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Shehr-e Zaat – Episode 4

Posted by SZ On July - 22 - 2012

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Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when we first learn to deceive …

Walter Scott was probably not thinking of Falak as he penned these memorable lines, but seldom must've they applied as well as they did today, when Falak was deluding herself that Salman, a personification of her subconscious ideal, was the answer to all that she’d never even realized was missing in her life. His arrogance, his inflated sense of self, his careless dismissal of her explicitly expressed interest, her unreturned phone-calls, all were glibly rationalized by Falak as his charm, his charisma, his magnetism. Rushna’s well-intentioned warnings, Hamza’s admittedly jealous questioning of Salman’s casual attitude towards Falak, all easily flicked aside like minor irritants. Clearly infatuated, by the end of the episode, the never-having-looked-beyond-herself Falak had fallen hook, line and sinker for Mr. main to aap se bhi zyada accha hoon Salman Ansar.

Yes, this was another fabulous installment. Shehr-e Zaat continues to enchant, and mesmerize. So spellbound am I by this story of the lovely Falak, the gorgeous Mehrunissa (was there ever a character so aptly named?) and the adorably wise naani, that it is  impossible to think of doing anything else during this one hour. There is so much going on in each episode, visually and intellectually, explicitly and implicitly, that it takes time to sort through the strands of meanings. Each scene has a reason in the narrative; the framing, the lighting, the dialogues, the poignant lyrics of OST, everything has a purpose. Similarly, we humans too have a greater purpose in life, one that goes beyond fulfilling mundane chores. It is incumbent upon us to go beyond the everyday routine and recall what we were created for, to recognize our greater calling in life, and to realize our true potential. This is the intrinsic wisdom that naani tries to impart to her socialite daughter and flighty granddaughter.

Caught up as the mother and daughter are in their lives, there is little time to spare for naani, who ends up spending her time with the maid. What I absolutely love here is the way we are shown the relationship between these three women. Exasperated as the mom and daughter are with naani, they adore her; there is tremendous affection and respect here. Even as Mehrunissa speaks irritably about her mother to her husband, she uses a completely different tone with her mother. Similarly, while Falak may roll her eyes while naani admonishes her, she still gives her a huge hug and offers to make tea for her late at night. Same goes for Sher Afghan; we haven’t seen much of him, but the way he comes to bid farewell to naani and his deferential behavior was such a pleasure to behold. These gestures of affection and respect, small and inconsequential as they may seem now, indicate to me that no matter what rough times the family might go through, there is a tremendous support system here, a lot of love that can withstand a lot of pressure. Don’t worry, your tarbiyat might not show through overtly just yet, but it’s all there… zara nam ho to yeh mitti bari zarkhaiz hai naani

Disturbed by the emptiness and silence enveloping her daughter’s household naani returned home. Mehrunissa continued with her socializing ways, dismissing the disquieting moments when naani asked probing questions. Oblivious to these undercurrents, Falak is too caught up in selecting the right outfit to impress Salman. Her he-likes-me-he-likes-me-not agonizing compels Hamza to propose. While her rejection was no surprise to us viewers it clearly caught Hamza off guard. Hamza’s dejected expressions were very telling, but Falak, besotted with Salman, appeared completely blind to his breaking heart.

Usually in a serial, in every episode there are a couple of actors who stand out. Unlike others, however, Shehr-e Zaat is a complete package in that every crew member and actor, be it Mansha, or Mahira, or Mohib, or Hina, or Samina, or the actor playing Sher Afghan (sorry, don’t know your name!), or Meekal, all contribute equally. Shehr-e Zaat is clearly not Mahira’s serial with others standing in as fillers. This is an ensemble cast in the truest sense of the word.  The stars if one has to point to any have to be the story and the story tellers – Umera and Sarmad. Shehr-e Zaat is their story and they are telling it beautifully. Hats off guys!!

 

Written by SZ~ sz.reviews.dp@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter:  SZ_DramaPakistani  (@sz_dp)

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  • SZ

    @indepgal: Thankyou for commenting and sharing your views - agreed, SeZ is about spirituality which is translatable into any religious framework, and is about introspection and self actualization. I hope that you will continue sharing your thoughts with all of us as we continue on our journey with SeZ.

    @Sara: Welcome to DP! Thank you for your very generous comments - much appreciated! I hope you will now stop by every week and join in our great discussions. Truly SeZ is making us think beyond the obvious and we are all learning so much from sharing our views and exchanging thoughts - so looking forward to your regular comments now :)

    LOL@ the sculpture-- so true!!! I said the same thing a week or so ago - I crack up every time somebody says ke yeh to bilkul Salman ke jaisa hai ... so not true!!! ;-)

  • Sara

    I randomly stumbled upon this website and am pleasantly surprised to see such great reviews for the Pakistani dramas. I hadn't seen many Pakistani shows before, infact humsafar made me interested n when i saw that SEZ is made by same people it intrigued me to find out more about the story and how people r reacting towards it. From the OST to the concept, choice of actors, dialogues ets, I must say that everything about this show is making me proud. For the first time i don't feel manipulated by the makers to think this is right or wrong instead they r presenting the situations in a way that compels u to take a moment n examine ur life. the underlying msg is deeper n meaningful, n every viewer has an option to chose how deep they want to go. Characters r extremely relate able to the point that it's shocking. Every episode peels off the layer from characters revealing new aspect of them leaving u more excited to see how the story would unfold.

    @SZ u r doing a fantastic job. This is the first time I am participating in any drama forum, proves that how convincing of a intellectual reviewer u r that readers want to join in to share their views about a show beyond surface level. every week after the show i come here to read ur review cuz the questions that arise in mind after the show r usually addressed in ur review. :) My thoughts on this episode were exactly similar to urs. this episode made me realize how my actions intentionally may have hurt those around me. Now whenever Nani comes i get little scared about what comes out her mouth n makes me feel very shallow lol. though I feeling so bad for Humza, poor guy always thought that Falak would be his cuz of how long he has been friends with her, never would have imagined of Salman. but i like that he is not giving up cuz Falak's crazy infatuation with other guy, it shows how much he cares about her well being. I would love to have friend like him ;)

    p.s is it only me that thinks that the sculpture looks more like Humza not Salman :$

  • SZ

    @SK: After all the msgs to the admins, they did remove the post from both sites ... it is really sad that they deleted your comments... I didn't know that or would have take them to task for that as well. Apparently this guy is a huge "fan" and posted my BK review under his name as well ... khair... lets wait and see what happens this week.. I'm still hoping that this plagiarist will have the balls to come out and apologize...

    Regardless, I am very touched by the way our readers rallied around and posted angry comments on that "review". Way to go guys, you rocked today!!!

  • SK

    @SZ I even commented that this is from DP...and they deleted my comments. I think the sez page is must know too, or why would they delete my comnent. That is exactly why pakistan isin a sorry mess ...full of liars and cheaters and will never do taraqee. Yes lots of shame on him and the SEZ admin too.

  • indepgal

    My first impression of SEJ was it would be a show with religion at its core and so I wasnt quiet interested but nevertheless, decided to watch it only for Sarmad K as I like his sensibilities and believe those plus the right casting turned an ordinary drama like Hamsafar into a blockbuster.

    First things first, what came thru clearly from Epi 1 itself, is that SEJ isnt about religion. Its about self introspection leading to self realisation...i.e.spirituality in its truest sense. This premise is so very interesting and when given into the capable hands of Sarmad K, who revels in all things abstract and intangible out of which he creates and presents something so poetic and magnetic, willy nilly you åre drawn to it and soon you start empathising with it.

    Thats whats happened with SEJ. Its like poetry in motion. Great writing combined with superb story telling by Sarmad has kept me riveted these past few episodes. Each episode has built up my interest bit by bit and the 5th episode today was fabulous!! Mahira was outstanding in her portrayal of a self absorbed girl discovering love for the first time and giving it her all. She was picture perfect. Specially in the scene with Hamza when she taunts him abt his love for her as he questions her abt her feelings for Salman....absolutely perfect! i didnt have much of an opinion abt Mahira in Hamsafar beyond thinking she was competent but she has shone in SEJ. I do agree everyone is doing a great job, but the star is definitely Mahira. It is her story and therefore, she cannot afford to lose the thread or weaken her portrayal even by a notch or two as that would completely ruin the mood of the show!!! Hats off to the girl! The other actor who has impressed is the actor essaying salman ( I am not frm Pakistan so i dont know the names of the actors)! Very well done. What is also very commendable is the ability of the show to snuck you into its mood as soon as the epi begins...for this, i will give the credit to the wonderful OST which sets the tone for the show!

    But over arching everything, its the writer and Sarmad who are truly the stars of the show!

  • SZ

    @SK : Thanks for letting me know - I have posted seriously angry responses and asked the admins to remove the review ASAP... But the most interesting part is about chori and seena zori ... this plagiarist Junaid Ansari has not only blatantly stolen this and posted it under his name, but is also shamelessly accepting praise from people who are commenting on the review --- I guess some people will never learn -- and its cause of these people that Pakistanis ka naam itna roshan hai poori dunya main ... Shame on him ....
    If he has the guts to blatantly plagiarize then he should also be man enough to stop lurking on the site, come out and publicly apologize ....

  • SK

    I saw your exact review floating around on hum and SEZ fan pages with no credit to you or reference to DP, with some other guys name on it. I can't believe it, forget sharing they are stealing...so annoyed:(

  • SZ

    @Zahra: Awww thank you!

    And, I'm so glad to see you commenting regularly now - don't hesitate in expressing your views and sharing your thoughts. Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

  • zahra

    @SZ i enjoy reading ur detail reviews, so don't think that u torture us by long reviews.

  • zahra

    and yeah i too luv falak's mehndi dress, yellow color is for u mahira :) u luk soo beautiful in yellow

  • zahra

    this serial is my fav now a days, it is a complete package, strong script, good cast (excellent acting by all of them), awesome direction and nicely edited

    mikaal is doing fabulous job, his irritating expressions in phone call scene was wow :)

    i agree mohib's make up is too much,fine eyebrows, kohled eyes, so much foundation, gives him feminine look, but besides his make up he is also doing great job

  • SZ

    @rameen: LOL @ naani's preachings are always better when directed at someone other than oneself - so true! ;-)

    You're right in that the screenplay does dictate placement of scenes, but the reason I give the director credit is the way in which certain scenes are visually broken up or settings changed as people talk, for instance in ep 3, when naani was talking to Mehrunissa about choosing between ghar and akhirat, that was a long scene but it was made visually more interesting, at least for me, by moving them, from standing near the stairs to sitting on the couch. Similarly, in other places to, we see gestures or touches added that lighten the scenes, so even within the scene itself we see and enjoy different things that keep it from sounding preachy and heavy duty. Even when we see scenes following each other we see differences in lighting, a darker scene followed by a lighter one, different settings.... that where I see the directors hand. I'm sure we've all seen really good stories with excellent dialogues turned into a compilation of one monologue after other....

    Yes, absolutely, the additions so far are all looking great and are fleshing out the story really well. I too am intrigued by the fact that they may have changed the end .. looking forward to seeing what happens next!

  • rameen

    @sz: And I forgot to mention that I also find Naani preachy like my own Naani and in fact I find it hard to decide who is more preachy.:) I would personally like to hear the rhetoric of Falak's Naani anytime as it is directed at someone else than my own Naani's Rameen bashing.;)

  • rameen

    @sz: I think the balance between Naani's preaching and the following lighter scenes has been maintained by the writer in the screenplay and not the director in its execution.The screenplay is written by the scriptwriter and the director just puts into life what is put on paper with additions or modifications to the scenes if it was required but he doesn't change the sequence in which those scenes are placed. I have already read the novel and in the novel Salman returns to Falak and she reconciles with him and does not opt for a life like Nabeel in Ajaib Khana; a decision which looks quite practical to me if taken in its entirety. After watching this morning show I am not sure if they have stuck to the same ending which UA has given to the story or have changed it with a different ending. Its just four epis and they have already made a lot of changes to the original novel introducing two new characters, Naani and Hamza, which were not there in the book. So far these changes look plausible and good to me. I think these changes have made the story look more meaty and relatable than the one which I read in the novel.

  • SZ

    @zka: I think we cross posted :) Agree, there is a balance maintained on part of the director - the moralizing is balanced out by the lighter moments.
    I think SK was referring more to how viewers might be receiving it -- and in that I do think that there is section of our audience that is finding the story too slow ...

  • zka

    @SK and Annie: I apologize for cutting in but there is a certain amount of balance in this drama in that it is not all "preachy preachy". So far, it is only nani who is doing the preaching and everyone else is pretty modern. Also whenever calamity strikes, there are usually two options. In this case, Falak will presumably follow her nani's path as something will click with her. After all, what is going in her ears cannot all be going out all the time!

  • SZ

    @Ghada: Here's the link for the JPJ show ... basically, they were particularly careful about stressing that the message was not to leave the duniya behind as one went along the deeni path, rather to manage both together..
    http://www.paktvnetwork.com/vid/tube.php?v=veWghL...

    @Zka: Welcome back! Looking forward to our weekly conversations :)

    @SK: I get your point, and agree this may not be a first choice for everyone. I see from the remarks on various sites that many are finding Naani a little tedious... but I think from this coming episode on, as the Falak and Salman track takes off, we'll see less of her, till a bit later, by which time naani's naseehayats will make a lot more sense.
    On a personal level,though, I absolutely adore her -- I think my relationship with her is very similar to Falak's relationship with her -- some points I roll my eyes at her but I still listen to her and keep wanting to squeeze her :-)

  • SK

    @Annie, I get what you are saying. I've never had my Naani or daadi close enough to have had that experience. I am just thinking that this drama may not be for everyone, some may get turned off by the preaching. I personally love it and am sure what happens to Falak is what is gonna affect her the most, I mean Naani telling her things is not even affecting her right now, but I'm sure it will hielp her later when she herself wants to change.

  • zka

    @SZ: Thanks, I was out of town but I am back now. Looking forward to you reviewing SeZ every week!

  • Annie

    @SZ - oh I did not even think about the subliminal message the anchor was sending LOL!!!

    @SK - I agree that the sermonizing can definitely get to the people who give two hoots about their purpose in life. But on the other hand I don't think many Naanis and Daadis sit down and tell their grandkids WHY prayer is important and the meaning behind what we recite and how to achieve taqwa. Those things are usually done by the scholars. Most grandmothers (including my own) that I have come across tell us we need to pray, tell us the wonderful stories of the Prophets, to not stay up late at night, watch too much TV etc. So from that perspective the Naani's role is very typical of what we have experienced in our lifetime and thus relate-able. I would have been very surprised if Naani would have sat down and started teaching Falak the beauty of Surah Fatiha for example.. :-)

  • Ghada Qaiser

    @SZ- I didn't watch the Shehr-e-Zaat special JPJ. What did Sarmad Khoosat say?

  • SK

    Like everyone else here am loving the drama, and your reviews are excellent as usual! Mahira is acting so well and is totally Falak now and its like where's Khirad??? Unfortunately I haven't had time to watch the wonderful dialogues again so some of the deep stuff did fly over my head. Naani is so right in all the stuff she says and I love her wisdom, I just feel she gets too preachy and every single conversation turns into a lecture, you ithink some people watching may get turned off by it? The people who really do only chase after dunya, I know from first hand they don't Like being preached to. If some one doesnt know why they have been created and what is their purpose to, there is no point forcing them to wake up for Fajr. They need to first learn why they are praying. Well let's see how Falak goes through that journey of finding faith, excited to see the transformation. Oh and yeah I'm sorry but I can't get past Mohibs make up either, he is acting so well but that just kills it for me:)

  • SZ

    Great comments guys! Enjoying this serious discussion of the various points raised in this episode - more thoughts? :)

    @Javeria: A few weeks ago Umera's Official Page had made the announcement after this Dec Umera would no longer be writing for television and will limit herself to writing more novels etc.

    @Pino: Thanks! and yes absolutely agree with you, and I think so does everybody here, that Mohib is doing a wonderful job. As for Meekal, we haven't seen much of him yet - but I think he too will end up giving a good account of himself here. Overall an excellent job by everybody :)

    @Haseeb: As far as I remember Ajaib Khana too was an excellent play, touching on an ostensibly similar theme, but, as Annie said, there Nabeel does in the end become completely cut off from this material world and loses himself in God, but here I think, based on what SArmad and his cast members were saying in JPJ, I think we will see a different outcome for Falak.

    @Annie: Thank you! I'm very touched by your very generous comment - much appreciated. And, yes, what the heck was that shirt? If those anchors were supposed to send a subliminal message to Salman, its easy to tell that it was completely lost on that egomaniac :p

  • Pino

    Wonderful review :) The actor Mohib I think is acting much better than Salman dude. Mohib emotes emotions feelings very well, we should give credit to his acting and stop harping on his flawed makeup!

  • javeria

    @Annie whats up with the official retirement of Umera?i am totally out of loop on that one.

  • Annie

    2nd try to post:

    Like everyone else, I wait for your reviews of SeZ after watching it and then rewatch some of the scenes that you elaborate on so beautifully! :) Another great job! I wish Momina and Co. will ask you to compile these reviews so they can somehow be included either on their site or on the DVD of the drama. These are a true treasure just like our dear Naani's words.

    There are so many scenes to love here. I'll just name a few of mine:

    - the conversation between deen and duniya. We have heard it so many times "bohat time hai deen ke upaar amal karne ka" just like Mehrunissa tells her mother.

    - the juxtapositioning of Hadhrat Yusuf's (as) story with Falak spending so much time in choosing an "anchor" shirt!! This scene also reminded me of our our beloved Propeht (saw) preaching to the less fortunate and how his own family used to ridicule and ignore him. And LOVED Naani's jasmine flower in the hair here - so so adorable :)

    - the chai wala scene between naani and navasi. Probably one of the best scenes I have seen in a while - I watched it twice just to savor it :)

    Thank you SZ for explaining the "ghar se phocho" dialogue. Like Javeria I was also confused and objectifying the "ghar". Like Ash said, you really have to watch this serial twice to pick up on all that is being said BRILLIANT job Umera. Thank you for giving us SeZ before your official retirement from screenwriting this year :-)

    LOL @ Zka ;-)

    @Haseeb - I don't remember a whole lot of Ajaib Khana but I do recall that in the end Nabeel became more of a "malang" type fellow after he lost his love (Mishi Khan) and achieved ishq-e-ilaahi. It was a great drama by Nur-ul-Huda Shah. I think in SeZ we are going to see how to carry both deen and duniya and try to achieve success in both areas. We are never asked by our Raab to pick just deen which is evident if we read the Seerah. I hope and I am pretty sure SeZ is going to go the Deen+Duniya route.

  • haseeb

    this serial has a similar feel as AJAIB KHANA by Noor ul huda shah and the character of samina peer is quite simlar to the character played by zaheen tahira

    if anybody has seen AJAIB KHANA they will know what im taLKing about...

  • Afia Qazi

    @zka "that not be named" serial -priceless.

    So glad the serials nowdays are keeping our weekends fun!

  • http://www.dramapakistani.net Ghada Qaiser

    @Ash and SZ- Yes, but it's not really something one can control y'know. When you like someone, you like someone, no matter how hard you try not to. And when you dislike someone, you dislike the person, no matter how hard you try not to ;)

    @hoorean- Yes,that scene in the restaurant, it really looked like he wanted to be friends, but him forgetting her and later on yelling at her I think is all genuine. Let's see how the story goes :)

  • hoorean

    Loving the discussion here and guys Mahirah's wardrobe is by Saniya Maskatiya n TJ's.

    @Ghada Qaiar - this is what i feel especially from the restaurant scene where salman asked Falak that the sole reason she want to be friend with him was her sculpture but we have to wait for the story to unfold to know about it. And yes Falak's obsession is showing that she completely forget about her so called self and ego in case of Salman.

  • SZ

    Thank you! I have to say I'm overwhelmed!

    @zka: Hey! welcome back! Aap kahan ghaib ho jaati hain? Seriously, I had been missing you and wondering how come nothing from you on this one ... glad you're back on board. And, LOL, yes completely agree with you on SeZ and that other "not be named" serial ;-)

    @Sanam: Aah! Thanks for posting the link ... true, no inspiration from this video, apart from the last 5 secs... but have to say the LR video sculpture looks a lot more like him than Falak's sculpture of Salman -- so far, from the angles we been shown, there seems to be hardly any resemblance b/w SAlman Ansar and Falak's creation.

    @Saraah: hahaha... yes, Meekal's expressions were spot on in that scene. Falak is losing all her self-respect here... I guess her infatuation/obsession is seriously blinding her, so much so that she cant see left from right... I would have to say Naani's story was hinting at that very same thing, nahin?

    @Nusrat: Aww..thank you for your very generous remarks about my writing, and thank you also for taking the time to comment - I hope you wont be a silent reader anymore and will continue to share your views with all of us.

    Before SeZ began, I had feared exactly the same thing that it might turn out be like a long moralizing lecture, but here I have to give credit to Samina (who has the most heavy duty lines) for presenting them in such a lovely way that it is palatable and not off-putting. Credit also to Sarmad for balancing the narrative in such a way that the more serious scenes are followed by up by lighter moments; naani's naseehats are lightened by Falak and Salman's flirtation or Falak and Hamza's camaraderie, thus preventing Shehr-e Zaat from turning into a preachy story. Totally in love with it so far, and, fingers crossed, it'll continue the same way. :)

  • http://www.dramapakistani.net Nusrat Baloch

    I I am a great fan of SZ's reviews,written in such an eloquent manner,analysing the overt and covert messages in SeZ! So far this drama has successfully revealed what we see in a number of households amongst the so called "elite" in Pakistan! For moderate Muslims like myself,at times the sermonizing seems a little heavy going...but I guess it needs to be said in the context of a society which is becoming too materialistic! I admire the performance of all the main characters but have been most impressed by the work of the supporting cast such as Rushna,played by Mansha, who I gather is also the line producer of this play!

    I am eagerly waiting for the next episode!

  • saraah

    Amazing review, each one of your sez reviews are a treat to read , love your writing skills ..so back to the show, i am loving it, the best one in the lot these days, but i dont get falak, she is so arrogant and full of herself, yet for salman she is going below her own standards, like the phone call she did, i mean salman kay expressions were like * what the hell, she is such a weirdo * and mine too. LOL

    and seriously, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE nani and falak's scenes, they keep getting better n cuter !!

    and falak's wardrobe. love it :)

  • sanam

    I am a Lionel Richie fan and hello is one of my most favorite numbers but I don't think the addition to SeZ is inspired from it. I saw the video again just now to be rest assured that I wasn't mixing it up with something else for I had watched it a long time ago and it was heartening to know that my brain cells didn't let me down-:) http://youtu.be/b_ILDFp5DGA

  • zka

    SZ: You are a true gem, mashallah. Your reviews were always superb but with SeZ you have taken them to a new height. I just finished watching all four episodes and cannot wait to watch them again. This has to be my favourite drama after ....the "not to be named one". Everything is just near perfect in this drama, I just hope and pray that it continues this way. Also, totally with you SZ on the line regarding the one Javeria mentioned. Falak and Mehrunnisa are indeed caught up with the duniya. At the end of the day, this duniya is like a tornado sucking us all in it with its powerful force. If we are to escape from its clutches, the only solution lies with God. And as you so aptly said, it is only at night that one gets a chance to truly think and connect with ourselves and God. By the way, I love Falak's wardrobe as well. I am guessing its Mahira's own, seems like her style.

  • javeria

    Sz thanks for connecting the dots for me ,i was objectifying makan to much,however it can straight away refers to the universe and us as beings occupying it.So when universe doesn't respond to us in simplicity God is not happy with us,thus the feeling of emptiness and alienation.

  • SZ

    @Javeria: What an excellent line that was and I loved naani's troubled expressions and Mehrunissa's later perplexity.. excellent job by both of them in making the line stand out - for me this was the line of the episode. I was actually going to write about this line, but the review was already way too long so didn't want to torture everybody and test your patience with my already long review ... so thanks for leting me share my thoughts on this ... others, please share your thoughts on this and do jump in and correct me if I'm reading this wrong here :)

    For me this idea of a "bhain bhain karta makan jo rehne walon se ghar banta hai" refers to more than the actual space or the physicality of the house.. I interpret this as a metaphorical reference to the emptiness inside ourselves, in our souls, that special place in the heart that is still waiting for its rightful occupant- God. Since during the day there is always too much going on within and without, naani says raat ke pichle peher mein uth kar listen to what your house is telling you - the pichla peher a clear reference to the time of tahajud, which many believe is the best time to connect with God. Basically naani asking Mehrunissa to use that time, when all is silent and still, go within, connect with her inner self, and listen to the tales of emptiness/loneliness in her soul, heed these and do the needful to turn her inner house into a home. If you remember this scene was immediately followed by the one where naani herself is up for her tahajud prayers, so for me then the connection was complete. As I had noted above there is a reason for every scene and its placement in the episode. Again, much respect to the storytellers...

    @hoorean: you're absolutely right... the story of Hazrat Yousuf's beauty and Zuleikha's blind love for him, so much so that she cut off her finger, foreshadows all that Falak is set to risk in her obsession with Salman. Lets see how it plays out ...

    Really enjoying this discussion - keeps the comments coming guys and share your thoughts ... each episode give us so much to talk about ...

  • SZ

    Thank you so much guys - really touched!

    @Ghada: Lol! You'e such a hard core Meekal/Salman groupie, its awesome! Yes, Meekal is doing a fabulous job here. Waisey, I don't think an arrogant man, even if he has Meekal's looks is too much of a catch ;-)

    @Afia: Aha! Thanks for the heads up on the actor playing Sher Afghan. Its so hard to figure out who's who from the list of names scrolling up in the end credits. I really wish the official FB pages gave a complete listing of character and actors playing them, just so that their hard work can be acknowledged.

    @Sara: No, it wasn't in the novel ... hadn't even thought of the Lionel Ritchie video -- will need to go back and think about it .. what do you all think?

    @Ash: As always love your comments! So true about prayers alone not doing the trick ... anpi effort ki bhi zaroorat hoti hai...

    Yes, I'm with all of you that Mohib Mirza rocked with his expressions and body language.. I almost, just almost, could overlook the horrendous makeup.
    And Mahira's kitchen scene with naani was indeed to die for.. yes, Ash, I want that jora too .. no actually, wait... I want Falak's entire wardrobe... anybody listening out there? ;p

  • Sara

    I think the whole sculpture thing is inspired from lionel ritchie's video of the song hello. Was it part of the novel or a new addition.

  • javeria

    Well when i read the first review of yours of Sher e zaat i thought this will be your best for times to come however you keep on surprising me with your pure heart touching reviews.I just like reading then over and over,that is why i immensely respect this thread and would hate to see someone spoiling it.

    There was one line in the play and my mind is kind of stuck on it,i know the sez team some times throw puzzling one liners at us which i really dig but this one has to have some meaning more then i am getting.Well it was between nanni and mehunissa and naani told mehru that 'teray gahr main bara sanata hota hai .bari wehshat hota hai' but suddenly they changed the back ground music to a very mysterious haunting track and nanni says 'raat kay peechlay pehar APNAY GHAR KI SUN' .The dialouge was repeated twice as mehru was also thinking about it later.Well the simpler explanation would be that nanni was not happy the way the household is run with owners of the house being absent only.But i think there has to be some darker meaning to it.Is naani being intuitive or telling her the place has some kind of curse, at least the backdrop music surely points to some hidden meaning.Enlighten me guys.

    The conversation between Falak and Salman in restaurant was kind of a game of who is better in blowing their own trumpets. Both were looking like rich spoiled brats full of themselves.I am quiet sure the only interest Salman has in Falak is that he likes to listen to himself getting praised.He is so full of himself douchbag.Falak friend was very right that she will be played by him but she is another clueless idiot at this point who fails to see it.

  • Ash

    week after week Thanks for the amazing reviews. i feel the episode is incomplete without reading your review for it! and thanks for analyzing each scene the way you do! i swear if it wasn't for you i'd never think along those lines!! beautifully written like always!!

    @HKA, oh how i wish i had those writing skills as well! =)! oh well i dont mind reading them either!!

    A quote from the review - "to recognize our greater calling in life, and to realize our true potential"

    - Agreed, that message is also being sent out to the all the audience of the drama, that we must recognize the greater callings in life and not just be lost in this world, find our true purpose. deep stuff! but the real question is how and when do we realize that?? hmmm!

    LOVE LOVE this drama - def my fave of the season! so much goes on and the story moves forward at such a pace that one must watch the episode at least twice to make sure they've caught it all! everything gels together so well in this particular play and a great story being told!

    Really like Mohib Mirza in here but unfortunately the make up , kajal and scary skin color is a huge distraction and really takes the focus away from his character and acting. He should have left his face the way it is. rangon mai kya parha hai. Now the poor guy just looks like a foundation clown whose trying too hard to fit in - maybe thats why Falak had to press the reject button him.

    oh and the man purse?? seriously whatever happened to the good ol classic messenger bags??

    It was sad to see him being rejected by Falak but i guess that is what was expected, i am pretty sure deep down inside he knew she would say no as well. But how rude of her to just walk off on him like that! HMPH! What i liked was how they talked it over and he didn't just keep sulking about not having her. Most people skip that conversation and thats where the problem arises. It is evident from the pre cap though, that he is not gone for good, so lets see if he actually does get over her or he hopes that Salman just messes w her and she comes running back to him. This isn't a bollywood movie Humza!

    "Sab kuch Duaon se nahi hota - hud bi haat paaon marna hotey hain, tab ja kar duaon karnam (i think thats the word) hoti hain" -Naani

    - I cannot tell you how happy this specific dialogue made me! This was def the dialogue of the episode! more like a wake up call for people who sit back and believe ke bas ab dua mang li and now we can lay back on that and everything will be fine! How is that even possible if one is not making an effort for that dua to be kabool in the first place?? Bete bithai kise ki dua bi kabool nahi hoti unless ke insaan hud kuch karey!

    This drama certainly has a lot that we the viewers can take from it. Hopefully people will see the bigger picture and learn something from it, of course not the extreme points but those are there in any situation. Mehrunissa claims that Falak has a lot of time to look into deen and she should worry about duniya for now. Any smart person would know that both these things can be equally balanced so one doesn't stick to a specific extreme which is never healthy, whether it be just deen or just duniya. A balance in both is a tested and recommended option. Why was naani sleeping when she said that? Guess naani is not the wisest! ;)

    Isn't it true in any situation that we always want what's hard to get? Well Falak wants Salman who is clearly hard to get bc he is far more arrogant then her [if thats even possible]. Thats kinda hard for her to swallow as she always felt that she's the best! Now that there is someone else who is in many ways shockingly similar that is the person Falak wants. Either he isn't interested or he is messing with her to break her ego. Whatever the case is, Falak is too desperate, itni ego aur arrogance hai to chor do uska peecha and let him come after you. She's clearly lost her self respect in all this.

    All this aside, really enjoyed the scene where she returns from the mehndi! Mahirah Khan was absolutely great in it, those objecting her acting skills do take a look at that particular scene! Every emotion was on point and it was a rather fun scene to watch in all the seriousness of the drama! and omGG her outfit was to die for! seriously whoever the designer of her wardrobe is please show your face!! or at least your name!! =) Love her style!

    @Ghada, don't fall too hard - Salman Ansar seems like the type who will walk off without helping you back up! ;-)

  • Afia Qazi

    Great review.

    I think Salman Ansar has orchestrated this whole thing- from the time Falak sees him in Makli till the agonizingly unanswered phone calls...He knows just how to win Falak over!

    The actor playing Sher Afghan is called Jalal, originally from Islamabad.

  • Ghada Qaiser

    @ hoorian and Filza- Ok I just read your comments :) I don't think Salman is interested in Falak at all. All this time I think he was just trying to be nice but I don't think he has interest in her at all. The next preview shows how he is so sick of her stalking him all the time and all. He even yells at her to stop.

    Btw, Mikaal is so awesome! I don't care if he's arrogant or anything. Any girl could fall for him!<3

  • Ghada Qaiser

    Excellent review and an excellent episode :)

    This was another amazing episode of Shehr e Zaat. I loved it! I said last time that episode 3 was my fav. Scratch that, this was my fav. episode! <3 The actors, all of them were great! I especially loved Mohib Mirza's performance. The way he carried that worried and fearful look on his face when he asked Falak, " do you love him?", I was like 'Amazing!' *o* It's not just his face expressions, he used body language too to express himself, like the time he proposed to Falak, he was nervous and it took a lot of courage for him to finally say what was in his heart for so long, he was breathing fast and heavily. He got us so into the character that you genuinely feel for the guy like it's all real. Mohib was the star of the show today for me :) I felt really sad for Hamza :( I hope he has a happy ending.

  • Filza

    beautiful, beautiful, review SZ! the one hour of the show and then your reviews take me to a different world.

    you are so very right about every minor detail being so meaningful, telling a tale in Shehr E Zaat. everything is so symbolic. &.that’s so true what you’ve said about naani.. even i think, i’ve formed a strange relationship with this character.. as much as i feel at times she is being too rigid i can’t help but reflect deeply on her words. I, somewhere feel, maybe she is right. this show is really having an impact on me.

    And i feel so bad for naani when they all leave her alone at the house. no wonder she doesn't feel like coming there. It’s bad manners to call someone at home and don’t give her time.

    I absolutely loved the way Mehrunissa rolled her eyes when naani was going on and on with her naseehats. her expressions were funny! Understandably it does get annoying when someone would criticize your each and every move.

    Falak was totally oblivious of the fact that how much she’d hurt Hamza with her rejection and that also a very rude one..Perhaps she’d realize his pain when she would face rejection herself.. Hamza and Falak's scene where she confesses her love for Salman in front of Hamza has to be my favorite scene of them. both were so good especially Mohib Mirza. the look he gives said so much. poor man. i feel for him too.

    also, what Hamza said about Falak assuming things she wishes to made so much sense. we all do that at times!

    Salman was being way too rude, making faces, when Falak called him. he is ignoring her. doesn't she feel insulted?

    Meekal looks so good! anyone would go crazy. In the beginning i had thought Salman was really not interested in Falak but maybe he always was. like Hamza said he was perhaps just acting to get her attention? or is he really indifferent. I'm slightly confused at this at this point in story (haven’t read the novel) but it is obvious he is attracted from the way he stares at her.

  • HK

    I am loving shehr e zaat, great episode, narrative moved ahead decently.
    Excellent job SZ!

  • Aamna

    I wish the viewers try to take in the actual message which they are trying to convey from it. Its s very meaningful play but only a few will be able to understand. Glad to see the dramatization of the novel as it reaches a larger no. of ppl now. We really need suvh plays...wonderful job Umera!

    And yes this drama is a complete package, so is your review. Beautifully written:)

  • hoorean

    WaOooo you summed up the whole episode beautifully. With every passing episode my love for this show is increasing. Every single dialogue in the episode is so meaningful. I feel the nani's reference to Hazrat yousaf qissa is somehow related to Falak's story .

    I love the scene where Falak returned from the friend's mehndi even the smallest gesture of falak and nani here was so perfect.

    Although arrogant and self obsessed salman ansar is definitely using tactics to attract Falak. He is attracted toward her but want to remain at a high place. And i really feel sorry for Hamza today.

  • HKA

    Undoubtedly another great review!! And how I wish I had such wonderful writing skills MA :)

    I loved todays' episode, it surely was the one that deserves all our praises. In these four episodes my heart has grown so fond of Naani, that I was offended by what Mehrunissa had to say about her, but of course she came from a different school of thoughts. Well we can relate to it.I usually react like Falak when ever my grandmother comments about about my dresses or thoughts. I simply fell for the scene where nani and Falak are standing in the kitchen. " ke qadam rakh rahi hun"! I felt really bad for poor Hamza :(All in all the episode was done brilliantly and each and every dialogue seems to hold deeper meanings. Oh and the ambience the OST created was mesmerising , Ah for now I'll get back to watch my favourite kitchen walk scene.

    again I love your reviews SZ !

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