Pakistani dramas: highlights of 2012
Television may be considered as small screen entertainment but it has given us immense quality amusement through big names in terms of actors and successful drama productions – from the old days of PTV to the recent times of private channels.
This year began with all eyes glued to Khirad and Asher’s tragic love story in Humsafar, eventually introducing us to Durre- Shehwar’s life and later making us witnesses to Aiman’s Maat to her overambitious sister Saman.
Dawn.com gives you a list of some of the productions that deserve a tribute for making our year so entertaining.
Humsafar, which started in the last quarter of 2011 and went on until March 2012, took Pakistanis by storm. Not only was the audience in Pakistan going crazy over it but it had major ratings coming in from everywhere in the world. Humsafar amidst highly positive and some negative comments became a huge hit. Written by Farhat Ishtiaq and directed by Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, Humsafar was a story about a forced arranged marriage which eventually turned into a romantic relationship between the couple only to be maliciously destroyed later.
Khoosat’s epic direction and the way he weaved the words into perfect frames was impeccable. Humsafar was a perfect example of how a simple story, put together brilliantly with strong art direction, captivating acting and soul stirring music, can hold the audience spellbound.
Maat was the story of two sisters, Aiman and Saman who belonged to a low income household. Saman, the younger sister who dreamt of making it big in life, was arrogant and materialistic, while Aiman, the older one was compassionate, loving and believed in sacrificing.
Written by Umera Ahmed, the production featured a straightforward storyline, dialogues full of impact and excellent performances by Aamina Sheikh (Aiman) and Saba Qamar (Saman). The drama also featured Adnan Siddiqui (Faisal) as Aiman and Saman’s cousin and romantic interest.
Bushra Ansari has been in the entertainment industry for over three decades and is probably the first female actor to make her mark on the comical side of local entertainment. Over the years, she has perfected all kinds of roles from those she played in fifty fifty to Neeli Dhoop and to the recently popular Bilquis Kaur.
In Bilquis Kaur, Ansari aka Billo is shown as a stern, humourless woman who is living in New York since 30 years with her family. She portrayed a woman who stood by her traditional beliefs and forced them upon the life of her children. Trouble came when her younger son Sultan (Ahsan Khan) married the bold and confident Soha (Syra Yousuf).
Directed by Adnan Ahmed and written by Faiza Iftikhar, the drama also stars Sadia Imam, Saleem Sheikh, Adnan Jillani, Nadia Afghan, Khalid Ahmed and others. Where Ansari gave a power-packed performance, the rest of the actors really helped her making this play a huge success for the audience who waited every Sunday to find out more about different layers of Billo and her family.
Umera Ahmed’s writings gave us yet another hit.
In this serial, the plot revolved around two couples from different generations exploring the intricacies of life, relationships and their share of problems. Packed with smart dialogue and gripping performances by the cast which included Samina Peerzada, Qavi Khan, Nadia Jamil, Noman Ejaz, Sanam Baloch and others.
Director Haissam Hussein’s beautiful depiction about complexities of married life be it in today’s urban setting or yesterday’s traditional times, showed how certain issues are common in every relationship. It also depicted how powerful a role a woman can play when giving her marriage every bit of patience and resolve possible.
After Humsafar, Mahira was back with her beauty and charm on screen, this time as Falak in a production called Shehr-e-Zaat. Falak was a beautiful yet unsympathetic character who was shown to be self-centered, loathing poverty and despising ugliness.
Director Sarmad Sultan Khoosat was clear in what he wanted out of Falak’s character, settings and the people that surrounded her. Mahira did justice to her role as a selfish young girl who was head over heals for Salman Anser (Mikeal) and later as a vulnerable, dejected woman looking for God’s help and guidance in her life. Umera Ahmed gave the audience another master piece which made many think about the importance of righteousness and humility in their lives.
Humayun Saeed’s negative role in Kaafir actually made one feel disgusted by his character. This drama proved how his star quality and ability to reach to the audience never fails. The good vs. evil; directed by Shahid Shafaat gave us the story Shahan Ali Khan (Humayun Saeed) who is living a dual life; in front of his family he pretended to be virtuous but resorted to his evil and malicious side when away from them. The twists were woven captivatingly into the narrative although the play did go a little over board with its bold dialogues and settings.
How brilliantly the lead actors Aamina Sheikh and Adeel Hussain managed to take the entire drama on their shoulders despite its drifting script and weak story-line. They shined until the last episode, making viewers tune in simply for their performance as a couple in love whose lives were hit by a tragic incident.
Zard Mausam was a kind of ‘desi’ version of Cinderalla, but this desi Cinderella was not at all perfect and pleasant as the one in the fairy tale. Taking similarities from it, this narrative was about girl whose life changed after her mother’s death and how her step mother (Sania Saeed), who was the actually the first wife of her father (Faisal Rehman), mistreated her and made her life miserable. Saeed in the step-mother’s role stole the show with the helplessness and hatred she portrayed along with other dimensions of her character.
Here is a powerful message: if you believe in God things can turn in your favour, you just need to hang in there with a strong faith.
Asfand (Faisal Qureshi) and Maha (Savera Nadeem) is a happily married couple whose lives take a turn for the worse when Maha met with an accident and was left paralysed. She then forced her husband to get remarried to her friend Nazish (Nimra Bucha) who had been divorced twice already. Nazish kept the house and children together and but the problems started when Maha’s jealousy took over. Actors from our entertainment industry keep giving us brilliant performances which are often what glue us to the seats despite weak storylines. Mera Yaqeen is one such example.
The year brings to an end some great performances and outstanding screen plays, but we still have more to look forward to in the form of Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Kahi Ankahi and the upcoming play Mirat-ul-Uroos.