TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 19 (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 – The episode was a great showcase for Saqib Sameer’s wide range of acting chops. Rafiq Ali got some great dramatic moments throughout the episode and it was also a brilliant display of some humanity left within him.

ii – Speaking of great performances, Maqsood and Sakina had some fantastic moments to shine together as well. Maqsood remincienting over his deceased brother was quite tragic and heartfelt. 

iii – There were some wide range of locations within the episode which made for some great visuals. As I’ve mentioned before, Raqeeb Se is by far one of the best looking shows out there simply because the creative team knows how to tell visual stories. Even if there are no words uttered throughout the scene, one could tell the atmosphere in the room by simply observing the moving images.

 + Low Points

i – SPOILER ALERT!!! (If you would like to avoid it, please skip to Overall section).

(So with this single trial of thought, I will try to summarize the Elephant in the room, the most egregious flaw of Episode 19 and the show itself): 

With Episode 19, everything returns back to status quo. The main protagonist Rafiq Ali is out of the way, Sakina is back again in the vicinity of Maqsood sahib, Hajira is content with her husband having his ex lover around, Ameera fantasizes day and night about marrying her crush and…. This just seems like a dead end of storytelling. Where is the overall conflict of the show? Where is the obstacle that our protagonist has to overcome?  Unless some miraculous secrets are revealed in the next coming episodes, this show lacks a coherent sense of direction. The writing is afraid to even slightly experiment or develop its vast range of characters. And even if some episodes do experiment, they instantly return back to their status quo. 

I would like the readers themselves with a question: since Episode 1, how much has each character developed? What has been their character arcs? Where do you expect the show to go from here?

Raqeeb Se has some good actors, great production, a good premise even but it all falters in the end due to lack of any character/ story development. As a viewer, if I see Mr. Maqsood come to certain realisation about himself, situations that force him to develop as a person, I feel rewarded having sat through all the weekly episodes. But if the show itself is not clear which direction it wants to go into, it demotivates the viewer as well into tuning in every week. Which is why episode 19’s return to the status quo of Episode 1 left me utterly frustrated. The only real character development anyone ever got was Ameera who (rather abrasively) fell in love with Maqsood sahib.

When the dust has settled and the show ends up exactly where it started from, as a viewer, what do I have to look forward to?

+ Overall

Episode 19 does contain some good set pieces and performances but lack of character/ story progression are the shackles of Raqeeb Se that it never seems to truly shake off.

 Rate: 2.5 out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 18 (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 18 contains some good dramatic confrontations; namely Maqsood and Rafiq Ali. Noman Ijaz and Saqib Sameer play off brilliantly with each other’s dialogue and emotions. A man who is driven by moral integrity in contrast to one who cunningly finds a way to exploit every situation he could get his hands on. There is a clear sense of desperation on Maqsood’s face as he tries his best to save Sakina, his love from the clutches of this madman. Maqsood and Rafiq were undoubtedly the highlight of this episode.

ii – There’s a short but poignant interaction between Insha and Ameera as she explains to Insha how things would’ve been different if she was Maqsood’s lover instead. It sets up an incredibly awkward situation between the two “daughters” of the family and allows Insha to strongly retort back at her. Credit goes to Beegul for writing this scene so well.

iii – Although the end of the episode was far from spectacular, it was a nice, quiet way to conclude this chapter of affairs.

 + Low Points

i – SPOILER ALERT!!! (If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the next point).

This episode was frustrating to watch at times. Especially when it comes to Hajira and Insha. After pressing her mother on to reveal her dark past, Hajira finally caves in. Only to explain the facts that we as an audience already know! What? They already described the situation with her father several episodes ago. It might be new information for Insha but how does this retelling brings anything new to the table? What a letdown. Until and unless there are more secrets to be revealed in the upcoming episodes, this really has been one of the worst bait and switch this show has ever pulled off. And as a viewer, it frustrates me to no end!

ii – Unfortunately, the scenes between Insha and Abdul were really not on par with the quality of acting from the rest of the cast. When it comes to lofty dialogue or brief romantic moments, Insha and Abdul work great together but with intense, dramatic moments, their performances flounder and fall apart as the scene progresses. 

iii – Episode 18 also pertains to some unfortunately bad, unnatural dialogue. The graveyard scene between Hajira and Ameera could have been a perfect setting for some much needed character development but it once again devolves into worshipping Maqsood sahib. At this point of the show, it is getting tad ridiculous that the only personality trait that Ameera has is her falling head over heels for Maqsood… in front of his wife! And she finds it endearing? I’m just utterly surprised how badly (at times) the female characters are written in this show.

iv – Ever since Sakina has returned back to her villiage, the show has been struggling what to do with her. She has been starkly sidelined to Maqsood and Rafiq Ali. Aside from some minor interactions, Sakina hasn’t contributed much to the show.

+ Overall

Raqeeb Se has a terrible habit of taking one step forward and two steps back. Apart from the Maqsood and Rafiq Ali confrontation, nothing really stands out from this episode.

 Rate: 2.25 out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 17 (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 17 was one of the quieter ones and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This gave the show to explore more on the main cast dealing with the current situation and the tension filled atmosphere created due to it. The episode was a nice display of acting chops all across the board and perhaps sometimes, that’s all an episode needs.

ii – The episode clearly focused on the volatile yet saddened emotions of Rafiq Ali. He is the main antagonist and the show was not afraid to depict his unpredictable nature. In perhaps an eerie manner, Rafiq Ali longs for Sakina to show affection to him as she does for Maqsood but Rafiq’s volatile nature stops him to show any emotions other than jealousy or anger. 

iii – The last few episodes have been dedicated to exploring Hajira and her motivations. She has taken the centerstage and has shown some initiative to display her true intentions. Although it has been solely in service of Maqsood, it is still commendable that the show is showing some signs of attention to Hajira.

iv – Kashif is a new character added some episodes ago to the show and I think he has a lot of potential. He’s awkward, sophisticated (unlike the rest of his family) and probably serves as a gateway for Insha to let out her true emotions. 

 + Low Points

i – One of major sins that Raqeeb Se I feel commits on a regular basis is repetition. Whether its plot progression, character development or motivations, the show repeats its current themes once too often. How many times have we seen Hajira worrying about Sakina or Ameera flirting with Maqsood? Even if it’s all leading up to its conclusion, the pacing of a weekly show should never repeat the same themes if you would like to grow your weekly audience. And episode 17 unfortunately, suffers from the same trope.

ii – The usage of greenscreen with this show is extremely odd at times. Throughout the show, some scenes shot inside a moving car are shot with greenscreen in the background and frankly, it looks terrible. The lighting on the actor’s faces as compared to the background are completely at odds and looks amateurish at best. 

iii – At times, it’s hard to understand if Hajira just wants to see good in people or if she just has terrible character judgement. In this episode, Hajira describes Ameera as “gentle and innocent”. I understand its the “mother” in Hajira talking but to think that Ameera is “naive” about the world is like saying Rafiq Ali is “decent and well mannered”.

+ Overall

Episode 17 was a “middle of the road” journey to its destination. Although minimal plot progression, it contains good character development moments that will keep you entertained throughout its runtime.

 Rate: 3.0 out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 16 (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 – Even after Insha’s nika, she still feels alienated from the rest of the family. Maqsood and Hajira are, at this point, completely obsessed with the situation of Sakina. So much in fact that they are neglecting their own child in the process. That is some clever storytelling, both Noman Ijaz and Sania Saeed were fantastic in this episode.

ii – The continuing tensions between Maqsood and Ameera is a great way to show how young minds can easily be fascinated (or abused) as they are incredibly impressionable. The bedroom scene was brilliantly handled with Iqra Aziz’s performance living up to the task at hand. Well known for being such a chatterbox, Maqsood is probably the only person who could leave Ameera for loss of words.

iii – The change in scenery from city to village is always a nice visual touch to keep the audience’s attention going. The location scouting of the show has always been top notch and feels quite authentic.

iv – (SPOILER ALERT! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Low Points section).

This episode finally makes the move to let Sakina go back home to her abusive husband. Of course, morally it’s an appalling move but the show had been teasing this for so long and could bring up potential interesting plot elements for the show. Sakina would rather sacrifice her well being in order to disappear from Maqsood’s life once and for all. The obverse relationship dynamic between Sakina and Rafiq Ali is brilliantly handled. On one hand, Rafiq wants to treat her nicer by buying her food at the train station but still will never let go of the notion that she is his property and is now being “returned” back to him. Rafiq is a despicable, cowardly man and for once, the show brought this to the forefront with such tenacity.

 + Low Points

i – One of the annoying things that Raqeeb Se does is that after a cliffhanger from the last episode, there is no pay off to it. The last episode ended with Hajira about to reveal her past till Maqsood enters the room and in this episode, that scene is completely ignored. No reaction from Insha. Nothing. As if that scene never happened. She at least should have protested why she has not been given any answers to mother’s past yet.

ii – Although the performances are good in this episode, not much noteworthy happens. Still the same old problems. No real plot or character exploration.

iii – The sporadic fight between Insha and Abdul was awkwardly presented. I can understand if Insha is the one who instigates it since she has a lot of frustrations regarding her family’s secrets but why Abdul? Why the sudden jealousy to her cousin Kashif? Has the nika ceremony instantly made him a grumpy husband?

+ Overall

Episode 16 was good but nothing extraordinary in terms of character development. Still, the performances were great enough to breeze through the episode.

 Rate: 3.0 out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 15 (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 – Confrontations! Finally! It’s been a long time coming. From the cliffhanger from the last episode to the beginning of episode 15, Sakina is now under scrutiny from Maqsood’s side of the family. The scene was engaging, dramatic and helluva entertaining way to kickstart the episode!

ii – What is always great also about Raqeeb Se’s supporting cast is that although they are undoubtedly colorful, they are never over the top with their mannerisms. The older brother/ politician and his sassy Punjabi wife are (in their own respect) a godsend to the show. They bring a much needed levity without overstaying their welcome. This is where a lot of Pakistani dramas fail to find a balance between drama and timid comedy but Raqeeb Se nails it to almost perfection. 

iii – For once, Hajira also displays slightly more character than just repeating how great Maqsood sahib is. There were a couple of great interactions of hers with the rest of the cast including one where she is found frying a fresh omelette for her husband when even though there is plenty left on the kitchen table. These sort of subtle actions show that perhaps Hajira is somewhat suffering from emotional Stockholm Syndrome. She has to always subconsciously please her husband and show that she can also reach the level where Maqsood has placed Sakina on.

iv – Episode 15 did display some great Mano-a-Mano interactions, especially the one with Maqsood and his older brother. Just a mere few dialogue between them shows how different characteristics they have from one another. Also the brother sticking his political campaign sticker on Maqsood’s shirt was kind of hilarious. The show is not really known for comedy but such short gags are always welcome.

v – Once again, a strong cliffhanger to end the episode. Hopefully, the viewers will be receiving a few answers regarding Hajira’s past. And honestly, its way overdue at this point of the show. I would be extremely disappointed if we again end up with nothing in the next episode. 

 + Low Points

i – The whole flashback scene with Maqsood’s brother and Rafiq Ali randomly visiting him was kind of awkwardly executed. It took me a while to realise that it was a flashback and not the present time. Why didn’t Maqsood’s brother just explain him that? The audience is intelligent enough to understand that without any visual depiction of Rafiq Ali visiting him. Felt a bit unnecessary.

ii – For once, Sakina stood up for herself…. But it was incredibly brief. And then, she went once again into her self-hating mode. Let Sakina’s character grow more, let her journey have a purpose in the end. I hope the creative team has a good conclusion in mind for her character because she does deserve it.

iii – In this particular episode, Maqsood doesn’t come off likeable at all. It almost feels like he has taken Hajira as a hostage. In the episode, Maqsood literally states that he “doesn’t need anyone permission to marry Sakina… except yours”. It was a bit of relief that he mentioned that last part but it almost felt like an afterthought for Maqsood. Also later in the episode, Maqsood asks Hajira if she keeps tabs on him when it comes to him and Sakina. Hajira swiftly replies negatively but Maqsood then retorts “Maybe you should”. 

 I suppose the question is if the show wants us to like Maqsood for his nobility or if we should question his morality. Up till now, Raqeeb Se has not shown itself anything against our main protagonist.

iv- After a great, dramatic start to the episode, the rest of it just felt a bit tame and didn’t had too much to contribute to the storyline. Just a minor complaint.

+ Overall

With each passing episode, Raqeeb Se is slowly but surely, improving and becoming must see TV. Let’s hope that the trend continues till the end.

 Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 14 (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 – Great episode! The pacing, interactions between characters, the continuing tensions between Maqsood and his lover(s); everything worked out quite well. After numerous filler episodes, Raqeeb Se is finally now becoming a weekly rewarding experience for its viewers.

ii – It’s always amusing to see Ameera interact with her crush Maqsood as she tries her utmost best to engage Maqsood in a conservation of his interests (or at best, make him laugh). Its also fascinating that Ameera is probably the only one that can bring out actual human emotions locked within Maqsood. Noman Ijaz and Iqra Aziz’s performances worked great off one another and were involved in some of the best scenes in this episode.

iii – It’s charming to see ‘lover’s quarrel’ between Insha and Abdul. The Tea house scene was short but a gratifying way of them teasing but in the process, displaying love for one another.

iv – In this episode, Sakina is depicted a lot more character without needless dialogue. The dramatic Mother/ daughter interaction also was powerful and impactful to the overall narrative of the show.

v – Once again, the cinematography and production of the episode was excellent. What I love about Raqeeb Se is that the show is not afraid to let certain scenes play out without heavy use of closeups. Sometimes a wide shot can capture distinctive body movements that close ups can’t. A lot of credit should go to Hassam Mairaj and his crew. Raqeeb Se is still one of the most unique looking shows out there. Fantastic work!

vi – Great cliffhanger! Another episode that makes you impatient till the next one comes out. 

 + Low Points

i – One of the potential flaws that is obvious in the show right now is unfortunately the worship of Maqsood sahib. Up until now, the show has put Maqsood on a high pedestal of morality; a man who is protecting his ex lover even though she broke her heart years ago. That is the level of selflessness that Maqsood pertains within himself. But is he that noble and admirable? Apparently all three women are probably in love with him (for some reason) and especially for Ameera, the show has never really given a valid reason why. 

ii – Hajira is still by far the most unsympathetic character on the show and this episode changes absolutely nothing about it. There still lack answers as to why she is so overly passive when it comes to her husband and his ex lover. The answers probably lie in the final episodes but up till now, there is not much content that could make the viewer empathize with her.

iii – Once again, we get an obligatory scene of Sakina and Hajira where she painstakingly explains to the audience how Maqsood has only loved Sakina his whole life. The show can easily utilize that TV time to further develop Hajira’s backstory and motivations.

+ Overall

Fourteen Episodes in, Raqeeb Se is finally picking up steam with its narrative pacing and characters. Makes one quite curious how all of this will conclude.

 Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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