A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Raqeeb Se – Episode 23 (2021), the FINAL EPISODE of the series. 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).
- Directed by Kashif Nisar
- Written by Beegul
- DOP by Hassam Mairaj
- Music Composed by Hadiqa Kiani
- Produced by Momina Duraid Productions
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
- Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina
- Noman Ijaz as Maqsood
- Sania Saeed as Hajra
- Faryal Mehmood as Insha
- Iqra Aziz as Ameera
- Saqib Sameer as Rafiq
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 final episode brilliantly wraps up the loose threads and ends the series on a well deserved high note. Episode 23 was everything good about Raqeeb Se as a TV series and more. The episode never overreaches its goal and settles in a comfortable space where the audience can admire and ultimately reminiscent being on an emotional journey with Maqsood, Sakina, Hajira, Insha and Ameera. Suffice to say, Raqeeb Se’s last episode more than lives up to its hype.
ii – Since the previous episode was a showcase of Faryal Mehmood’s talent, this episode was definitely a display of Iqra Aziz’s wide range of acting chops. In the last few episodes, the actress has clearly proven that she could play comedic and darker roles with ease. Ameera, as a character, had the most prominent story arc of all. It’s the coming of age story, followed by the harsh realities that she was (at the time) too naive to understand.
iii – The conclusion of the show (which I will get to more in the next point) was arguably the right outcome and a perfect send off to this tale of tragic love. Have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by how neatly Beegul wrapped things up with her characters and the conflicts surrounding them. This is of course a clear indication that regardless of the longevity of the show, the writer was well aware of her destination.
iv – MAJOR SPOILER ALERT COMING UP!!! (If you would like to avoid it, please skip to Overall and Final Thoughts section)
The ending was surprisingly dark and I loved it! The conclusion finally brought new goals and ambitions for its cast of characters:
- Maqsood finally learns how to act like a father to Insha.
- Circumstances allow Hajira to finally live a life with her husband without the “obligation” that she needed to fulfill for it.
- Sakina comes to terms with her past and learns to look forward in life.
- Insha, on the other hand, needs to understand more about life and goes on a soul searching journey of her own.
- But the most unfortunate one is Ameera, who had to endure murder of an innocent man right in front of her eyes. As she lays her head down in a bustling night train, she reminicents the innocence and happiness she once possessed. But that Ameera died with Kashif in that very car. She finally understands what her mother had to go through. Whether she wanted to or not, Ameera is now the new ‘Sakina’. As she now becomes cynical and disenfranchised taking care of her father Rafiq Ali, the vicious cycle of pain and suffering continues.
Every character gets a closure to their situations, some ride off into the sunset while others are introduced to the dark elements of Life.
+ Low Points
i – Honestly, there isn’t much I can criticize about this episode. The only part of the episode which felt rushed was the romance between Kashif and Ameera. They never had much interaction before this episode and I guess Kashif started falling for her off screen? If they had built this romance for a couple of episodes and then the tragic ending is brought into the mix, that would’ve been much more impactful in my book. But in any case, the cold blooded murder was still shocking and was proud of the show that it dared to go in such pitch black direction.
+ Overall and Final Thoughts on Raqeeb Se
I am a firm believer that regardless of how an episodic show flows, the conclusion needs to bring everything together and in the process, reward its audience for sticking with them every step of the way. And Raqeeb Se does exactly that. The show had a fantastic cast, the performances were brilliant all across the board, especially Hadiqa Kiani as Sakina. For a debut performance on prime time television, her performance was nothing short of amazing. I hope we get to see more of her in the near future. The writing (although not consistently perfect) was engaging as we got to set foot into the world of Beegul and her tragic characters for a few months.
But even with such a great plot and interesting set of characters, where the show suffered for me was its pacing. Raqeeb Se could’ve immensely benefited with less number of episodes (around 13-15) as midway through the show, the episodes dragged on with absolutely nothing happening in between them. Also at times, some back stories were unfortunately not well explained or visually depicted on screen which might have left some viewers perplexed where the story stands. And it’s a shame because Raqeeb Se is unique and dared to be different from the rest of what Pakistani television has to offer. The production, set designs, costumes, everything was marvelous. The show was very uniquely lit with shadows playing a major role in its gloomy atmosphere. A lot of credit goes to the director Kashif Nisar and his production team.
In the end, Raqeeb Se took us on an emotional journey, the audience could empathize with each of the characters and their dilemmas. And most importantly, the show left us with questions and some lingering thoughts of our own. And that is a sign of a great television show.
Rate (Last Episode): 4.25 out of 5 stars
Overall Series Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars