A review on Pakistani classic comedy drama TV Serial, Alif Noon (1965 & 82). It’s Production House and its Distributor is PTV Network (Lahore Studio).
- Written & Created by Kamal Ahmed Rizvi
- Directed by Samina Ahmed
Alif Noon aired on PTV Network in 1965 and 1982. In total it consists of 26 – 28 episodes. This drama series has highlighted on serious country’s issues such as corruption, bribery, distribution of fake medicines, selling of expired meat, spreading rumors in the society. With Kamal sb’s brilliant writing, it was shown through comedy and satire. Every episode was ended with a positive note.
Kamal Ahmed Rizvi came with his family had come to Karachi, Pakistan where he migrated from Bihar, British India after 1947. Afterwards, he moved to Lahore to meet his idol, the renowned short story writer, Saadat Hasan Manto. Kamal spent a lot of precious time with him in the early 1950s, and was very influenced by him.When entering TV industry in 60’s, Kamal sb met his future co-star, Rafi Khawar, with whom he starred in a classic comic-drama TV series, Alif Noon.
In 1986 a tragedy stroke, when Rafi Khawar committed suicide due to his declining career and a victim of a severe depression. Although, Kamal sb lived for many years but was still haunted by his co-star’s sudden tragic death. He never was able to fully recover from this trauma. Kamal sb lived a very modest life till the end of his days. In 2015, another tragedy stroke, after Kamal Ahmed Rizvi suffered a grave heart attack and expired at Karachi.
+ Main Cast
- Kamal Ahmed Rizvi as Allan
- Muhammad Rafi Khawar as Nanha
+ Guest Cast
- Badar Khalil as Mother (Medicine Shop episode)
- Uzma Gilani as Patient (Psychologist episode)
- Salman Shahid as Husband (Barber Shop episode)
- Qavi Khan as Editor (Publishing House episode)
- Jamil Fakhiri as Partner (Township episode and Footpath episode)
- Asim Bukhari as Owner (Township episode)
What Allan want to do is to make, fast money by whatever means necessary. Nanha on the other hand, is very gullible and dreams of having an honest-earning living. Given his innocence, Nanha would always end up exposing Allan’s plans to the world.
+ High Points
i – The concept behind its making and the message that each episode is kept within the real world where the viewers can easily relate it to. In other times, realistic issues were discussed of how some people or the society is affected by it. In that, these two lead characters are directly / indirectly linked with that problem. Once that is established, then what action/s do these characters, Allan and Nanha take, is rested on them.
I believe that this is brilliant writing by the multi-talented artist, Kamal Ahmed Rizvi. All the drama, satire that he had created out of harsh realities (which is unfortunately still happening in our country) is something to watch with full concentration. Aside its jokes, Kamal sb always had a double meaning to their episodes. If you are able to read between the lines, then you understand to what message Kamal Ahmed Rizvi was trying to convey.
ii – The two main characters were well written and were the backbone to this TV series success. After receiving strong positive reviews, these stars were easily recognizable as their iconic characters, rather than be called upon by their true names. Kamal Ahmed Rizvi, who plays as Allan, is the one with such different plans to make fast money through fake schemes. And, M. Rafi Khawar who plays as Nanha, who in his innocence is used as stooge / front man for Allan’s tricks and always gives away the truth in the end to the world. Nanha, no doubt was a favorite to many people.
iii – There were many emotional scenes and intriguing scenes to watch. Some of these episodes are my favorite and are much closer to my heart due to its severe subjects. One of the episodes happens to be of the Publishing House and other one is of Fake Medicine shop.
iv – Both the dynamic duo stars, Kamal Rizvi and Rafi Khawar gave one of their best performances, whether it be a comic scene or an emotional one. Either way, they both seemed to give memorable performance for the audience to remember them by.
v – There are many cameo appearances by fame artists, where the viewers love to see some of their favorite on silver screen.
vi – Good thing is that the time length of per episode is short, around 18 – 20 minutes. This gives the leverage for their target audience to watch it with ease, knowingly that they be able to spend time watching with friends / family within 20 minutes of time closure.
+ Low Points
i – In 1960s, TV series in Pakistan barely gave any importance towards their production design, costume design or even cinematography. It is a shame really, after the director and the writer pour in their tremendous efforts to make their project work as it intend it to be.
Alif Noon is a brilliant work of art, where in real is a black comedy. Kamal sb was successful in showing the harsh reality of the society where the evil-doers enjoy earning ‘Profit’ over the general public suffering.
Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars