TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 5 (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 – Finally, some plot progression! In Episode 5, there are some key revelations about Maqsood sahib and Sakina’s mysterious past. And for the most part, they are quite satisfying.

ii – This bears repetition but Hadiqa Kiani’s performance (especially as a non actor) is great and a clear highlight of the show. Her subtle, nuance spoken words and gestures give her character the much needed depth that she so richly deserves. Judging solely by her performance, it is entirely convincing that Sakina has gone through some clear domestic trauma.

iii – Although we again return to the same , chamber play location of the bungalow, the house plays a crucial role in creating a claustrophobic atmosphere for the plot revelation that accompanies Episode 5. One of the most consistent bright spots of the show has been the selection of its locations and set design. They ultimately bring some tension that you can literally cut with a sharp kitchen knife.

Iv– The flashback scene in the village was incredibly well staged and directed. The lighting, cinematography, the gritty, intense music; everything about the sequence was brilliantly played out.

v– After a hiatus of a few lackluster episodes, we finally have a cliffhanger to an episode which would hopefully make its viewers come back for more.

 + Low Points

i – Music selection during tense or comic relief scenes are still a massive problem with this show. Even with good dialogue and performances, the tension in the scene is instantly deflated with poor music selection that is at complete odds with the tone of that set piece. Also the few tracks that they have are now becoming quite repetitious and the show needs to diversify its music library a bit more.

ii – Faryal Mehmood’s performance is noticeably below par as compared to the rest of the main cast. Her stiff dialogue delivery and lack of emotions prove detrimental to each scene she is supposed to take center stage in.

iii – Even though Episode 5 was eventful as compared to others, Raqeeb Se needs to pick up its pace a bit with its plot development. Otherwise they constantly risk losing viewership each week.

iv – It is fairly obvious that Hajira’s character needs some depth. At the moment, she noticeably just blends into the background whenever she is part of an essential scene. Of course, her character is naturally timid and forgiving but she needs some flair and detail to her personality.

+ Overall

With new plot revelations, Episode 5 proves that Raqeeb Se still has something engaging to offer to its viewers. Although the flaws of the show are painfully obvious, it is primarily the performances of its lead actors that are capable of producing engaging set pieces and great melodrama. But with that in mind, falling back to its slow lingering plot development could also prove the downfall of the show.

 Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

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