Balaa came to an end last night. The story of a disabled woman’s vehement desires, and selfishness was not new, but what set it apart was that the woman was the man lead, and she was never forgiven right till the very end. Nigar’s jealousy ruined the lives of those around her in the worst possible way. Even though the story was a little slow midway Zanjabeel Asim’s script remained gripping throughout keeping the viewer engrossed in almost all the episodes. Nevertheless, there were some very stagnant episodes, but those can be easily forgiven given the brilliant acting and direction! The last 5-6 episodes picked up the pace, and the results were shown in the form of the high TRPS and the drama became one of the most popular ones, not only in Pakistan, but also internationally.
The story ended very well as expected, and all the loose ends were tied very nicely by the writer. The only “weakness” in the narrative was that mental illness was given a negative connotation (again) and presented rather offensively. Even the language used, for example “pagal” was a discriminatory against those suffering from mental illnesses, given the fact that it is already stigma in the society we live in. We have to understand that hallucinations, psychosis, paranoia, manic episodes are all part of a wide spectrum of mental illnesses which are treatable with appropriate medications and most of the time the patients lead a “normal” life. The word “mental asylum” is not appropriate either, since these do not exist and “inpatient psychiatric unit” is the terminology used by psychiatrists these days and they are not the at all the way they were represented in the drama. Maybe further research would have been helpful? Also, Nigar’s diagnosis Nigar was not convincing and I was not completely sold on the fact that a psychiatrist was not able to figure out that Taimoor is making up the “hallucination story.” Or maybe, the physician was “bought” too? If that was the case, then it is highly unethical even in the case of Nigar!
All that being said, I was completely satisfied with the ending. Taimoor married Saba and took revenge in the most appropriate way possible. But did Nigar even feel remorseful at any point of all this? It was never made clear. Every other person was shown regretful of their behaviors and actions, except for Nigar. Was Nigar that Evil?! It would have been gratifying to see a guilt ridden Nigar at some point of the ordeal.
All of the supporting cast had been exceptional and it was nice to see that they were all given due importance. Each supporting character had a unique personality that the writer delved into and connected it with the storyline and the bigger picture. I want to mention the actress who played Batool, was amazing throughout and I actually missed when her character had died in the drama.
Bilal Abbas Khan and Sameena Peerza were the stars of the show! They performed superlatively throughout the drama and had amazing chemistry with each other. Bilal Abbas Khan, I want to mention specifically, as he outperformed himself in each and every scene, especially in the last few episodes. His portrayal of a vengeful Taimoor was spot on, while maintaining a vulnerability to his character that was required. Ushnah Shah was also good as the scheming and conniving Nigar! Samina Peerzada is always a natural who can get in to the skin of any character she plays and this was no different. Sajid Hassan was amazing as usual.
With superb performances, well written narrative, and brilliantly directed, Balaa is definitely a must watch! The only minor glitch was the background score that became too loud at times making it difficult to hear the dialogues. Produced by Big Bang Entertainment and directed by Badar Mahmood, Balaa was definitely one of the best dramas of 2018.