I started watching this drama for two reasons: Mikaal Zulfikar and Adeel Hussain. Ok three: Mansha Pasha. What can I say, I’m deep like that.
Based on Umera Ahmed’s novel Yek Jo Ik Subah ka Sitara hai, this adaptation is brought to the small screen with stellar production values courtesy Momina Duraid Productions and directed by Sakina Samo. As a start this episode introduces us to poor orphan child Romaisa and her extended family.
Romaisa, played by Sanam Jung has a certain wistfulness about her. This is my first introduction to Sanam, and I think she did a decent job conveying her melancholy and longing.
Despite everything being pulled from under her from her lunch, to her lottery winnings to her jaydaat, she knows what her adoptive family is up to but as she voices she has no choice. Thankfully, she isn’t singing her family’s praises nor is she singing hosannas (or is it dars?) –yet-this is an Umera Ahmed script after all.
So far, so Cinderella –esque.
Poor orphan child – check
Evil (alright, matlabi) step mother stand in – Check
Evil (ok at least lazy and loud) step sisters stand ins – Check, Check, Check.
Farah Shah (as her Khala) and Mansha Pasha (as Alia, her loud, talkative and annoying cousin) were having way too much fun for me to take umbrage at their over the top performances. I really didn’t mind since it’s refreshing to see Mansha in such a different role, though a little restraint and less screen time might help the pace of the drama.
As for Farah Shah’s Khala, she’s already stirring up family rivalries and predicting Romaisa’s doomed fate. Maybe an iota of warmth from Khala for her deceased sister (please correct me if I got this wrong) would allow for more nuance for her character. Though, again, this is an Umera Ahmed script so perhaps all the stereotypical slots are filled already.
The family’s home and surroundings– the bazaar, Alia’s friend’s house were all very believable locales for a lower middle class home. I also liked Romaisa’s little box of memories, and her blowing away the glitter. I do wish though that it was done in close up with more showing and less telling. The searching of the subh ka sitara scenes were also nicely shot so hat tip to DOP Ilyas Kashimiri.
As I said, so far so Cinderella.
I’ll be watching. At least till the Prince(s) show up. You?
MM (aka A musing Muslim)