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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.

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

Zun Mureed Episode 1 & 2 Review – Well-Executed

Writer: Amna Mufti
Director: Ahmed Kamran
Produced by: Moomal Entertainment
Schedule: Every Friday at 8pm on HUM

The first two episodes of Zun Mureed laid down solid foundations for whatever is going to happen in the upcoming weeks. The introduction to the characters was detailed as well as clear and both these episodes were fast paced. In both these episodes, the writer and the director’s approach was focused and all the scenes were well-put-together. Although I had my reservations about Nadia Khan since her performance in Aisi Hei Tanhai leaves a lot to be desired but so far her acting has been up to the mark. Omair Rana, Hina Bayat, Shamim Hilali, Aisha Gul, Kashif Mehmood and Khalid Anum always perform well therefore it didn’t come as a surprise at all that they fit perfectly in the roles assigned to them. The performances were natural, the direction was on point and the editing was perfect. I have to admit that the only reason I tuned into this show was because it promised to cover the issue of domestic abuse from a legal perspective and also because it has been written by Amna Mufti which guarantees that the script will be well-researched and meaningful.

The first scene of the opening episode was one of my favorite scenes from both these episodes since it covered a great deal. This scene showed how Tabbasum (Nadia Khan) was struggling alone while her husband Sajjad (Omair Rana) and Bi Jaan’s (Shamim Hilali) son focused entirely on the cricket match. This scene clearly suggested that Bi Jaan was Tabbasum’s responsibility alone although Mariam Apa (Hina Bayat), Bi Jaan’s daughter, claimed to love her mother more than anyone else but there were a lot of times when she wasn’t half as patient as Tabbasum with her mother. The thing I liked about the characters the most was that they were nuanced, while Tabbasum was shown as someone who had a good heart and was dedicated but there were plenty of times when she was shown struggling with her situation. The scenes covering her character were realistic and showed how difficult it was for her to cope with everything yet she didn’t complain because she felt it was her duty to work and to look after the house. Also, while there were times when it seemed like Sajjad couldn’t care less how Tabbasum was coping there were also plenty of scenes in which he acknowledged and appreciated her efforts. The reference to Tabbasum’s share in her late parents assets however suggested that Sajjad is the kind of man who wouldn’t mind living off his wife’s money.

Bi Jaan is an educated woman yet she has a typical mindset. Even after everything Tabbasum did for Bi Jaan, she didn’t get any acknowledgement, something which was shown creatively through the scene in which Bi Jaan writes Mariam and Sajjad’s name alone. Also, just like any other controlling mother in law, Bi Jaan cannot see her son spending quality time with his wife and terms him as zun mureed, even though her own son in law was shown doing exactly what his wife expected from him.

The first episode in particular also showed how Fari, Tabbasum’s sister, was treated by her bhabhi and how things were in their brother’s (Khalid Mehmood) house. The news about Women Protection Bill got different kind of reactions from both these houses and Tabbasum in particular kept on asserting that such laws were made for violent men in low income households. She couldn’t imagine at this point that her husband would some day turn into such a man.

Overall, these two episodes were engaging and executed flawlessly. Although these episodes didn’t have anything brand new to offer but they weren’t clichéd either. I felt an instant connection with all the characters because of the way they were introduced. The script has the kind of clarity that doesn’t leave any questions in your mind and the director has given this script the right kind of treatment.

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Dramas Review

Pukaar Episode 5 Review – Tragic!

Ohkay so, this episode of Pukaar was quite depressing which means the emotions were conveyed perfectly. This entire drama week for me was so heavy, first Aairah’s husband died in Khudgarz, then Tabeer’s husband died in Tabeer & now Samra’s husband died in Pukaar, tauba, talk about monotony, anyways!

Well, Fahad couldn’t win the battle for his life & passed away. The news of his death was obviously tragic & shook every single person associated with him. Samra lost the love of her life, Tashfeen & her husband lost their only son. Samra’s parents obviously couldn’t see their only child suffering that too when she deems herself guilty.

The moment Fahad’s father saw Samra, he made sure to remind her that it was because of her that Fahad didn’t go to the village & now he was fighting for his life. Well, he passed away & first half of the episode was covered in the flashbacks. Samra’s father did try to make a point that because Sultan got Fahad involved in the politics, he directed undue attention towards his son, but then again, why would Sultan pay heed to what Samra’s father said because he was too busy holding Samra responsible for everything!

Well, looks like Fahad’s Daadi is going to take revenge from Samra because Fahad’s family unanimously thinks that Samra is the reason why Fahad died, therefore they will make sure to torture her because other than that, they had no reason to keep Samra at their house as it was way too evident that they weren’t sympathizing with Samra to begin with!

Samra’s parents tried their best to take her with them but Samra wanted to be left alone in Fahad’s house. Poor thing doesn’t know what she will be faced with!

Well, honestly speaking, I wish everyone’s makeup apart from Yumna had been a bit realistic because all the characters; Daadi, Tashfeen & Zamani looked too glamorous to be mourning the death of a family member. I must say Zamani is quite annoying, obviously she is doing what usually servants do to stay in the good books of their masters but then again, the actress playing her role & her overall get up is such an eyesore. I wish we get to see less of her in the upcoming episodes which seems highly unlikely but still we can hope for the best. Yumna Zaidi was spot on with her acting & she succeeded in conveying Samra’s pain. I must say the OST is really nice & it helped in conveying the overall sadness that everyone was going through after losing Fahad. Anyways, please share your thoughts about this episode of Pukaar.

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Dramas Review

Aangan Episode 18 Review – Hilarious!

Ohkay so, like I always say, what an amazing episode of Aangan. Seriously, Kudos to Faiza Iftikhar & the entire team for painting such a realistic & perfect picture of a typical desi wedding which is full of so many hiccups & people who come with their own agendas. I just don’t remember watching a Pakistani drama in such a long time which made me laugh so much & to be honest, Aangan happens to be one such drama that makes me happy. What a perfect entertainment!

So, Zoya Aqdas wedding was in full bloom with the Mehandi function. Shafiq actually came to attend the wedding & surprise everyone but then again, Abba Jee gave him a cold shoulder. Shafiq turned out to be a typical overseas returned desi who completely forgot growing up in this very environment because now he saw the entire wedding & the trouble of arranging it as a nuisance. Shafiq’s constant reminders of ‘mai isi liye Pakistan nahi ata’ were so funny. In stead of using this time to reconnect with his family & curbing his differences with Abba Jee’s, Shafiq continued to play the victim as if he didn’t hurt Abba Jee & he was being wrong in not treating Shafiq with the affection that he was entitled to!

So, Allaudin once again found a reason to be upset about, which was his matching Kurta with Abba Jee. Allaudin just can not come to terms with the fact that he is one of the elders of the family, that he is way too older than Aqdas, the chota damaad of the family & that is why he was keen on wearing that Green Kurta which the youngsters were wearing. I am sure if they had given him the Green Kurta, he would’ve complained that he was being put on the same pedestal as the bachas of the family, lol. Aalu & his issues!

Well, Faseeha came with her Jethani & Nand & they proved that they were those typical aunties who are avoided by every single person of the family because they find problem with every little thing & create issues over tissues. As if bickering with each other wasn’t enough that they started dragging the girls who were singing songs & also raised question over Zaitoon, Anila & Zoya’s age.

Well, Abba Jee’s cousin & childhood friend Bilqees made an apperance too. It seems Abba Jee has a soft corner for Billo that is why he not only made sure to invite her but also went out of his way to make her feel at home by taking care of her comfort. I loved the late night session that Abba Jee & Bilqees had, it was like Billo was the part of Abba Jee’s childhood that wasn’t lost. The way they both recalled old days & all the activities that they used to do was so cute but something that was even better was Zaitoon’s restlessness because she was clearly & rationally jealous. Bilqees’s fight with Aqdas’s aunts was also so very funny, it was like she knew how they had to be responded whereas everyone else on Zoya’s side apart from Anila was being mindful of the fact that they were larki walay so they had to tolerate everything. ‘Kissay di assi Majj churai hai’ has to be my favorite dialogue of this drama so far, lol!!!!

I loved this episode just so much. It is so amazing how watching this wedding takes you down the memory lane & makes you think about the things you might have seen or heard while attending your family weddings too. The way Anila reminded Rubina that she was wearing an old dress was also something that often turns out to be a conversation starter at desi weddings where everyone keenly remembers everyone else’s formal dresses.

I think I now desperately want to see a change in the equation that Zahid & Rubina share, something more, something new, something different please. Oh well, who would’ve thought that Sajjad will tackle Allaudin so intelligently, he just knew that Allu was trying to get some scoop on personal family matter therefore he told him to arrange someone who could take care of dholki, something that would distract him at least for the moment. Asim & Sajjad’s reactions were priceless when they knew they had taken care of Allu the best way possible, lol. I must say, I felt some sort of pity when Anila kept on lying to Allaudin to boost his ego & he immediately agreed to be at the wedding on time because Anila said what he wanted to hear. Allaudin is someone who just wants to be the center of attention, he likes to be praised even for the things he doesn’t do & since this is what Anila did, he seemed happy to be taking a part in Zoya’s wedding.

I must say, the way Faiza Iftikhar has etched out all these characters is amazing. Everyone has a unique but relatable personality & to keep them true to themselves till this stage of the drama is commendable. From Abba Jee to Shaina, every single one of them contributes & makes this drama complete. The way all these actors deliver the dialogues with so much of ease & effortlessness goes to show how they have owned these characters & are literally living them. I must say all the ladies looked so lovely with those beautiful dresses & heavy jewellery. Can’t wait to see more. Please share your thoughts about this hilarious episode of Aangan.

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Dramas Review

Tabeer Episode 3 – Review!

Ohkay so, this episode of Tabeer, though dramatic was really nice. Even though the story has been quite simple & predictable but it does look like the side characters are going to add that much needed flavour in this drama.

So, Tabeer found out about Yasir & her life turned upside down. Tabeer was someone who couldn’t even see Yasir down with a mere fever so for her to endure the painful news of Yasir’s passing was beyond imagination.

Fawad’s mother continued to spew venom against Yasir because she is so self-centered to think beyond herself & even for once show consideration about someone else. Fawad was also deeply affected by Yasir’s demise that is why he not only went to attend the funeral, but also tried to help his family financially.

Yasir’s first cousin Ajju happens to be quite a manipulative person that is why he lied to Fawad & also kept half of the amount he gave for the rituals. I actually thought Ajju’s brother would be a decebt person but even he kept half of the remaining amount as well. I don’t know why but I found that scene emotionally very disturbing when Yasir’s grandmother accepted that measly amount with so much of gratitude, my heart broke for her because while she was mourning the death of her grandson, she had no idea that there were vultures around her who were literally taking advantage of Yasir even after his death!

Ajju & his brother are obviously irresponsible beings who don’t really know how to fend for themselves, therefore they came up with a plan that they’d start living at Yasir’s house, which means they will create more issues for Tabeer & Daadi.

On the other hand, Zarnish contacted Sana, a heart-broken depressed soul who obviously has been rejected by Fawad that is why I think Zarnish contacted her to speak to her. I think Zarnish will request Sana to take care of Fawad after she is no more but then that place will be taken by Tabeer & Sana will be left heart broken once again.

This episode of Tabeer was definitely good. The preview suggested that the trials in the life of Tabeer are far from being over. With Daadi’s demise, Tabeer will be left all alone & not sure how she will be able to deal with Ajju & his family. Looking forward to the next episode. Please share your thoughts.


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