TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 20 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ Low Points

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

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

+ Overall

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

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 19 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – Episode 19 was a noticeable improvement from the previous two weeks. There were some well directed, dialogue heavy set pieces throughout the episode which were engaging and brought a new light to some of the characters and their motives. As always, the best part was Nauman Ijaz and Samiya Mumtaz sharing the screen together. 

ii – With the new “revelation” from Hilmand as to who really tried to murder him, the plot thickens yet again. Is this a deliberate attempt to take Hikmat out of the picture or was Hilmand completely blindsided by the incident? Probably the latter rings more towards the truth but after such a long time, the main plot of the show is taking center stage once again.

+ Low Points

i – Although it was courageous from the creative team to go for a dialogue heavy episode but with that move, the acting range of each performer became clear to us as viewers (for better or for worse). It is fairly obvious by now that Atif Aslam and Kubra Khan have absolutely no on screen chemistry together. Their performances also felt clunky and unconvincing as they tattled through their inner emotions and expectations. Since it’s his first major role as an actor, Atif Aslam cannot emote much with his limited acting skill set. He is desperately in need of sharing scenes with more veteran actors who can guide and support him. The scenes shared by Kubra Khan and Atif Aslam could have been great with some well known veteran actors but as of now, the scenes felt long, tedious and single note.

ii – Sigh, can we please never revisit Hilmand’s friends ever again? One can find more comedic, entertaining moments in Pakistani politics these days. It was absolutely unnecessary to reveal how Hilmand’s lackey escaped his prison sentence. It plays no part in the main plot of the show and neither was it even a tad bit hilarious.

+ Overall

A better outing this week around but it is fairly obvious now where Sang-e-Mah is lacking when it comes to storytelling and performances.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 18 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – If one could get past all the illogical scenes involving Sherherzad, there were some strong performances by the main cast especially from Nauman Ijaz and Samiya Mumtaz. Regardless of the declining quality of the show, these two actors are always enigmatic onscreen together. But with that said, Zaviyar Ijaz also gave a short yet memorable performance. 

+ Low Points

i – Half of the episode was dedicated to wrapping up the Sherherzad childhood abuse subplot and by God, was it just awful to sit through! With each progressive dialogue, it was equivalent to nails scratching profusely on a chalkboard. Horrible set pieces, unrealistic power fantasies and undoubtedly some of the worst scenes this show has ever produced. Cheesy, hokey writing that did harm to not only the integrity of the show but the cast as well. I don’t think it needs to be pointed out why such immediate resolutions to a decades long psychological and physical torture are harmful to be depicted on television. We, as a Pakistani society, need to go a long, long way in order to understand female representation and how physical abuse victims are spat upon by our own society before they ever have the chance to receive some form of justice. Such quick, one or two scene resolutions are nothing less than an insult to the very social problem the show is trying to address. One simple rule to producers of Sang-e-Mah, if you cannot maturely, realistically address a social issue, don’t bother addressing it at all. At least we can now thank our lucky stars that this subplot is finally done with (fingers crossed)!

ii – It is incredibly perplexing to me how Mastaan Singh’s attempted murder is being treated so lightly by others who know his secret. Not only that but it was an attempted murder of a son from a respected leader of the village. Nobody seems to really care and vice a versa, neither do we as an audience. Within a span of a few episodes, the show destroyed one of its best written characters Mastaan Singh with nonsensical writing.  

iii – At this point one could care less about the whole Khan family drama as the main plot of the show has not progressed since the previous 4-5 episodes! Solely because the show was too focused on its subplots which contributed pretty much nothing to the overall narrative. This included such “engaging” storylines like Sherherzad’s past abuse, a side character learning about religious tolerance, other characters debating if Mastaan Singh should confess to his crime or not and so on. With each and every week, Sang-e-Mah is not the show as it started off as, losing its focus with each and every episode, making it abundantly clear that the show has been searching for random subplots to prolong the show to its 25 episodes mark.

+ Overall

Sang-e-Mah’s take on child abuse has been awful and unrealistic to say the least. If you cannot approach such serious subject matters with the level of respect that it deserves then you are just insulting the victims more than representing them on screen.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 17 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – No real highlights this week. Just unoriginal family melodrama that does not require much thought. If some mindless television is what you are searching for then Episode 17 was completely serviceable.

+ Low Points

i – Episode 17 was arguably one of the worst episodes that Sang-e-Mah has ever produced. Apparently the show is still pushing on with the tragic Sherherzad backstory and it was bad writing at its finest. The dialogues were generic, the acting was subpar and lacked any sort of conviction. I have been very local about the Sherherzad subplot being forcefully integrated into the narrative when there were already enough stories to be unfolded from the main plot. Why is Sherherzad being given the spotlight in the MIDDLE of the Khan family/ murder drama? Why is Marjaan Khan so eager to get revenge on her behalf? How does he even have the time to personally track down the doctor and not just send one of his minions to do the job for him? Not only is it unoriginal in its take on child abuse but due to bad writing, this subplot is terribly forced into the show. And judging from the end of the episode, I think we are far from done with this subplot… 

ii – The actress who played Dr. Haider’s wife… It has been a while since I have seen such stiff acting on a Momina Duraid production but by God, she somehow accomplished it. Given such a pivotal role in the Sherherzad subplot, she ends up demolishing whatever credibility this story might have had with her performance.  

iii – What is even worse is that even if you exclude all the Sherherzad subplot storyline, this episode has no real redeeming qualities at all. Each and every scene involving Hilmand was repetitive from the previous few episodes. And it is still confusing to me that even though Hikmat is the prime suspect in the case of attempted murder of Hilmand, there apparently is no uproar from the village for an investigation or anything of the sort. Seems as if it was just a slap on the face. Ridiculous. At the moment, I have no idea where this show is heading but most probably not somewhere intriguing.

+ Overall

Episode 17 was a bore to sit through. Not worth your time.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 16 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – Arguably the strongest asset that Sang-e-Mah possesses is the powerful one on one interactions of its main cast and episode 16 were filled with such instances. The heartfelt dialogue between Marjaan Khan and Sherherzad brought a hint of the Khan sahib’s past that I frankly was not expecting but was great nonetheless. His fading childhood memory of a random act of kindness brought a lot of depth to Marjaan’s character and perhaps, we understand him and his motivations a bit better now. With good screenwriting, the viewer does not need to necessarily agree with the actions of the character but rather simply try to empathize with them.

ii – A rare scene that was shared between Hilmand and his mother was brilliantly realized and just made me realize why this show did not allow these two characters to interact more often. Since Atif Aslam is still an amateur actor, working with veterans of the television industry brings out the best in him and creates wonderful back and forth with one another. And the irony of all this is that Hilmand was unconscious throughout the entire scene and still was arguably the most compelling part of the episode!

iii – Visually, Sang-e-Mah has always been top notch in quality. The contrast of illuminated lighting accompanied by dark shadows brings so much atmosphere to the show. Props should go to the entire production crew for doing such a fantastic job each and every week.

+ Low Points

i – The first 10 minutes of the episode were some of the worst that this show has ever produced. The village elders and the entire Hilmand crew are some of the most useless side characters and they contribute nothing to the overall narrative of the show. They are all two dimensional caricatures of themselves and are involved in scenes which can be entirely skipped. Thankfully, once Marjaan and Zarsanga came into the picture, that’s when the episode really picked up.

ii – Even though the interactions between the colorful cast of characters were great, they did lack some form of sceneric variety to them. All of the scenes consisted of actors just sitting around and talking. This is something I have always complained about the show. To get some depth of realism, Sang-e-Mah needs to show its characters interacting more with their environment like walking in the fields, picking apples, cleaning the house or your study room, folding clothes… anything that could make the audience relate to the characters they are watching on tv. 

+ Overall

Episode 16 was a treat to watch solely due to its well written exposition scenes.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 15 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – I admire the way certain themes were handled in Episode 15. Themes regarding decades long friendship between Baddam Gul and Mastaan Singh or religious biases one could have regarding belief differences. The lessons were never overbearing and were communicated with some thought behind it. 

ii – Thankfully episode 15 was never plot heavy. Infact, it was a breeze to sit through. The show this week focused more on building relationships between the existing characters and exploring situations that could prove fatal to the people involved in them. The structure and the flow from one scene to the next was well executed and enhanced the overall viewing experience.

iii – When it comes to framing and setting up a scene, Sang-e-Mah is breathtaking to watch. Each frame you can just pause, print it out and hang it on your wall.

+ Low Points

i – There are just certain subplots carried from the previous episode that should have no place in this show, namely the Sherherzad and the misogynistic doctor Haider. Not only does the subplot not fit with the lead narrative of the show but it is also poorly timed and executed. The doctor is as cliche of an antagonist as they come and the coincidence of him ending up being the lead surgeon for Hilmand’s operation is also ludicrous. I understand that the show is trying hard to bring some depth into Sherherzad’s character but that also could have been achieved by just her interacting with the Khan family without a tacked on tragic, abusive past. The show could have just built a subplot around Sherherzad’s struggle working as a female journalist in a male dominated world and that alone is worth exploring without a needless back story that fits nowhere in the show.

ii – Although the situational drama with character interactions were great, the acting itself came off quite stiff and unconvincing from certain characters, namely the christian doctor. Not to mention, there were some cringeworthy dialogues like “Ziada Pathan mat bano! (Don’t be such a Pathan!)”. That was just horrendous writing.

iii – I really despise how little they have utilized Hilmand as a character and given him any depth to his character. In almost every scene, he just lethargically moans and complains about the situation he is in. And to top it off, there is absolutely zero chemistry between him and Sherherzad to build any romance around them. And as a result, Sang-e-Mah suffers heavily for lacking any interesting main protagonist on the show.

+ Overall

Sang-e-Mah is great when it focuses on building relationships but terrible at elevating its main plot. And episode 15 is a perfect example of it.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 14 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – All the scenes involving Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga were fantastic. There was tons of drama and emotion behind each scene but at the end, it was Samiya’s performance that knocked them out of the park. The hair coloring scene which was shared between Zarsanga and Zarghuna was not only well written but was also visually compelling to watch. As the news dawns upon Zarsanga that her son might be fighting for his life in the hospital, tears stream down her face with a slow momentum of the camera forward to frame the two sisters together. These are the kind of scenes that make Sang-e-Mah feel natural and realistic. I hope the next coming episodes contain more scenes like this.

ii – I also loved the on screen chemistry between Marjaan Khan and his wife. Earlier in the episode, they share a wonderful scene together which makes it obvious how much they are still in love with each other without uttering the words to signify it. For the two veteran actors, it just comes naturally to them as they have tons of acting experience behind them to make it work. 

+ Low Points

i – Apart from scenes involving Zarsanga, the rest of the episode was a letdown. The only plot that saw some form of development was the uninteresting and pointless backstory of Sherherzaad. Although tragic, the backstory feels incredibly tacked onto the overall narrative of the show. Firstly, you have the tension between Marjaan and his step son Hilmand, then the forcibly marriage situation between Hilmand and Gul Meena which has prompted her lover Hikmat to take revenge against his own brother. Then you have the side story of Mastaan Singh, not to mention Zarghuna’s unresolved beef with her past. Do we really need to be involved with yet another tragic backstory? Apart from that, the story itself is dull and lifeless, including caricature, mustache twirling performance by the antagonist. Let this be clear that I am always up for strong female leads on Pak television but not when it feels irrelevant to the overall plot of the show.

ii – Later in the episode, there were way too many nonsensical exposition scenes which dragged the episode way too much for its own good. As a viewer, do I really need to sit through why slapping the doctor who is heading the medical operation of Hilmand was a mistake? Sang-e-Mah undeniably has a vast list of characters and a supporting cast. We really don’t need any more. Develop the ones you already have.

iii – The police raid at the hospital also felt reckless and out of the blue. So apparently the law enforcers are searching for the Khan family now? And this buffoon from the Hilmand gang just decided to reveal the identity to a couple of police guards? This was just incredibly lazy writing. No prior information, no scene build up, just random events happening to keep the show going.

+ Overall

An improvement from the previous week but not by much. The needless exposition scenes are ultimately killing the narrative flow of Sang-e-Mah.

Rate:out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 13 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – Episode 13 continues on with the unresolved issues between Marjaan Khan and Hilmand. With the recent attempt at his life, Hilmand strongly suspects his step father to be behind this heinous and cowardly act. When sharing the screen together, Atif Aslam and Nauman Ijaz play excellently off one another and bring a sense of dread to the forefront. 

+ Low Points

i – This episode was pretty much a waste of time. Nothing significant happened throughout its runtime. There were a lot of mediocre scenes and set pieces, accompanied by sub par performances from the main cast. Atif Aslam as Hilmand was especially one of the worst parts of this episode. Of all the scenes that he was conscious, his stabbing was played off as a minor inconvenience as he was too busy being sarcastic and nonchalant. How a person regains consciousness and health in just a week’s time by being repeatedly stabbed is beyond my comprehension of medical science. Episode 13 will undoubtedly go down as one of the weakest episodes this show has ever produced.

ii – Along with Hilmand, Sheherzaad is one of the worst written characters on the show. By sharing a mere couple of moments together, she has now fallen head over heels for the bad boy Hilmand who hardly remembers that she even exists. This feels as if the show missed out on building just basic chemistry between the two characters as it makes zero sense why she seems so utterly concerned about her love. I have seen better romance in Disney princess animated films than this. The writing by Mustafa Afridi has been just awful when it comes to building romance between the two leads. In contrast to this, Mastaan Singh and his fiance have a much better and convincing romance. They genuinely seem to care for each other’s well being and have the ability to finish each other’s sentences. Hilmand and Sherherzad have absolutely nothing going for them.

iii – Speaking of Mastaan Singh, why in the world did he decide to murder yet another person when he was just forgiven (merely days ago!) from his previous crime for life long slavery? The reasoning given by the script is that he wanted to protect his “daughter” Gul Meena from the trap that Hilmand had invertedly set for her. But Mastaan committing yet another heinous crime so nonsensically is beyond absurd and lacks any form of believability. Apparently the writer wanted Hilmand to be in peril so we could sympathize with him more and hence, the stabbing. This is a perfect example when the narrative hijacks the characters into committing actions which make no sense to their characterization or the situation. 

iv – The elders of the village serve absolutely no purpose to this story. They are literally pointless tools who add nothing and by now, they should really be written off the show. Their scenes usually consist of useless banter or some villager insulting them. That is the extent of their character development in the show.

+ Overall

Episode 13 has unfortunately turned out to be one of the worst written episodes this show has ever produced. 

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 12 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – The whole episode was an utter bore to sit through until the last 10 minutes where the intrigue was well and truly brought back into the forefront. Without any spoilers, this “incident” can create some cataclysmic results and a complete rift in the Khan family once and for all. Although this “incident” would have made much more sense as a cliffhanger to the episode, it still played an integral part in the overall narrative of the show. 

ii – There was a thoughtful and emotional scene shared between Marjaan Khan and Sheherzaad. Although it did go overboard in a few places (which I’ll talk about later in the review), the scene contained some strong performances especially from Nauman Ijaz who brought an immense amount of intensity to the vulnerable moment in the life of Marjaan Khan. Due to sharp writing, the scene also brought a lot of humanity to Nauman Ijaz’s character who, despite his flaws, wants to make amends with his past mistakes. It is also worth mentioning that Sheherzaad is the only person to whom he feels comfortable enough to bear all his inner demons. This truly hints at a special bond shared between Marjaan Khan and the “outsider”.

iii –  Regardless of the show’s glaring flaws in writing, the production has been top notch with each and every scene. Whether it’s the costume design or the lighting under the moonlit skies, Sang-e-Mah projects a sense of wonder in its surroundings. But not everything is perfect (namely the direction but we’ll get to that in the low points section …).

SPOILER ALERT!!! (if you would like to avoid it, please skip directly to the Low Points Section):

iv – So now that Hilmand is on the brink of death, it is heavily implied that Mastaan Singh murdered him in cold blood in order to resolve the current dilemma. But the key point is that Mastaan never said outright that he killed Hilmand so there might be a curveball being thrown into this. We already know that Hilmand has created a lot of enemies for himself. But time will tell how things will ultimately play out. This was a great way to enhance the intrigue of the audience with future episodes to come.

+ Low Points

i – The first half of the episode was yet another repetitious barrage of story that has already been covered and dialogue that we have already heard numerous times before. If not for the cliffhanger in the latter part of the episode, this week would have accomplished nothing for the show with its repetitive scenes and uninteresting side characters. Sang-e-Mah desperately needs scenes with more substance to them. Pretty much every single scene consists of people sitting and talking without any real depth to it. Let the daily interactions of the character accompany everyday chores like cooking in the kitchen, washing clothes, walking in the lush green fields of Northern Pakistan, picking fruits from trees and so on. Such actions within dialogue heavy scenes detract a bit of lethargic aspects to it but as of now, the scenes offer visually nothing to its viewers.

ii – Sheherzaad is a badly written character. Even though it is quite clear why she exists, the way she has been portrayed throughout the show has been far from realistic. Without much interaction, she has become a part of the Khan family, respecting Marjaan Khan so far as kissing his hands like a protege would for his/ her Godfather. This is walking along the fine line of silliness at this point. And since the last 4-5 episodes, the forced romance with Hilmand has completely vanished into thin air. What is her purpose on this show? She literally acts like a psychologist now to every member of the Khan family without much rhyme or reason. Not only Sheherzaad lacks any depth to her own character but rather, her sole purpose is to be part of repetitive expositions for the main cast. These are just signs of poor writing.

iii – I’m still not sure how the main protagonist of the show (Hilmand/ Atif Aslam) can be so underwritten and underutilized. With each and every passing episode, he can only be seen sulking in the background, having no real impact on the overall narrative of the show. It’s utterly disappointing to see how Sang-e-Mah has utilized Atif Aslam’s on screen debut but with a new recent development to his character, let’s see how things will go from here on out…

+ Overall

With the first half of episode 12 dull and the second half with some exciting new development, one can’t help but wonder how Sang-e-Mah underutilized its own talented cast of characters.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Sang-e-Mah Episode 11 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saife Hassan and written by Mustafa Afridi. Sang-e-Mah is the spiritual continuation of the saga introduced in the Hum TV drama Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016). Sang-e-Mah is the acting debut of the famous Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam and the drama is a Momina Duraid Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saife Hassan
  • Written by Mustafa Afridi
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

The drama Sang-e-Mah serves as a spiritual sequel to the show Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016) with Noman Ejaz, Sania Saeed and many others returning to the same cast and crew. The drama deals with life in the Pakhtoon region of Pakistan and explores such hard hitting topics like forced marriages and integral family relationships. According to the director, Sang-e-Mah serves under similar themes as its predecessor, in a three part trilogy, ending it with the next planned show, Sang-e-Siyah.

 + Main Cast

  1. Atif Aslam as Hilmand Khan
  2. Nauman Ijaz as Haji Marjaan Khan
  3. Kubra Khan as Sheherzaad
  4. Hania Amir as Gul Meena
  5. Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz as Hikmat Khan
  6. Sania Saeed as Zarghuna
  7. Samiya Mumtaz as Zarsanga
  8. Omair Rana as Mastaan Singh
  9. Najiba Faiz as Harshaali Kaur
  10. Hassan Noman as Badam Gul

+ Plot

Sang-e-Mah is a story of a dysfunctional Pakhtoon family in the tribal regions of Pakistan where pride and honour mostly triumphs over empathy and forgiveness. The show deals with issues such as young love and opposing families who are engaged in a tribal battle with one another.

+ High Points

i – Like in all the previous episodes, the scenes shared between Marjaan Khan and his wife are always touching and memorable. Nauman Ijaz and Samiya Mumtaz did a wonderful job in setting up the scene and the dialogue beats that follow it. The performances feel genuine, bringing a sense of tragedy to their tale.

ii – It is still not certain what role Sheherzaad plays in the Khan family saga but at least in this episode, she was utilized to what she was supposed to be; a fish out of water character, a vessel for the viewers to get into the psyche of the Khan family. Apart from that, Sheherzaad as a character just fails to grab the viewer’s interest, including the farcical love story with Hilmand and the ‘who cares’ tragic backstory. 

+ Low Points

i – This episode was frustrating to watch at times. Throughout its runtime, we were constantly being bombarded with confrontational (past and present) scenes which are either just repetition of information we already know or scenes that do not serve any real purpose to the show. How many times will we get to see the elders of the village being insulted by every person in the neighborhood? I thought they had a very authoritative hold on their village, how could they even allow anyone to insult them and get away with it? This is far from being realistic. 

Apart from that, Sang-e-Mah has way too many unimportant side characters which take away from the overall experience of the show.

ii – Hikmat Khan has taken his family and surroundings by storm. He is out for blood and grabs whatever he thinks belongs to him. For such an intensive character development, you need to walk a fine line between reality and insanity with your performance. Sadly, I do not think Zaviyar Nauman Ijaz is up to the task. His performance seems timid, his impulses feel forced and farcical. His facial expressions and dialogue delivery lacks depth and intensity that is so desperately needed for this character to work. I hope I am proven wrong in the next coming episodes, otherwise this will always prove to be a sore spot for the entire show.

iii – I sincerely do not understand how Sang-e-Mah is handling its main cast of characters, particularly Hilmand who seems completely lost in the overall narrative of the show. What exact purpose does he serve to the show? What is his character arc? Does he share any other emotion other than sulking in the background? Hilmand, as a main protagonist of the show, is massively underwritten and underutilized for the show. He just serves as a clog to the overall story and has no real character development of his own. And with all that, you have a debut actor playing the role and trying his level best to make this work. I do feel it is incredibly unfair for Atif Aslam to be stuck playing a role so underwritten that even veteran actors might have had problems pulling it off!

+ Overall

Not the best of what Sang-e-Mah has to offer this week. The story needs to be better focused and characters should be used to their full potential.

Rate: out of 5 stars