TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Sang-e-Mah – Episode VI (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 06 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – The death of Lala Guru Baksh was brilliantly portrayed and realized by the creative team of the show. It had a high intensity of tragedy and regret dispersed across the images and dialogues. Although there are still some secrets that need to be uncovered by the audience, the pain one could witness in the eyes of Mastaan Singh was one of the best performances Sang-e-Mah has ever depicted onscreen up till now. Even though I have criticized the show for its stereotypical performances, this scene was heavily drenched in reality (mixed with slight melodrama) in every possible way. A lot of credit goes to the director, Cinematographer and the costume/ makeup artists in making this scene so close to the harsh reality of what death by old age actually means.

ii – Six Episodes in and its good to see that the show is finally revealing various pieces of the puzzle. And it would not be a mistake if the plot structure was to be compared with yet another Hum TV/ Momina Duraid production ‘Raqeeb Se’ (2021) which also starred Nauman Ijaz and Sania Saeed. Sang-e-Mah’s slow burning melodrama is very reminiscent of Raqeeb Se for which you either can gain patience for or drop off at any given episode. But overall, Sang-e-Mah has intrigued the attention of its viewers and it would not be a mistake to give this one a chance till the very end.

iii – And in conjunction to the point above; when it comes to melodrama and individual relationships, Sang-e-Mah excels far beyond any other show out there but the moment it tries to be comedic or too cute with its characters, it fails miserably. Since there was no hint of comedy in this episode, it proved to be an enjoyable and memorable hour of the show.

+ Low Points

i – I have to admit, with each passing episode, the back stories are turning out a tad bit too convoluted and a narrative mess. Who killed whose husband in the past, why is she after justice, who was poisoned by whom, who is not the real father, who was kept in the dark all this time and … you get the idea. While I hope all of these questions will be answered by the end of the series, it is unfortunately far too many lingering questions left by the showrunners for its audience which could end up not intriguing but rather a homework assignment for each passing week.

ii – The murder depicted in the episode was not justified at all. Sure, Mastaan Singh was insulted by the religious bigot but the scene did not leave the audience sympathizing with Mastaan Singh for his incredibly reckless behavior. One could argue that the landowner would have vilified his fiance in front of the whole village as ‘immoral’ and Singh just wanted to avoid that for her sake. But by the looks of the scene, clearly it was Singh himself who took the insults to heart and acted accordingly. I’m not sure if you can really make a ‘redemption’ story out of this as the writer clearly is on the side of Mastaan Singh.

iii – While Atif Aslam does fairly well with his performance, it has been noted that (apart from the Sikh community) he is the only one without a Pakhtoon accent. And yes, there are some hidden secrets between him and the Sikh community but did he not grow up in a Pakhtoon family and society? Surely he should also possess the same stereotypical Pakhtoon accent as his family! Clearly since this is Atif Aslam’s first ever acting role, the director gave him the comfort of delivering his lines according to what he saw fit. Sadly, in the context of the show, this makes as much sense as adding raisins to a biryani.

+ Overall

A satisfactory episode but too many unsolved narrative threads tend brought the show down a notch.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

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