TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 25 (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 25 develops Parizaad’s further decent into the dirty, underworld tactics of maintaining power. And that is a great way of depicting how much our main protagonist has changed since the transition of ‘rags to riches’ storyline. Even though we all know and love Parizaad for his kind heartedness and empathic point of view of his world, one must also never push such a character to his extreme. You might be surprised as to what you would end up discovering. But…

ii – …. at the same time, the writer’s decision to not let Parizaad completely descend into the abyss of evil was a wise one. While this was never in true doubt, murdering his adversary’s innocent son in cold blood might have too massive of a character development in one, stand alone incident. While his tactics can be cruel, he is still the Parizaad that we all can relate and sympathize with.

iii – The relationship between Parizaad and Guru is also a heartfelt one. Guru has had a harsh, unforgiving life who adjusted himself to the evil nature of our society. Every scene that they share together, it is apparent that Guru sees a bit of himself in Parizaad before he has enveloped into the madness of revenge and solitude.

+ Low Points

i – The very late introduction of the cousin character of Annie seems so forced and out of place with the current storyline. His performance seems to belong to some other light hearted Hum TV drama, not the gritiness real life of Parizaad. Up till now, I have no idea what major purpose he serves to the plot but as of now, his existence seems unnecessary to the inevitable conclusion of the show.

ii – Speaking of harsh reality, the “fight scene” at the rooftop with Parizaad’s adversary seemed so phony and ridiculous. When your show is excellent at staying grounded and real, you don’t need such scenes to elevate the absurdity of the situation. If the dialogues, characterizations and performances are based on reality, so should the fight scenes.

+ Overall

Once again, a good episode although the plot now does feel somewhat directionless in the grand storyline of the show. Where is this all heading to?

Rating: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 24 (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 – Now this was a great episode! It was fast paced, intense and finally, we got to see a slightly vicious side of Parizaad. Due to recent events, he has now learned the rules of the game and he is in no mood to back down. We also get to see the consequences of living the life of a man in a position of power. A person always in everyone’s radar also means that you end up inevitably making enemies along the way.

The episode was brilliantly paced, never missing a beat and something tells us that the life of Parizaad has taken a new turn and nothing will ever be the same for him again.

ii – Since assasination was attempted and his bodyguard came under the line of fire, how far is Parizaad willing to go to get his revenge against his adversaries? As he stood in his enemy’s office and stared down at the picture of his teenage son, was this a mere threat or is Parizaad capable of targeting innocent civilians in the process? That question could make or break the Parizaad that we know and love. It is a step that can never be reversed once taken. Perhaps Behroze Karim was right, elevating to a position of power is not the hard part but rather maintaining that position.

One can never be certain but it looks like we will have our answer in the next coming weeks. And I love the fact that the show knows exactly how to ask the vital moral questions from its main protagonist that could easily make or break him in the eyes of his audience.

iii – Such minor details but I love that the show managed to display (in passing) how Annie works her way in life through the help of Phone apps which sort out different colors or braille newspapers that she reads to keep up with the times. It was not a necessity to display these minor details but they definitely add up the overall experience of world building for Parizaad.

iv – A touching display of affection between Parizaad and his bodyguard who ended up taking the bullet meant for his employer. As he stood next to his bodyguard’s bed and clasped his hand in support, it is a constant reminder what humble beginnings Parizaad comes from and how much has he accomplished. Perhaps in a similar fashion, Parizaad earlier also took the “bullet” for Behroze Karim when he refused to give out any incriminating information against his employer. Such is the life of a commoner who is in pursuit of material happiness in Life. History repeats itself in more ways than one.

+ Low Points

i – The late introduction of the cousin (?) character of Annie was a bit unnecessary. What role he will play in the show remains to be seen but one feels that the show already has too many supporting characters that contribute to the main plot of the show.

+ Overall

A solid episode. One with a fast paced story and intense character development. Can’t wait for next week.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 21 (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 – For an episode that takes place almost entirely in one room, it never got boring and was a breeze to sit through. Now, did the story development make any sense? No, but at least the viewers didn’t have to roll our eyes and check the time every 10 minutes. And I suppose it is somewhat ambitious of the show to dedicate a whole episode with primarily two actors and a single location but…

+ Low Points

i –  … it is all nonsensical in the end. None of the expositions make any logical sense to the plot development and the sudden change in character from Mashal just comes out of left field. Since it is time to warp up the show, characters are now acting out of their characterization to reach the conclusion.

All because Mashal got slapped in the face by Mehreen, they decided to bury the decade long rivalry over two sets of teas. The vital question being; why was none of this information shared by Mehreen to the police?? And also, nothing in their conversation indicates a pivotal moment where Mashal would have a strong change of heart towards Mehreen. So you’re telling me that all they both needed was to listen to each other for a few hours and Mashal would realize that she acted so cruel towards Mehreen? She literally was planning on murdering Mehreen that very night! Wow, that is some conversation! World politics should adopt this technique in the United Nations and bring world peace all across the globe! From planning on murdering someone to giving their blessing to marry the love of their life, that is some character development within a span of few hours!

ii – There is unfortunately nothing much to dissect here. Nothing of much value was said throughout their conversation. Mehreen recounts all the mischief Mashal created against her, they both discuss how they are in love with Aswad (for God knows what reason…) and Mashal makes the sacrifice of not standing in the way of Mehreen and Aswad anymore. Alright but this does not add any value to the plot progression of the show. Why was this even an episode? The only valuable point of contingency was that Mashal threw the cup of poisoned tea away from Mehreen. That could have been shown in a single flashback shot in any of the other episodes. This episode did not need to exist.

iii – It is such negligence from the writer’s part that the character of Saffan has always been treated as an ‘afterthought’ throughout the entire show. So someone who was kind, understanding and arguably a better human being than all of the three main cast characters, was treated like a wet cloth, hung out  to dry, only mentioned as an ‘alternative solution’ for Mehreen. So in the end; selfish, malicious behavior is rewarded in this show but empathy is punished. Let us hope that the final episode makes the right choice and should not end on Aswad redeeming himself in the eyes of Mehreen. 

+ Overall

Episode 21 was ambitious but nothing more than that. It is (for the most part) an entirely skippable episode.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 23 (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 – I have to admit, initially I was a bit wary of yet another love interest for Parizaad to obsess over but since the last few episodes, the relationship between him and Annie has developed into something a lot more concrete and substantial for the character growth of Parizaad. A perfect metaphor for our society’s “beauty standards” where the partner (literally) sees beyond the dark skin of our protagonist.

ii – The return of Nasaaz was great and can prove to be an asset to the final, inevitable destination of Parizaad. Nasaaz was the person who (arguably) saved Parizaad from taking his own life, gave him unbridled courage to move forward to fight against this unjust world. Now perhaps Parizaad can return the favor? Something tells me things will end up on a tragic note.

iii – There is some fun back and forth dialogue between Parizaad and Lubna which hints at the fact that they are still college kids at heart. The writer Hashim Nadeem has a great sense of writing and a clear distinction when he is writing dialogue between friends or lovers. Clearly Parizaad and Lubna share a platonic bond between them that indulges deep within the depths of Art and poetry.

+ Low Points

i – Unfortunately, Episode 23 brought nothing substantial to the story and neither did it shed any new light to the character development of Parizaad. Lately, there have been way too many “Parizaad; such a kind soul that he finances your dreams” scenes. In the grand scheme of things, the scene with the song auditioning was pointless and served only as a pathway for Parizaad to be reunited with Nasaaz. Serviceable but not a great episode.

ii – This unfortunately needs to be addressed; While maintaining a business empire, where in the world does Parizaad get the time to meet characters and visit events that have really nothing to do with his work? Wealth always comes at a price but the show depicts a ludicrous, carefree version of an euterpenur’s lifestyle where he manages to commit to his work and visit all his friends and family around Pakistan. This (I’m afraid) is far from reality.

iii – Since the last few weeks, the episodes of Parizaad have not had much substance to add to the journey of our protagonist. The events seem unnaturally prolonged and the show should be wrapping up with its conclusion by now. Not a major criticism but prolonging the life of a show with no real storytelling can prove to be a major deficit for Parizaad.

+ Overall

Even though the show still maintains its quality writing and performances, this week’s episode proved to be inconsequential when it comes to the show’s plot and character development.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 20 (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 nothing integral happens throughout this week’s episode, the performances still made it worth it to sit through. And that has always been the saving grace of this show.

+ Low Points

i –  As mentioned above, (apart from one dialogue from Mehreen) this week had absolutely nothing new to offer. It is yet again retread of previous events and revelations, childhood scenes that (at this stage of the show) add nothing to the narrative. Episode 20 was nothing much than a filler, gearing up to the grand finale (perhaps next week?).

ii – It still boggles the mind how incompitent the police investigation was in the case of Mashal’s murder. Firstly, the “two sets of Tea” that night was never brought up in the investigation, neither the fact that their pet dog mysteriously also got poisoned that night nor the fact that Mashal had the keys to Mehreen’s room and worst of all, Mehreen’s room was not even thoroughly searched by the police. Otherwise, they would have found Mehreen’s daily diary. It is obvious that her diary would not serve as substantial evidence but at the very least, could have served as pieces to the grand puzzle of who murdered Mashal or was it inevertedly her own doing. This major inconsistency in the storytelling is too big of a plothole to be ignored!

iii – Unless Mashal had malicious intentions that night, it is unfathomable why Mashal that night would like to make amends with Mehreen. Even her dialogue delivery sounded sarcastic and not genuine (or maybe Kubra Khan is just not that good of an actress). The revelation from Mehreen that “Mashal wanted to save her” does not add up to the performances during the confrontation scene. And it seems highly unlikely that Mashal (in a second’s thought) would be ready to let go of her grudge towards Mehreen just because she thinks that they are “even” now. Another example of bad, inconsistent writing by Umera Ahmed.

iv – Apparently, the showrunners have promised a major revelation in the final episode of the show and one can only expect a conclusion which would make no sense in the grand scheme of things. The narrative has for the most part been completely inconsistent with the plot, each character has acted at times ‘out of character’ in order to compensate for the plot to move forward. And where is Saffan in all of this? Will he be the main antagonist at the end of the show or has he been pushed off the cliff, never to be mentioned again? Since its premiere, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay has struggled maintaining coherent storytelling and progressive characterizations. And unfortunately, I do not have high hopes that the show will conclude in a way that will answer all the inconsistencies of the plot.

+ Overall

Episode 20 was yet again another filler week to prolong the inevitable finale of the show. Apart from a single, vital dialogue by Mehreen, this episode had nothing new to offer to its viewers.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 22 (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 22 was brilliantly paced and well structured throughout its hour runtime. The emotions were not so hamfisted as the previous episode and one got a sense of the emotional connection Parizaad has with Annie. As usual, Ahmed Ali Akbar’s performance is impeccable. From his poverty stricken days to the multi millionaire transformation, Parizaad’s body language has changed radically. No longer his shoulders fall, the hesitation in his voice is absent and is not his defining character trait. The six years in prison and the adoption of Behroze’s wealth has brought a new perspective in his life.

ii – This week’s episode had some great dialogue! From the scene with the absent minded bodyguard to the confrontation with Naheed, episode 22 had some outstanding writing to it. For the most part, the writer Hashim Nadeem has been excellent and an unsung hero of the show.

iii – As mentioned, the confrontation of Parizaad with his first love Naheed was the true highlight of the episode. As a reviewer, I could truly appreciate how Parizaad did not just merely refuse advances of Naheed but instead, confessed his inner thoughts onto her. In a typical Parizaad fashion, he painstakingly explained his past love for her and perhaps still, the feelings have not completely left him. Under the facade of wealth, power and success, there still hides the Parizaad that we’ve all grown to love and appreciate. But even if Naheed’s remorse was genuine, would he have still refused her due to her marital status? Perhaps but the doubt will always remain somewhere deep down in his psyche.

+ Low Points

i – These are perhaps just minor nitpicks but the confrontation between Parizaad and Naheed went on a tad bit too long. Just a slight reduction of dialogues from Parizaad’s side would have benefited the pacing of the scene. Also some inventive camera work would have made the scene much more visually interesting instead of the typical shot/ reaction shot composition.

+ Overall

Episode 22 serves as an essential building block as Parizaad steadily reaches its grand finale.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 19 (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.

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

+ High Points

i – Finally, the epic conclusion is coming to a close. Shabo accidentally killed Mashal (who wanted to murder her own cousin instead). Even though the conclusion and the motivations make absolutely no sense, the performances have been mostly stellar throughout the show. With exception to Usman Mukhtar as Aswad, everyone else played their respective roles well and with some level of finesse. 

+ Low Points

i –  Episode 19 simply continued on where the last episode left off. The revelation of the incident is further elaborated on with Shabo’s confession as to why she ended up mixing the “energy pills” in Mashal’s tea instead. As per my last review, I already explained how most of this conclusion makes absolutely no sense. The death of their dog (who was not even mentioned or seen in any episodes prior to the death of Mashal) was left uninvestigated by the police nor the fact that Shabo was never really interrogated about her role that night as well. Also the fact that Mehreen could’ve easily mentioned (or did mention) to the police that Mashal and her had in fact, two sets of tea that particular evening. So who made the second round of tea? Why, Shabo of course! Then why was she never properly interrogated? Why is the case now dropped without any conclusive evidence?

And also, good God, why did Mashal trust her servant to mix the “energy pills” in the right cup? Did a thought not cross her mind that she is depending her whole life on Shabo? And time and time again, Mashal had criticized Shabo for being clumsy and not competent enough. Why would she trust her with her life on this “special” occasion? Why didn’t she made her mix the pills right in front of her just for safekeeping?

 Every aspect of this revelation feels unearned as the set up was poorly conducted for a satisfying payoff. And the worst part is that as a viewer, its hard to feel sympathy for any of these characters because they are either too evil or too dumb to garner any affection from the audience.

ii – Aswad still continues to be the most bewildering character in TV history. Due to lies from Mashal, he was (for some idiotic reason) fully convinced that Mehreen is capable of committing murder just because she has some sort of cousin rivalry going on. But what lacks is a substantial reasoning to do so. In Aswad’s mind, what was the crucial reason that Mehreen decided to murder her own cousin? Because of mere jealousy? Unfortunately there is no conclusive reason but due to the fact that the script dictated it, Aswad was supposed to hate Mehreen now, accuse her of murder for no substantial reason. The plot of Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay always felt half-baked. The series of events mostly make no sense but only exist to further the plot. Aswad is by far, the worst character in all of this nonsense.

iii – The great cliffhanger of the episode was that Mehreen now finally wants a divorce from Aswad. And…. is that a surprise for anyone? The woman was on the brink of suicide and had a massive nervous breakdown (mostly cause of him)! Of course she would want a divorce now! And if they still ended up being together in the next episode, I would be extremely displeased with the show’s conclusion.

+ Overall

As Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is finally reaching its conclusion, its safe to say that the promise and talent that this show had in the beginning did not pay off and has been a convoluted mess.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 21 (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 – The revisit to Naheed’s story is excellent and I’m eagerly interested how this will all play out. It is rather true to the character but unfortunate at the same time that wealth does change perceptions of many individuals throughout the world. Naheed’s attraction to Parizaad is far from being coincidental and it is important to note what kind of world Parizaad left behind in order to enter his journey to the path of success.

ii – Although the execution was incredibly half-hearted (more on that later), the mirror scene was a clever way of depicting Parizaad’s insecurities that hinder his way of finding true happiness. Time and time again, he has been betrayed, taken advantage of and left for dead but the uniqueness of Parizaad is that he still persevered and never compromised on his morals.

iii – What was also commendable for Episode 21 was the ‘pocket story’ technique. For the most part, the whole episode focused on the Parizaad/ Annie story and it worked on most levels. The concept of a blind girl falling in love with a man who is not considered “physically attractive” due to his dark skin (a theme from Othello which the show touched upon many episodes ago) is a classic angle of storytelling. If looks are the first aspect that a person falls in love with, Annie had the privilege to fall with Parizaad’s character and poetry instead. 

+ Low Points

i – On some occasions, this episode was a bit of a letdown. The thematic elements that were visited ended up being cliched and on the nose. Yes, we know what an empathic person Parizaad is but do we really need to witness each and every good deed that he does (like the shoe shiner kid scene)? Thankfully we did get to peek into Parizaad’s more insecure side (his lack of self confidence when it comes to being loved) but Parizaad works best when the themes visited are subtle but to the point. 

ii – Although Annie has definitely some interesting characteristics, the way she has been written came off less charming but more on the annoyance side. Her ‘fangirl’ attitude over Parizaad’s poetry makes sense to the current storyline but have to admit, the scenes did slightly go overboard and I ended up feeling annoyed by her constant questioning and calling on odd times of the day rather than feeling sympathetic for her love. And also, just because she is a fan of his poetry, doesn’t necessarily mean that Parizaad will instantly fall head over heels for her. Some character development scenes were desperately required in order to make this romance believable. 

iii – There were a lot of unfortunate technical/ production errors throughout the episode. The lack of atmospheric sound is extremely jarring in exterior locations where we can visually see thousands of citizens on the streets but no sound can be heard. Obviously, the sound editor only enables sound when it is being picked up by the collar microphones of the actors. Secondly, the mirror scene with Parizaad was awkwardly executed since for some odd reason, the reflection of Parizaad was facing the camera rather than himself outside the mirror (check the mirror pic above). Why is reflection breaking the fourth wall and addressing us rather than himself in front of the mirror? Such moments really took me out of the show for some seconds and all these errors could have been easily fixed with just a small amount of effort.

iv – When it comes to priorities, what is up with Parizaad’s advisor/ personal secretary? Midway through the episode, he enters the room and explains to his boss Parizaad how he has made things well with his wife again and only after a few minutes of discussion, does he mention the urgent news that his rivals are ganging up on him and his life might be in danger…. Why is he still employed?

+ Overall

While the episode was truly focused and compact this time around, some writing inconsistencies and technical errors manage to hinder the enjoyment level this episode could have had.

Rate:out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 18 (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 opening scene of Episode 18, leading up to the climax of Mehreen’s vision of her late father was well executed. The longing of Mehreen for her father has always been one of key elements of the show and thematically, it made perfect sense why he might be the sole reason that could encourage Mehreen to go on living. The set piece was also performed excellently by the actors and is always a constant reminder that with a good script, these actors can potentially knock it out of the park. 

+ Low Points

i –  Finally, Episode 18 had some significant plot revelations. Revelations that made absolutely no sense. (Sigh) Where do we even begin? The unnecessary dumping of the food segment, the tea which was made twice in one night, the fact that the police had no clue that Mashal had the keys to Mehreen’s room and worst of all, Mashal blatantly commanding Shabo to dump unhealthy amount of sleeping pills in Mehreen’s cup and thus, making her an accomplice to a murder for no apparent reason! The plot is unnecessarily convoluted and is dragging the whole show to one of the most unsatisfying conclusions to a show in recent history.

ii – Oh my dear Aswad, the man who planned this whole time that he will psychologically torutre Mehreen for the alleged murder of Mashal and now that Mehreen ends up with a nervous breakdown, he truly realizes how horrible of a person he has been. But wait, there’s more! He now also found out that Mashal had lied to him about Mehreen this entire time like… how she secretly smokes (gasp!), how she has a boyfriend (oh my!) but fret no more, cause all of this and more were just lies, all lies. Which means Mehreen has always been the non-smoking, God’s perfect maiden that Aswad envisioned in head. So are we supposed to feel sorry for this misogynist? Since the beginning of this show, Aswad had been by far one of the worst characteristics that one could have for a male protagonist of a TV show. For him, Mehreen is only worthy of him if she was a non-smoker and is strictly only madly in love with him. Are we sure if he’s actually not the antagonist of the show? Cause that’s a twist which would make perfect sense.

iii – Just this whole depiction of mental torture and suicide from the show leaves a bad taste at the end. I do not believe in condemning such themes in TV shows but they should be done responsibly, not sensationalized and dramatized to a point that it just feels exploitative. It is not enjoyable (nor educational for that matter) to see our female protagonist getting man handled, psychological tortured to the brink of suicide. Why is this being used for prime time TV entertainment purposes? The writing tackling such serious issues is not up to the standards that it should be. Depression and suicide are unfortunately very prevalent in our Pakistani society and should be addressed in the most mature way possible. To say that Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay does not do these themes justice is an understatement.

iv – Apparently Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is now reaching its conclusion and yet, the viewers are still left scratching their heads with what it all means. Why did this show have filler episodes which added absolutely nothing to the overall plot. Since the death of Mashal around ep 8-10 till ep 18, there was next to zero plot development. The producers might have prolonged this show’s life to 20 episodes but in the process, left it completely lifeless with viewers each week complaining about the negative thematic elements of the show.

+ Overall

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is finally reaching its conclusion and unfortunately, the only satisfaction we, the viewers will get is when the final curtain will drop.

 Rate: out of 5 stars