TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 09 (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 – Within the facade of a Shakespearan melodrama, there lies the brilliance of sharp dialogues and intelligently scripted events and set pieces. Sang-e-Mah excels the most when it comes to family relationships and hidden skeletons inside various closets. The hatred that Hilmand has towards his stepfather brings a lot of depth and urgency to the story in this week’s episode as we finally witness the scene where Hilmand discovers Marjaan Khan’s dirty little secret. With each narrative step, the show further moves towards the inevitable confrontation between father and son… or even the two brothers for that matter. And speaking of brothers…

ii – Hikmat Khan dissension towards madness and revenge grows with each passing episode. He craves for justice, he desires his love and he will not be stopped. With the will to regain his beloved Gul Meena, Hikmat is ready to go beyond what he could have never even dreamed about. Although Nauman Ijaz’s performance has been satisfactory throughout the series at best, his portrayal of a madman in love was undoubtedly one of the key highlights of the show.

iii – Overall, episode 9 had much better character interactions with plot revelations accompanied by powerful performances. This week, each scene hit hard and fast, delivering intense dialogues and much improved character development. As mentioned in my previous reviews of the show, if Sang-e-Mah plays its cards right, it has the potential to become one of the best shows on television in recent times. Not only the cast and crew is talented, it is in fact the writing which propels it towards a quality work of art and this week, it moved an inch or so closer towards that goal of success. 

+ Low Points

i – But with all the praise that this week’s episode deserves, there also lies flaws that could have easily been ironed out. For example, the subplot with Sheherzaad’s tragic past feels incredibly tacked on and unnecessary to the overall narrative of the show. With so much going on within the Khan and the Singh family, why are we, as the viewer, being forced to shed yet another tear for Sheherzaad and her psychological woes? Undoubtedly these are very serious subject matters that are worthy of being explored upon but this seems the wrong story for the wrong show as the main beef of the narrative is the family drama. Sheherzaad can very well play the role of a ‘fish out of water’ character, forced into being involved in Pakhtoon customs and traditions. I hope that the show ultimately fizzles out on her subplot as it only ends up detracting from the main plot of the show.

ii – The scene with Zarghuna and her daughter dragged on for way too long, confined in a single cramped scene where shot/ reverse shot editing became quickly tiresome and ended up destroying the flow of the episode. I generally don’t mind longer, dialogue heavy scenes as long as the writing is interesting and is visually compelling. This scene was unfortunately neither of the two.

+ Overall

A good, noteworthy episode which progressed the story forward with intelligent writing and good performances all around.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

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