    • RB

      And everyone else aka Paiman and Haider were daanda-ed in. ::wink::

      UG is on top of her game, no, seriously, I have yet to see a character more bitter and angry on Pakistani screens. I like the Roomi-Amroze sequence better (but Shams’ was a close second!). Yeah, I didn’t mention that in the review but that was a crisp and sharp scene. Excellent editing. Good observation, Annie. I hope they keep taking these artistic liberties because it makes for impressive viewing. Waiting for the next episode (patiently…?!)! :)

  • Aisha

    Hey RB, you were let down by this episode? are you serious? Disagreeing with you after a long time but loved, loved, loved the second episode of Firaaq. Moments we expect to see towards the end of the drama, we are seeing at the beginning of the drama. I love how we get to see a drama that is based on a fresh topic of psychology and love Junaid’s character so much. Roomi calling him an escapist, the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ concept can be associated with Shams’ character. How he doesn’t want to face reality and thus thinks of divorcing Sara interests me so much. The story has gotten even more interesting and loving how Sanam S. for the first time is in a role where we don’t get to hear her monotonous voice, love her as Paymaan.

    • RB

      Hey Aisha! I also said “…but by no means disappointing” at the end of that sentence. I’m only let down because they didn’t see the episode to its logical conclusion with Paiman leaving, which brings us into the thick of the story. Why drag episodes? Keep the narrative going, I would think, but still even though we didn’t have that this episode was good to watch. I absolutely agree with you about Sanam Saeed as Paiman, she is very good! What do you think will happen with Shams and Sara? And what about Roomie and Amroze? What did you think of them? Glad you’re enjoying the drama and please feel free to disagree with me, it makes the discussion more lively. Par zara saar a sentence padh liye karo. :p

      • Aisha

        Haan maine paara tha woh last line but that’s why I don’t see the promos for the upcoming episode because that just ruins the surprise. If they did show that Paymaan is leaving then it’s wrong that they just cut down the episode at the point where she doesn’t leave her home.
        I love how quickly Shams has realized that divorcing Sara won’t solve the hard time he’s having facing reality and so Sara might continue her efforts in uniting the family. I love how Rumi and Imroze haven’t been deeply explored and hope to see their friendship’s depth in future episodes. Love your review as always, your way with words is what makes the review fun to read, keep it up:)

        • RB

          You’re better than me at not spoiling the next episode for yourself, Aisha. :p Exactly it is misleading the audience, which is a tactic most drama series *but HUM TV most of all) employ. You’ll see the depth of their friendship when both of them fall in love with Paiman, that’s what I think will happen (and then one of them will have to die)! I’m making this up, I hope it’s not this predictable. Thank you, Aisha! I wait to read more from you. Are you watching anything else right now? I’m enjoying Woh Dobara! Have you seen it yet?

          • Aisha

            I even thought about watching Woh and its second part but the reason I am not watching it is because I don’t want to get freaked out, is the story interesting?

            I am currently watching Maang which is the 100 times better version of Maat, it’s ending tomorrow. I love how both sisters are strong but also weak in their ways. It’s not like there is one loser sister and one sister who is unrealistically evil, seen in Maat. I am watching Gar Maan reh Jaye and I thought you were watching it but why did you stop reviewing it? The story has a element of unpredictability in a nothing new story. For wednesday, there’s this drama called Khanabadhosh starting on Tv One Global starring Abid Ali, Mehwish Hayat and Maira Khan and has a mystical look to it. I also started Jaanam on A-plus which started last thursday. You have to watch it RB, the first episode was so good, had a mysterious feel to it seeing Noman Masood’s character. I will be starting Jackson Heights. Then there’s Bashar Momin, Bikhra Mera Naseeb and Rung on Saturdays. What about you?

            • RB

              I saw Woh, it’s only six episodes thus not too long and quick and easy watch. Only the last episode might be a bit scary for you, but hardly anything scary-scary. Woh Dobara is a bit more creepy but I think its a fairly entertaining story.

              You’ve told me about Maang and I think I saw a few episodes but maybe I’ll go back to it when I have the time. I’m keeping abreast with Garr Man Reh Jaye but I can’t review a lot at the moment. I’ll come back with a review sometime soon (like I did for Mausam). Thanks for the heads up on Khanabadhosh, I’ll check it out. And done, I’ll watch Jaanam – is that the one with Saba Qamar? – if you promise to review it?! :) I’ve just given up on BM, but I’m currently watching Woh Dobara, Firaaq, still catching up on Pehchan, and then there’s the GMRJ, I’m patiently waiting for Jackson Heights and Sadqay Tumharay.

              • Aisha

                yes Jaanam is the one with Saba Q, do watch that one, don’t even have the time to review Rung toh Janaam kay liye kidhar se nikaloo time? Excited for Goya which should start in October (finally gonna see Osman Khalid Butt in an intense role) Dayar e Dil, Jackson Heights and Sadqay Tumharay (might start after Mausam), Aik Pal, and Sila. Going to see Khanabadhosh right now:)

                • RB

                  I’m excited for Goya too! Very excited to see Usman Peerzada again after Numm (and let’s not even get into Numm!). Dhoond lo rhoda sa time, Aisha, hum san waqt nikal hi laitay hain. Dayar-e-Dil is far away, no?Sadaqy Tumharay might start after Mausam? How do you know that?! Chalo let’s check out Jaanam and see what it’s about.

                  • Aisha

                    Oh yes how can I forget Numm, I remember I only liked episode 2 and after that, the entire drama went just flat. Dayar e Dil is far but Osman and Hareem being part of it have me excited. From various sources, have heard that Sadqay Tumharay will start next friday which is likely not true, let’s see. Pehle Janaam ki pehli episode dekhlo and then we can discuss what Noman Masood’s upto. For now, love this pic:)

              • Aisha

                There’s also Noori starting tomorrow on tv one and Khanabadosh is actually starting next monday.

  • Mona

    Fab review as always RB.
    I think all the ‘laan taan’ people have been giving Hum tv is paying off so they came back with a good show….FINALLY.

    I love Paymaan’s parents. Uzma Gillani & the actor playing her step dad are fabulous. Their scenes are so interesting, infact those two are the most interesting characters in the entire play. Want to see more of those two playing parents rather than the horrible actors in ‘Mere Meherbaan’, oh God they are atrocious. Have you seen them?

    • RB

      Thank you, Mona! Haina, all that hate HUM TV was getting is finally paying off, agreed. Uzma Gillani is so scray at times, it’s like she’s not even acting – that good! And the relationship dynamic between Paiman-Haider-Tabassum is great, full of contradictions. Yes, I have seen the parents from Mere Meherban. Isn’t that the same actress from Kankar (who played Sanam Baloch’s character’s mother)? Firaaq is moving strong, it really is. Let’s hope it stays like this. :) What did you think of Cybil Chaudhry and the boys – Noor, Junaid, and Mohib?

  • Great review RB ! I am so excited for this drama .. This level of quality drama is why I sit sift through one medioce drama after another … So far this is proving to be excellent . Full marks to team Firaq for a job well done . Junaid Khan has actually mangaed to find some nuance , twice this episode his character had to step back from anger , anger that his mother wont step back from. Maaji and Shams are two sides of the same coin and I think Shams knows this so he is trying very hard not to be like her . I totally agree with you about Sanam Saeed , she has really come a long way from Fizza and Kashaf . There is so much vulnerability and strength in her character . If Aabis Raza and the DOP can keep this up Saturdays suddenly look good again.

    • RB

      Thank you, Sadaf! I don’t want to jinx anything by saying this out loud but Saturdays do seem to be looking good again especially since Mausam (Friday) did a full 360-degree turn to mazloomiyat. Juni looks good and acts even better, haina. Juni also reminds me of mahroof fashion designer ZVS on Hasb-e-Haal, for some odd reason. Speaking of deeeeee-signers did you watch Tonight with HSY yet? Sanam is an absolute pleasure to watch! There’s more to Maa-ji coming I can feel it, she’s not the kind that gives up easily.

      Yes, so far, so good. Let’s hope for more from Aabis Raza and Team Firaaq. :)

      • yes indeed . I watched the new HSY show . I am going to be kind about it and say it was uneven . He was wise to choose Fawad and mahirah as his first guests but he was trying to smart alec them a bit too much . HSY has a certain talent and charm which is going toshow more once his confidence improves . I met him once for a charity thingy and he was really sweet , ofcourse his designs are magic in motion … there was this dress and oh my Good lord the sleeves were beautiful ..

        • RB

          Haha! Yes, I saw that. One man in your life. Lol Is Mahira divorced now? Is that why he’s asking her this? I thought she was (and I hope she still is) happily married (however you interpret the happily I leave up to you). HSY is like the Ellie Saab of Pakistani fashion. I hear amazing things about Aalishan Pakistan in Delhi right now. They had an amazing exhibit of Pakistani art at the Taj. If only I could get my hands on a few of those, alas if wishes were horses. :p I’m pretty certain you have a closet full of HSY clothes, Sadaf! ::wink::

          • OMG RB , I wish ..I am but I cannot afford him … his clothes are so beautiful I wish I could possess them (I do not use that term lightly ) but alas tis not to be ..however did get one of his Lawn suites ..which was ok but kind of too serious for Lawn ..if you know what I mean … but I digress .. I think we should just leave Mahirah alone . Her divorce or not divorce is her personal business .AAlishan Pakistan eh? hmmm if you can afford it …

            • RB

              Haha! Don’t we all wish we had a designer closet, well maybe not some of us. :p Lala Lawn or Orient Lawn? HAHAHAHA! Or was it Saima day Lashkaray?! ::wink:: Yes, agreed, I’m just surprised he asked her that so blatantly rather impolite, I’d go so far as to say cheeky. HSY is not KJ, as much as he tries.

              • Yes indeed , Now here is a novel suggestion ..muft mashweron ki Dukan is me ;) …. why not be HSY and let Karan Johar be ..Karan Johar .. HSY probably might be more interesting . KJO is something we have already seen ..bring on your own style

                • RB

                  Oh come on, Sadaf! You know I didn’t mean it like that. What I was suggesting was why go down the cheeky and mischievous route, why not have some banter that moves further than “men in your lives” or “any crushes while acting” sort of thing. How about is it easy to juggle life and work or what kind of stories would you be interested in doing or do films interest you more than dramas or any plans on working across the border/internationally, etc.? You know questions that lead to some meaty answers but also some witty repartee. Exactly bring your own style! Are you listening HSY?!

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