TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 18 (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 – Episode 18 contains some good dramatic confrontations; namely Maqsood and Rafiq Ali. Noman Ijaz and Saqib Sameer play off brilliantly with each other’s dialogue and emotions. A man who is driven by moral integrity in contrast to one who cunningly finds a way to exploit every situation he could get his hands on. There is a clear sense of desperation on Maqsood’s face as he tries his best to save Sakina, his love from the clutches of this madman. Maqsood and Rafiq were undoubtedly the highlight of this episode.

ii – There’s a short but poignant interaction between Insha and Ameera as she explains to Insha how things would’ve been different if she was Maqsood’s lover instead. It sets up an incredibly awkward situation between the two “daughters” of the family and allows Insha to strongly retort back at her. Credit goes to Beegul for writing this scene so well.

iii – Although the end of the episode was far from spectacular, it was a nice, quiet way to conclude this chapter of affairs.

 + Low Points

i – SPOILER ALERT!!! (If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the next point).

This episode was frustrating to watch at times. Especially when it comes to Hajira and Insha. After pressing her mother on to reveal her dark past, Hajira finally caves in. Only to explain the facts that we as an audience already know! What? They already described the situation with her father several episodes ago. It might be new information for Insha but how does this retelling brings anything new to the table? What a letdown. Until and unless there are more secrets to be revealed in the upcoming episodes, this really has been one of the worst bait and switch this show has ever pulled off. And as a viewer, it frustrates me to no end!

ii – Unfortunately, the scenes between Insha and Abdul were really not on par with the quality of acting from the rest of the cast. When it comes to lofty dialogue or brief romantic moments, Insha and Abdul work great together but with intense, dramatic moments, their performances flounder and fall apart as the scene progresses. 

iii – Episode 18 also pertains to some unfortunately bad, unnatural dialogue. The graveyard scene between Hajira and Ameera could have been a perfect setting for some much needed character development but it once again devolves into worshipping Maqsood sahib. At this point of the show, it is getting tad ridiculous that the only personality trait that Ameera has is her falling head over heels for Maqsood… in front of his wife! And she finds it endearing? I’m just utterly surprised how badly (at times) the female characters are written in this show.

iv – Ever since Sakina has returned back to her villiage, the show has been struggling what to do with her. She has been starkly sidelined to Maqsood and Rafiq Ali. Aside from some minor interactions, Sakina hasn’t contributed much to the show.

+ Overall

Raqeeb Se has a terrible habit of taking one step forward and two steps back. Apart from the Maqsood and Rafiq Ali confrontation, nothing really stands out from this episode.

 Rate: 2.25 out of 5 stars

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