A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 1 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV Production.
- Directed by Kashif Nisar
- Written by Beegul
- DOP by Hassam Mairaj
- Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
- Produced by Momina Duraid Productions
Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar.
The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.
+ Main Cast
- Haidqa Kiani as Sakina
- Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
- Sania Saeed as Hajra
- Faryal Mehmood as Insha
- Iqra Aziz as Ameera
- Saqib Sameer as Rafiq
Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.
But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?
+ High Points
i – The performances from the leads are great and is what makes this TV drama compelling to watch. The family relationships in the show seem effortlessly natural and are undoubtedly the heart of the show. Haidqa Kiani is fantastic in portraying the hardships of an abused housewife and even without any dialogue, her face tells a thousand stories.
ii – Speaking of dialogue, Beegul’s writing is poetic and plays a vital role for the audience to create sympathy for the characters on screen.
iii – The Production design of the bungalow is a visual maze of objects that creates an atmosphere of tension and claustrophobia for the three main leads.
iv – The makeup department (especially of Sakina’s wounds) are believable and quite well executed.
v – The soundtrack by Hadiqa Kiani ‘Raqeeb Say’ is great and melancholic. It perfectly encapsulates the longing of past love which is the overarching narrative of the show.
+ Low Points
i – While the show is captivating to watch, it really takes it time to get its point across each scene. This might leave some viewers changing channels quickly if they do not possess the patience for it.
ii – Even though most performances are great, Faryal Mehmood for me, falls a bit short. Her dialogues do not seem convincing to the character she is supposed to be portraying. It’s almost as if she isn’t comfortable enough to read the dialogues out loud.
iii – As we all know, stories about past lovers/ unsolicited affairs always play a key role in soap operas all over the world. But a show like Raqeeb Se is also a reminder that women on TV cannot be portrayed in any other way than bickering against one another for their ‘man’. I hope the show takes itself to an unknown territory and not tread similar waters of narrative that countless other HUM TV dramas have done before.
iv – By just judging from the first episode, the characters of Insha and Rafiq have really nothing to add to the overall narrative. They seem like mindless filler just to extend the length of an episode. Let’s hope that the characters end up contributing a lot more in the next coming episodes.
v – The outburst of a certain character near the end was unearned and not really a great cliffhanger to end the first episode. The show just unceremoniously ends and leaves a perplexed thought in a viewer’s head as to what to make of it.
Raqeeb Se follows a safe, coherent structure that even with its bold subject matter, refuses to take risks with its presentation. But it is the performances of Kiani, Noman and Sania that makes the show riveting to watch. If you like slow but gripping dramas with a plot that moves at its own pace, you will enjoy what Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar have brought onto the TV screens.
Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars