TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 11 (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 the 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 – Like in all the previous episodes, the scenes shared between Marjaan Khan and his wife are always touching and memorable. Nauman Ijaz and Samiya Mumtaz did a wonderful job in setting up the scene and the dialogue beats that follow it. The performances feel genuine, bringing a sense of tragedy to their tale.

ii – It is still not certain what role Sheherzaad plays in the Khan family saga but at least in this episode, she was utilized to what she was supposed to be; a fish out of water character, a vessel for the viewers to get into the psyche of the Khan family. Apart from that, Sheherzaad as a character just fails to grab the viewer’s interest, including the farcical love story with Hilmand and the ‘who cares’ tragic backstory. 

+ Low Points

i – This episode was frustrating to watch at times. Throughout its runtime, we were constantly being bombarded with confrontational (past and present) scenes which are either just repetition of information we already know or scenes that do not serve any real purpose to the show. How many times will we get to see the elders of the village being insulted by every person in the neighborhood? I thought they had a very authoritative hold on their village, how could they even allow anyone to insult them and get away with it? This is far from being realistic. 

Apart from that, Sang-e-Mah has way too many unimportant side characters which take away from the overall experience of the show.

ii – Hikmat Khan has taken his family and surroundings by storm. He is out for blood and grabs whatever he thinks belongs to him. For such an intensive character development, you need to walk a fine line between reality and insanity with your performance. Sadly, I do not think Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz is up to the task. His performance seems timid, his impulses feel forced and farcical. His facial expressions and dialogue delivery lacks depth and intensity that is so desperately needed for this character to work. I hope I am proven wrong in the next coming episodes, otherwise this will always prove to be a sore spot for the entire show.

iii – I sincerely do not understand how Sang-e-Mah is handling its main cast of characters, particularly Hilmand who seems completely lost in the overall narrative of the show. What exact purpose does he serve to the show? What is his character arc? Does he share any other emotion other than sulking in the background? Hilmand, as a main protagonist of the show, is massively underwritten and underutilized for the show. He just serves as a clog to the overall story and has no real character development of his own. And with all that, you have a debut actor playing the role and trying his level best to make this work. I do feel it is incredibly unfair for Atif Aslam to be stuck playing a role so underwritten that even veteran actors might have had problems pulling it off!

+ Overall

Not the best of what Sang-e-Mah has to offer this week. The story needs to be better focused and characters should be used to their full potential.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

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