TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Taleem-e-Balighan (1956/66 and 1973)

A review on Pakistani Classic Comedy Drama TV series, Taleem-e-Balighan aka Education for Adults (1956/66 and 1973). In 1966, it’s Production House and its Distributor is PTV Network (Lahore Studio) and PTV Network (Karachi Studio) in 1973.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Agha Nasir
  • Written by Khawaja Moinuddin
  • Lighting by M. Sabir and Javid Iqbal
  • Makeup by Afzal Ahmed & Zahid Sheikh
  • Production Design by Badar-Ul-Islam Syed

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Taleem-e-Balighan aired on PTV Network in 1966. In total, it consists of 02 episodes. This limited TV series was originally written for the Radio Pakistan in 1956 before the introduction of TV broadcasts in Pakistan in November 1964. This classic TV series is a social satire theatre play shot for TV as a mini-series.

It is based on Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s or Quaid-e-Azam’s three principles of ‘unity, faith and discipline’, which became an inspiring and effective slogan for the Muslim masses during the Pakistan Movement days around 1947.

Taleem-e-Balighan’s remake was directed & produced in 1973*. The late actor, Qazi Wajid is the only returning star who plays the role of the Maulvi Sahab in it. It was telecasted as one-episode TV serial.

This two-episode mini-series is considered a classic by some of the critics. 

 

 

*The given year is not confirmed.

 

  

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Mahmood Ali as Maulvi Sahib
  2. Qazi Wajid as Hajab (Barber)
  3. Subhani Ba Yunus as Qasab (Butcher)

 

 

 

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+ Supporting Cast

  1. Qasim Jalali as Dhobi (Student) #3
  2. Bakhtiar Ahmad as Victoria Wala (Student) #4
  3. Sheikh Mahmood as Malwari (Student) #5
  4. Sheikh Ali Ahmed as Doodh Wala (Student) #6
  5. Razia Sultana as Maulvi Sahib’s Wife (Voice)

 

 

 

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+ Crew (Remake)

  • Directed & Produced by Tasneem Aslam
  • Written by Khawaja Moinuddin
  • Title Graphics by PTV Studio (KHI)
  • Makeup by Aijaz Khan, Shakir Ahmed & Imran Ahmed
  • Production Design by Munza Ejaz

 

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+ Main Cast (Remake)

  1. Qazi Wajid as Maulvi Sahib
  2. Behroze Sabzwari as Hajab (Barber)
  3. Shahzad Raza as Qasab (Butcher)

 

 

 

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+ Supporting Cast (Remake)

  1. Ayaz Khan as Shagird (Hot Tempered Student) #3
  2. Sajid Shah as Victoria Wala (Student) #4
  3. Ayum as Malwari (Student) #5
  4. Famid Ahmed Khan as Doodh Wala (Student) #6
  5. N/A as Maulvi Sahib’s Wife (Voice)

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

It focuses around a Madrassa (school) where adults are provided an education in a satirical and humorous environment.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – The writing highlights Quaid-e-Azam’s three principles of ‘Faith, Unity and Discipline’. These three principles are shown through their respectable POV for the audience to understand of bringing the betterment of our educational system and social welfare from their current weak status to a successful rank of the country’s establishment. Its mild humor keeps the interest level of the audience at bay.  

ii – A careful direction of photography is required for which scenes to be shot up close or from a medium angle. This helped in understanding that certain scene’s crucial moment or defining the features of a character, being described as untidy. The original TV series work is much superior.

iii – Subhani Ba Yunus as Butcher, plays as one of the best roles of a grown-up student. The number of times he is hit by the broom of his headmaster, no student is. His character’s realistic performance of agonizing in pain, laying out his dagger on being threatened and singing scenes, will definitely glue the attention of the viewers to their screens till the very end of this classic TV mini-series.  

iv – Mahmood Ali as Maulvi Sahib, who is the teacher of these aged students. He plays as the most remarkable and the most memorable role of his career. Mahmood brings smiles on the viewers’ faces with his uncanny timing humor and utter nonsense examples on the unheard idioms that the Maulvi Sahib is unfamiliar of. Other Honorable Mentions: Qazi Wajid (as Barber).

v – The three lead stars for the original as well as the remake, attracts the viewers to watch this TV series in the first place.

vi – The songs are mesmerizing and good to listen to. 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Honestly, I had my expectations really high from this limited TV series. I read the praises a lot and wanted to know its specialty by finally watching it.  

ii – The remake comes nowhere close to the original release’s success in almost every department, whether it is the cinematography or the performances.  

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Khawaja Moinuddin’s Taleem-e-Balighan, is one of the important works that is ever written for the silver screen.

 

 

 

 

Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Jutt and Bond (2001-4)

A review on Pakistani thriller sitcom TV series, Jutt and Bond (2001-4). Its Production House is WZ Studios (Lahore) while its Distribution is done by Indus Vision.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Zain Ahmed
  • Written by Vasay Chaudhry
  • DOP by Shahbaz Malik
  • Graphics & Edited by Rana Farooq and Rana Furqaan
  • Produced by Samina Ahmed

 

 

 

+ Note

Jutt and Bond aired on Indus Vision from 2001 –2004. In total, it consists of 81 episodes. It is a satire TV series based of multiple detective TV series and films. The song is Kahan Hai Tu, is the soundtrack of this sitcom. The two lead stars / former lead singers, Fawad Afzal Khan and Ahmed Ali Butt featured in its music video. It is also directed by Zain Ahmed.  

This is Fawad Khan and Ahmed Butt’s debut TV series. Originally, Fawad was the lead singer of Paradigm, a metal music band while his co-lead star, of Entity. Afterwards, they merged their band into one as Entity Paradigm (EP). They both have left their previous professions, to focus on their acting careers. Yasser Hashmi, who portrays his character as Dr. Evil’s Assistant, in real life, he happens to be one of the lecturers of Lahore based leading university, LUMS.  

Jutt and Bond is also Vasay Chaudhry’s first writing venture for the television and Zain Ahmed’s debutal TV series.

 

 

Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead!

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Fawad Afzal Khan as Bond
  2. Ahmed Ali Butt as Jutt
  3. Bilal Sami as Dr. Evil
  4. Samina Ahmed as Madam C

 

 

 

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+ Supportive Cast

  1. Vasay Chaudhry as Sooda
  2. Yasser Hashmi as Assistant
  3. Zain Ahmed as Puppy
  4. Farah Tufail as Jutti
  5. Mehvish as Amma
  6. Hajrah Mumtaz as Emily
  7. Haseeb Khan as Police SHO
  8. Danyal as Police ASI

 

 

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+ Minor Cast (Cameo)

  1. Mustafa Ali as Noori Nath
  2. Ahmad Shah Tipu as Co-Detective
  3. Jawad Bashir as Detective #2
  4. Nadia Afghan as Girl Next Door
  5. Shoaib Hashmi as Chief
  6. Vanessa Ahmed as Femme Fatale

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

Two unlike duo, Jutt and Bond have the responsibility to save the world from the clutches of Dr. Evil and his minions.

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – The opening theme song, Kahan Hai Tu sung by Fawad Khan is a good song.

ii – A number of well-known celebrities to see them, making supporting or cameo appearances.

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Vasay Chaudhry may have become a great writer today. But this debut work of his is a complete disaster. I can not believe that this same fame writer/actor have wrote its script. The viewer will have no idea, to what exactly is going on in their episodes. Everything is happening in this sitcom is just random.

No characters are properly introduced, no backstory of the lead characters are properly defined… it’s a wonder, why our TV industry ignores well-versed writers over these referenced based writers. After a decade later, Vasay finally came up with a brilliant work to pen Jackson Heights (2013-14), a TV series based on Pakistani immigrants living at US block, Jackson Heights. Now, that work is note worthy. But this… this work can only be approved through personal contacts only.    

ii – Zain Ahmed is one of the best directors of the theatre world. He has directed and produced great theatre plays, one after the other. Similar to him, everyone do start from the scratch. Still, this sitcom would surely be one of those few projects of his that he must not be proud of.

iii – Miraculously, reaching till 81 episodes is one of the signs of the judgement day. This sitcom one-episode story doesn’t make any ‘Head or Tail’. How the hell this TV series was permitted to telecast it to the public? 

iv – The kind of writing you have here, perhaps this sitcom was meant for ‘Kindergarten’ target audience. This is the level of humor that you will face here. There is more sense in the children cartoon, ‘Inspector Gadget’ than this sitcom.

v – Almost the entire TV series is shot on ‘Open Air Location’. It starts to get irritating to see no-closed doors environment after a while.   

vi – The performances of the entire cast is just rubbish. Honestly, I had no expectations from this sitcom. I mean, this is after all a debut work of Fawad Khan and Ahmed Butt. So, what really would anyone expect? It took many years for Fawad to become one of the highest paid Pakistani star. However, Jutt and Bond is something which is easily forgettable.

vii – Boy! What a stupid finale. Yes, I’m aware and fully understand that this is a sitcom. But still, good comedies are well written and creative. Its not an easy job to write a comedy. A popular quote by anonymous is, ‘A bad comedy is no comedy’. 

viii – Every episode consists of a song, with a brief dance steps between the two different main / supporting characters of the sitcom. I dare you to like even one.  

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
The only recognition Jutt and Bond has that its the launching platform for the solid names of our media industry such as of Fawad Khan, Ahmed Butt and Vasay Chaudhry who started their successful careers, for what they are today.

 

 

 

Rate: 0.50 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Aunn Zara (2013)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Com TV series, Aunn Zara (2013). Its Production House is Oriental Films while its Distribution is done by A Plus Entertainment.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Haissam Hussain
  • Written by Faiza Iftikhar
  • Cinematography by Ilyas Kashmiri
  • Edited by Iftikhar Manzoor
  • Produced by Shahzad Chaudhry

+ Note

Aunn Zara is based on Faiza Iftikhar’s novel, Hisaar-e-Mohabbat aka Fort of Love. It aired on A Plus Entertainment from 18th Jun 2013 – 31st Oct 2013. In total, it consists of 22 episodes. It revolves around a married couple spoilt by their respective families and are desperate to escape this attention.

The theme song (original soundtrack) & background music of is composed by MAD Music with the lyrics by Awais Sohail. Its singers are Athar and Ragini.

 Aunn Zara was aired in India on Zindagi in 2014, including on Zee TV USA and Lamhe TV. Since Jul 2020, it is available for streaming online at ZEE5 app.

Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead!

 

  

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Osman Khalid Butt as Aunn
  2. Maya Ali as Zara
  3. Sabreen Hisbani as Nighat
  4. Adnan Jaffar as Jamshed

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+ Supportive Cast

  1. Hina Khawaja Bayat as Husna
  2. Nasreen Qureshi as Aunn’s Grandmother
  3. Yasir Masher as Aunn’s Uncle
  4. Saima Saleem as Aunn’s Aunt
  5. Mukarram Kaleem as Manzar
  6. Mahira Bhatti as Shehna

 

 

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+ Minor Cast

  1. Irfan Khoosat as Zara’s Grandfather
  2. N/A as Jamshed’s Friend

+ Plot

Aunn & Zara are two spoilt and only children of their families. After their marriage, they desperately try to escape their controlled environment set by their parents.

+ High Points

i – It is a family oriented humor, that can be easily be watched and find the jokes amusing. Such as the big arguments over a small issue between the couple, family relatives beating the hell out of Aunn and his friend’s lover, the close-friendship chemistry of Nighat and Jamshed, all points towards a light humor TV drama.

ii – Not only the chemistry of Osman Khalid & Maya Ali works well on-screen, even the supporting couple, Adnan Jaffar’s and Sabreen Hisbani’s chemistry is praise worthy. I find both their chemistry really interesting to watch.

iii – Sabreen Hisbani portrays as Nighat, as Aunn’s phupo, a caring aunt. Similar to Aunn’s close relatives, she too has a great affection towards her nephew and intends to look after his well being. One of the attention seeking performances is of Sabreen, who has managed to keep her performance as per her character’s demand up to the mark. I have watched her previous performance in a sitcom, Nadaaniyan (2009 – 13) which she acted in it very comical.

iv – Nasreen Qureshi portrays as Aunn’s grandmother. Her good performance comes to me as a surprise. She is a veteran actress, who is known to depict her characters very realistic on-screen.

+ Low Points

i – The first 10 episodes show cased ‘Over The Top’ performances by almost everyone. Gradually do the performances comes to a level, where the audience starts to appreciate them .

ii – My interest level gained only after 15 – 16th episode. The reason is that I found this TV series as a very overrated one. The plot is simple, didn’t find anything new to watch, the fights / arguments between the lead couple is too girlish, the sub plots are very basic, the list goes on…

iii – I really don’t know what to make of the finale. There are no consequence or confrontation to the actions taken by Aunn’s mischiefs. You can’t just assume that everything is just okay now, can you?

+ Overall
Aunn Zara is a cute rom-com TV series where the female audience mainly, would love to watch.

Rate: 1.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ankahi (1982)

A review on Pakistani Classic Comedy Drama TV serial, Ankahi aka Untold (1982). It’s Production House and its Distributor is PTV Network (Lahore Studio).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shoaib Mansoor & Mohsin Ali
  • Written by Hasina Moin
  • Music by Arshad Mehmood

+ Note

Ankahi aired on PTV Network was released on March – May 1982. In total, it consists of 14 episodes. The story revolves around a young girl, Sana Murad who has strong ambitions to become big. With a mere luck, she is hired at an office as a secretary to a business man, Taimoor Ahmad. The relationship between the two is shown while Faraz, her best friend’s fiancée’s friend falls in love with Sana. This is Shehnaz Sheikh’s 2nd TV series to appear in.

Ankahi was one of the most popular drama serial in the early 1980s in Pakistan. Most of the cast then went on to work in a similar Pakistani TV drama serial, Tanhaiyaan (1986). This TV series is remembered for its witty dialogue and the candid role of Sana, played by Shehnaz Sheikh.

The theatre adaption of this classic TV series, Ankahi is shortened the 14-episode drama to 90 minutes. Model-actress, Amna Ilyas will play Sana Murad, originally played by Shehnaz Sheikh. This will be Amna’s theatre debut. The director, Dawar Mehmood of Kopykats Production, veteran actor, Sajid Hasan and theatre actor, Saqib Sameer are producing the musical adaptation. It is all set to hit the stage on 20th Oct 2020.

+ Main Cast

  1. Shehnaz Sheikh as Sana Murad
  2. Shakeel as Taimoor Ahmad
  3. Javed Sheikh as Faraz Afreedi

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+ Supporting Cast

  1. Saleem Nasir as Shehryar / Mamoo
  2. Jamshed Ansari as Tameez-u-ddin / Timmy
  3. Faisal Bilal as Jibran Murad
  4. Badar Khalil as Zakia Begum
  5. Behroze Sabzwari as Moby
  6. Qazi Wajid as Siddiqui Sahib
  7. Tabassum Farooqi as Marium
  8. Rehana Saigol as Dr. Fouzia
  9. Azra Mansoor as Apaa Bii
  10. N/A as Timmy’s Mother
  11. Misbah Ishaaq / Khalid as Saara
  12. Arshad Mehmood as Sajjad
  13. Siraj-Farooq Nizami as ‘Thoii’ Guy

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+ Minor Cast

  1. N/A as Abeer / Mrs. Taimoor
  2. N/A as Office Attendant
  3. N/A as Police Inspector
  4. N/A as Drugs Smuggler
  5. N/A as Peon
  6. N/A as Mr. Javed (Cameo)
  7. N/A as Insurance Guy (Cameo)
  8. N/A as Marium’s Father
  9. N/A as Marium’s Step-Mother
  10. N/A as Marium’s Fiancée
  11. N/A as Marium’s Father-in-Law

+ Plot

In the early death of her father, Sana Murad starts working as secretary at Taimoor Ahmad’s office. There, the two’s relationship of Secretary and Boss is shown. Faraz Afreedi, who later becomes her office colleague, falls in love with her.

+ High Points

i – This is a very well written story and script by one of the most well-famed TV writers, Hasina Moin. We all know and familiar of her other great works such as Tanhaiyaan (1986), Kiran Kahani (1973), Dhoop Kinaray (1987) and Parchaiyan (1976). She has won one of the most prestigious awards including the Pride of Performance Award in 1987.

ii – The level of humor is not only very amusing but also very unique and brilliant thinking of the early 1980s. Several TV series including Bollywood film, Chal Mere Bhai (2000) tried to capture same level of humor through the lead heroine as did Shehnaz Sheikh did as Sana Murad in this classic TV series, Ankahi.  

iii – A great round of applause to Shoaib Mansoor and Mohsin Ali who did a great work behind its direction. The dynamic duo bought a greatly written TV series to life, as one of the best TV dramas of our time.

Best scenes that I consider are:

  • When Timmy gets to know that he has just been sold out by Mamoo, his quick earning neighbor and best friend. This makes Timmy furious and then he starts to blunt out and show his neighbors’ true faces to Zakia Begum.
  • The over excited Moby visits the beach, to cool himself in the sea shore. But to his ‘Bad’ luck, he is attacked by a Red Indian.

iv – Top starswere chosen in this TV series, to be part of the cast. Celebrities such as Salim Nasir, Jamshed Ansari, Shakeel, Behroze Sabzwari, Badar Khalil, Qazi Wajid are the best listed stars still considered today.

v – Shehnaz Sheikh as Sana Murad, plays as one of the main leading roles of this TV series. In the starting of the episodes, she is shown as a strong-headed, ambitious and clumsy type of young woman with no prior work experience.

With passage of time, she greatly improves and builds a solid relationship with her strict, aged boss. Shehnaz has given an excellent performance in this iconic role and is often recognized as Sana Murad instead. She is one of those rare stars who a very short-time TV career and has appeared in as one of the main characters in two classic TV series.  

vi – Salim Nasir plays as Shehryar / Mamoo, plays as an uncle to Sana Murad and is unemployed. He tries to find clever ways to earn quick money, even if he has to ‘Sell’ his long-time friend to his relative or give ill-fated advices, random predictions in exchange for some cash. Still, with all that attributes, Shehryar is shown as a very loving, caring character to his loved ones and friends.

This is one of the two classic TV series Salim Nasir will always be remembered by. His unfortunate, untimely death shook his fans, celebrities and the rest of the world. Salim Nasir is one of the precious gems of our TV industry, who is still greatly missed to this very day.  

vii – Late Jamshed Ansari plays as Tameez-u-ddin / Timmy, a dear neighbor and friend to Mamoo. He plays a significant role as a ‘Butler’ to Badar Khalil’s character, Zakia Begum. Jamshed was a fine artist, who often played drama theme characters. Here too, the viewers witness him sacrificing his love for the greater good. Other Honorable Mentions: Behroze Sabzwari.

viii – Faisal Bilal’s character, Jibran is written as one of the strongest supporting character. At his young age, the viewers can see how well this non-professional actor played his part. And to everyone’s surprise, Ankahi is first and only TV drama that he starred in.  

ix – The performances of the entire cast is very enjoyable. Everyone did a great job in playing their respected roles. 

x – Having total 14 episodes, it winds up the story properly.

+ Low Points

i – Once Dr. Fouzia is introduced, the excitement to watch this TV series starts to decline. Her character was shown in the later episodes, to show a love building relationship with Shehryar / Mamoo character. I can’t say that I enjoyed watching her scenes.  

ii – The ‘Romantic’ relationship between the secretary and her boss is indirectly implicated. However, there is more than that. Due to the viewer censorship in Pakistan, the affair between the two is vastly downplayed. One might say that this is very cleverly shown. However, I disagree.   

iii – The first 8 episodes are wonderful, full of comedy. You will find memorable comic scenes in them. But after that, slowly and gradually, Ankahi starts to become serious. It will no longer have similar kind of laughs as it did in the starting of the episodes.

iv – Siraj-Farooq Nizami plays the character of Thoii Guy, who is a great miser and stubborn in leaving the rented place. His character doesn’t help with the story progress. His presence is only available to be one of the comic relief character. The value to his character linked with the story is useless and unworthy.

v – Barely do we see anyone except for Sana Murad and Faraz Afreedi at the office, as co-workers.

+ Overall
Though, the later episodes, takes a dark turn towards seriousness, Ankahi still manages to gives us a few good laughs before coming to a decent end.

Rate: 3.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Neeyat (2011)

A review on Pakistani Drama TV series, Neeyat aka Intention (2011). Its Production House is Six Sigma Plus while its Distribution is done by ARY Television Network.

+ Crew

  • Edited & Directed by Mehreen Jabbar
  • Written by Larry Pontius
  • Cinematography by Stephen Lang
  • Music by Waqar Ali
  • Produced by Samina Humayun Saeed & Shahzad Nasib

+ Note

Neeyat aired on ARY Digital from 24th Jun – 21st Nov 2011. In total, it consists of 20 episodes. It is about emotions that still exist within few inhabitants of an emotionless society of New York, as they have their roots back to the socially bonded society of Pakistan. Almost the entire shooting took place at Manhattan; NYC.

Mehreen Jabbar is the daughter of the fame former director, Javed Jabbar and niece of Beo Zafar. The opening theme song, ‘Kaise Bataaoon Saathiya’ sung by the popular singer, Sajjad Ali. The wardrobe used throughout the TV series is of winter clothes… which tell us to how much the weather must be freezing at the time of the shoot.

Neeyat happens to be the first TV project of the highest paid Pakistani actress, Mahira Khan. The writer, Larry Pontius debuts his wife & actress, Deepti Gupta in her first Pakistani TV series as one of the leading roles.

Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead!

+ Main Cast

  1. Humayun Saeed as Sikandar
  2. Mahira Khan as Ayla
  3. Ahsan Khan as Ismail
  4. Deepti Gupta as Mariam

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+ Supportive Cast

  1. Gulfam Ramay as Gul G
  2. Ismat Zaidi as Sikandar’s Mother
  3. Shehryar Zaidi as Sikandar’s Father

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+ Minor Cast

  1. Omar Rahim as Ayla’s Brother
  2. Farah Bala as Mariam’s Friend
  3. Arooj Majid as Mariam’s Mother*

*Not confirmed

+ Plot

Ayla proposes a plan of having her long-time boyfriend, Sikandar to marry to a US citizen, Mariam. This will get his hands-on green card to live and work in USA. However, Mariam has plans of her own.

+ High Points

i – Mahira Khan portrays as Ayla, one of the main lead characters of this TV series. Even though, this is her first performance as an actress, yet, she has done a good job in playing her role as loving, caring girlfriend of Sikandar who gets the wrong impression of her boyfriend, having illicit relationship with Mariam, who was hired to play a tag-along wife as Paper-Marriage for the sake of green card. This may not be one of her best performances. Still, her performance turns out to be the best one from the lot.

ii – Humayun plays one of the leads and has his production house is behind Neeyat. Only Deepti turns out to be a new actress. So was Mahira Khan, at the time of this TV series release. Ahsan Khan is a good addition to the cast.

iii – In the last few episodes, the chemistry between Ayla and Sikandar gets a bit of interesting when they start meeting again.

iv – Deepti Gupta as Mariam, has nicely performed. Her character is shown as shrewd, cunning one who wants a Live, successful relationship with a man who is willing to make her his bride. And, Sikandar happens to be the one for it. This is the debut performance for Deepti Gupta for a Pakistani TV series.

+ Low Points

i – Neeyat is plays out in an extraordinary ‘Snail’ pace speed.

ii –There is a huge problem of having lack of sub plots. The ones which are available are good enough to sleep through.

iii – There is almost nothing to watch. I bet that you already have much interesting things to do in life.

iv – The makeup & hair styling department should have given a much needed makeover for Mariam’s bad hairdo. I can’t really say why but throughout the episodes, her hairstyle kept bugging me.

v – Calling Ayla’s boyfriend with his full first name as ‘Sikandar’ is much better than calling by his nickname as ‘Sikki’. You may think that I’m exaggerating but I’m not. To hear this nickname all the time from his parents to Ayla, to every person he knows, soon, would make you get very annoyed as well.

vi – No real effort behind the production design. Plain white walls with some props, will you make you bore easily.

vii – As if having almost no chemistry between Sikandar and Ayla wasn’t enough… there is also absolute no chemistry between Mariam and Sikandar or Ayla and Ismail or even Mariam and Ismail.

viii – It would have been a much better decision if the roles of the parents were excluded from this TV series. There is no story of their own but to always see them having arguments over their son / daughter’s decision over this green card.  

ix – After get to know of Mariam’s past life,didn’t left us viewers astonished or thrilled as it was hinted in the starting of the episodes.

x – After watching this TV series, I’m really glad that Larry (writer) didn’t write another Pakistani TV series again. I owe you one!

xi – Having 20 episodes for a Pakistani TV series, is normally considered less nowadays. However, Neeyat having such a limited 4-characters story going back and forth tells us that a total of 12 episodes would have been most suitable.

+ Overall
Even after having a good director and strong lead cast, Neeyat could not be saved from its ultimate doom.

Rate: 0.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Jackson Heights (2014 – 15)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Drama TV series, Jackson Heights (2014 – 15). Its Production House is Six Sigma Plus while its Distribution is done by Urdu 1 Television.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Mehreen Jabbar
  • Written by Vasay Chaudhry
  • Cinematography by Nausheen Dadabhoy
  • Creative Directed by Wajahatullah Khan
  • Produced by Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Jackson Heights aired on Urdu 1 from 19th Sep 2014 – 20th Mar 2015. In total, it consists of 27 episodes. The story revolves around six Pakistanis living in Jackson Heights a suburb in Queens, New York. The shooting locations is mainly Jackson Heights, Queens and Karachi; Pakistan.

Mehar Jaffri is the younger sister of the actress, Ainy Jaffri. The opening theme song, “Laiyaan, Laiyaan” is sung by Saad Sultan.

 Jackson Heights was aired in India on Zindagi on 1st Sept till 24th Oct 2015. It was an instant hit.

 

 

Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead!

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz as Imran Bhatti
  2. Aamina Sheikh as Salma
  3. Adeel Hussain as Jamshed
  4. Marina Khan as Michelle
  5. Adnan Jaffar as Rizwan
  6. Ali Kazmi as Sikandar

 

 

 

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+ Supportive Cast

  1. Mehar Jaffri as Aliya
  2. Neelofar Abbasi as Sikandar’s Mother
  3. Naghma Begum as Bhatti’s Mother
  4. Monsoon Bissell as Kathy
  5. Almaas Hussain as Emaan
  6. Ahmad Razvi as Javed
  7. Taimur Syed as Kash
  8. N/A as Bhatti’s Brother
  9. Zareen* as Bhatti’s Sister-in-Law
  10. Taimoor Qureshi as Adnan
  11. Alma Moos Nunez as Isabella
  12. Theo Van Golen as Mark
  13. Rida Asfahani as Jamshed’s GF
  14. Fahad Ahmad as Jamshed’s Friend

 

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Minor Cast

  1. Tara Mehmood as Jamshed’s Friend’s Mom
  2. Nausheen Masood as Maria
  3. Shehzaad Ali Khan as Jamshed’s Friend’s Boss
  4. Imran Mirza as Office Colleague*
  5. Zain Masood as Neighbor*
  6. Ahtesham Khanira as Stranger*
  7. Ali Murawat as Cabbie#1*
  8. Usman Mir as Passer By*
  9. Moin Ahmad as Man in Restaurant#1*
  10. Qazim Raza as Man in Restaurant#2*
  11. Muhammad Arshad as Cabbie#2*
  12. Shehryar Khan as Lawyer*
  13. Asim Rajput as Co-Worker*
  14. Aslam Mughal* as Bhatti’s Nephew
  15. Mehreen Jabbar as Customer (Cameo)

 

 

 

*Not confirmed

 

 

 

+ Plot

It follows the lives of overseas Pakistanis and Indian living in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of New York City in Queens.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Nauman Ejaz portrays as Imran Bhatti, the main lead character of this TV series. Nauman has ever given a performance which is less than great. His kind personality and to help others out of his way, have made Bhatti sb as an instant hit for the viewers to fall in love with his character.

ii – Aamina Sheikh as Salma, who is stuck with an abusive marriage within her relatives. She is tormented by her ugly hearted mother-in-law and ex-convict con-man husband. The only reason she stays behind is because of under 18 years of age step-daughter. Her daughter is the only ally of this ill-fated marriage. I have watched several works of Aamina Sheikh. But in JH, she has given an extraordinary performance as a responsible wife, a loving mother and a caring close friend to Bhatti sb. Thumbs up!

iii – Adeel Hussain portrays as Jamshed, as one of the antagonists of JH. Adeel has given a really convincing performance as a shrewd, cunning and selfish character. A person who will do anything to achieve his goal. As a reviewer, this is rare but I have never watched his TV work before. And his film work isn’t really great either. But this role of his, would always be the memorable one of his career. Other Honorable Mentions: Adnan Jaffar, Mehar Jaffri and Naghma Begum.

iv – Finally, after Ramchand Pakistani, I would like to give a high five to Mehreen Jabbar on her awesome direction. Her team work with the writer turns out to be a great decision.

v – The writing has played a great role to this TV series success. Vasay Chaudhry has able to write a perfect script which focuses on six expatriates working in New York City.

vi – The opening theme song, Laiyan, Laiyan sung by Saad Sultan is very well verse, good song to listen to. Soon, it was on the tip of my tongue. I was singing in each episode’s start and in its end during the credits roll.

vii – As far as the characters are concerned, they are well-written and given a meatier roles for their performers to play them. Such as:

  1. Imran Bhatti’s personality is shown as down to earth, simple and friendly nature. He is shown as good nature husband to his highly unattractive & rude foreign wife. Bhatti sb is shown as a very concerned & forgiving step-father to her children. He even intentionally keeps the dark secret to Salma’s husband’s illegal activities to himself and confronts her abusive husband very bravely. His ultimate decision to visit Pakistan in the exchange of the green card, to meet his dying beloved mother is something which leaves the viewers very emotionally attached towards him.
  2. The antagonist characters of Jamshed and Imran Bhatti’s Brother are kept it very true and closer to the reality. In their negativity, we were still able to see their genuine sadness and tears for their loved one. This is something very rare to see and acknowledge in our TV dramas.

viii – I am very satisfied with JH’s finale. Good job, I must say. Bringing such a wonderful TV series to a proper, respectable end.

ix – There are two best scenes in terms that I considered them most intriguing to watch. Such as:

  1. Where Jamshed fools Rizwan to spill out his anger and hatred towards him while Michelle is secretly listening.
  2. Almost, all of Imran Bhatti’s major scenes are interesting. Scenes such as his emotional scene with his bed ridden mother, his friendly chats with Salma and many more. But, I will go for his vital decision of losing his of green card for permanent basis and return back to his gravely ill mother.

x – It’s a good decision to see that an Indian origin character is not shown in bad light but rather, one of the Pakistani origin characters is. It shows that the writer is not biasis to admit that not all our people have a good heart.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – JH starts real’ slow. It will take approximately first 5 – 6 episodes at least to gain some interest.

ii – The small roles of Rida Asfahani and Fahad Ahmad is almost useless. In the starting of the episodes, they have some strong lead. After that, they almost make cameo appearances.

iii – Whenever I tell someone that JH consists of total, 27 episodes, believe me, they make a face. Honestly, 20 – 22 episodes for any TV drama is enough. Though, JH does justice with the number of total episodes. Still, I think that 3 – 4 episodes can easily be cut down.

iv – There are some continuity issues in the mid episodes. Such as, two characters interacting with each other. At one camera angle, they are standing only mere inches apart while at a different camera angle they are 2 – 3 feet apart. Other example if of the character Michelle. In one scene, she has old greyish hair. In the same episode, she suddenly has light brown dye hair. It keeps changing in the same 2 – 3 episodes.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Jackson Heights is a perfect example of a great team work between the director, writer, producer and star cast.

 

 

 

 

Rate: 4.25 out of 5 stars

 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Waris (1979 – 80)

A review on Pakistani Classic Drama TV serial, Waris aka Heir (1979 – 80). It’s Production House and its Distributor is PTV Network (Lahore Studio).

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Nusrat Thakur and Ghazanfer Ali
  • Written by Amjad Islam Amjad

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Waris aired on PTV Network was released on 29th Dec 1979 – 22nd Mar 1980. In total, it consists of 13 episodes. The story revolves around a feudal family, their struggles to maintain their land and wealth, and the inter-family differences and tussles that lead to their downfall. It portrays two ideal synthesizers, who were vital for the time it was produced. Since finding a suitable & blood-related heir is the main priority for the feudal lord, Waris completely rejects the feudal lord tradition A number of cameo roles are played by many actors including four main artists from another Pakistani classic drama TV series, Sona Chandi (1982-3).

These issues revolve around mainly, the corrupt feudal system and influential persons, who are eating the public’s basic needs and rights like a parasite.  In rural Punjabi culture, it is a huge insult for a man, if his fiance marries someone else. To avenge this grave insult, the revenge is set to be taken.

Waris is considered being one of the most realistic depictions of Pakistan. This TV series was aired on PTV at a time when people from rural areas were moving into the cities. More importantly, it was a time when the world view of Pakistan is was going through a paradigmatic change; from a traditional to a modern. When produced, it instantly became an acclaimed mega hit.

Stars such as Mehmood Alam and Shujaat Hashmi, is the first work that I have watched.

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Abid Ali as Dilawar
  2. Shujaat Hashmi as Mauladad
  3. Mehboob Alam as Chaudhry Hashmat Khan
  4. Aurangzeb Laghari as Chaudhry Niaz Ali
  5. Firdous Jamal as Chaudhry Anwar Ali
  6. Munawwar Saeed as Chaudhry Yaqub
  7. Uzma Gillani as Zakiya Ghulam Ali

 

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Supporting Cast

  1. Samina Ahmad as Zohra
  2. Agha Sikander as Farrukh
  3. Tahira Naqvi as Seemi / Yasmin
  4. Sajjad Kishwar as Sher Mohd
  5. Ghayyoor Akhtar as Hayat Mohammad Qazi
  6. Ghazanfer Baig as Saulat Mirza
  7. Mohammad Ayub as Masterji
  8. Malik Anokha as Mehnga

 

 

 

xxxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Minor Cast (Cameo)

  1. Nazir Hussain as Chaukidaar
  2. A. Khan as Saeed Gul
  3. Mumtaz Ali as Bakhshoo
  4. Jamal Shah as Chaudhry Ghulam Ali*
  5. Jameel Fakhiri as Inspection Officer*
  6. Ayub Khan as Kisaan*
  7. Jeevan Sultan as Maalik*
  8. Hamid Rana as Police Inspector

 

 

 

*The roles are not confirmed. Though, these actors did appear.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

A feudal lord, Chaudhry Hashmat rules his fiefdom with an iron grip. His elder son,  wishes to escape to the city, while the younger son is engaged in numerous illegal activities.

In such times, Dilawar is out for vengeance against Fateh Sher, who is responsible for his brother’s murder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – A big round of applause to this well written story. Some serious issues of the urban and rural areas were highlighted. Following are:

 

  1. Dam Building
  2. Land Disputes
  3. Feudal System
  4. Farmers’ Rights
  5. Family Enmity
  6. Bribery & Corruption
  7. Migrating To City
  8. Unfulfilled Dreams
  9. Family Business
  10. Finding Successor
  11. Animal Abuse
  12. Extortion
  13. Kidnapping & Abduction
  14. Forced Imprisonment
  15. Betrayal

 

A number of different themes are shown of different individuals, which are discussed in the shape of their behavior and manner. It is shown, how they affect the people who they know or work with. These men true value is displayed to the society. Then we have these people, who were committed to the age old tradition, are ruined by their own machinations. The feudal system is shown in the true light as oppressive.

However, there are occasions where the traditional men are also glorified. Still, there are doubts over migrating to the lavish city life is comes into notice.

In this TV series, good men are also bought forward, whose characteristics belong to the category of being either creative who share their views on the traditional values or those who are courage, ready to take the necessary action, where it is required.

Other attributes, such as honesty, being independent and thinking out of the box is indirectly hinted to a good upbringing and better educational system.

ii – ‘A’ graded star cast was hired to execute this well-written drama TV series. At least, 6 – 7 stars were well known at the time, when Waris was produced.

iii – It is a tie between the two stars, Firdous Jamal as Chaudhry Anwar Ali and Shujaat Hashmi as Mauladad. These two actors gave their hearts out to play these two dynamic roles. This is my first TV series where I have watched Firdous Jamal to play a negative role. His character’s lust for power and be engaged in illegal activities, has bought the actor to the edge of his acting craft. As for Shujaat Hashmi, he has certainly impressed the viewers with his good performance, major thanks to his well-written character.

iv – Mehboob Alam plays as Chaudhry Hashmat Khan, plays the corrupt, egoistic and hot tempered feudal lord. His desire to have the most prized animal as ‘Crystal’ for high breed by any means necessary, his love for Dog Fighting / sport, shows another side to his dark character. His son and two grandsons are tangled up in greed and lust for power. Well, except for Chaudhry Niaz. In the last few episodes, even in Chaudhry Hashmat’s humiliation, he still refuses to accept his defeat.

v – The supporting characters, such as Chaudhry Niaz Ali, Chaudhry Yaqub and Mauladad are the strongly written. Chaudhry Niaz Ali has dreams to leave his home town for the city, but is tangled up with his family business. Chaudhry Yaqub is greedy, wants to sell every land that his father owns. Finally, we have Mauladad, who is brother-in-arms, equal in power and quick-thinking true friend to Dilawar. These three characters have made sure that the viewers’ attention is properly paid to the story.

vi – Concealing the identity of Fateh Sher, which was revealed in the last two episodes, is a good move by the writer.

vii – I can’t say that the finale is perfect. But still, it is a good ending. Waris bring this classic TV series to a satisfying last episode.

viii – (The late) Abid Ali as Dilawar, has performed in one of the lead roles of Waris. Just like expectations, he has performed quite nicely on-screen. Late Abid sb is a favorite to many people. His understanding to the character that he is performing can be seen in his body movement and voice. Other Honorable Mentions: Rest of the cast.

ix – The performances by every cast member has done a superb job. Nowhere would you feel that someone’s performance is lacking behind or has under-performed.

x – Having total 13 episodes, winds up the story properly, without making it a drag.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Nothing new or innovative in the camera handling or editing. It does the basic requirement, to produce this TV series.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Waris has intelligently touched on numerous issues where this nations is facing for many generations.

 

 

 

 

 

Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars

 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Shert (2015)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Drama TV series, Shert aka Bet (2015). Its Production House is Momal Productions while its Distribution is done by Urdu One.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shaqielle Khan
  • Written by Irfan Mughal
  • Opening Theme & Music by Sabir Zafar and Waqar Ali
  • Edited by Jameel Aiwan, Waqar Ali Zaidi and Saad Bin Jawaid
  • Produced by Momina Duraid, Humayun Saeed and Shehzad Naseeb

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Shert aired on Urdu One from 04th Apr 2015 to 24th Jul 2015. In total, it consists of 17 episodes. Shaqielle has directed a number of TV series including, Choti Si Zindagi (2016), Perchaiyan (2019). An Islamic practice ‘Halala’ is highlighted in this TV series, where a woman has to marry another man and then divorce to marry her ex-husband.

The former Pakistani supermodel, Nadia Hussain plays the role as Sofia. In this TV series, her younger brother, Adnan and his wife, Hira, also are the part of supporting cast. The music is a label of Momina Duraid Productions. The opening song is sung by Aleyha Waqar. The shooting locations are mostly done in Karachi and Murree; Pakistan.

 Shert also aired in India on Zindagi TV as ‘Na Gumaan Kar Kisi Aur Ka’.

 

 

 

Warning: There may be SPOILERS ahead!

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Danish Taimoor as Imaad
  2. Ayesha Khan as Momal
  3. Syed Jibran as Sameer
  4. Nida Khan as Afroz
  5. Nadia Hussain as Sofia

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Supportive Cast

  1. Mustafa Qazmi as Sami
  2. Adnan Hussain Ahmed as Sherry
  3. Hira Hussain as Sherry’s Wife
  4. N/A as Imaad’s Doctor
  5. N/A as Imaad’s Lawyer
  6. N/A as Sameer’s Friend
  7. N/A as Sameer’s Lawyer

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

Momal, Imaad, Afroz and Sameer are four university friends who share a very friendly bond. After the failed marriage, however, Momal leaves Sameer for his infidelity and stays with Imaad and Afroz. There, a secret bet is placed between Momal and Afroz that all men are alike. Momal will win her bet if she is able to win Imaad for herself.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Overall performance by everyone is mild. Though, Danish Taimoor as Imaad has performed slightly better than the rest of the cast. Imaad is one of the lead characters, who is a protagonist and is lucky enough to propose his love to his long time friend, while still being married. Danish’s performance is highlighted mainly in the episode where the main twist comes into place. His natural reaction over the bitter news shows how well Danish is in his acting craft.

This is first TV series I have watched of this actor. After watching his performance, I would like to watch more of his work. Other Honorable Mentions: Aisha Khan.

ii – A quick thinking character as Sami played by Mustafa Qazmi, showed as in the main supporting role. This character helps in resolving the matter regarding the two couples’ relationship and on vital decisions need to be taken for other matters.

The credit goes to the writer, for coming up with such an important character for the TV series.

iii – The makeup & hair styling has done a satisfactory job. The lead stars, especially Danish and Aisha look glamorous on-screen.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – I can’t really say that the worst point of this TV series is its finale. The reason is that Shert’s writing is no good. Throughout the TV series, it hardly made its mark or impressed the viewers. Almost the entire TV series is weakly produced. As for the last episode, who comes up with such idiotically writing? The ending is clearly indigestible and unconvincing.

 

ii – Oh God! Why do we have to watch such illogical scenes?

  • In which hospital, would you find no single soul in the two-story building? And Sameer literally threats Imaad by pointing his gun to shoot him at point blank range inside the hospital. Where is the security, the eye witnesses?
  • How did Sameer know to where exactly his former wife might be during her Murree trip? His explanation of getting information from the office is not sufficient. I mean, come on! They were walking within the vast forest of Murree and somehow, Sameer ends up at the exact spot where they are. Gimme a break!
  • Who remains still in love with a person, after such a betrayal? Even after everything has happened, Imaad still refuses to end the marriage. And because of that, we were gifted of 4 more episodes… [Sniff].
  • In the end, everything is forgiven and forgotten? What about all those betrayals, attempt to kill unborn child?
  • This is the first time, where an actual medical lab franchise is openly shown to be involved in bribery, corruption. Boy! Was I shocked and left dumbstruck. I mean, really? How this franchise has allowed them to be degraded like this? You can see that the guy who is persuaded to take the bribe is wearing their official lab coat with their brand name written on it.
  • Sherry’s wife is shown to be supporting both the rival couples POV. This usually is shown intentionally as the TV series sometimes show their some characters to be double sided. However, this would be false in this TV series, as this character is shown in negative light in any other scene or episode.
  • After spending one night together, Imaad suddenly hears of good news. Yes, it’s possible to happen. But very unlikely, for such a scenario. And, after 2 – 3 weeks later, they get the news.

 

iii – I have not watched any of the previous works by this director. He may or may not be successful in those. However, for Shert, his direction takes the lion’s share of being poorly handled. Still, I do not blame him directly for this TV series’ failure. It’s the writer mainly, who should be held responsible.

iv – Pathetic level of production design. To make the audience believe, that for Sameer and Momal live in Scotland (part of UK), they have England’s flag nailed on the wall, with ‘England’ written on Sameer’s slippers and T-shirt. WTF? Naturally, the BTS team didn’t go there for shoot. To pretend it, they used a very cheap method to do it.

v – Although, it’s a welcome for the viewers that Shert has only total of 17 episodes. But the way, this TV series has dragged the story to its unnatural length, is unbelievable.

vi – The opening theme song is not only bad but the singer seems to be having a sore throat.

vii – I am not really sure if this title name does justification to the TV series. Okay, fine… all hell loose, after the ‘Bet’ goes wrong in the end. But still, I feel that this TV series title should be based on either the character’s name or given to his/her main attribute.

As far as the writing is concerned, [shaking my head] really, I don’t know what to say? I am absolute speechless. To confirm, one should be daring enough to watch this TV series.

 

 

 

+ Overall
Shert is a kind of bet which you would surely like to miss watching.

 

 

 

Rate: 0.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meray Paas Tum Ho (2019 – 20)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Drama TV series, Meray Paas Tum Ho aka I Have You (2019 – 20). Its Production House is Six Sigma Plus while Distribution is done by ARY Television Network.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Nadeem Baig
  • Written by Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar
  • Music by Naveed Nashad
  • Edited by Khawaja Arif
  • Produced by Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Meray Paas Tum Ho aired on ARY Digital from 17th Aug 2019 to 25th Jan 2020. In total, it consists of 23 episodes. The writer, Khalil sb has written Pyarey Afzal (2013 – 14) which has also starred Ayeza Khan in one of the lead roles. Nadeem Baig has previously worked with Humayun Saeed in a number of blockbusters films, such as Punjab Nahi Jaungi (2017), Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 1 (2015) and its sequel with the same name in (2018). Some people find this TV series plot somewhat similar to a Hollywood film, Indecent Proposal (1993), starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore.

Kamal Hussain and Arshad Malik are theater artists and have minor roles in this TV series. The opening theme song, ‘Mera Yeh Bharam Tha Meray Paas Tum Ho’ is sang by fame Qawal singer, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Meray Paas Tum Ho became one of the most popular TV serial in 2019. This drama series has also received one of the best ever Pakistani TV ratings in our TV history. Its last episode was viewed by almost more than 80 million people in Pakistan only. It has won seven awards at Pakistan International Screen Awards in 2019, including Best TV Director, Best TV Writer and Best TV Play.

 

 

Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead!

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Humayun Saeed as Danish Akhtar
  2. Ayeza Khan as Mehwish Akhtar
  3. Adnan Siddiqui as Shehwar Ahmed
  4. Shees Sajjad Gul as Roomi
  5. Hira Mani as Hania

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Supportive Cast

  1. Mohammad Ahmed as Mateen
  2. Mehar Bano as Anushey
  3. Musaddiq Malik as Monty
  4. Furqan Qureshi as Salman
  5. Rehmat Ajmal as Aisha
  6. Hina Javed as Wateera

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Minor Cast

  1. Savera Nadeem as Maham Syed
  2. Shamim Hilaly as Roomi’s School Principal
  3. Anoushay Abbasi as Ifrah
  4. Waseem Lashari as Anti-Corruption Officer
  5. Kamal Hussain as Govt. Office Attendant
  6. Arshad Malik as Stock Buyer

 

 

+ Plot

Danish working at a govt. job, he is happily married to his wife, Mehwish while having son, Roomi. However, Mehwish dreams to have richness and flourish lifestyle quickly in life. Their marriage forever shatters when Shehwar steps into their lives.

 

 

+ High Points

i – Controversial it may be for some but, Khalil-ur-Rehman has done excellent job with the script writing. The main ingredient to this TV series success is the script, its dialogues. They were so good, so intriguing that I had to raise my TV volume to listen to its every dialogue carefully.

One of the best dialogues is: When Danish is forced to reconsider to forgive and forget the mistake his former wife has made. In return, he says, ‘Shirk Ko to Khuda Bhi Maaf Nahi Kartha’ (‘Even God doesn’t forgives any Associates Equal to him’).

ii – As far as the characters are concerned, there are few examples to show, how well the writer define them. Such as:

  1. Mehwish is the main antagonist of this TV series. She has a sugar-coated personality with a combination of great beauty but a cold heart. She loves to chat with the rich man, Shehwar. There is a numerous times where he flirts with her to which she doesn’t shares this with her husband. She is strongly attracted towards Shehwar, mainly because of his vast wealth. However, when a similar thing is done by her medium class neighbor, she doesn’t accept and ignores him completely. This shows that Mehwish’s nature to be attracted towards people who are wealthy to fulfill her dreams.
  2. Maham Syed is shown as a powerful character. She doesn’t really need to say or do anything really. Her wealthy status and dominant position can be seen in her strong glare which she makes while confronting Mehwish for the first time.
  3. Roomi is given utter importance as the primary supporting character. He is given with one of the most interesting dialogues. He is shown to help his father in giving some good suggestions in rebuilding relationships, helping him to remarry and make him realize that his father is his true strength. This is very rare to see such importance given to a child character in a Pakistani TV series.
  4. Danish intentionally ignores his wife’s all misdoings for the sake of their marriage to survive and good upbringing of their only son. He is even willing to do corruption for her, so that she could live a better lifestyle and fulfill her expensive demands. His character is shown who truly believes that by having his beautiful wife by his side, his life is complete. Upon her insisting, Danish allows her to do job at Shehwar’s, as he loves and trusts her.

iii – Humayun Saeed portrays as Danish, the main lead character of this TV series. Humayun gave a strong performance as a faithful lover to his wife, good father to his son and an honest employee to the govt. workplace where corruption is common there. His loyal, good heart nature had instantly won many viewers’ hearts all over the world. With his devotion to play his heroic role, Humayun would always be remembered as Danish, an iconic and memorable character.

iv – The main plot of MPTH is not about the women degradation. This is one of the allegations that the writer was accused of. This is a situation where the wife is the cheater (rather than the husband), who leaves her family behind for a high social class status and richness. Most of TV series of our industry is about a cheater boyfriend or husband. But here, the tables have turned.

The other criticism was showing women in bad light. In this TV series, only Mehwish’s character is shown that way as it is related with the main plot. Some viewers alleged that this TV series shows a cheater wife as unforgiving but not for a husband?

For clarification, there was a scene in earlier episodes where Mateen sb reveals that his late wife never truly forgave him for his betrayal to leave her for another woman. And, due to that, he suffered to this day for his grave mistake. It clearly shows that the writer wanted to viewers know that the forgiveness for both the genders is unacceptable. That’s exactly what happens with the main characters.

There’s another reason, provided by Hania is that the women should not be forgiven since she is the one who bears the child and not the husband. So, leaving family behind by a female is worse than done by a husband. It is a POV of the writer that is debatable. Personally, I agree with the writer and how he has put up in the story.

v – There are two best scenes in terms that I considered them intriguing to watch. Such as:

  1. Danish gains confidence to face Shehwar at his office and warns him to be step aside or face his wrath. This scene was quickly become viral on the internet.
  2. Mehwish is caught red-handed at the airport with Shehwar by her husband. The disappointing look on Danish’s face says it all. His pain can be seen in his eyes where saying it a loud wouldn’t have made such an impact.

vi – Adnan Siddiqui as Shehwar, who can’t stop himself from being drawn towards a married woman. His desire to have her, he impresses her with his vast wealth and higher social status. Adnan is a great actor, who is often seen as an artist who gives his all to play his characters as authentic and believable. It was a good choice to choose him to play as the secondary antagonist.

vii – A small, yet a vital supporting role as Mateen sb played by Mohammed Ahmed, gave a solid performance as the only co-worker with whom, Danish shares his pain with. Ahmed sb’s performance is often comes to lime light because of playing his characters on a realistic note. Other Honorable Mentions: Ayeza Khan.

viii – The makeup & hair styling department has done a great job in making the stars very glamorous on-screen. Adnan Siddiqui and Ayeza Khan looked very mod and stylish in their respected roles.

ix – Great work in its costume designing and wardrobe selection. It works well with the makeup & hair styling team.

x – Nice job in its production design. It helped in making the scenes visually authentic. Such as: Danish’s govt. workplace, Shehwar’s residence etc.

xi – MPTH surprisingly consists of total, 23 episodes. By having less than average total number of episodes nowadays, this TV series avoids in dragging the story to its unnatural length.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – This got to be the worst finale I have ever watched in Pakistani TV series till date. It seems that the writer wanted his main lead character to die in any way possible. Danish’s untimely and illogical death only raised more questions.

After watching the last episode, I still cannot believe that this was the end the writer preferred to write to this TV series. It doesn’t connect to how the story was progressing or the main character’s story arc. Even if the writer wanted to give a tragic end to this TV series, there were multiple ways to do this. But he chooses the worse way possible to kill his character. The last conversation Danish has with his son, had made me literally to doze off.

MPTH kept comparing themselves on viewing ratings with international critically acclaim TV series, Games of Thrones (2011 – 19). Though, in the end, it raises one true question.

Similarity to these two TV series is, ‘Which TV series has a worst ending‘?

  1. Meray Paas Tum Ho
  2. Games of Thrones

ii – There are some questions that troubled me. Such as:

  1. Why Danish went to meet his ex-wife at the former house where he has the bad memories attached to it? He could have told her to change the location of their meeting.
  2. Why Danish removes his ‘Oxygen Mask’ (in actual, it was a nebulizer mask) to talk to his son, when knowingly that he is admitted in ICU? How the doctors allowed this to happen? Danish talks to his son for 10 – 15 minutes at least.
  3. Why Mehwish doesn’t call her close friend to stay the night? Instead, she visits her former husband’s apartment to stay the night.
  4. Maham is willing to forgive her husband and promote him at her workplace. But then she says that she would fire him too. What does she really wants?
  5. I’m sorry. How does this stock ratio, really works?

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Similar to Achilles, Meray Paas Tum Ho is almost invincible with its spectacular dialogues and well-written characters until its ankle gets fatally wounded with one of the most disappointing finishing to a TV series.

 

 

 

Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Sona Chandi (1982-3)

A review on Pakistani classic Comedy-Drama TV serial, Sona Chandi (1982-3). It’s Production House and its Distributor is PTV Network (Lahore Studio).

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Rashid Dar
  • Written by Munnu Bhai aka Munir Qureshi

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Sona Chandi aired on PTV Network was released on 18th Sep 1982-3. In total, it consists of 32 episodes. The story revolves around a newly wedded, lower-class couple who arrive at Lahore, in search of work. There they meet a vast number of different people tangled with their social or financial issues, where Sona Chandi tries to sort them out.

It is believed that this TV series is inspired by a real couple named Sona (male) and Chandi (female) from Kallurkot, a Tehsil city of Bhakkar; District of Punjab, Pakistan. During one of the late writer’s visits to Kallurkot, Munnu Bhai got to meet the ‘real’ Sona. He (Sona) has portrayed in the film version of the same name, Sona Chandi (1983-4).

Hamid Rana, who plays the lead role as Sona, comes from a background where his family who never considered the show business a respectful job. Although, by birth, Hamid was a stammer but that didn’t stop him from becoming a recognizable actor. After working in a number of theater plays, he his future co-star, Sheeba Arshad. Soon, they became good friends and started to appear in many theater and TV serials together. The classic hit TV series, Sona Chandi is the first project for the two stars to appear in the lead roles together. Both of the stars are recognized by their iconic characters, rather than by their real names.

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Hamid Rana as Sona
  2. Sheeba Arshad as Chandi

 

 

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+ Supporting Cast

  1. Mohammad Ayub as Rukhsana’s Husband
  2. Tashqeen as Baji Rukhsana
  3. Ghayyur Akhtar as Bhai Hameed
  4. Ayub Khan as Mama Yaqoob
  5. Munir Zareef as Chacha Karmoo
  6. Atiya Sharaf as Massi Barkate
  7. Munna Lahori as Driver of Nawab Farasat Ali Khan

 

 

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+ Guest Cast

  1. Khursheed Shahid
  2. Asim Bukhari
  3. Farooq Zameer
  4. Arifa Siddiqui
  5. Tauqeer Nasir
  6. Aurangzeb Laghari
  7. Tamanna Begum
  8. Jamil Fakhri
  9. Sajjad Kishwer
  10. Abid Kashmiri
  11. Talat Siddiqui
  12. Shakila Qureshi
  13. Ismat Tahira
  14. Masood Akhtar
  15. Najma Mehboob
  16. Muhammad Sharif

 

 

 

+ Plot

A simple lifestyle couple do domestic-help jobs in different middle and upper class houses. There they help many people in solving their problems.

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – The incredible writing behind this couple is moral example of two having life commitments to each other, to face the life’s hardships together in every step. No matter what happens, they respect each other’s different POVs. It’s the writer’s sensational writing skill on how he has able to come up with different situations of comic and drama, to merge together to highlight them on a serious note.

ii – The issues that were highlighted where we are given shown the stubborn parents with their loving children. In some cases, the devoted parents are shown with their ignorant children. Either way, Sona Chandi still manages to handle such people with different circumstances. They even come across such landlords who without their permission cannot leave the house. The viewers also have the chance to meet with humble landladies with whom they have dinner with them on the same dining table. All comes to the point where the couple are able to cope up with different personas of people with different circumstances to sort out their problems.

iii – Sona and Chandi are a simple married couple who sing songs and trust each other with their secrets. Due to their innocence & love, they win many people hearts and gain friendships to build bridges of relationships between those people who had been in conflict with much time.

iv – In the supporting cast, we have Munir Zareef and Ayub Khan were the comic relief characters, who were very amusing.

v – The performances by the lead stars as well as the other cast members have portrayed their characters very nicely.

vi – There are many cameo appearances by a number of fame artists, where the viewers love to see favorite ones on the silver screen.

vii – Having 32 episodes in 1980s TV series, is a rare thing to see. Yet, the writer manages to make most of the episodes interesting enough to watch it till the finale.

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Simple set designs, camera handling, editing, just doesn’t works with the kind of writing this TV series is produced with.

ii – Rather than having the story written in cannon manner, we are presented with different stories with different characters, where Sona Chandi work at. Sometimes, it loses interest to watch new stories every time you are switched to a new episode.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Sona Chandi portrays two evergreen characters that are still remembered to this day for their sheer innocence and simplicity to deal with life’s problems.

 

 

 

Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars