TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XIX (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 19 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – Episode 19 was indeed a filler episode. And I don’t mean it in a negative way at all. There were some heartfelt, character building moments accompanied by calm reminiscence of the past. This week was Parizaad’s journey into his past life, the life and experiences that made him who he is today. And after the breakneck speed of the dramatic events of Behroze Karim’s story, an episode where the audience just gets to spend some time with the main cast on screen is sufficient enough.

ii – The relationship between Parizaad and his sister has consistently been one of the best parts of the show. It is extremely rare in Pakistan TV to see a well written on screen relationship which is not a romantic one. Ahmed Ali Akbar and Kiran Tabeer have such fantastic chemistry together which works even through mere physical gestures and dialogueless scenes. It would certainly not be an exaggeration that Parizaad’s ambition to succeed in Life has solely been his elder sister’s encouragement to never compromise your sense of morality for the society but rather make the society change around his good deeds.

iii – On a minor note, I did enjoy Parizaad’s revisit to the Antique store. And with all the wealth in his pockets, Parizaad could still not attain the antique piano that he so much desired. Perhaps some things in life are better left unattainable. One could even claim that the writer Hashim Nadeem is unmistakably influenced by the writings of Paulo Coelho.

+ Low Points

i – While it was nice to see Parizaad revisit his past events, it did become mid way through the episode a bit tiresome. Did he have to visit and financially help out each and every person that he ever came across? At those moments, it did feel as if the writer was spreading the “good will” of Parizaad a little too thick on the canvas. I’m hoping that the next episode will finally move on to Parizaad’s next chapter in Life.

+ Overall

Not much to say as this week’s episode was all about Parizaad’s journey into his past events but was still nonetheless satisfying to watch.

 Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XVI (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 16 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

+ High Points

i – With all the chaos that surrounds Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay, the performances of the leading cast is the only salvageable factor left of the show. Even with its massive flaws, the actors still manage to make the fictional scenario believable with their acting chops.

+ Low Points

i –  I have to be honest, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sit through each and every week for this show. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay has lost all its curiosity factor and has almost nothing to offer to its viewers. Every week, each episode now revolves around Mehreen’s visions of Mashal (which have become tiresome by this point), the continuing saga of whether Aswad will divorce Mehreen or not and the anguish of Mashal’s death on her parents. I really don’t mind if the show is opting for a darker path in conveying the storyline but at least follow a clear path of storyline. 

Since the past five / six weeks, no story progression has occurred. The conflict of Aswad and Mehreen is farcical at this stage of the show and it is becoming increasingly clear that the writer Umera Ahmed has no real clue which direction her characters should follow. As of now, they are all stuck in Purgatory, continuing mental torture each and every week with no real storyline behind it.   

ii – What really grinds my gears is the unnecessary conflict in Pakistani dramas. This mental anguish could all be resolved if Mehreen just signs the divorce papers. Even if her husband does not accept it (which he did in this episode), Mehreen’s Mother in Law is on her side, so why is this point being unnecessarily dragged on through countless episodes? 

iii – And once again, I have to forcefully ask myself; why did Aswad want to marry Mehreen in the first place? What was his revenge plan? What did he accomplish? This is all so ridiculous and nonsensical to the main plot and was a massive waste of time for the audience to sit through.

iv – Since Episode 1, the visual presentation of the show has always been a contingent of criticism. The ‘over-lit look’ of each scene directly contradicts the tone of what the show is going for. The story conveys dark, gloom and melancholy but the visuals represent a commercial for a new sunflower cooking oil.

+ Overall

Each week, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay seems to be falling apart. The storyline has dried up, the characters are now directionless in their private limbo and quite frankly, if not for the performances, the show has nothing interesting left to offer to its viewers.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XVIII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 18 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – There is not much to be said about the episode as there were no incredible revelations or major character development. This week’s Parizaad was arguably just an introspection towards all the previous events that have led up to Parizaad’s position of absolute power,  Episode 18 had a clear distinction between its first and second half of the episode. The first focused on Parizaad still filling in the big shoes that Behroze Karim left for him, a lifestyle perhaps he might never be suited for but the second half focused more on his homesickness; an opportunity to finally break away from all this “get money, get power” life and reunite briefly with his past life. The reunion with his family, his brothers and most importantly, his loving sister was undoubtedly the highlight of the episode. 

Spoilers Alert!! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Overall section:

ii – The return of Lubna was also an interesting throwback to Parizaad’s life when he was not in the position of power. Although I do admit it is fun to see the high society’s shock/ realization of Parizaad’s success, I do hope they do something more with Lubna and not just a brief cameo. 

iii – If the family reunion with the brothers and their respective wives could be summed up in a sentence; Money talks! The sudden embracement of his brothers and sister in laws was very predictable and a grim retrospective of the world we live in. The only family member who stood by Parizaad thick or thin was his sister and the final shot of the episode where Parizaad embraces his sister was emotional and heartfelt. 

+ Low Points

i – Admittedly, the “master don” part of Parizaad’s life doesn’t seem all that engaging. The barrage of important meetings, the rebuttal of Parizaad towards his opponents… It unfortunately felt uninteresting and didn’t create enough drama and tension as the rest of the show did throughout its 18 episodes. Perhaps the audience needs something more than just “Look at Parizaad, now he is the talk of the town!”. But let’s see in the coming weeks how the writer tackles this scenario further. 

+ Overall

No massive plot development this week but episode 18 still continues to show why Parizaad is one of the most relatable and down to earth shows on Television.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 15 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

+ High Points

i – The best scenes of every episode are usually the continual dream sequences involving Mashal. They are atmospheric, haunting and fun to watch. It also gives a great insight into the psyche of Mehreen; is she overplaying her guilt or is she really feeling guilty of murdering Mashal?

ii – Even though the flashback childhood scenes are one too many each and every week, it is commendable how they tie in the actual scenario of the present. For example, Adult Aswad getting physically aggressive towards Mehreen leads to the flashback scene where the young Aswad claims that he would never hit a girl. It’s good foreshadowing of the negating acts towards his future self. A reminder of how bad things have become between them.

+ Low Points

i –  Aswad’s idea of “revenge” against Mehreen is completely baffling. So first, he faked his way into a marriage with Mehreen, then he threatened to keep her trapped and miserable in the house for all eternity, then (without any real reasoning to the plot of the show), he disappeared to the US without informing anyone. And now, he suddenly came back and wanted Mehreen to “apologize” to Mashal’s parents… for what exactly, I have no idea. This show makes no sense. Each episode is a loose thread of a plot that never seems to tie in together. Is Aswad playing “damage control” or does he really want to extract revenge from Mehreen? For some weeks, the plot of this show has not developed at all and makes it seem as if the writer Umera Ahmed is having trouble keeping this show relevant.

ii – The breakfast scene in Episode 15 was also silly and repetitive. And this always begs the question; why doesn’t Mehreen just divorce him? I’m sure there are laws that protect women in case an abusive husband refuses a divorce. At least give it a chance! As of now, the plot feels contrived and at times, outright ridiculous.

iii – As expected, the whole “apologize” routine turned out to be a total bust. Who in the right mind would have thought that would work? If Aswad really blames Mehreen for the murder of Mashal, why would he want play “damage control” in this situation? And even if this was all a rouse just to humiliate Mehreen further, it still feels contrived and doesn’t add much to the whole drama of the situation. As you can imagine, the plot is complete nonsense at this point, no new development has been made since the past weeks, none of this feels satisfying and is an obvious attempt to prolong the life of the show.

+ Overall

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay seems like a show in search of a direction. The plot has now stagnated to a point where nothing matters anymore and needs some defilbiration shots to revive it back to life.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XVII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 17 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – Episode 17 was yet another feather in the cap for Parizaad. It brought forward a very constructive and reasonable story progression. This week also hinted at perhaps a slight dark turn in the character of Parizaad? The next few weeks will surely answer that question but for now, Parizaad is one of the very few shows on TV right now which are consistently outstanding. 

Spoilers Alert!! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Overall section:

ii – It makes perfect sense that since the ex-crime lord had no real family, Behroze Karim left his empire to his most trusted companions. And since Ferozhe ended up on the noose, Parizaad became its sole successor. Now this brings a very fascinating twist to the tale of our Protagonist. For once in his life, Parizaad has the power to influence millions of lives around him. Will he continue doing the right thing and keep his sense of morality above everything else or will he succumb to the dark side like his master before him? Excellent story progression!

iii – It’s also commendable that after the demise of Behroze Karim, the show just did not automatically bring every character to their status quo. Although spared from Capital Punishment, Parizaad did nonetheless ended up spending six years in a jail cell and whether that experience made him humble or questioned his sense of morality, remains to be seen.

iv – The reunion of Shah Jahan and Parizaad was arguably one of the best scenes in the show.’s entirety Although the offer to stay in comfort of Parizaad’s new empire sounds enticing, it was evidently very reasonable for Shah Jahan to refuse the offer as his wife and child brought a new sense of responsibility in his life. When it comes to character development, the writer Hashim Nadeem has been so on point.

+ Low Points

i – The only gripe I could have with this week’s episode is the lack of attention towards the previous supporting cast ( aka the Parizaad family). Even though they did address them in the episode, it still feels as if they are being willingly ignored as if they can’t contribute anything else to the show. Perhaps some of this will be rectified in the next coming episodes.

+ Overall

For the most part, Parizaad has been excellent each and every week. The plot is unique, the characters are sympathetic and the story is engaging. A perfect recipe for a great TV show.

 Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XIV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 14 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

+ High Points

i – Although Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is devolving each week into obscurity, at least the performances are still with some level of quality and finesse. Mahira Khan, Kubra, Usman and all the supporting actors give it their all in making the show as authentic as possible.

ii – The dream sequences are well directed and presented on screen. Its a nice touch that brings us closer to Mehreen’s psyche of mental torture that Mashal accomplishes even beyond her grave.

+ Low Points

i –  I have no idea what this show is trying to accomplish with its ludicrous storyline and frankly, I’ve lost all interest within the last five episodes. Episode 14 was yet another monotonous spree of accusations, regret and illogical scenarios. Why has Aswad gone back to the US? Didn’t he threaten Mehreen that he will take revenge against her by keeping her caged in the house? What is it with this constant charade of revolving plot twists? Did Mehreen poison her or …. Did Shaboo make a mistake? This murder mystery is really becoming nonsensical now and the plotline just going in circles to no end. 

ii – And the worst part is that; 14 episodes in, and this show has already become stale. The character developments have come to a complete halt, its as if the writer Umera Ahmed has no real clue how to progress the story further. Even though there will be a dramatic end to all this, the journey itself also needs to be interesting in the process as well. Otherwise the show will see a dramatic audience drop off each and every week.

iii – Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay has quickly become devoid of all logic. If Mehreen is feeling threatened by Aswad, should she not just divorce him? Even her mother in law agrees to it so there is in fact no societal pressure on her. On the other hand, the whole case against Mehreen seems shaky at best. It’s been at least weeks (if not months) to Mashal’s death. Is there a case against Mehreen anymore? And once again, why is Aswad staying in the US during this crucial moment if he wants to take revenge against Mehreen? 

iv – I have mentioned this before and I will criticize this again; the police inspector feels like he belongs in a screwball comedy rather than a serious dramatic storyline. His goofy performance seems so out of place that it baffles me how the director even approved of this!

+ Overall

With no real character development or engaging storyline, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay feels stagnated, devoid of logic and just plain uninteresting.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XVI (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 16 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – Episode 16 was essentially an “Inspector Badar Munir” show. The entirety of the episode was focused around the game of chess between her and her arch rival, Behroze Karim. Her portrayal as a female officer in a male dominated field of work is fantastic. The Inspector is calm but ruthless with her methods of achieving her goals. Whether its illegal amount of torture or looking directly in the eyes of her criminals, Inspector Badar Munir’s ruthless aggression is one of the key factors that her character so enigmatic onscreen.

ii – The character development of Behroze Karim since his introduction is also flawlessly executed as he devolves further and further into insanity. From having hallucinations to losing the will to live, Behroze feels that his past crimes are finally catching up to him and this time, he cannot run away from them. 

+ Low Points

Spoilers Alert!! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Overall section:

i – Way too many incidents happened in this one single episode. The pacing was surprisingly completely off. Within a single episode, Parizaad falsely admitted to his crime, the case officially closed, the police force found the letter that Laila wrote before her demise, Inspector Badar Munir once again arrived to arrest Behroze Karim before he ended up taking his own life. This is like at least 3 episodes worth of story condensed into one! And it unfortunately robbed the audience of a satisfying conclusion to the Behroze Karim saga. Honestly, its all a bit disappointing. The writer could have taken his time and paced this fiery conclusion a lot better.  

ii – Unfortunately, too many logical errors also plagued this conclusion. Regardless if Parizaad committed the crimes or not, he was an accomplice of sorts and also gave false Statement in order to protect his master. That alone can guarantee him years of imprisonment. Secondly, when Behroze Karim was arrested, how in the world was he allowed by the Inspector to “dressen up” before he was taken away  by the police? Why were the two officers not next to him the entire time? It was very plausible that Behroze would try to commit suicide. This whole incident unfortunately makes Inspector Munir look like an amateur and such logical inconsistencies made the conclusion look weak and unsatisfying. 

+ Overall

Due to the rushed conclusion, lack of proper pacing and logical inconsistencies, the story of Behroze Karim was not as satisfying as it should have been.

 Rate:  out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 13 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

+ High Points

i – With this episode, Aswad has taken a darker path in order to avenge the death of Mashal. Even from beyond the grave, Mashal is able to pull the strings of Aswad and make Mehreen’s life a living hell. This is a great setup to create intense drama and tension surrounding our main protagonists and the actors are more than up to the task in presenting a certain level of authenticity. 

ii – The “Suhaag-Raat” scene was a great and undeniable highlight of the episode. The venomous threats of Aswad to the low key lighting surrounding Mehreen’s path into the Abyss was tense and unsettling. In scenes like these, we get to see the production team of Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay try visually something different and atmospheric. Like the prison scenes before, it is always admirable when the show tries to indulge into the inner psyche of our main protagonist. 

+ Low Points

i –  The show seems really lost at times as to how it wants to progress its storyline. And by that, I mean that the characters just start acting illogically in order to create drama between them. How was Aswad (in a span of half an episode) convincing his mother and Mehreen that he genuinely wants to marry Mehreen? Everyone and their Naanis knew what Aswad’s intentions are, how suspicious he has been of Mehreen since Mashal passed away, how could they be so conveniently convinced of all this? And the word “convenient” is probably what the viewers will take out of this. The story needed to progress so the characters started acting according to the script and not according to their individual intelligence and characterizations. Of all the shows that I have watched of Umera Ahmed (as a writer), this is by far the weakest of them all.

ii – Saffan also ended up being a disappointment in this episode. His motivations seemed not truly aligned to what we witnessed in the previous episodes and gave up way too easily on Mehreen. I realise that he will be back in the later episodes but once again, it just felt that Umera’s script required Aswad and Mehreen to get married and by God, they will get married! Logic be damned.

iii – Is Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a murder mystery? Or is it now reverting back to “Saas/ Bahu” drama? Inevitably this whole incident will be revisited again in the near future but for now, Aswad married Mehreen on a false pretense, threatened her that he will keep her caged inside the house and make her life a living hell and then… left for the US??? I don’t understand how this all makes sense but I wouldn’t make my judgement till the next episode.

iv – I absolutely despise when Pakistani dramas depict the West inside a “small room”. Apparently this is the US. A colored wall. That’s what makes it different from Pakistan. I understand that they cannot actually fly to the US just for these few scenes but atleast present it in such a way that its convincing. Perhaps a certain way the house is designed or furniture which is distinctively found only in North America. As of now, such scenes really take the viewers out of the show as it is obviously pretending a bit too much.

+ Overall

Not a bad episode but the storyline has now become too convoluted and illogical just so the writer can force some tension into the storyline.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 15 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – This week’s episode was distinctively divided into two different plot threads; the case of Bubbly and the ongoing saga of Behroze Karim. And once again, the episode was brilliantly executed in bringing in the emotions and drama from our colorful cast of characters. Although Parizaad has and will always take the center stage, the two female leads of Saboor Aly and Nadia Afghan were the undeniable highlight of the show. And I am pleasantly surprised how strong female protagonists are being represented. Both characters in very different scenarios; one struggles through emotional acceptance while the other fights to uphold justice in this world.

Spoilers Alert!! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Overall section:

ii – The story arc of Bubbly was immensely satisfying. Although the earlier episodes tried to bring a “comedy” angle into this, the latter brought the much needed drama and emotional investment from the viewers. I suppose it is still not entirely clear how Bubbly/Bilawal will live her/ his life now with her/ his parents but not all questions should be answered and be rightfully left to the viewer’s imagination. Strong performances from Saboor Aly and the parents. Also as a side note: Desi fathers are accurately depicted by the show as stern from exterior but emotional teddy bears from within!

iii – Ever since his introduction, I’ve always loved the “Guru” character from the show. He is a gentle, lost soul who wants to be loved with compassion from society. Troubled past experiences have totally left him dejected from humanity but him getting emotional over Bubbly/ Bilawal’s exit depicts a picture of a thousand tales.

iv – The second (inevitable) confrontation between Inspector Badar Munir and Behroze was intense and impeccably executed. Although the Inspector thought she finally got one over the evasive crime lord, Behroze (predictably) was still two steps ahead of her. Fantastic game of chess and anxious of how all this will affect Parizaad as the collateral damage of the situation.

+ Low Points

i – One drawback from all these intense plot developments is that the writer has completely forgotten about all the subplots of the show! What happened to Parizaad’s brothers? How is his sister coping with her marriage and in-laws? What about the girl he was in love with? Although admittedly, most of these subplots were not interesting enough to sustain every week, they all have been dropped rather abruptly with no explanation whatsoever. I hope all these subplots are resolved by the end of the show.

+ Overall

Another brilliant entry in the ongoing saga of Parizaad. This show gives attention and respect to its characters that they rightfully deserve. On to the next one!

 Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XIV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 14 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – Even though the past two episodes have not been centered around Parizaad per se, the episodes have nonetheless been quite enjoyable. The sole reason being that the characters that ended up taking center stage are well written and performed by a talented cast of actors. What separates Parizaad with the current shows on Pak TV is how each and every side character is given the level of detail and attention that he/she deserves. Whether it’s Bubbly who is torn between her past and present lives or the female Police Inspector who has to face a constant stream of misogyny from her co-workers and bosses to succeed in her career. Admittedly, Parizaad is the only current Pakistani drama that I look forward to watching every week.

ii – Speaking of the Police Inspector, the actress Nadia Afghan plays the role splendidly. In her performance, she is raw, edgy and takes no nonsense from anyone around her (unless it’s her boss). Just by the look on her face, one could see years upon years of constant struggle in a “man’s world” to achieve her career goals in life. And she is perhaps on her biggest case yet; Behroze Karim. If women have ever been depicted as law enforcers (whether its films or TV Shows), they have always been represented by attractive female actors with full makeup and cheesy dialogues that could totally take you out from any sort of believability behind it. Parizaad strives to be authentic and with the actress Nadia Afghan, she plays her part marvelously.

iii – I also appreciate the fact that since the earlier episodes, Bubbly’s character has been incredibly well developed regarding his sexuality and past. No child wants to leave his/ her parents behind but would they have accepted him for who he was? Or would Bubbly need to fall behind to go back to being “herself”? That is a vital question which will soon be answered in the next coming episodes.

iv – The confrontation scene between Behroze and the Police Inspector was excellent. The tension and drama was so thick, one would’ve needed a chainsaw to cut though it. 

+ Low Points

i – The whole “remembering her parents” sequence was awkward because the flashbacks depicted Bubbly as an adult, playing cricket with her dad or learning how to ride a motorcycle (with her dad holding the steering). Wouldn’t have that made more sense if a child actor played those parts? It’s very unusual that a father will play cricket with his adult daughter. Does not make a whole lot of sense.

ii – Another aspect that did not make a whole lot of sense is that within an episode or two, Parizaad has transformed from an “observer of his surroundings” to “giving life advice” to the Guru. Perhaps this development of character would make more sense down the line but it’s way too soon for him to act like “the wise one”. The whole purpose of the show has been for Parizaad to observe and contemplate on the society and its people. Parizaad giving Guru advice on Life felt kind of out of place for his character.

+ Overall

Episode 14 proved to be yet another feather in the cap for Parizaad. The quality writing and performances are what keeps it fresh and intriguing each week.

 Rate: out of 5 stars