TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode XIII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 13 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Thirteen episodes in, Raqeeb Se is finally picking up its pace. This episode in particular had much more memorable moments and interactions between the main cast. While there is still some room for improvement, Raqeeb Se is slowly but surely becoming compelling television every week.

ii – The mystery surrounding Insha and Maqsood is fairly interesting. Insha apparently despises her father on some level, perhaps finds him quite arrogant in his beliefs. Which makes as a viewer wonder if there is more than meets the eye?

iii – Any episode that Saba Faisal is involved in, becomes an entertaining watch by default. In every scene, she just dominates the scene with her mere presence and her sassy Punjabi brings endless joy and entertainment for a show which is inherently dower. 

iv – Surprisingly, Insha and Abdul’s expository dialogue has massively evolved and refined since the first episode. Both actors play off well from each other and their side romantic storyline is a welcome addition to the show.

v – The last scene and cliffhanger was great. It sets up a very important crossroad of how far Hajira is willing to go with Maqsood sahib and how this will affect Insha, their daughter in the process. This was a great way to end an episode.

 + Low Points

i – Raqeeb Se is in the process of developing its storyline on a regular basis but still needs a lot of work. With each coming episode, the audience would like answers for once and be toyed with. So far, Raqeeb Se feels like its on the right path but needs a lot of ground to cover in the next coming episodes in order to justify us investing an hour of our time each week.

ii – The ‘spilling of the Kavaa’ was an eye roller of a scene and tacky at best. I’m sure the writer can come up with something better for Maqsood and Sakina to have physical interaction than this. 

iii – So far, Rafiq Ali has been all bark and no bite. Since Episode 1, he was described as a ruthless, wife beater who always takes the bull by the horns but instead, he has done nothing significantly evil onscreen for the audience to hate this character. Make him do something! If he is indeed one of the antagonists of the show then give us a reason to hate him other than something happening off screen.

+ Overall

Another good episode! Raqeeb Se is now improving every week which is indeed a sight for sore eyes. Let us hope this trend continues till the last episode.

 Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode XII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 12 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Episode 12 pertains nothing new when it comes to plot development but was a breeze to watch thanks to interesting banter between the main cast of the show. This time, the episode was rich rather in character development and explored more the motivations and struggles of each individual locked within the world of Maqsood and his past.

ii – “So what do you enjoy in Life, Maqsood sahib?”

The back and forth between Maqsood and Ameera was excellent in this scene. It really showed the contrast of personalities or perhaps… Maqsood outer exterior is one hammer strike away from opening up to reveal his true emotions? Great stuff.

iii – It’s satisfying to watch that in this episode, Abdul finally fulfills a milestone in his own personal achievements and when done right, the scenes between Insha and Abdul can be very charming to watch.

iv – A new character has been introduced into the show and without revealing anything, I think he/ she could prove to be a valuable asset to the show.

v – Because of the emotional struggle that Sakina and Hajira face within themselves, they now (understandably) share an unspoken bond between each other. This is good writing from Beegul and breaks the stereotype that women who love the same man just need to constantly throw venomous insults at one another.

vi – The production value of the episode is once again top notch in quality. As said before, Raqeeb Se is the most unique looking show right now on Pakistani television. It relies on its skills of setting up lighting and contrast with shadows rather than just pulling the saturation high to hide its lack of team’s skills behind the camera.

 + Low Points

i – Raqeeb Se has always been a slow burn of a show. But regular plot progression is absolutely necessary in a weekly televised show if it wants to maintain its audience on a weekly basis. Although Episode 12 was not the worst offender, I really hope the show picks up its pace pretty soon.

ii – There has been too much teasing going on about why Hajira is really grateful to Maqsood and why she decided to marry him even though she knew he could never be hers. The revelation at this point of the show is necessary in order for the audience to feel empathy towards her. Right now, it just feels that show needs to go through this monotonous routine of:

“Maqsood has done so much for me…”

“But what has he really done?”

(Change of subject matter).

iii – Faryal Mehmood’s performance can be very effective in short bursts but in Episode 12, she has a long monologue just unfortunately felt slightly awkward due to her dialogue delivery. But with the right direction from Kashif Nisar, I’m certain she can improve upon this hurdle in her performance.  

+ Overall

Episode 12 is a definite improvement from the last few weeks and if the lack of regular plot progression is resolved within the coming weeks, Raqeeb Se has the potential to become must see TV.

 Rate: 3.25 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode XI (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 11 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Episode 11 brings slight closure between Sakina and Hajira. They have a brief interaction about Life choices and how they were at times forced to continue those choices against their will. Although brief, this was a good scene for the audience to sympathise with the two characters who have had (unfortunately) the least amount of development throughout the show up till now.

ii – I have to admit, it is kinda fun to see Ameera try her hardest to please Maqsood sahib. She sometimes moves away from her personality just to be a bit more like her mother Sakina because it is her that Maqsood sahib fell in love with in the first place. 

iii – The confrontation between Maqsood and Sakina was the highlight of the show. His frustrations towards Sakina’s lack of self respect indulges him to face his past and make Sakina realize that she needs to grow as a person in order to have a better future. I can’t help but wonder that (like the audience) even Maqsood got sick of Sakina just moping and cursing her own fate.

iv – The show has always had great production value and this episode was no exception. Camera work, lighting and set design were all once again top notch!

 + Low Points

i – It is extremely odd that even with a few confrontational scenes between the main cast in this episode, nothing ever really happens in this show. As a viewer, you don’t feel as if the story has progressed, or the satisfaction of investing your time watching this show. Perhaps the reason is that the status quo of the show never ever changes; Maqsood sahib is always grumpy, Sakina is always whining about her fate, Hajira always acts like a doormat, Ameera acts erratic and Insha goes to her boyfriend to complain about her family. And it’s unfortunately getting real old now.

ii – In Episode 11, the scene between Insha and Abdul once again turned into unnecessary expository dialogue. Yes, Insha’s family is dysfunctional, we as an audience just saw that. Why repeat that same information? It’s just a waste of a scene which the writer could easily use to further develop the storyline. 

iii – Awkward greenscreen during car driving scenes of the show. Doesn’t look good to a show which otherwise, has good production value.

iv – Maqsood sahib’s anger outbursts in each single episode is becoming tiresome real fast. It’s obvious that he is frustrated with the current state of affairs but anger outbursts are only impactful if done seldom. 

+ Overall

Episode 11 is yet another tale in the life of Maqsood sahib and the women around him. Even though there are a few good scenes, the storyline still remains unmoved.

 Rate: 2.5 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode X (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 10 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Episode 10 was the introduction of Insha’s boyfriend to her family and the whole sequence of events were very well handled throughout the episode. Abdul’s anxiety and nervousness to Maqsood seeing a bit of his younger self in Abdul brings some much needed tension and interest other than the main plot of the show (which is unfortunately slowly deteriorating into obscurity).

ii – It is also worth a mention that the dynamics between Insha and Abdul have also significantly improved since the earlier episodes. The interactions between them seem better written and acted. Also their body language gives off fairly well that they have known each other for years now.

iii – The show’s production is excellent since its premiere and one of the most visually unique shows out there on Pakistani television at the moment. Most Pak TV shows heighten the color saturation just to make it more “eye catching”. Raqeeb Se achieves just that and much more by merely playing with light and shadows. Props should go to the Raqeeb Se’s production design team.

iv – While her performance during the show is slightly over the top, Iqra Aziz is nonetheless always entertaining whenever she is onscreen. And that is a God sent compared to the rest of the lifeless, dull characters of the show.

 + Low Points

i – As a reviewer, it is at times so frustrating to watch this show. Repetition, illogical scenes and dialogues have become so common that it becomes a chore just to sit through the entire episode without feeling exasperated. Half way through the episode, Rafiq Ali is sitting at Maqsood sahib’s Bungalow, having tea with Hajira. How!? Why? How did he get here? Why was he invited in? They know he can be dangerous, could potentially take Sakina back home by force, why take the risk? Would the show care to explain this to the viewers?

ii – In the last five episodes or so, Sakina and Hajira have undoubtedly become mere plot devices to the show rather than having any sort of characterization of their own. Sakina curses her fate while Hajira does everything Maqsood wants and praises him for it. A white sheet of paper has more dimension than these two characters!

iii – The crush that Ameera has on Maqsood sahib is incredibly tacked on and awkward. For now, it serves nothing to the overall plot of the show but perhaps the writer Beegul has something up her sleeve that we as viewers are not aware of. But for now, it does not work.

iv – The background music during the Rafiq Ali/ Hajira scene was extremely odd. I wish I could comment on it more but I have absolutely no idea what kind of feeling they were going for there.

+ Overall

Episode 10 goes back again to status quo. Lethargic plot development, lack of strong character motivations, repetition of scenes/ dialogues. Even though Adbul and Insha’s subplot is well integrated into the story, Raqeeb Se needs to give a clear reason why viewers should stick around till the end.

 Rate: 2.5 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode IX (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 9 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – These past few episodes has really fleshed out the love story of Abdul/ Insha and is finally now being integrated into the overall narrative of the show. Also the development of both characters has significantly been improved upon and is slowly becoming the highlight of each episode.

ii – In Episode 9, the dramatic tension within Maqsood sahib’s compound was very well written and brought some life into the ongoing tense moments of the show (which for the past few episodes have been frankly dull and repetitive).

iii – Noman Ijaz as Maqsood finally gets to emote and show his full potential in this episode. Maqsood eventually breaks his stoic mannerisms and lets his true emotions be put on display for the audience to witness. Noman Ijaz seems very comfortable playing the main protagonist who has an obvious chip on his shoulder.

iv – With tense, visual atmosphere and soft lighting, Raqeeb Se might be one of the best looking TV dramas out there at the moment. Even if the narrative falters at times, the visuals are always pleasant to marvel at.

v – Compared to other episodes, Episode 9 had good pacing/ plot progression and was a slight improvement from the rest of the show. The scenes were well set up, the actors got to display their acting chops; from here on-out, this is how the show should move forward!

 + Low Points

i – Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina has really become a drag to watch. Her one note line delivery and lack of any character development has really hurt her performance in the show. She has never had anything interesting to say, her regret of “setting foot into Maqsood sahib’s house” is over and done with by now. The show really needs to give her something more interesting to do than just mop and whine about her fate. 

ii – As far as one note characters, Hajira’s motivations have also not developed since the first episode. She is by far the least interesting character of the main cast. She has nothing to do throughout the show other than to remind the audience how grateful she is to Maqsood sahib and lacks any motivations of her own. The manner in which Hajira is written makes her a mere “plot device” to the overall narrative rather than having a character of her own.

iii – Although the cliffhanger of the show was an interesting one, let us also not forget that Hajira is not onboard with any of Maqsood’s decisions. Are we supposed to sympathize with how noble Maqsood is in vowing to take care of Sakina? If his own wife is not completely in agreement with this “new arrangement” then it is not a noble but selfish act from Maqsood’s part. If the show wants us to sympathize with Maqsood’s selflessness without his wife’s consent then that is an abhorrent decision from the creative team of Raqeeb Se. Whether the show runners will work on this upcoming angle remains to be seen…

+ Overall

Episode 9 brings back some of the tension and drama from the first few episodes. It’s a much needed character dynamic that the show was lacking in the previous few weeks. With a stellar cast like this, Raqeeb Se most certainly has the potential to become a must see television show.

 Rate: 3.0 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode VIII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 8 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Whenever Sabiq Sameer and Saba Faisal are part of an episode, that is where Raqeeb Se shines the most. Their performances and characters are compelling enough to keep you interested throughout the episode. Salman Shahid’s introduction in the past few episodes is also a great addition to lower the monotony of the four main core characters.

ii – Episode 8 might be the first time that Abdul showed some depth in his characterization. His inability to find a decent, secure job makes him uncomfortable in front of his lover and brings some inferiority complex into the mix. Great! This actually gives a purpose of sorts why the viewer should be interested in the development of their relationship. More of this please!

iii – The tension and banter between Maqsood and Rafiq is always fun to watch. Noman Ijaz and Saqib Sameer always have great onscreen chemistry together and their performances show that they are having fun playing their respective roles.

iv – When it comes to production, Raqeeb Se is one of the best looking TV dramas in Pakistan. The cinematography, lighting, editing (with exception to music selection) are all brilliant. What is commendable about the show is that even with minimal plot progression, the visuals command the audience to continue watching the show. 

v – The dynamics between Maqsood and his estranged elder Brother is intriguing and would love to see where it develops by the end of the show. The car scene near the end of the episode was a clear reminder that Raqeeb Se can have great writing and excellent conflicts whenever it needs to. 

 + Low Points

i – Raqeeb Se is primarily a show centered around its five main protagonists and its takes its time with its plot progression. Which is all great but you need sharp writing in order to pull this off. And unfortunately, this show does not accomplish that. The characters are not compelling enough to rely solely on them and therefore, suffers from repetitive scenarios and plot stagnation. 

ii – Even though Hadiqa Kiani has mostly been great throughout the show, Episode 8 was not her best outing to date. Her character Sakina has slowly become a one note character, crying and complaining about leaving back to her village, never should’ve set foot at Maqsood sahib’s door etc. Due to repetitive writing and lack of developing character arcs, Hadiqa Kiani’s acting chops are also proving to be monotonous, one note dialogues. Please give her something else to do. I’m sure Hadiqa Kiani is more than up for the task of showing a different range of emotions!

iii – Faryal Mehmood and Hamza Sohail still remain the two sore spots of the show as their performances are significantly lesser in quality compared to the other leads of the show like Noman Ijaz, Sania Saeed, Saqib Sameer  or even Iqra Aziz. But they are not the ones at fault here. They both feel uncomfortable whenever they are sprouting out their dialogues which clearly shows that the director Kashif Nisar is not guiding them enough with their performances. 

Iv– Even if Episode 8 was a slight improvement from the previous one, the show still lacks stakes and has major pacing issues. And with lack of plot progression from episode to episode, the characters are not interesting enough to hold the viewer’s interest on their own. And sadly, I don’t see any new developments in the near future.

+ Overall

Episode 8 showed some signs of improvement but the core pacing issue of the show is still a major factor for me to further recommend this show. Raqeeb Se is far from engaging television but at least it’s great to have something in the background if you have some free time on your hands.

 Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode VII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 7 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Regardless of the problems with writing and plot development, what Raqeeb Se has been consistently good with is its presentation. The Director of Photography Hassam Mairaj’s work has been great throughout the show. And the praise should also be upheld for the entire crew behind the camera. 

ii – Saba Faisal’s performance as the sassy, uptight Punjabi lady is outstanding. Since her introduction, she is magnetic in every scene she is a part of and brings a much needed flair to the show.

iii – Even though nothing much happens in Episode 7, the interaction between characters with conflicting personalities was interesting enough for the episode to breeze through.

iv – The short biryani scene between Insha and her lover was a nice touch and visually depicted that even with so much uncertainty surrounding their secure future, they still love each other enough to just simply enjoy the finer moments in Life.

 + Low Points

i – Like watching paint dry…”. This perfectly sums up Raqeeb Se’s plot development since its premiere on Hum TV. Episode 7 yet again adds nothing to the overall plot development of the show. It’s characteristically tedious and lingers far too long on its premise than it has any right to. And the worst part is, Raqeeb Se has such a stellar cast and creative team but nothing engaging to offer to its viewers. It’s been quite a letdown up till now.

ii – It has to be mentioned that Insha’s interaction with her parents is extremely cold and alien at times. There seems to be a total loss of love and affection that one has for her parents. She even sometimes refers to her father as “Maqsood sahib”. Even with the backstory of Maqsood that we know now, her actions are not justifiable. Is there any other reasoning behind all this that has currently not been revealed?

iii – Hajra is unconvincingly depicted as extremely naive and quite frankly, ridiculous at times. She has mentioned a couple of times how Maqsood has done so much for her but why is Hajra so eager to keep Sakina at their place when ultimately, it’s clear that this will bring nothing but trouble to her marriage? The writing of the show is very vague and inconsistent on this issue and it’s getting really hard and frustrating for the viewer to sympathise with Hajra anymore.

+ Overall

Although Episode 7 was interesting enough through its compelling characters, the consistent plot development is still severely lacking in order to make the viewer look forward every week to watch the show. But with the recent cliffhanger of Episode 7, can Raqeeb Se make a comeback?

 Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode VI (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 6 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Episode Six entails more characters (Maqsood’s older brother and his wife) which is a blessing for the show since the same four main cast of characters in every episode was becoming stale fast.

ii – In my last review, I mentioned that Hajira’s character needed more exploration. Thankfully, this was already in the cards of Raqeeb Se’s creative team as there are subtle hints of Hajira’s eventual outburst against the rekindled relationship between Sakina and Maqsood.

iii – The low lighten, illuminated backgrounds of each scene plays nicely to the overall dower atmosphere of the show. It visually conveys the anguish and seriousness of the plot.

Iv– There were some experimental camera angles used in between the episode which (for the most part) worked quite well. A shot through the glass where a window frame separates the two characters and their conflicting point of views was a nice touch.

 + Low Points

i – This show is incredibly repetitious and uncompelling for the most part.  No matter how many layers there are to the Maqsood/ Sakina story, the pacing is slow, each scene lingers on much longer than it should and an iteration of the same themes of “will Sakina leave or stay?” is already a monotonous premise at this stage of the show. The plot and character arcs need to develop at a much faster pace than this as it is currently an ordeal to watch through.

ii – SPOILER ALERT!!! (skip to next point if you would like to avoid it)

The revelation that Ameera is possibly in love for Maqsood sahib is… well, disturbing to say the least. Yes, younger women do get fascinated with older men but just the fact that Maqsood was almost engaged to be married to her mother is (quite frankly) repulsive to say the least. Whether there will be any feeling from Maqsood sahib remains to be seen but is this really the direction the show wants to go to?

iii – The whole sequence of Sakina leaving for her village and then eventually, Maqsood Sahib bringing her back seemed utterly pointless and was quite obviously a tactic to prolong the episode to an hour long TV show.

iv – Near the end of the episode, Faryal Mehmood’s malicious dialogue towards Sakina felt quite out of character. Although it’s already established that she doesn’t like this whole arrangement, the threatening tone seems so out of the blue and felt as if the writer got Ameera’s dialogue mixed up with Insha’s.

+ Overall

Even with a shocking revelation, Episode 6 once again falls back to mediocrity and serves nothing to the overall plot in the long run.  

 Rate: 2 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode V (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 5 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Finally, some plot progression! In Episode 5, there are some key revelations about Maqsood sahib and Sakina’s mysterious past. And for the most part, they are quite satisfying.

ii – This bears repetition but Hadiqa Kiani’s performance (especially as a non actor) is great and a clear highlight of the show. Her subtle, nuance spoken words and gestures give her character the much needed depth that she so richly deserves. Judging solely by her performance, it is entirely convincing that Sakina has gone through some clear domestic trauma.

iii – Although we again return to the same , chamber play location of the bungalow, the house plays a crucial role in creating a claustrophobic atmosphere for the plot revelation that accompanies Episode 5. One of the most consistent bright spots of the show has been the selection of its locations and set design. They ultimately bring some tension that you can literally cut with a sharp kitchen knife.

Iv– The flashback scene in the village was incredibly well staged and directed. The lighting, cinematography, the gritty, intense music; everything about the sequence was brilliantly played out.

v– After a hiatus of a few lackluster episodes, we finally have a cliffhanger to an episode which would hopefully make its viewers come back for more.

 + Low Points

i – Music selection during tense or comic relief scenes are still a massive problem with this show. Even with good dialogue and performances, the tension in the scene is instantly deflated with poor music selection that is at complete odds with the tone of that set piece. Also the few tracks that they have are now becoming quite repetitious and the show needs to diversify its music library a bit more.

ii – Faryal Mehmood’s performance is noticeably below par as compared to the rest of the main cast. Her stiff dialogue delivery and lack of emotions prove detrimental to each scene she is supposed to take center stage in.

iii – Even though Episode 5 was eventful as compared to others, Raqeeb Se needs to pick up its pace a bit with its plot development. Otherwise they constantly risk losing viewership each week.

iv – It is fairly obvious that Hajira’s character needs some depth. At the moment, she noticeably just blends into the background whenever she is part of an essential scene. Of course, her character is naturally timid and forgiving but she needs some flair and detail to her personality.

+ Overall

With new plot revelations, Episode 5 proves that Raqeeb Se still has something engaging to offer to its viewers. Although the flaws of the show are painfully obvious, it is primarily the performances of its lead actors that are capable of producing engaging set pieces and great melodrama. But with that in mind, falling back to its slow lingering plot development could also prove the downfall of the show.

 Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Raqeeb Se – Episode IV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 4 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Kashif Nisar and is a production of Momina Duraid Productions. Raqeeb Se is a HUM TV 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 Kashif Nisar
  • Written by Beegul
  • DOP by Hassam Mairaj
  • Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Raqeeb Se is the newest HUM TV Production and is once again the collaboration of the award winning Writer/ Director duo of Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar. 

The title of the show is heavily inspired by a poem from the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz when the young poet fell in love with a girl next door in Sialkot. But alas, as luck would have it, she one day unexpectedly left the city, only to be reunited years later when Faiz was already an established poet in the circles of Urdu literature. This encounter inspired Faiz to write a poem “Raqib Se!”. The backstory of this poem plays a crucial role in the premise of the show.

 + Main Cast

  1. Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
  2. Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
  3. Sania Saeed as Hajra
  4. Faryal Mehmood as Insha
  5. Iqra Aziz as Ameera
  6. Saqib Sameer as Rafiq

+ Plot

Raqeeb Se is a call of Maqsood’s dark past that could potentially destroy his present life. In order to escape her abusive husband, Sakina, along with her daughter Ameera, flees from her village to find shelter at her former lover’s place, Maqsood. Unfortunately Maqsood, who still holds a grudge against Sakina’s past actions, refuses to aid her in her most dire situation. But his wife, Hajra, seems much more sympathetic to the situation and lets Sakina stay at their home till things are figured out for the future.

But can Sakina be trusted to stay out of Maqsood’s life or will they be tempted to rekindle their lost love and in the process, destroy what Maqsood and his wife Hajra have built together?

+ High Points

i – Since the last episode, the only character that has been entertaining throughout is Saqib Sameer’s Rafiq Ali. From his performance, it’s fairly obvious that Saqib is having a lot of fun playing Rafiq. From his small physical inflictions to his exaggerating his thick, Punjabi village accent; Saqib is a treat to watch in what can be best described as a long drawn out slog of an episode.

ii – The episode depicts a lucious, green Punjab countryside which inturn, creates gorgeous imagery onto the small screen. Even if nothing engaging is happening on screen, one can at least admire the beauty of the countryside.

iii – Even though Hadiqa Kiani had nothing to do in the past 3 episodes, her acting chops are still sharp as ever. With better character development, she could very well bring some much needed new life for this TV show.

 + Low Points

i – Episode 4 contributes absolutely nothing to the overall narrative. Apart from the short, vague backstory of Hajra, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to watch this week’s episode. Episode 3 and 4 could’ve simply been merged together to create a more coherent storytelling.

ii – Faryal Mehmood and her lover’s scenes are still meaningless and tiresome to watch. Why should we care about them? What emotional stakes are involved that would make me as a viewer interested in their plotline? 

iii – Raqeeb Se, as I understand, is primarily a character driven soap opera. While the plot is minimal, it’s the compelling characters that are supposed to drive the narrative through with their individual character arcs. Unfortunately, that is not the case. There has been absolutely no character development since the first episode. Sadly, this makes the TV show unengaging to watch and as a soap opera, that is a detrimental sin. One needs story progression, character arcs to keep the viewer interested to watch the next episode. And Raqeeb Se is failing at that.

iv – Up until now, Maqsood sahib’s trip back to the village brought nothing new onto the table. Raqib Ali is an abhorrent man, yes. But we already knew that since the first episode. What else noteworthy was added in these past two episodes?

v – Even though Raqib Ali always wants to “cut little pieces of (insert name here)’s body and throw them in the river”, visually his character appears goofy and non-threatening. I guess this could be the case of ‘his bark worse than his bite’ but as a viewer, you need a strong antagonist onscreen to hate and a protagonist to root for. This has sadly not been the case up until now.

 + Overall

Episode 4 is nothing but a repeat of the last episode. There was no character development or story progression at all. Whatever entertainment came was solely from Saqib Sameer’s character. The rest feels arbitrary and pointless to watch. 

Raqeeb Se needs to make things happen. Otherwise it risks falling into obscurity of stale, mediocre dramas of HUM TV.

 Rate: 2 out of 5 stars