TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 15 (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 – Confrontations! Finally! It’s been a long time coming. From the cliffhanger from the last episode to the beginning of episode 15, Sakina is now under scrutiny from Maqsood’s side of the family. The scene was engaging, dramatic and helluva entertaining way to kickstart the episode!

ii – What is always great also about Raqeeb Se’s supporting cast is that although they are undoubtedly colorful, they are never over the top with their mannerisms. The older brother/ politician and his sassy Punjabi wife are (in their own respect) a godsend to the show. They bring a much needed levity without overstaying their welcome. This is where a lot of Pakistani dramas fail to find a balance between drama and timid comedy but Raqeeb Se nails it to almost perfection. 

iii – For once, Hajira also displays slightly more character than just repeating how great Maqsood sahib is. There were a couple of great interactions of hers with the rest of the cast including one where she is found frying a fresh omelette for her husband when even though there is plenty left on the kitchen table. These sort of subtle actions show that perhaps Hajira is somewhat suffering from emotional Stockholm Syndrome. She has to always subconsciously please her husband and show that she can also reach the level where Maqsood has placed Sakina on.

iv – Episode 15 did display some great Mano-a-Mano interactions, especially the one with Maqsood and his older brother. Just a mere few dialogue between them shows how different characteristics they have from one another. Also the brother sticking his political campaign sticker on Maqsood’s shirt was kind of hilarious. The show is not really known for comedy but such short gags are always welcome.

v – Once again, a strong cliffhanger to end the episode. Hopefully, the viewers will be receiving a few answers regarding Hajira’s past. And honestly, its way overdue at this point of the show. I would be extremely disappointed if we again end up with nothing in the next episode. 

 + Low Points

i – The whole flashback scene with Maqsood’s brother and Rafiq Ali randomly visiting him was kind of awkwardly executed. It took me a while to realise that it was a flashback and not the present time. Why didn’t Maqsood’s brother just explain him that? The audience is intelligent enough to understand that without any visual depiction of Rafiq Ali visiting him. Felt a bit unnecessary.

ii – For once, Sakina stood up for herself…. But it was incredibly brief. And then, she went once again into her self-hating mode. Let Sakina’s character grow more, let her journey have a purpose in the end. I hope the creative team has a good conclusion in mind for her character because she does deserve it.

iii – In this particular episode, Maqsood doesn’t come off likeable at all. It almost feels like he has taken Hajira as a hostage. In the episode, Maqsood literally states that he “doesn’t need anyone permission to marry Sakina… except yours”. It was a bit of relief that he mentioned that last part but it almost felt like an afterthought for Maqsood. Also later in the episode, Maqsood asks Hajira if she keeps tabs on him when it comes to him and Sakina. Hajira swiftly replies negatively but Maqsood then retorts “Maybe you should”. 

 I suppose the question is if the show wants us to like Maqsood for his nobility or if we should question his morality. Up till now, Raqeeb Se has not shown itself anything against our main protagonist.

iv- After a great, dramatic start to the episode, the rest of it just felt a bit tame and didn’t had too much to contribute to the storyline. Just a minor complaint.

+ Overall

With each passing episode, Raqeeb Se is slowly but surely, improving and becoming must see TV. Let’s hope that the trend continues till the end.

 Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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