Khudgarz Episode 1-2 Review:
The backbone of any show or a movie is a good story writer who gives us an interesting, strong screenplay; the director is the muscles and tendons that move the body parts: the actors. Rida Bilal is one of those writers who has made a mark for herself with just one serial down with her simple, yet meaningful dialogues, strong characters, and refreshing situations that make a story powerful despite being a straightforward, uncomplicated one. Khudgarz is her new drama serial which is directed by Yasir Nawaz, starring Aamina Sheikh, Sami Khan, Syed Jibran and Mansha Pasha in lead roles, and with such a stellar cast, the expectations are high!
The story starts with the introduction of the “Ali” household, where we see Mr. and Mrs. Ali and their two sons Hasaan and Junaid (Sami Khan and Syed Jibran respectively), with the interesting dimensions of their relationships being revealed slowly throughout the two hour episode. Junaid, who is the subdued and obedient son is adopted, while Hasaan is the complete opposite who has no respect for anyone, a “bratty child” who never grew up, with a personality disorder that will hopefully be explored in the upcoming episodes. Hasaan has a past with a broken relationship, and is now arranged to marry Ayera (Aamina Sheikh), while being secretly married to Abeer (Mansha Pasha) to satisfy his physical needs only. He does not show up to his wedding on time, due to certain circumstances, and Junaid ends up getting married to Ayera to save both the families from disgrace, even though he likes his classmate Rabiya.
The two female leads are just as interesting, both professionals; Ayera is a psychologist while Abeer works at a marketing company. On the exterior, both are confident, self assured, educated women, but on the inside both are fighting their own demons. Abeer, comes from a broken family, who once was Hasaan’s classmate, apparently in love with him, and is now married to him despite being aware of the fact that he does not love her. She is a victim of domestic violence, suffering from “Battered Woman Syndrome” that quite possibly started long before she met Hasaan, when she a was little girl. Ayera, on the other hand lives with her widowed father, who arranged her to get married to Hasaan, to fulfill his parental obligations. Ayera, being a psychologist, deals with victims of domestic violence, as well as children belonging to those homes. These kids might not be direct victims, but are affected nonetheless; and I suspect that this aspect will play an integral part in the narrative. Perhaps she may also have a jaded opinion of men in general?
The most intriguing part of the story were the complexities in the Ali household, with Mr. Ali treating his wife like a doormat, being disrespectful to her and behaving in the most ill-mannered way. We see Hasaan treating his wife Abeer almost similarly and I wondered if he learned it from his father. Then we have Junaid, the submissive, passive brother who respects everyone in the family, and loves the mother who adopted him the most. It will be interesting to see how the writer gives more insight into the characters of the two brothers as the story unfolds. One thing that struck me was the fact that Ayera had no respect for Junaid which was apparent with the way she says to her father “are you going to get me married to a man who cannot even stand up for himself?” Let’s see how the writer will change Ayera’s perspective regarding Junaid with time and make them each other’s strength.
Now coming to the actors: everyone was top notch. Aamina Sheikh is amazing as Ayera, Mansha Pasha does complete justice to her role portraying a girl from a broken marriage, who is used and abused by men in her life, mocked and looked down upon in the society, of no fault of her own. But, the stars of the show are the two Ali brothers! Both Sami Khan and Syed Jibran were outstanding, portraying the different shades of their characters brilliantly, from dialogue delivery and expressions to body language overshadowing everyone else. Of course, from the periphery, Sami Khan’s character is the most intriguing, but I think that Jibran’s is just as much, and both are connected to each other. It is refreshing to see Sami Khan in a different character, he has completely immersed himself, and embraced Hasaan, that it is difficult to imagine this is the same person playing Faris in another play. There is much more to Hasaan’s character than the eye can see, and I was perplexed with the tears in his eyes, while remembering his first love, the way he was concerned about Abeer when she was not picking up the phone, jealous when he saw her with another man, despite being the abusive, obnoxious person he is. It shows me that there is mercy in that cruel heart and I honestly do not think he is narcissistic, not at all! And yes, Sami Khan was extraordinarily good in that scene! I also want to mention Syed Jibran’s “look” and body language, which suits his character to the T, while adding humor as well.
The drama has a very film like feel to it, directed brilliantly, with attention given to minute details, and crisp editing that made for an exceptional first double episode, without a single dull moment. The icing on the cake is the exceptional performances by everyone, especially the two male leads: Sami Khan and Syed Jibran! The drama is named “Khudgarz,” who is Hasaan at the moment, but my mind cannot help but wonder who the REAL “khudgarz” will be at the end of it all. With an awesome cast, an engaging story, and all the right ingredients, I am completely and hopelessly in love! Are you?