THE WEEK THAT WAS

Laapata | Hum TV, Tuesdays 8.00pm

When a corrupt police officer sends him to jail on false charges, Shams (Ali Rehman) completely disappears for two years and is assumed dead. His fiancé Falak (Sarah Khan) ends up marrying the angry and jealous Daniyal (Gohar Rasheed) who has already murdered his first wife. When Daniyal goes missing, Falak is also falsely accused but finally the truth prevails and Shams and Falak are reunited in the end. Great performances by Ali Rehman and Sarah Khan helped make Laapata so watchable and cover the plot holes. The spice in the mix was Geeti’s (Ayeza Khan) deliciously villainous sideshow, manipulating events and never letting up on the jealousy and ambition.

Khizer Idrees, the writer and director of this popular serial, gave it a cinematic touch with a lighter, more contemporary feel. Well-etched out characters and the absence of any tiresome, performative virtue messaging also gave Laapata a fresh feel. The one downside was that some scenes in the finale episode looked rushed and the gaps seemed to be pasted together with slow-motion shots and images, rather than dialogues and the kind of detailed resolution drama fans are used to by now.

Mein Haari Piya | ARY, Fridays 8.00pm

Big Bang Productions’ latest salvo in the fight for the mass market is the doosri biwi (second wife) drama Mein Haari Piya. The ‘piya’ in this case is Fawad, played by a visibly but understandably irritated Sami Khan, who is deeply in love with his wife Sara (Hira Salman). Unable to conceive, and after much soul-searching, Sara forces Fawad to marry her friend Farwa, played by Sumbul Iqbal. Both actresses are legendary for their ability to look innocent and cry endlessly on screen, so the competition is on. Will Farwa win over a reluctant husband or will Sara lose her place in Fawad’s heart? Though unlikely for a mass entertainer such as this, will all three find a way to live together in peace? For those looking for a bit of second-hand emotional trauma to pass the time, this daily soap is just the ticket. Directed by Badar Mahmood and written by Qaisara Hayat, the shallow treatment of the story offers nothing new here. And even more disappointingly, it does little to create a deeper understanding the many difficulties faced by infertile couples.

What To Watch Out For

Half Cooked | SeePrime, Coming Soon

After Pehli Wali and Prince Charming, YouTube channel SeePrime tries to offer viewers something different from the usual mainstream Urdu language channels. The teasers for their new short feature, Half Cooked, show us stars of both the small and the big screen such as Mikaal Zulfikar and Humaima Malik as a couple beginning an intriguing conversation about their relationship.

Published in Dawn, ICON, October 24th, 2021

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