For 21 episodes, Sadaf Sarmad was on a rampage- unstoppable, uncontrollable, or to put it in the context of the drama- be lagaam. Sadaf was a woman who dictated how her family should live every second of their lives. She ruined her daughter’s life and never flinched for a second and continued plotting and scheming thinking money could buy her happiness. Sadaf came from humble beginnings but married into a wealthy family and somehow that got to her head. She started looking down at those around her and put herself on a pedestal from where she felt she could critique others and judge them.
Sadaf’s nikamma brother, Safi was a failure in her eyes and the mere association with him was an insult to her. She hated her Bhabi Ayesha and felt no love towards her niece Inaaya and nephew Ahmed. Her elder sister, Shahana was also married into a privileged family but wasn’t as affected by her newfound wealth as Sadaf. As Shahana prospered, Sadaf realized she wanted Tooba to be married to Taimoor as he had a promising career. An unfortunate accident resulted in a disability that for Sadaf was too big of a deal breaker. She called off the wedding and arranged for a better prospect- Fawad. Being Sadaf, she started finding flaws in Fawad too and ultimately when she came to know Fawad was previously married and divorced, she forced her daughter to demand a khulah. Tooba didn’t want to leave Fawad and didn’t have the courage to justify herself to her mom and decided to run away with her husband but he ended up getting killed in a car accident. Instead of consoling her daughter, Sadaf started playing matchmaker again and upon realizing that Taimoor made a miraculous recovery soon after being married to his aibdaar cousin Inaaya, she was determined to get rid of Inaaya by playing with her insecurities and using that as an excuse to wreak havoc through ganging up with her sister Shahana.
Be Aib was no journey at all. There was no realization on Sadaf’s part- except when her useless husband threatened to divorce her and leave her minus the luxuries that Sadaf had a nervous breakdown and then she rushed through her maafi naamas. The breaking point wasn’t due to his daughter’s pain but rather the humiliation he felt when Shahana’s husband pointed out that Sadaf was meddling with Ahmed’s business and defaming him. Ahmed carried a torch for Tooba but knew he wasn’t elite enough to ever be considered as a suitable match. However, once Tooba was widowed and her fiancé Taimoor was married to Inaaya, Ahmed’s confidence grew leaps and bounds. His journey from rags to riches further solidified his eligibility yet Sadaf thought nothing of him.
From the beginning, the drama made its stand clear- we were supposed to hate Sadaf and empathize with Safi & his family. Yet, Safi’s family didn’t earn an ounce of my sympathy due to their selfish motives. Ayesha was a woman who was perpetually unhappy with her financial condition and she left no opportunity to mock her husband. I never saw her having a meaningful conversation and her entire focus was on envying everything Tooba had which eventually became Inaya’s. Once Inaaya was married, never did she worry how her daughter would get settled into married life but her conversations were always about how much money she had at her disposal. Safi was no less- he was perfectly okay relying on his sister for financial support and even happier knowing he didn’t have to return it.
Be aib lacked in many ways- the storyline was an utter failure and the make up artist and stylist lacked vision too. The director tried his best to minimize the chaotic mess but there was really no saving it. The acting in my eyes was the biggest sore spot. Samina Peerzada is a phenomenal actress but her portrayal of Sadaf was horrendous. Alishba Yusuf looked whiny and bored as Tooba. Noor Hassan’s puffy hair and coloured kurtas were too distracting to take him seriously. Asmat Zaidi’s flower accessories and wooden expressions let her down.
Urdu 1 really needs to up its game. It’s becoming renowned for high quality productions but they’re not working with the audience. Although most times I tune into a show for its production values and cast, it really needs more than that to deliver. The storylines aren’t the greatest and I feel the directors fail to extract a fine performance which is what makes all the difference. They are managing to rope in big names and I’m hoping their creative department will awaken from their slumber and take charge of much needed change.