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Dramas Review

Faltu Larki Overview – Not A Faltu Drama!

So you know how you introduce solids to a baby. Baby rice, the most favorable first food – almost always an instant hit. Add in apple, pear -all good. Repeat – all good. Then introduce a few new flavors -sweet potato, butternut squash and gag! Baby wants nothing to do with all this food business. I am that baby. I tuned into the first few episodes of Faltu Larki when it first went on air and few episodes down, I was pleasantly surprised. Interested. A drama with actual humor, scenarios and characters that felt so real. A different treatment yes, but I took it in stride and liked it. Until the haveli characters were introduced and I wrinkled my nose and backed off. Never tuned in again until a few days ago and then could not stop watching.

On air every Thursday at 8pm on A Plus, Faltu Larki has been written by Faseeh Bari Khan and directed by Mazhar Moin. Apparently a show that aired a few years ago, Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewa was also written by Faseeh Bari Khan and directed by Mazhar Moin and that is something which caught my attention only recently otherwise I may not have bothered with Faltu Larki either. For some reason I was never able to bring myself to watch Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewa and so I can not compare the two shows. Anyway, back to Faltu Larki – I am aware a review of the first couple of episodes was posted on this website and it was actually that review that made me curious enough to watch the drama in the first place. What the reviewer wrote (in not these very words but still) – and stayed with me is very true – the dialogues of this drama are so witty and different. That and the characters, well most of them at least, are so interesting, real, outrageous all rolled into one that you can not help be drawn into watching the drama.

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The drama keeps your interest alive for there are quite a few tracks running parallel to each other and some intertwined with others. Probably best to start with Anwar Sb (Salman Shahid) who has two wives and families all living in the same house. He has three children with his first wife (played by Hina Dilpazir) – Bhaijaan (Tipu Shareef), Faiza (Sundus Tariq) and Erum (Anam Fayyaz). Yes, Bhaijaan is called just that – Bhaijaan – by all and sundry. His parents, sisters, relatives all call him that although some fifteen plus episodes later we are enlightened. His actual name is Arsalan. Anyway, Anwar Sb’s second wife, Paro (Samiya Mumtaz) is much younger than the first and has a daughter, Palwasha aka Paashi. Anwar Sb’s younger brother Siraj (Behroze Sabzwari) also lives in the same house with his wife and son Yasir (Farhan Malhi). Apparently the two brothers have a distant relative who lived in India and upon her death, Siraj travels to India and brings back the relative’s daughter Jahan Ara (Dania Anwar) and announces she is to now live with them. At the same time we are also introduced to Erum’s fiancé Tabish (Imran Ashraf) and his family, who are very religious, amongst other things.

Fast forward a few episodes and the next lot of characters are introduced. These all reside in the ‘haveli’ and honestly, each character outdoes the other in terms of boggling my mind. Quite literally. Be it the mum (Seemi Raheel), her son Moazzam Ja, her daughter –never-quite-grasped-her-name- Bi (Yasra Rizvi), the female -always- clad- in -male- clothes driver Anwar or Mishtiri the newly hired maid who is the link between the family in the haveli and Anwar Sb’s household. Ek say barh kar ek hain!

It does sound like a whole pot full of characters in one drama and yes, while it is that, each character has a story to tell, some still shrouded in mystery twenty two episodes down. It is what Paro says to Jahan Ara about how in real life people are not as they are portrayed in movies and dramas. Nobody is black or white. A person in reality may be sensible one day, unreasonable the next, love something with a passion for a while and begin to detest it later. And that is exactly what most of the characters in this drama are. Paro, seemingly outraged by having been passed over by Bhaijaan has made exacting revenge and ensuring he never gets married to be her mission in life. She stops at nothing, even resorting to black magic. But then her heart softens when she sees Jahan Ara ill – until she becomes a prospective bride for Bhaijaan at which she makes her hatred well known, haha! Siraj may come across as the mild natured uncle who brings home an orphaned niece but his half baked business plans and emotional blackmailing towards his wife to the extent of selling her jewellery somehow does not make him seem so innocent and gullible anymore. Anwar Sb’s first wife seems to have a thick skin (no pun intended) and calls it as it is, not indulging in pretense whether it be for her daughters’ in laws sake or family. Yet she has her moments of despair which she can not hide at times when she reflects at the sad state of her marriage. Taabish and his mother are hypocrites whose references to religion are brought up at their own convenience and twisted for their own benefit. Jahan Ara who has wept most episodes away yet manages to find her tongue when dealing with Paashi or putting Yasir down. I have a feeling she is not all that she portrays herself to be but am waiting to find out. And Paashi! For all the times, I have been frustrated and shook my head at ‘twists’ in dramas when the female lead is unable to reach out to the male lead and ‘inform’ him of the zabardasti ka rishta being enforced upon her – in this day and age of internet,telephones,whatsapp etc – Paashi wipes away all my frustration for she manages to use all those and then even resort to good old pen and paper to get her point across!

The dialogues are definitely the strongest selling point in this drama, followed by amazing acting. I have found myself chuckling over so many dialogues. The scenes between Paro and Yasir where she constantly puts him down for being a useless film ka hero, her references to ‘faasbook’ (facebook), the first wife’s ‘bilood mein pressure’, ‘taich na karna’ – it just made me laugh. I can not figure out whose acting I enjoy the most – Samiya Mumtaz, Tipu’s, Anam Fayaz, Hina Dipazir, Taabish’s mum in law or even the young actress who plays Paashi. I am not being critical for the sake of being critical and this may only be my own perception but somehow even though Taabish’ character seems realistic, the acting by Imran Ashraf seems off point sometimes for he sounds like he is acting out a part rather than being the part, if that makes any sense. If it does not then let it go for it is probably just me who feels like that.

Another aspect that appealed to me is the dark humour which is downright insulting at times but strangely refreshing from the point of view of television dramas. For this is very real. References to weight, ‘hont latka kar baat karna’ (Taabish to Erum), ‘bring me chai with sugar because I don’t have sugar ki bemari’. I know, they sound outrageous but it worked for me in the sense that I gasped out loud at the rudeness of it all – but was not put off. Then again, the comedy factor brought about by the haveli characters with Seemi Raheel’s constant references to not being touched by Anwar the driver because she seems like a male and Moazzam Ji’s bachao acts did not make me laugh. Taabish’s mother’s constant ‘aap jayen yahaan se’ to her husband while initially seemed pointless but after a while I began to wait and expect her to say that to him each time he passed. What is all that about I wonder?!

Which brings me to a lot of little things which made me think – what is all that about, I wonder?! Anwar and Moazzam Ji’s sister – the jealousy and possessiveness. I do not know what to make of that? Paro’s weirdness about Bhaijaan seems to be half explained later on in the episodes and is not a very well hidden secret with Bhaijaan’s mother also knowing the truth so then how did the marriage with his father come about? Only to ensure Bhaijaan does not marry anyone else? Jahan Ara seemed drawn to Yasir but seems to be more than content with her upcoming marriage to Bhaijaan. What is running through her mind?

I could go on but seems like I have done enough of that already. For those of you who have been watching this from the beginning, you would have tons more scenarios or dialogues to add and please feel free to do so. My only concern is that the previous play presented by the combination of Faseeh Bari Khan and Mazhar Moin dragged on for 150 episodes or so if I am not mistaken and I sure hope this does not have a similar treatment. For as I sat down to pen this review I happened to check A Plus facebook, rather ‘faasbook’ page and saw that this drama will now air twice a week. I do not know whether that is to wrap it up or what. Anyway, I enjoyed these episodes so much, bar a few silly scenes which can be skipped that I could not resist penning down my thoughts and hearing yours. And for those of you who have not been watching this drama so far – Faltu Larki is not everyone’s cup of tea but do give it a go. How do you all feel about Faltu Larki so far? Who is your favourite character? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Dramas Review

Pukaar Last Episode Review – A Happy Ending!

Awww the last episode of Pukaar was sweet & I liked the way everything was addressed. I am glad that despite the extremely slow pace & the over dosage of flashbacks, Pukaar got a complete ending where all the things were given a proper closure without leaving a room for anything to be covered!

One of the best things of this episode was an end that Zamani met. She was made to pay for what she did – better late than never! Sultan & Tashfeen mourned the loss of their son Fahad & did realize that he never wanted to become a part of this political system that Sultan was running in his hometown. It did end up being the reason why Fahad died & both Sultan & Tashfeen knew that. It wasn’t surprising that Tashfeen showed up for a couple of seconds in this last episode because her role wasn’t important – just like her character. I also feel that Jia Ali was wasted in this drama & failed to leave a mark despite trying really hard.

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Sultan assured Samra that Qasim belonged to her. This was his way of apologizing to her for all that she went through in his house where he just couldn’t protect her from the atrocities thrown her way. Rehan Sheikh did the best he could with this one dimensional character of Sultan but then that’s expected from an actor of his calibre.

It turned out that Laali Ma was basically aik bezti ki maar but having said that, it is worth mentioning that in a very brief conversation it was nicely elaborated how young widows in feudel setting are usually treated, where their urge to get settled again is suppressed & they are expected to become the torch bearer of family’s dignity. I also liked how Laali Ma admitted that she could not tolerate a girl who questioned her every step of the way, who was basically a newly wed – something which does tend to make ladies like Laali Ma envy their newly married daughters in law. Everything that Laali did was basically a reflection of her jealousy against Samra & then a chain reaction of everything that she herself endured when she got widowed, but it was good that she admitted & apologized for everything but I wish Samra had insulted her earlier so that this drama could’ve ended earlier too!

Finally, Samra overcame the guilt that she felt right from the beginning of her relationship with Sarang. Samra continuously labelled it as a betrayal against Fahad but then, even though dramatic, the entire scene was nicely done where Fahad communicates with her & talks her out of getting divorced. Even though they made it dramatic but it still had a touch of reality to it that those departed do tend to guide their loved ones through dreams!

Finally, Samra said it. I liked that they just didn’t end the drama by showing that Samra chose not to get divorced, in fact she worded her feelings & was the first one to admit that she was in love with Sarang. Obviously, he gave her plenty of reasons to fall in love with him & I am glad she did. Their chemistry was amazing & it was nice to see how comfortable Yumna Zaidi & Zahid Ahmed looked with each other on-screen.

Even though the story of this drama was predictable right from the beginning, there was something that kept the viewers coming back to it. I honestly believe that 16-18 episodes were enough for a story like Pukaar because the content wasn’t new. The unnecessary usage of flashbacks & extremely slow pace did at times made this drama a task to tune to but I will let it slide considering all’s well when it ends well. For me, the best thing about this drama was Sarang’s character. It was nice to see a positive soul with a positive outlook on life in the middle of so much of negativity. Zahid Ahmed did the best he could but I so wish he hadn’t just sat on the makeup chair without an input allowing the so-called MUA’s do their own thing because they well & truly messed his look with unnecessary amount of makeup which did affect his character’s personality – thanks to a well-written, well-conceived character & even better acting that Zahid Ahmed was able to save himself as well as Sarang. Yumna Zaidi did really well in terms of acting but now when the drama has ended, I don’t feel any connection with Samra’s character & I am happy at the happy ending only for Sarang’s sake. Anyways, please share your thoughts!

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Dramas Review

Meri Gurya Episodes 3 & 4 Review – Highs and Lows!

These two episodes gave further insight into the personalities of all the central characters and their relationships with each other. It was just as disturbing as the first two episodes because it was shown in detail how a paedophile’s mind works. Dabeer’s scenes were the most frightening element of these two episodes. Mohsin Abbas Haider has once again nailed a character which isn’t easy to translate on screen. However, I must say that because lately we have seen a few really good dramas which highlighted the mindset of such sick people you can’t help but compare this drama with Udaari in particular and Dabeer’s character with that of Imtiaz. While Imtiaz was a more clever person who knew how to manipulate others and his personality characteristics definitely fit in more with the general profile of such criminals, there are certain aspects of Dabeer’s personality which are difficult to understand. It was shown that Dabeer always liked playing with dolls and still owned dolls, I am wondering how does this aspect of his personality fit in the whole picture and why is it considered “not normal” for a little boy to play with dolls. I feel that it would have made more sense if he kept these dolls to allure little girls as opposed to showing that because he played with girls as a child there was something wrong with him since he was little. I could be wrong but that is the impression I got from this scene.

Overall however the writer has intelligently conveyed how such people get all the details they need and the fact that this is someone who is really close to the family also hits home. In these two episodes, Dabeer made up his mind that Abida was going to be his next victim and he did whatever he could to get all the information he needed to execute his evil plan. All his interactions with Abida were terribly frightening and when Abida went missing I found myself hoping that she was still alive. I am glad that the writer didn’t rush things and I also hope that Abida is somehow saved in the upcoming episodes too. In these four episodes, Abida has been introduced as a sweet girl who unlike her sisters goes to a madrassah because the education there is for free. Although, she is the third girl her grandmother never wanted and wished she was a boy but she is also the one who is relatively closer to her since she doesn’t go to school and isn’t “liberal” like her sisters. The child actress playing Abida’s role has played her part really well. Sania Saeed’s acting as usual has been effortless and effective. She is convincing and likeable as a mother who does whatever she can for her daughters under the given circumstances. Safeena’s character is likeable but Sonya Hussyn’s hairdo and overall outlook isn’t up to the mark. This character could have been far more impressive had it been translated on screen differently. Having said that, it isn’t difficult connecting to the kind of relationship Safeena and Abida share and the genuine concern Safeena has not just for Abida but for everyone else too. Big Bang should give up this hairstyle for good, it didn’t look good on Saboor in Meeras and it doesn’t suit Sonya either. The production house is coming up with better stories but the supporting actors and the overall feel of their plays needs a makeover.

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Although Safeena wanted Dabeer to divorce her whenever he could but now she has realized that she can fulfill her dream while being married to him therefore she has decided to make this relationship work. Dabeer’s withdrawn attitude around her made perfect sense. He was constantly planning his next step and thinking about all the information he had gathered so far. Safeena could tell that there was something wrong with him but she could never even imagine that the person who she thinks needs help, actually needs to be put behind bars. Dabeer mentioned that Jahan Ara’s father used to teach him Quran and he said so in a meaningful manner. I am wondering if he went through a traumatic experience in the past!

In this episode the viewers saw that Abida’s phupo Jahan Ara will ultimately end up “assisting” Dabeer without knowing it. Shehnaz’s close relationship with her daughters has been well established in these four episodes therefore it will be heart-wrenching watching her suffer in the upcoming episodes. The preview of the next two episodes was confusing and it was difficult to tell whether or not Dabeer will be able to execute his evil plan, which is definitely better than knowing exactly what will happen next! So far, Meri Gurya has been a decent watch and I am waiting to see how the story moves forward in the upcoming episodes. The way this drama shows that a murderer and rapist could be a seemingly harmless neighbor is yet another reminder that parents should not trust anyone with their children. Although, Udaari and Muqabil both gave the same message but I do feel that these things should be shown on television repeatedly since there are times when parents tend to overlook such aspects.

How many of you watched these latest episodes of Meri Gurya? Do share your thoughts about it.

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Dramas Review

Ishq Tamasha Episode 18 Review-Revenge Begins!

This episode has started Mehrab’s revenge spree against Rushna and one more thing it has established is YES! RUSHNA IS SUPER EVIL. Rushna got to know about Arham’s death in the very start and has no reaction to it. She was still indulged in her chocolate covered dreams. Mehrab has also become a constant confusion now. Not letting Rushna’s mother bring breakfast is his idea of taking revenge for his brother’ death? He didn’t even confide in his Phupho who has also suffered an immense loss. Her decision to leave Mehrab was the sanest scene in the whole episode.

Mirha bechari kya kare? Thanda paani pi maray! Yes, Mirha’s situation just reminded me of this nursery rhyme. She just started dreaming about her saviour (kidnapper) Mehrab and all her dreams were shattered in a second. Mehrab’s scheme of sending her back is also non-sensical. Pressurizing your wife to send Mirha back is not going to get Mirha her reputation. And Mirha was s settled in Mehrab’s house. Parr ye bhi Rushna le gayi!

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Rushna is a mature girl who knows how to scheme, trap boys and insult anyone. So, she must behave like that too. Her whole behaviour after reaching Mehrab’s house was like that of a child. She had no interest left in Mehrab who was her dream prince. All she wanted was to redecorate and wander around the house. Most annoyingly, she did not even ask Mehrab that why his family does not know about their marriage? And why there are no preparations for a Walima. Rushna is still not miserable. She is still scheming and being a jerk. Hopefully, in the next few episodes, we could see her regretting her attitude.

The whole Palwasha episode is super-weird. The girl is a very good actress indeed but she is too young to get scoldings for Gajras and have affairs with her cousin who is too grown up for her I must add. Aqeela really needs to take a hold of her daughters. They are literally messing up the balance everywhere. And it is high time that Wahaj starts taking practical decisions instead of lounging around and throwing unnecessary sarcasm!

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Dramas Review

Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka Episode 3 Review-Whateven!

This drama started like a high-speed roller coaster and deteriorated at the speed of the lightning. In just three episodes, the makers have forgotten what they were trying to go for. It started as a love triangle where two brothers fell for a single girl. Then we saw the scenario of adoption come into play. The adopted boy sacrificed his love for the sake of his mother’s satisfaction.

Dania is the worst I would say. First, you went blaming only Zaryab for the whole ordeal. She didn’t even try to take matters into her own hand. Then she is seen blaming Armaan. Armaan at least stuck with what he was going for. He divorced the girl and doesn’t want anything to do with her. But now the bechari Dania wants to keep living with a man who has divorced her. What kind of culture or mentality is being promoted here? Even if they wanted to show Dania as a bechari, they could have shown her ordeals after the divorce. But she is living with her ex-husband, making parathas for him. Like WHAT EVEN???

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Zaryab and Armaan’s encounters are too childish to bear too. When you have already openly said woh tumhari biwi hai, then at least complete the conversation. And Armaan, a guy who divorced a girl in a second and has no regards for the society is waiting to talk openly about it with his brother. Why is he not cleaning up the mess? He didn’t ask Dania when he was divorcing her. So, why is he waiting for her approval to announce it?

The mother’s character is also so poorly etched out. She is trying to make Dania behave as Armaan’s mother or nanny rather than a life partner. At the same time, she is concerned about Zaryab’s marriage. If you loved Armaan so much and you knew he is such a sensitive soul, why you married him off to his brother’s girlfriend in the first place?

Moreover, the performances are so bad throughout this episode. Alamdaar needs serious work on his dialogue delivery as well as his expressions. Even Hareem seemed lost in all her scenes. The lack of depth has literally destroyed this drama in only the third episode.

Yes, many would say I have come harsher on it but they are showing a girl who wants to live with her ex-husband which is ridiculous!

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