TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 19 (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 – The episode was a great showcase for Saqib Sameer’s wide range of acting chops. Rafiq Ali got some great dramatic moments throughout the episode and it was also a brilliant display of some humanity left within him.

ii – Speaking of great performances, Maqsood and Sakina had some fantastic moments to shine together as well. Maqsood remincienting over his deceased brother was quite tragic and heartfelt. 

iii – There were some wide range of locations within the episode which made for some great visuals. As I’ve mentioned before, Raqeeb Se is by far one of the best looking shows out there simply because the creative team knows how to tell visual stories. Even if there are no words uttered throughout the scene, one could tell the atmosphere in the room by simply observing the moving images.

 + Low Points

i – SPOILER ALERT!!! (If you would like to avoid it, please skip to Overall section).

(So with this single trial of thought, I will try to summarize the Elephant in the room, the most egregious flaw of Episode 19 and the show itself): 

With Episode 19, everything returns back to status quo. The main protagonist Rafiq Ali is out of the way, Sakina is back again in the vicinity of Maqsood sahib, Hajira is content with her husband having his ex lover around, Ameera fantasizes day and night about marrying her crush and…. This just seems like a dead end of storytelling. Where is the overall conflict of the show? Where is the obstacle that our protagonist has to overcome?  Unless some miraculous secrets are revealed in the next coming episodes, this show lacks a coherent sense of direction. The writing is afraid to even slightly experiment or develop its vast range of characters. And even if some episodes do experiment, they instantly return back to their status quo. 

I would like the readers themselves with a question: since Episode 1, how much has each character developed? What has been their character arcs? Where do you expect the show to go from here?

Raqeeb Se has some good actors, great production, a good premise even but it all falters in the end due to lack of any character/ story development. As a viewer, if I see Mr. Maqsood come to certain realisation about himself, situations that force him to develop as a person, I feel rewarded having sat through all the weekly episodes. But if the show itself is not clear which direction it wants to go into, it demotivates the viewer as well into tuning in every week. Which is why episode 19’s return to the status quo of Episode 1 left me utterly frustrated. The only real character development anyone ever got was Ameera who (rather abrasively) fell in love with Maqsood sahib.

When the dust has settled and the show ends up exactly where it started from, as a viewer, what do I have to look forward to?

+ Overall

Episode 19 does contain some good set pieces and performances but lack of character/ story progression are the shackles of Raqeeb Se that it never seems to truly shake off.

 Rate: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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