TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 18 (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 – If one could get past all the illogical scenes involving Sherherzad, there were some strong performances by the main cast especially from Nauman Ijaz and Samiya Mumtaz. Regardless of the declining quality of the show, these two actors are always enigmatic onscreen together. But with that said, Zaviyar Ijaz also gave a short yet memorable performance. 

+ Low Points

i – Half of the episode was dedicated to wrapping up the Sherherzad childhood abuse subplot and by God, was it just awful to sit through! With each progressive dialogue, it was equivalent to nails scratching profusely on a chalkboard. Horrible set pieces, unrealistic power fantasies and undoubtedly some of the worst scenes this show has ever produced. Cheesy, hokey writing that did harm to not only the integrity of the show but the cast as well. I don’t think it needs to be pointed out why such immediate resolutions to a decades long psychological and physical torture are harmful to be depicted on television. We, as a Pakistani society, need to go a long, long way in order to understand female representation and how physical abuse victims are spat upon by our own society before they ever have the chance to receive some form of justice. Such quick, one or two scene resolutions are nothing less than an insult to the very social problem the show is trying to address. One simple rule to producers of Sang-e-Mah, if you cannot maturely, realistically address a social issue, don’t bother addressing it at all. At least we can now thank our lucky stars that this subplot is finally done with (fingers crossed)!

ii – It is incredibly perplexing to me how Mastaan Singh’s attempted murder is being treated so lightly by others who know his secret. Not only that but it was an attempted murder of a son from a respected leader of the village. Nobody seems to really care and vice a versa, neither do we as an audience. Within a span of a few episodes, the show destroyed one of its best written characters Mastaan Singh with nonsensical writing.  

iii – At this point one could care less about the whole Khan family drama as the main plot of the show has not progressed since the previous 4-5 episodes! Solely because the show was too focused on its subplots which contributed pretty much nothing to the overall narrative. This included such “engaging” storylines like Sherherzad’s past abuse, a side character learning about religious tolerance, other characters debating if Mastaan Singh should confess to his crime or not and so on. With each and every week, Sang-e-Mah is not the show as it started off as, losing its focus with each and every episode, making it abundantly clear that the show has been searching for random subplots to prolong the show to its 25 episodes mark.

+ Overall

Sang-e-Mah’s take on child abuse has been awful and unrealistic to say the least. If you cannot approach such serious subject matters with the level of respect that it deserves then you are just insulting the victims more than representing them on screen.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

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