Dair aaye par durust aye. Sums up my sentiments in a nutshell about having delayed watching this drama earlier. A Six Sigma Plus production, directed by Danish Nawaz and written by Asiya Mirza, Sun Yaara has been on air weekly on ARY Digital for a while now. Twenty two weeks (episodes) to be precise. Having seen Junaid Khan last act in Unsunni (shudder) and not being a fan of Hira Mani because, well just because, I was not tempted to watch the drama until I came across the OST and the whole OST video was such a treat to watch and listen to that curiosity got the better of me and I tuned in.
Sun Yaara is the story of a family, wait two families, three, four, haye okay let me backtrack. One at a time. We are introduced first to Lalarukh (Zernish Khan) and her family. Nida Mumtaz plays the role of a mother who has three adult children, Talal (Junaid Khan), Lalarukh aka Laali and Khurram (Asim Mahmood). She apparently also had another daughter who died and whose daughter Hina (Minaal Khan) she has raised.
Lalarukh is engaged to be married to Saif (Faris Shafi) and it is near her wedding that we are introduced to Nida’s sister (Samina Ahmed) and her family which comprises her son (Kaiser Khan Nizamani) and granddaughter Roshanay aka Roshni ( Hira Mani). Roshni and her grandmother fly in from Islamabad to attend the wedding and that is when Roshni and Talal interact. Since we’re discussing families, a little on Saif’s also – he lives with his mother (Ismat Iqbal) and two sisters Saima (Laila Wasti) and Tania (Ghana Ali).
Okay so now that kaun kis ka bhai, biwi, devar, bhabhi is out of the way, the story covers various tracks and the best part about all this is that no one track bored me. There’s Laali and Saif, Roshni and Talal, Khurram and his jokes, Tania and Talal, etc. Laali marries Saif and due to a huge blowup created by Tania, Saif divorces her. Talal feels guilty and feels that to make Laali’s life full of happiness again is his responsibility. Enter Mustafa (Hasan Niazi) who is an old friend of Talal’s and who has harbored feelings for Laali for a long time. Laali’s son Ayaan takes a liking to ‘Uncle’ too and realising that Mustafa’s intentions are good, Talal gives him his blessing and bullies a very reluctant Laali into marrying Mustafa.
Talal’s own love life is a bit more colorful than his own brisk self. Although his heart is seemingly in the right place, his curt and stony faced persona does not help him much. I felt it was quite obvious that he and Roshni had developed feelings for each other, yet he agrees to marry Roshni only if the rest of the family agrees to any of the decisions he makes in the near future. When pressurizing Laali to marry Mustafa, Roshni overhears the conversation and feels used.
I know. No earth shattering, gasp worthy (is that a word?) scenarios painted here. Which brings to me why this drama is such a treat to watch despite no extraordinary storyline. Well firstly because I seem to take a liking for such dramas. Some dramas just seem to click with me and I enjoy watching them for reasons I can not really pinpoint but Sun Yaara has more going for it than just that feeling.
The direction. The opening scene of the episode when Roshni is dancing/jumping/playing (?) in the rain and the coordination of Talal and Roshni’s steps in that scene at Laali’s wedding just leave such a nice feeling with you. Dramatic yes, but this is a drama and I also loved the wedding function scenes, the music playing in the background, the decoration and lights and also little touches here and there which really lend a very realistic feel to the whole drama such as when Laali stops and bends down to meet Bee Jaan (Mustafa’s mother played by Durdana Butt) at her wedding. I know I often write reviews and normally for me it is the story and the acting that stand out but I can not help being impressed by the direction in this drama too and hats off to Danish Nawaz for doing it so well.
I also loved how each character was given enough screen time that kept my interest alive but also helped create a description of sorts of each character’s personality. You know how when you read a book and if you were to describe in a few sentences each character’s personality and traits – that is how I feel after watching Sun Yaara. And I suppose what really stayed with me was the absence of the completely black or white characters. Talal is gruff, brisk and seemingly almost cold, yet he cares deeply about the people who are close to him but words do not seem to be his best friend when he opens his mouth. Roshni is the almost meek, graceful cousin who has caught Talal’s attention. Saif is your spineless, weak man who fell in love but was not able to take a stand for the woman he thought he loved. Tania, who in her desperation wreaked havoc in Saif and Laali’s life, who I should hate more than Saif, yet I do not for although she went overboard, yet her sense of regret and wanting to make things right for Saif and Laali before it all blew up in their face made me hate her a bit less. Khurram is the carefree ‘joker’ of the clan yet can be expected to be sensible and serious when the situation demands it. Hina, the well loved niece and grandchild who has been raised with so much love and knows it well. Mustafa, sigh, the man who loved Laali all these years and now wants nothing more to make her happy. And Laali, the woman who was wronged yet thankfully has not resigned herself to a life of tears and self pity.
I wondered what it was about Talal and Roshni’s story that seemed to strike a chord. Their personalities to be exact. Typical movie stuff? Nah. I even stopped and likened it to myself and my husband haha, except I am not as meek and graceful as Roshni and my poor husband, although not very vocal emotionally is definitely not as brisk as Talal and then it hit me. All those novels I used to read and devour in a single night (before marriage, kids and cooking took over my life) came back to me. The hero who falls for the heroine gradually, catching her doing adorable things (when Roshni was picking flowers for Laali, dancing in the rain, standing near the door looking out apparently lost in thought), yet unable to express how much she means to him. Haye. LOL.
And then the acting. What can I say. I saw Zarnish in a play on ARY earlier. The name slips my mind but it was a story of two sisters, the other sister played by Sonia Hussain and I liked her acting then and even though I ditched Sehra Main Safar halfway I liked her in that drama too. She has a particular way of talking which is typical in each drama but it goes with her character here so no complaints. Junaid Khan has not impressed me much and especially after Unsunni I did not watch any of his dramas but I have to say as Talal he has done a very decent job. I keep hearing how Hira Mani is an amazing actress and after watching her in this drama, I can not disagree. Asim Mahmood is another pleasant surprise and lends humor in just about the right dose. Each actor and actress fits well into his or her own character.
And then obviously the OST. I was on the verge of writing an article recently about how various OSTs have made me tune into dramas that I was not planning to watch in the first place such as Be Inteha, Khaali Haath and now Sun Yaara. Sung by Junaid Khan himself and Damiya Farooq, it is definitely a treat to listen to. Not one to focus on words, rather on the sound of the music itself (I know, I lack zauq) I found myself listening to it more than a few times and welcomed the use of it in the drama aplenty too.
So, yes. I definitely recommend Sun Yaara for a decent watch which is not so heavy that one is wiping away tears, yet enough emotion to pull at your heartstrings (mine are quite elastic anyway). A few laughs, romance which does not border on inappropriate, cringe worthy or typical lines and scenes. Ah, except the new favorite of when the lady in question walks away and the man in her life always manages to grasp her hand just as she is walking away. I wonder how that works. If I did that, I would probably either look like I am on a one man tag team or be handed an empty coffee cup by my husband to take to the kitchen, sigh. Yes, a few, well not glitches really but annoying things such as how Tania was unconvincingly unable to get to her brother and tell him the truth before the divorce, Laali’s a bit too angry (why?) response when Mustafa proposed to her, Roshni conveniently overhearing the conversation between Laali and Talal, etc do stand out but then I guess without these situations the story could not move forward so I suppose, let it be.
So despite Roshni’s anger and sudden tantrums, it appears that she will have to go ahead with her rukhsati and it seems like Saif is on a mission to turn Laali’s life upside down once again. I am assuming a predictable end but still enjoying waiting for it to unfold. How many of you have been watching Sun Yaara and what do you think of it? Would love to hear your thoughts. And for anyone reading this, Ramadan Mubarak 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.