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Dramas Review

Sun Yaara Episodes 1-22 Overview – One word: Wah!

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.

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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 🙂

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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Dramas Review

Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka Episode 2 Review-Surprising!

Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka started at a rapid pace but I must admit, I was not expecting these many surprises already. We all saw the sudden engagement of Daniya and Armaan while Zaryab was pining for his lost love. The second episode featured the marriage ceremony of the two while Zaryab was crying in different cornersZaryab actually is a coward. Yes, the concept is that he is Ahsanon Talay Daba Larka and for this very reason he did not respect his love enough. But he should have given a thought to Armaan’s feelings. How could he do this to Armaan whom he loves more than anyone? Since the whole Islamabad is familiar with Zaryab and Daniya’s affair, why he didn’t think of the fact that someone will tell Armaan eventually? Daniya was also a very unreasonable person. She was begging Zaryab to do something on her mehendi. She could have tried a bit earlier or the simple way out was to talk it out with Armaan. Armaan told her how much he loves Zaryab, so Daniya should have told him the truth. But well, then there would be no drama.

Armaan knew about the situation suddenly after bringing Daniya home. The funny thing is they got Nikkahfied in the morning but reached their home at night. He was as quick in taking decisions as his brother is slow. Instead of handling everything like a mature person, he divorced Daniya. He didn’t even discuss it with Zaryab before taking such a huge step.

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Dramas Review

Meri Guriya Episodes 1 & 2 – Disturbing But Not Original Enough

Written By: Radain Shah
Directed By: Ali Hassan
Produced By: Big Bang Entertainment
Schedule: Every Wednesday 8pm

I have to admit that the only reason I tuned into this show was the writer, I absolutely loved drama serial Nibah and was waiting for another drama written by Radain Shah. Also, right now, those dramas which highlight either social issues or revolve around family ties interest me more than those which focus on love triangles. Dar Si Jati Hei Sila set the bar really high therefore I couldn’t help but compare the two after watching the first episode of Meri Guriya. While Dar Si Jati Hei Sila dealt with abuse alone, this one showed the aftermath of a child’s brutal rape and murder and will also be focusing on the person responsible for this horrific act. Unfortunately, since we have all heard the gruesome details of how the beautiful and innocent Zainab was subjected to torture and rape therefore connecting the dots immediately was easy. The fact that the policeman pointed out that this was the 12th case of its kind showed that this particular incident wasn’t just fictional but was taken from Zainab’s tragedy. While this has unfortunately become a “trend” nowadays, I wish the makers of the drama didn’t add these details which showed the link of this story with that of Zainab. It is painful for the parents to watch such dramatized events on screen specifically when they know that this is their child’s story. Even if the intention of the makers is honest, this is unethical since Zainab’s parents made it quite clear that they do not want to see their child’s murder be dramatized. The details under the YouTube videos also mentioned that the drama makers have taken “inspiration from a real-life incident”. Having said that, I have faith in the writer and few of the actors involved therefore I am definitely going to follow this play and hope that the makers will be able to do justice to the story.

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The first episode of Meri Guriya gave me goose bumps, it was a little too disturbing because it covered how Arfa, a nine year old girl, was dumped in the forest after being brutally raped and murdered. While these events were covered with utmost honesty and realistically, I did feel that Big Bang Entertainment yet again used the shock factor as an attention-grabbing tactic. Shehnaz (Sania Saeed) and Shahmeer’s (Sajjid Hassan) track had Mubarak Ho Beti Hui Hei written all over it therefore it won’t be wrong to say that this particular track isn’t too original either. The fact that Sajjid Hassan is playing the role of a man who cannot take a stand for his wife and doesn’t love his daughters enough and Ayesha Khan yet again is playing the daddi who hates her granddaughters, is constantly mocking them and her daughter in law doesn’t help either! Also, Shehnaz just like Naheed is a strong woman who loves her daughters and is completely focused on their well-being. One of Shehnaz’s 3 daughters Abida was really close to Arfa therefore she finds it really hard to cope with the loss. At the same time she is also fascinated by the dulhan next door since there is a wedding taking place in the neighborhood. She insists she wants to see the bride even though everyone is feeling terrified and insecure after Arfa’s murder. In these two episodes Abida and the new bride Safeena (Sonya Hussyn) develop a special bond with each other. Abida looks up to and adores the new bride and Safeena also likes her.

Safeena’s character reminded me of Farwa in the first episode but in the second episode the viewers were shown a different side of her as well. Safeena is outspoken, she plays badminton professionally and expects her husband Dabeer (Mohsin Abbas Haider) to divorce her soon so that she can pursue her career. Dabeer too isn’t interested in this marriage, he got married only to please his mother. ARY pretty much gave away the basic storyline and the reality behind the characters therefore even right now when the viewers should be wondering why Dabeer was crying in front of his wife and later on laughing when he heard that the rapist committed suicide, we know exactly why! Abida’s fate has also been mentioned in the summary given by ARY on YouTube! Sania Saeed. Mohsin Abbas Haider and Sajjid Hassan are my favorite actors, they are constantly experimenting and never fail to impress. These two episodes however could have been far more powerful had they not been inspired from Zainab’s tragedy and Mubarak Ho Beti Hui Hei. The story obviously will be completely different from that of MHBHH but these similarities should have been avoided.

After watching these two episodes I am still on the fence because of the lack of originality but curious to find out how the makers treat this incredibly difficult subject since they are not only going to focus on the victims but also the perpetrator. Also, I would like to request ARY to keep the summaries of their plays short and to the point because they give away a little too much!

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