TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 21 (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 21 was eventful to say the least. Lots of emotional set pieces and confrontations. Good character building moments and high tension all around as the narrative is reaching its overarching and inevitable conclusion to the Maqsood/ Sakina saga.

ii – Iqra Aziz was particularly good in this episode. Her subtle gestures and dialogue delivery shows how much she has developed since the introduction to her character in the show. The events that take place in this episode also brings a certain epiphany to her character and matures her mindset as Ameera reaches adulthood.

iii – The “Talk” that Maqsood has with Ameera was brilliantly written and poignant to that moment. It’s exactly what it needed to be. The phrase “Stars can be admired from a distance but never touched upon” brings a lot of depth to the scene. It also signifies the amount of experience and pain Maqsood has and he genuinely wants Ameera to avoid the mistakes that Maqsood made in his youth.

iv – Even though Rafiq Ali is now out of the picture, it was a nice touch for writer Beegul to have Sakina reminiscent over him. He obviously was a terrible husband but sharing years of your life together does leave an impression on you. It was great piece of writing for Beegul to address that, giving some further depth to Sakina’s character.

v – The episode ends on a tense note and rightfully leaves the viewer eagerly awaiting for next week. 

 + Low Points

i – Even though the episode was significant to the narrative, there were way too many emotional set pieces crammed into a 1 hour mark. One can endure only a handful of sobbing scenes before becoming desensitized to it by the end of the episode.

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

So there were two massive turns of events in this episode. And unfortunately, both have not been handled particularly well for the audience to follow. So the first was Ameera’s attempted suicide. Arguably, there seems to be some scenes missing which should be vital before such a drastic step. Granted, Maqsood (in the previous episode or so) had a short talk with Ameera about her feelings for him but there was never a scene where Ameera felt hopeless or emotionally charged enough to take such a life threatening step. The scene before, Ameera is just (in her trance state) justifying her love for Maqsood and suddenly in the next, the whole family rushes to see her in a critical condition. Was it all leading up to Ameera attempting suicide? Perhaps but it needed a few more scenes (even an episode or so) to build upon. As if now, the whole turn of events feel rushed and not earned enough for the audience to be fully onboard with this.

iii – The whole Insha/ Abdul situation. It seems very out of character for both sides to act so impulsively in such circumstances. If what lies on the surface is accurate, it’s incredibly hard to imagine that Abdul would be capable of manipulating people to his advantage. It’s very hard to buy into all that. Insha, on the other hand, seems totally convinced of Abdul’s unfaithful behaviour and impulsively has decided to file for Khula (divorce). Is she being played by her father? Or her cousin Kashif? Perhaps that could be the case but her sudden life changing decisions seem out of character for her as she was always the most level headed of the main cast of the show. 

+ Overall

Episode 21 was eventful, dramatic and essential to the story of Raqeeb Se. Perhaps it went overboard in a few places and the emotional twists did not make complete sense but the episode was a breeze to watch.

 Rate: 3.0 out of 5 stars

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