TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode IV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 4 (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.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

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

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

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 – Since the last episode, the only character that has been entertaining throughout is Saqib Sameer’s Rafiq Ali. From his performance, it’s fairly obvious that Saqib is having a lot of fun playing Rafiq. From his small physical inflictions to his exaggerating his thick, Punjabi village accent; Saqib is a treat to watch in what can be best described as a long drawn out slog of an episode.

ii – The episode depicts a lucious, green Punjab countryside which inturn, creates gorgeous imagery onto the small screen. Even if nothing engaging is happening on screen, one can at least admire the beauty of the countryside.

iii – Even though Hadiqa Kiani had nothing to do in the past 3 episodes, her acting chops are still sharp as ever. With better character development, she could very well bring some much needed new life for this TV show.

 + Low Points

i – Episode 4 contributes absolutely nothing to the overall narrative. Apart from the short, vague backstory of Hajra, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to watch this week’s episode. Episode 3 and 4 could’ve simply been merged together to create a more coherent storytelling.

ii – Faryal Mehmood and her lover’s scenes are still meaningless and tiresome to watch. Why should we care about them? What emotional stakes are involved that would make me as a viewer interested in their plotline? 

iii – Raqeeb Se, as I understand, is primarily a character driven soap opera. While the plot is minimal, it’s the compelling characters that are supposed to drive the narrative through with their individual character arcs. Unfortunately, that is not the case. There has been absolutely no character development since the first episode. Sadly, this makes the TV show unengaging to watch and as a soap opera, that is a detrimental sin. One needs story progression, character arcs to keep the viewer interested to watch the next episode. And Raqeeb Se is failing at that.

iv – Up until now, Maqsood sahib’s trip back to the village brought nothing new onto the table. Raqib Ali is an abhorrent man, yes. But we already knew that since the first episode. What else noteworthy was added in these past two episodes?

v – Even though Raqib Ali always wants to “cut little pieces of (insert name here)’s body and throw them in the river”, visually his character appears goofy and non-threatening. I guess this could be the case of ‘his bark worse than his bite’ but as a viewer, you need a strong antagonist onscreen to hate and a protagonist to root for. This has sadly not been the case up until now.

 + Overall

Episode 4 is nothing but a repeat of the last episode. There was no character development or story progression at all. Whatever entertainment came was solely from Saqib Sameer’s character. The rest feels arbitrary and pointless to watch. 

Raqeeb Se needs to make things happen. Otherwise it risks falling into obscurity of stale, mediocre dramas of HUM TV.

 Rate: 2 out of 5 stars

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