TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 20 (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 – Episode 20 was a massive improvement from its predecessors as it solely focused on the core plot of the show and less on the useless subplots. The episode was largely dominated by Hilmand, Mastaan Singh and Marjaan Khan and all of them gave noteworthy performances. We finally are led into Hilmand’s plan of getting a confession out of his step father and it makes perfect sense how he set up his carefully plotted trap for him. It was somewhat perplexing why, just a few episodes ago, did Hilmand blame his brother for his attempted murder but episode 20 does a great job in clearing Hilmand’s motivations and obsession towards justice (even if that frames his brother for a crime he never commited!). Good writing, fantastic pacing, episode 20 brought the best of Sang-e-Mah.

ii – Atif Aslam’s performance in this episode worked perfectly because:

  1. He had much better written dialogue which didn’t devolve into nonsense philosophy that went nowhere.
  2. He shared his scenes with much more seasoned actors like Nauman Ijaz and Omair Rana who played along with Atif’s strengths as an amateur actor.

As I mentioned previously, Atif Aslam has screen presence but he needs experience and support from his fellow actors on screen who can play along with his revenge filled schemes. With that being said…

iii – Hilmand and Mastaan Singh shared an intense scene as he closed in on him like a leopard closes in on its victim for consumption. But of course, Hilmand is not there just to get a confession out of him but rather, utilize him further into his grand scheme of vengence. His obsession, his white whale, the trial and punishment of his step father Marjaan Khan supasses everything he loves and holds dear to his heart. I admire this Shakepearen revenge story that will most probably end in tragedy.

iv – Another impactful scene in the episode was the yet another confrontation of Marjaan Khan and his step son. But this time, Hilmand clearly had the upper hand in this duel as he (inadvertently) got a confession out of Marjaan for the murder he (allegedly) commited thirty odd years ago. The pacing, the performances, everything worked here and I am now genuinely curious how the Jirga will proceed in the next coming episodes.

+ Low Points

i – Episode 20 was a welcome change in form for the show but it did have a few hiccups, namely the scene where Badam Gul accidentally lets out the terrible secret of Mastaan Singh. It felt a bit too rushed and not set up properly for such a pivotal moment in the show. This can be a total game changer in the plot of Sang-e-Mah and it needed a better structure and payoff. 

ii – The Zarghuna scenes, while well acted, felt short in quality as compared to the rest of the episode. It is also becoming a bit tedious with Mastaan Singh who still refused to marry his love even though there is no reason for him not to. Mastaan serving as Zarghuna’s “slave” has long been resolved. This was the perfect chance to show the more “humane” side of him but instead, the show just went along with him as if nothing ever happened. I still believe that Mastaan Singh was one of the best characters in the show who unfortunately got sidelined pretty fast for no good reason. Bring him back and conclude his story arc please.

+ Overall

Episode 20 had intense scenes, great dialogue and was engaging from start to finish.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

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