THE TUBE

Published April 7, 2024

THE WEEK THAT WAS

Khaie | Geo TV, Concluded

This tale of retribution and lawlessness in the northern areas of Pakistan ends on a soft note, missing much of the excitement and impact the ending deserved.

Channar Khan (Faysal Quraishi) murdered Zamda’s family and forced her into marriage. Zamda (Durre Fishan) vows revenge, teaming up with her fiancée Badal (Osama Tahir), she takes out the males in Channar’s criminal family, one by one. Author Saqlain Abbas gave us a tight script strong on action, suspense and obsession, but it seemed to be missing on self-reflection. In an unusual but intriguing move, the story focused on the emotional trauma of the villains as they are hunted down.

The majority of the show was well-executed and director Syed Wajahat elicited strong performances from his cast — Faysal Quraishi, the late Khalid Butt and Shuja Asad being standouts. Durre Fishan was very believable, showing us how much progress she has made as an actress with this demanding role. Osama Tahir as Badal was under-utilised and should have had more scenes. Khaie was a great entertainer and initially avoided the trope of romanticising forced marriage (rape), but inexplicably surrendered to this appalling idea with a ridiculous speech from Channar in the final scenes.

Abdullahpur Ka Devdas | YouTube

Great editing and director Anjum Shehzad’s filmi style make Shahid Dogar’s near-fantasy script watchable. GulBano (Sarah Khan) is beautiful, but that is about it. She and the other younger female characters lack depth, sense or personality.

Gul Bano’s uncle has her fiancée Bedaar Bakht murdered, but Fakhir (Bilal Abbas) takes the fall. While in prison, he meets Shahenshah (Nauman Ijaz), who has a past with Bedaar’s mother. Shahenshah points out the real murderer and gets Fakhir released. Meanwhile, good-for-nothing loser Kashif (Raza Talish) uses Fakhir’s poetry as Devdas to get girls, and manages to hook Gul Bano. The mistaken identity leads to Gul Bano imagining herself in love with Kashif’s persona. Kashif realises his mistake but cannot man up and tell the truth; instead he disappears. Fakhir is now a rich man in Lahore trying to protect Gul Bano, who thinks he is a murderer and hates him in Kashif’s memory.

This is less of a plot and more a bowl of spaghetti, but still an entertaining one to savour. Savera Nadeem, Naumaan Ijaz, Saad Qureshi and Anoushay Abbasi are stand-outs. Bilal Abbas’ role is limited by sidetracks but he is the star of the show and the reason to watch, while Sarah Khan has been given a mostly decorative role.

Burnes Road Ke Romeo Juliet | ARY, Mon-Tues 8.00pm

Although the sets and locations are basic, a lot of money has been spent on lighting, elevating this basic soap opera-style script to a prime time show. Despite his lean looks, Hamza Sohail fits easily into the film-style fight scenes director Fajr Raza has slipped into a script about family politics.

Farhad’s (Hamza Sohail) middle class family and Freeha’s (Iqra Aziz) wealthy Memon family are vehemently against their match, but the young lovers elope on the eve of Freeha’s wedding and get married themselves. The newlyweds discover the harsh realities of being without friends, family or money as both, understandably angry, families are livid and refuse to forgive them.

This is a well-made, popular show but has nothing new to say, and writer Parisa Siddiqui has so far resisted any attempts at nuance or depth.

What To Watch Out For (or not)

Gentleman | Green Entertainment, Coming soon

Director Hassam Hussain returns to our screens with a star-studied romantic comedy. Adnan Siddiqui stars as gang boss Rehmati, Humayun Saeed as his “brother” Iqbal Munna and Yumna Zaidi as Zarnab.

Published in Dawn, ICON, April 7th, 2024

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