Archive for the ‘Drama Review’ Category

The fast-forward into future has worked remarkably well for Humsafar, because honestly the lamenting and cribbing when Khirad was kicked out by treacherous Farida was painful to watch and begged for a newer treatment. As expected in most dramas, the guy never contacted the girl owing to his ego. The damage was done and Ashar was mad at his wife, but why in Allah’s name couldn’t he just meet her once to probably humiliate her for wronging him and then Khirad could backfire with the truth about his malicious mother!

Anyhow, now that the story has taken a 4 years leap and we have been introduced with a sweet little character – Baby Hareem played by child star Sarah Kashif – who can bring the two together, gloominess could pack the belongings and make it’s way to the deserving parties.

What I found very interesting about the changes in the lives, after the long gap, was that there was none. Ashar had burnt his boats so we can’t really blame him for not dancing around, but what was stopping Sarah to make some real effort to marry her sweetheart? What was the whole point of the ruse when, even after taking Khirad out of the equation, she still didn’t stand a chance with Ashar. Now after all thise while, her life has become pretty rough round the edges although she doesn’t realize it. The flaming encounter in next episode (number 17) might just wake her up from her slumber.

The better news is Ashar has had a change of heart for good and he has brought baby Hareem home. The kid is having fun at her palace – where she should have been all along – and the parents can’t stand the sight of each other. Today’s episode, kept me hoping that they might just spit away the anger for a moment and the love would come breaking into the windows, but it’s too early for that. Evidently, every time Ashar speaks to Hareem his tone has nothing but love and as soon as he turns towards Khirad, he becomes grumpy.

I just can’t wait for the moment when the pair of them would at last vent their frustration and come clean on the matters. This might be saved for the last episode, but since I’ve not read the novel I can’t say if it even is a possibility.

(For direct feedback to Humsafar’s Team, send your emails at drama.humsafar@gmail.com)

The family: Ashar Hussain, Hareem Hussain and Khirad Ahsan

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The episodes over the fortnight have been so adorably charming, I wonder if Sarmad will be able to top his own work in the future. There must be a special mention for color-coded scenes, a rather clever technique to help the viewers remember them. More on this later.

It has finally dawned on Ashar that his cousin cum best friend is belittling Khirad. Sarah’s attempt of putting the beautiful bride down, at her birthday didn’t go unnoticed by Ashar, who blatantly ignored her the next morning at the office. Besides being arrogant Sarah is tad bit ignorant too, who doesn’t know the difference between a city and a village. Maybe getting out more – and not just to her lousy parties, but actually out, out – will help her improve her geography skills and realize that Hyderabad is a city and it’s just next to Karachi.

Navin Waqar as Sarah

Ashar’s perspective of his wife has taken a 180 degree turn, for the better. In the beginning he discarded her as being an illetirate girl with no formal education. But he was shell-shocked when Khirad came out of the closet about her capabilities and ambitions  and told him that she had already completed BSc degree in Mathematics and Statistics, before they both got married. Being the only daughter of two teachers, it could well be a genetic gift to study these rough subjects. To add to this Khirad had planned to do a Masters in Applied Mathematics. No piece of cake, that.

Khirad not only knows her numbers but is also a champion at the game of chess. Baseerat Hussain held that title – in the house – till now. Ashar had played with him enough times to realise that he couldn’t beat his dad but Khirad saved the day for him. As she pointed Ashar to the right direction on the checkerboard, whilst sitting away on the sofa with Farida.

The game of chess (Episode 6)

On Sarah’s birthday party, a friend of her’s passes a comment on Khirad’s elegant white dress – leaving Khirad wondering if she is over-dressed for the event. If anything, the not-so-fashionable, Sarah Ajmal and her mates – all of whom were strangely dressed in black – could learn a thing or two from Khirad.

Lets have a look at more of Khirad’s extravagant Anarkalis which have defined so many scenes between the gorgeous couple. The Black and Gold that Khirad wore to Azar’s party. This has to be one of my most favorites, the ice cream scene. On their way to the restuarant, Khirad was still in her cocoon, who wouldn’t speak unless spoken to. Ashar’s tired expressions at Khirad’s ‘as you wish’ replies, cracked me up followed by Ashar’s ‘aap mere saath chal rahi hain, ya main akela hi coffee pee aaon’ (are you coming with me or shall I go and have coffee alone). Khirad who seemed least in the mood for  a scope of ice cream, ordered a strawberry flavor and didn’t taste it twice. Ashar watched his wife with interest, as she played with the mint leaf garnished on her plate. The camera focused on it a little too closely and this has stirred quite a debate on a popular Pakistani forum, as to what might be the significance of a leaf to Khirad. Humsafar is officially under-the-radar for everything it shows.

The Coral scene, where Khirad is writing an email to her best friends Afsheen. I belong to the minority which has opted to just watch the drama before digging into the novel for comparison. But I’m very certain that the content of email has been taken directly from the novel. Khirad writes about how blessed she considers herself to have a man like Ashar. As Ashar walks into the room and sits besides Khirad. He inquires what she was doing, to which she shows him the email.

”You must have written something about me in it. Did you mention any bad habits of mine?”.

“No, I just wrote the good stuff. Like, how extremely nice and soft spoken you are”.

”That’s it? Didn’t you write about how you ogle at me when I’m standing away doing something and when I look at you, you don’t look me in the eye. Like now”.

The scene is so beautifully executed, not trying to exaggerated but I’ve watched this particular scene, over and over every time I get hold of my Laptop. If you have missed out on the repeat telecasts, 2imtoo Channel of Faisalabad has uploaded amazing videos of each episode in High Quality on YouTube.

Khirad Ahsan (Mahira Khan) and Ashar Hussain (Fawad Khan)

The Yellow scene where Khirad asks Ashar to choose her a  dress for the night party they are supposed to go to. Here, Ashar puts an end to Khirad’s increasing consciousness about her clothes and need to look presentable where ever they go. At one point Ashar – without a hitch – would have picked Sarah over her, for the fashionista she is. But now he has begun to realise the ‘inner-charm’ of Khirad, who in his own words doesn’t have to compete and be a part of people’s fashion parade. This is besides the point, but in my opinion Sarah seems too scared to experiment with colors and Khirad’s outfits win my vote anyday for the sheer vibrancy of the colors.

The Green and White scene. When Ashar is talking about going off to China for a ten days business trip.  Followed by the necklace or the Red scene.  Another phenomenal set of screen fantasy.

(For direct feedback to Humsafar’s Team, send your emails at drama.humsafar@gmail.com)

Also posted on Oyedramay.com

How often does seeing someone stealing glances at each other makes ‘you’ blush? A rhetorical question indeed and you would know exactly what I mean if you are a Humsafarian, the enchanted brigade or something less exotic for a tagline.

The serial is in its week 5 now and the previous episode becomes the first official one to mark the beginning of the romantic-tale between Ashar and Khirad – portrayed by Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan, respectively. I honestly don’t remember the last time when such an anticipation surrounded a Pakistani drama, which wasn’t based on a social issue or had a hard-core message to take home. The initial promos – of the protagonists – released, spawned such an interest in the audience that they could hardly wait for it to start. The drama comes once a week and the story has paced through quiet quickly.

Even though Ashar and Khirad would experience the time of their lives after being brought together by fate (or rightly so, their parents) in the holy matrimony, they initially dreaded even being in the same room with each other. To the delight of the viewers, Ashar made a relatively fine effort to converse with Khirad, offering her what looked like peanuts in a bowl but Khirad seemed tense and confused over the hurried events that had befallen her. Just like any girl with self-respect and dignity it’s hard for her to be at peace with the feeling of being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want her, let alone loving. Khirad had minimal words to say but Mahira Khan was so compelling in the ways she sat, looked and read an ‘upside down’ magazine that we didn’t need to be told what she was going through, we knew. The awkwardness was justified.

Khirad

Best thing about Khirad? She yearns for respect. She might have the most handsome husband to herself but she doesn’t lose hold of her principles. The recent episode revealed Khirad’s outburst before her father-in-law, Baseerat Hussain (Behroz Sabzwari). Ashar who had been spending time having numerous lunches and dinners with the lady in gray, made his emergence from behind the tree and heard it all. He now knows his wife is not a robot after all. Thank God for that. What followed after that was just sublime and truly magical. That’s how romance should be. Kudos Sarmad.

If you have been following the drama religiously you must have by now, started to feel absolutely agitated by Ashar’s very posh cousin Sarah – brilliantly portrayed by VJ-turned-actress Navin Waqar. Her desperate attempts to hang on to Ashar can make us pull a nail or two of our own, if we hadn’t a hint of the future. Sarah has been in love with her childhood sweetheart since forever but he always perceived her to be a good friend nothing fancy, though neither of the two can be blamed for being wicked. However, I do fail to digest that Ashar never had a clue that his cousin had hots for him. Probably that can be called, taking liberty on the director’s part, creating a fictional character with a clean heart and mind.

Sarmad Khoosat has masterfully translated poetry on screen and that too in the most realistic manner. It’s commendable how he has managed to not paint each character with the shade of either black or white. If it was a typical serial, Farida (Atiqa Odho) would have been the pain-in-the-neck mother-in-law from day one, devoid of any compassion. Sarah would have become a villain for Ashar himself, secretively scheming to punish him. Ashar wouldn’t have protested over the silent torture, that his marriage was a moment ago. But thanks to the creators of Humsafar for not turning a very decent story into a typical soap-ish nightmare.

Khirad and Ashar

The serial has even won praises from across the border and as the episodes are turning out its only raising the hopes higher. The story might not be the most extraordinary one you have heard in your life but this serial has all the potential to become a classic with a picture perfect casting and direction to match. A special mention to the music composer of the official soundtrack ‘Woh Humsafar Tha’ – Waqar Ali and singer Qurat-ul-Ain Baloch. The song is absoluting breathtaking and a treat to the ears. A complete version of 6 minutes was released on YouTube last week.

(For direct feedback to Humsafar’s Team, send your emails at drama.humsafar@gmail.com)

Originally written for Oyedramay.com