Episode 4, 5, 6
June 6, 13, 21
Kathy and Aazi are at a crossroads. Aazi and his family were under the impression that Kathy would convert to Islam soon after her arrival in Pakistan, before marrying Aazi. But she says she needs time before she can make such a huge decision. Can’t a Muslim man and a Christian woman be married? They can, but not where Aazi’s from.
Aazi’s mother’s attempt to convince Kathy was funny but poignant at the same time. That is the way many people in Pakistan would reason with someone about religion and Islam. If you become a Muslim you’ll go to heaven otherwise you’ll burn in hell!
Sometimes you can get away with an average plot if you have a good script with witty dialogues and good pacing. “Emaan” has all of the above, in addition to the fresh plot. Aazi’s father is the character who has to reason with and talk sense into everybody. He is the character that voices the moral of the story, to focus on the bigger picture rather than the small things. Kathy is a good kind person who believes in God, the problem is she’s not Muslim. He calmly explains to his wife that they shouldn’t try to scare Kathy into converting to Islam, but should simply show by example, what good values Islam preaches and allow her to make her decision in her own time.
Episode 5, 6, 7
June 7, 14, 21
Thakan” is actually getting quite boring and pretty predictable for the audience. The plot and characters both are stagnant and repetitive. Sadaf, a prominent character, is an incredibly strong and resilient woman but the way she keeps hitting obstacles over and over and always getting knocked down ultimately is getting monotonous and no longer captivating for the audience. You can very quickly figure out what’s going to happen with her in each episode which makes the drama predictable and not much fun to watch. In the latest episode Sadaf is falsely accused of theft by her sleazy employer while her brother and sister are as selfish as ever and her mother does her best to delay Sadaf’s marriage.
It’s clear what “Thakan” is trying to say and do. It is difficult for a woman who has to venture out of her house to earn money, even more so for somebody from a poor background. It is true that some women in certain fields have a harder time making their way, but it’s about time something really great happened to Sadaf, even if it doesn’t last very long.
‘Mata e Jaan Hai Tu’
Episode 15, 16, 17
June 8, 15, 22
In a twist, I certainly didn’t see coming, Ibad is killed in a car accident. Haniya breaks down while his parents are in shock. Javed Sheikh and Hina Bayat give brilliant performances in episode 15 as parents reacting to the death of their son.
On the whole “Mata e Jaan Hai Tu” is a tragic story that had a constant underlying sadness and it’s really harsh on the writer’s part to kill Haniya’s husband the same way her parents died. However, in the last episode, after all Haniya has been through, she does get a somewhat happy ending.
It’s a bit risky to go for a non-linear narrative towards the end, but the final three episodes were the best of the serial. Even though the audience was quite confused for a couple of episodes about why Ibad was suddenly missing in the episodes, where Haniya goes to Pakistan to work for Uzair’s firm and how she’s suddenly back in America when Ibad dies. But after the final episode, it all makes sense. Sheikh and Bayat’s performance in the scene where Uzair asks Hajra to forgive him is heartbreaking.
Even though the final episodes were an improvement, by that time one had lost interest in the story and the lead characters. The serial was badly scripted and directed, and the lead actors Sarwat Gillani and Adeel Hussain had no chemistry. Haniya’s sister Yameena seemed to have a pretty significant storyline earlier on but that just got lost along the way somewhere.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
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