TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 08 (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 – Now with the narrative clarification regarding the case of Mastaan Singh, the show has taken a step towards an intriguing direction. By taking the life of an innocent man, Mastaan Singh has forsaken himself to spend the rest of his life in eternal, self-inflicted prison. Its good characterization because we are now perhaps witnessing Mastaan Singh’s redemption arc. Since he is a man of his word, Mastaan admitted to the crime and has allowed Zarghuna (the widow of the victim) to play the role of the judge, the jury and the executioner. And with Episode 8 in the bag, I am keenly interested as to which direction will Mastaan Singh end up.

ii – This probably comes off as a surprise to myself but Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan has been developed in the past couple of episodes splendidly. And I am glad that he is not playing “just another role in his long acting career” but rather a conniving, devious one who has more than his share of skeletons in his closet. Although he tries hard to convince those around him to be wise and all knowing, Marjaan knows deep down that his past actions will catch up to him sooner rather than later. His sleepless nights, his manipulation of those under him, it will all come crashing down soon enough.

+ Low Points

i – The story of Hilmand Khan just feels stagnated and refuses to budge forward under any circumstances. Since the premiere of the show, the character has been one note, devoid of any other emotion other than sulking in the background. Such lack of diverse characterization makes the protagonist unsympathetic and distant to the viewers. And I feel bad for Atif Aslam who in his first acting role ever, needs to overcome such blatant flaws in screenwriting. 

ii – Not only is the character of Hilmand Khan one of the most underwritten characters of the show but the onscreen chemistry between him and Sheherzaad comes completely out of left field and unearned. I guess one could say that they both had a terrible childhood to bond over but in this show, who didn’t!? It’s just lazy screenwriting with minimal effort in its exposition and character development scenes.

iii – The dream sequence involving Zarghuna and her late husband was supposed to be a tragic moment of the show but due to lack of proper emotional beats and faulty editing, it came off more awkward than anything else. The fatal flaw being that it went on just a tad bit too long, crossing the line of tragedy to trying too hard to gather our sympathy. Also the performance of Sania Saeed in the scene seemed off and forced. As a viewer, I could not grasp the pain and solitude that her character felt at that moment but rather waited impatiently for the scene to end.

+ Overall

When Sang-e-Mah does right, its highly engaging but when it does wrong, its cringeworthy. So was Episode 8 this week…

Rate: out of 5 stars 

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