TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 12 (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 – The whole episode was an utter bore to sit through until the last 10 minutes where the intrigue was well and truly brought back into the forefront. Without any spoilers, this “incident” can create some cataclysmic results and a complete rift in the Khan family once and for all. Although this “incident” would have made much more sense as a cliffhanger to the episode, it still played an integral part in the overall narrative of the show. 

ii – There was a thoughtful and emotional scene shared between Marjaan Khan and Sheherzaad. Although it did go overboard in a few places (which I’ll talk about later in the review), the scene contained some strong performances especially from Nauman Ijaz who brought an immense amount of intensity to the vulnerable moment in the life of Marjaan Khan. Due to sharp writing, the scene also brought a lot of humanity to Nauman Ijaz’s character who, despite his flaws, wants to make amends with his past mistakes. It is also worth mentioning that Sheherzaad is the only person to whom he feels comfortable enough to bear all his inner demons. This truly hints at a special bond shared between Marjaan Khan and the “outsider”.

iii –  Regardless of the show’s glaring flaws in writing, the production has been top notch with each and every scene. Whether it’s the costume design or the lighting under the moonlit skies, Sang-e-Mah projects a sense of wonder in its surroundings. But not everything is perfect (namely the direction but we’ll get to that in the low points section …).

SPOILER ALERT!!! (if you would like to avoid it, please skip directly to the Low Points Section):

iv – So now that Hilmand is on the brink of death, it is heavily implied that Mastaan Singh murdered him in cold blood in order to resolve the current dilemma. But the key point is that Mastaan never said outright that he killed Hilmand so there might be a curveball being thrown into this. We already know that Hilmand has created a lot of enemies for himself. But time will tell how things will ultimately play out. This was a great way to enhance the intrigue of the audience with future episodes to come.

+ Low Points

i – The first half of the episode was yet another repetitious barrage of story that has already been covered and dialogue that we have already heard numerous times before. If not for the cliffhanger in the latter part of the episode, this week would have accomplished nothing for the show with its repetitive scenes and uninteresting side characters. Sang-e-Mah desperately needs scenes with more substance to them. Pretty much every single scene consists of people sitting and talking without any real depth to it. Let the daily interactions of the character accompany everyday chores like cooking in the kitchen, washing clothes, walking in the lush green fields of Northern Pakistan, picking fruits from trees and so on. Such actions within dialogue heavy scenes detract a bit of lethargic aspects to it but as of now, the scenes offer visually nothing to its viewers.

ii – Sheherzaad is a badly written character. Even though it is quite clear why she exists, the way she has been portrayed throughout the show has been far from realistic. Without much interaction, she has become a part of the Khan family, respecting Marjaan Khan so far as kissing his hands like a protege would for his/ her Godfather. This is walking along the fine line of silliness at this point. And since the last 4-5 episodes, the forced romance with Hilmand has completely vanished into thin air. What is her purpose on this show? She literally acts like a psychologist now to every member of the Khan family without much rhyme or reason. Not only Sheherzaad lacks any depth to her own character but rather, her sole purpose is to be part of repetitive expositions for the main cast. These are just signs of poor writing.

iii – I’m still not sure how the main protagonist of the show (Hilmand/ Atif Aslam) can be so underwritten and underutilized. With each and every passing episode, he can only be seen sulking in the background, having no real impact on the overall narrative of the show. It’s utterly disappointing to see how Sang-e-Mah has utilized Atif Aslam’s on screen debut but with a new recent development to his character, let’s see how things will go from here on out…

+ Overall

With the first half of episode 12 dull and the second half with some exciting new development, one can’t help but wonder how Sang-e-Mah underutilized its own talented cast of characters.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

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