Yahan Pyar Nahi Hai written by Faiza Iftiqar, directed by Fahim Burney, starting Saba Qamar, Junaid Khan, Mavra, Huaira Zaheer, Farah Zeba first caught my eye during its first promotional posters and teasers posted on facebook and numerous websites. The first teaser trailer had “The Tudors” music background running behind Saba Qmar’s forlorn voice considering what relationships in life are most important to a woman. Other teasers while didn’t give much of the story, showed foundations of a troubled marriage being shaken by abusive husband and selfish relatives. Since I am currently enjoying Bilqees Kaur written by Faiza Iftiqar, I was very interested to see how she would tackle the subject of abusive relationships between husband and wife and hopefully give proper and clear messages to those who are in similar situations and how to deal with them.
In the first episode we are introduced to all the main characters and there is ample information given about each one of them without dwelling to much in the past. Saim (Junaid Khan) and Haleema (Saba Qamar) have been miserably tied together in holy matrimony for past seven years arranged by Saim’s assertive mother and Haleema loves paternal aunt and uncle. Saim has no inclination towards his wife and throughout the episode never loses any opportunity to humiliate her not considering she is also the mother of their two children. Haleema's cousin Shumaila (Mavra) is a medical student and yet manages to act like a six year old child with her antics and is apprehensive of all the praise bestowed upon Haleema especially by her parents. Shumaila's brother Sabih and Haleema’s cousin however is very fond of Haleema, and is aware of the harsh reality of Haleema’s married life which he does not share with the rest of the family. We are also introduced to a happily divorced Zunaira (Kiran) who was Saim’s old love interest and has come back to add oil to already burning fire in Saim’s heart and change his view on marriage.
The positives of the episode and drama in general so far:
- Finally, a drama that is based on a story of marriage between two people that are poles apart both in education, social status and clearly are unhappy with their married life. I am very interested to see how Saba Qamar’s character will further develop as she always does not puts up with Saim’s constant taunting (as evident by the shirt scene today) and whose side Saim’s mother will stand up for.
-Very well showing and not telling about how and why Haleema and Saim’s marriage came about to be. There wasn’t too much dwelling in the past, yet we are shown through different character interactions and conversations about background of Saim and Haleema, while also giving insight into both of their characters and why and how they act the way they are portrayed. Saim’s frustrations are clear as he never wanted this union in the first place projecting his frustrations and anger out on his inert wife. Since Haleema in an orphan raised lovingly by her chacha and chichi and as they have found the best match they could offer for their niece, she is unable to share her misery with them and most of the time dwells on being the victim of her husband’s constant taunting and abuse. Clearly, her mother in laws support is not enough.
- Did we really need a kiss on the cheek or forehead or whichever direction it was between Saim and Zunaira while they greeted each other?
- I really don’t get the point or need of Shumailas character in the narrative because I think having a sister/cousin ruining an older sibling’s life or getting hooked to their husband has been done to death in Maat. Sadly Shumailas character is nothing short of what Saba Qamar’s character was in Maat. Both characters are selfish and dwell upon materialistic means and needs to please themselves. It is hard to believe that Shumaila is portrayed as a medical student. If the narrative had to proceed to the point where another person is the final breakup cause of Saim and Haleema’s marriage, then Zunaira was the perfect candidate. This would have made the story a little bit more realistic then including a saman like character (a little hard to swallow.)
-The acting: I could not decipher Junaid Khan from his current role in Mata – e- Jaan as Adam from Saim’s Character. Junaid Khan really needs to explore different role options and his acting still has to grow on me. His dialogue delivery is still very flat and still has not changed from Mata-e-Jaan.
-Although Saba Qamar’s acting is spot on as the victimized wife, I could not get my head around her character because in my mind her portrayal of Saman is still fresh and alive from Maat. The rest of the actors aren’t exactly delivering their lines with intensity that is required.
From next episode’s preview it seems like the drama’s narrative will pick up and we get to see more action and will be introduced more widely to Saim’s frustrations.