TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 21 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid 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 Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – The revisit to Naheed’s story is excellent and I’m eagerly interested how this will all play out. It is rather true to the character but unfortunate at the same time that wealth does change perceptions of many individuals throughout the world. Naheed’s attraction to Parizaad is far from being coincidental and it is important to note what kind of world Parizaad left behind in order to enter his journey to the path of success.

ii – Although the execution was incredibly half-hearted (more on that later), the mirror scene was a clever way of depicting Parizaad’s insecurities that hinder his way of finding true happiness. Time and time again, he has been betrayed, taken advantage of and left for dead but the uniqueness of Parizaad is that he still persevered and never compromised on his morals.

iii – What was also commendable for Episode 21 was the ‘pocket story’ technique. For the most part, the whole episode focused on the Parizaad/ Annie story and it worked on most levels. The concept of a blind girl falling in love with a man who is not considered “physically attractive” due to his dark skin (a theme from Othello which the show touched upon many episodes ago) is a classic angle of storytelling. If looks are the first aspect that a person falls in love with, Annie had the privilege to fall with Parizaad’s character and poetry instead. 

+ Low Points

i – On some occasions, this episode was a bit of a letdown. The thematic elements that were visited ended up being cliched and on the nose. Yes, we know what an empathic person Parizaad is but do we really need to witness each and every good deed that he does (like the shoe shiner kid scene)? Thankfully we did get to peek into Parizaad’s more insecure side (his lack of self confidence when it comes to being loved) but Parizaad works best when the themes visited are subtle but to the point. 

ii – Although Annie has definitely some interesting characteristics, the way she has been written came off less charming but more on the annoyance side. Her ‘fangirl’ attitude over Parizaad’s poetry makes sense to the current storyline but have to admit, the scenes did slightly go overboard and I ended up feeling annoyed by her constant questioning and calling on odd times of the day rather than feeling sympathetic for her love. And also, just because she is a fan of his poetry, doesn’t necessarily mean that Parizaad will instantly fall head over heels for her. Some character development scenes were desperately required in order to make this romance believable. 

iii – There were a lot of unfortunate technical/ production errors throughout the episode. The lack of atmospheric sound is extremely jarring in exterior locations where we can visually see thousands of citizens on the streets but no sound can be heard. Obviously, the sound editor only enables sound when it is being picked up by the collar microphones of the actors. Secondly, the mirror scene with Parizaad was awkwardly executed since for some odd reason, the reflection of Parizaad was facing the camera rather than himself outside the mirror (check the mirror pic above). Why is reflection breaking the fourth wall and addressing us rather than himself in front of the mirror? Such moments really took me out of the show for some seconds and all these errors could have been easily fixed with just a small amount of effort.

iv – When it comes to priorities, what is up with Parizaad’s advisor/ personal secretary? Midway through the episode, he enters the room and explains to his boss Parizaad how he has made things well with his wife again and only after a few minutes of discussion, does he mention the urgent news that his rivals are ganging up on him and his life might be in danger…. Why is he still employed?

+ Overall

While the episode was truly focused and compact this time around, some writing inconsistencies and technical errors manage to hinder the enjoyment level this episode could have had.

Rate:out of 5 stars

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