TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 8 (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 – Whenever Sabiq Sameer and Saba Faisal are part of an episode, that is where Raqeeb Se shines the most. Their performances and characters are compelling enough to keep you interested throughout the episode. Salman Shahid’s introduction in the past few episodes is also a great addition to lower the monotony of the four main core characters.

ii – Episode 8 might be the first time that Abdul showed some depth in his characterization. His inability to find a decent, secure job makes him uncomfortable in front of his lover and brings some inferiority complex into the mix. Great! This actually gives a purpose of sorts why the viewer should be interested in the development of their relationship. More of this please!

iii – The tension and banter between Maqsood and Rafiq is always fun to watch. Noman Ijaz and Saqib Sameer always have great onscreen chemistry together and their performances show that they are having fun playing their respective roles.

iv – When it comes to production, Raqeeb Se is one of the best looking TV dramas in Pakistan. The cinematography, lighting, editing (with exception to music selection) are all brilliant. What is commendable about the show is that even with minimal plot progression, the visuals command the audience to continue watching the show. 

v – The dynamics between Maqsood and his estranged elder Brother is intriguing and would love to see where it develops by the end of the show. The car scene near the end of the episode was a clear reminder that Raqeeb Se can have great writing and excellent conflicts whenever it needs to. 

 + Low Points

i – Raqeeb Se is primarily a show centered around its five main protagonists and its takes its time with its plot progression. Which is all great but you need sharp writing in order to pull this off. And unfortunately, this show does not accomplish that. The characters are not compelling enough to rely solely on them and therefore, suffers from repetitive scenarios and plot stagnation. 

ii – Even though Hadiqa Kiani has mostly been great throughout the show, Episode 8 was not her best outing to date. Her character Sakina has slowly become a one note character, crying and complaining about leaving back to her village, never should’ve set foot at Maqsood sahib’s door etc. Due to repetitive writing and lack of developing character arcs, Hadiqa Kiani’s acting chops are also proving to be monotonous, one note dialogues. Please give her something else to do. I’m sure Hadiqa Kiani is more than up for the task of showing a different range of emotions!

iii – Faryal Mehmood and Hamza Sohail still remain the two sore spots of the show as their performances are significantly lesser in quality compared to the other leads of the show like Noman Ijaz, Sania Saeed, Saqib Sameer  or even Iqra Aziz. But they are not the ones at fault here. They both feel uncomfortable whenever they are sprouting out their dialogues which clearly shows that the director Kashif Nisar is not guiding them enough with their performances. 

Iv– Even if Episode 8 was a slight improvement from the previous one, the show still lacks stakes and has major pacing issues. And with lack of plot progression from episode to episode, the characters are not interesting enough to hold the viewer’s interest on their own. And sadly, I don’t see any new developments in the near future.

+ Overall

Episode 8 showed some signs of improvement but the core pacing issue of the show is still a major factor for me to further recommend this show. Raqeeb Se is far from engaging television but at least it’s great to have something in the background if you have some free time on your hands.

 Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

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