HUM TV’s Saraab might not be getting the ratings a good thoughtful drama deserves but it certainly is moving into the right direction. Why? Because it deals with an important subject, highlights the ignorance of elders in affected families and how their reaction sometimes makes things worse. Writer Edison Idrees Masih and director Mohsin Talat’s collaboration is doing wonders as they are bringing forth a topic that wasn’t discussed outside one’s drawing-room but is now being watched on mobiles, TVs and being discussed on Social Media.
Hoorain (Sonya Hussyn) gets engaged to Sufyan (Jehanzeb Khan) in a ceremony that doesn’t include her first cousin Asfand Yar (Sami Khan) or his parents (Sajid Shah and Kinza Malik). When Asfand Yar’s parents suddenly drop in while the ceremony is in progress, they are shown the door by her eldest sister Warda (Ghana Ali), which angered Asfand Yar and everyone else in his house. Hoorain later ‘flushed’ her engagement ring and later claimed that Asfand Yar came over to the house to hurt her when in fact he was out with his friend (Shafqat Khan), discussing Hoorain’s sudden engagement. Finally, when he does gather the courage to go over to Hoorain’s house, Namal (Nazish Jahangir) informs him that their mother (Fareeda Shabbir) had taken Hoorain to seek help from some Aalim Baba, and it would be better if he forgets about her.
This is the fourth time Sami Khan and Sonya Hussyn are acting together but on every occasion, they have come up with something new, different, and refreshing. Mere Harjayi had them featuring in a love triangle, in Aisi Hai Tanhai they were lovers before tragedy struck their lives, in Ishq Zahe Naseeb her character got married to someone mentally disturbed while here, she is the one who is mentally disturbed and has to deal with not one but two Sami Khans. Double the fun, isn’t it? She plays the character so well that it makes you wonder about her own sanity. The minor movements such as smiling after looking at the ring, her astonished looks at the mazaar, and her expressions on finding out that the Baba Jee agrees with her were priceless.
Sami Khan excels in both the roles be it the concerned cousin or the jealous lover, and wants to get to the root cause of the issue, by hook or by crook. His expressions are different every time he is on the screen be it as the good Asfand Yar or the imaginary one, and that could only have been done by someone who is as skilled as him. Sajid Shah and Kinza Malik are experienced campaigners and they fit their characters perfectly; as the father of a young man in love with his sister’s kid, Sajid Shah displayed the calmness that is rarely seen on TV. He wasn’t shouting, he wasn’t angry about learning about his niece’s engagement, only disappointed which is exactly how any civilized person should react. Kinza Malik continues being the good-looking young mother our TV needs, and after Inkaar, Ishqiya and Saraab, she will become everyone’s number one choice for the mothers’ role.
And then there is the scene where Asfand Yar tells Nazish Jahangir’s character that he loves Hoor and Hoor alone. It is tackled in an excellent manner, considering the middle sister wanted Asfand Yar for herself; learning about the rejection from the very person was disturbing and it showed on her face. Last but not the least, the background music was impressive once again and kept the audience involved, giving weight to the suspense, the realism, and above all, the mood of the drama.
First of all, no matter how good a TV drama is, and how relevant it must be to the storyline, showing the ‘flush’ is not something worth your while. Some people are either watching the drama before dinner, some have had their dinner and some are planning their dinner and if you get to see a ‘flush’ on your screen, it will be the end of many good things. The writer and director could have made Hoor lose the ring in some other more creative and pleasing manner, and as a result, I didn’t have my dinner for a long time. Also, no one seemed to miss the ring which was odd as well, considering the engagement happened after a lot of hue and cry.
Also, why was Mohsin Ejaz’s character acting as if he was the brother of the groom and not the husband of the eldest daughter at his in-laws? Shouldn’t he have been a little more casual in his wife’s presence at her parents’ home than he actually was in front of his mother and brother? His brother (Jehanzeb Khan) who went over to his sister-in-law’s place for engagement, had no presence at all when he should have been over the moon. Also, why was Ghana Ali’s Mother-in-law acting so normal at the engagement when a few minutes before leaving, she was spitting fire at her? And yes, if you found Fareeda Shabbir’s character irritating, then you weren’t alone; most people do and if that is the case, then she has done her job well. However, every angry person in real life has a calm phase and it seems hers ended before the drama began shooting.
The Verdict – Impressive and Exciting!
Call it the brilliance of the script, the director’s dedication, or the hard work of the ensemble cast, Saraab is slowly making a place for itself. The way Sami Khan has acted as two versions of one Asfand Yar, Sonya Hussyn plays the ‘disturbed’ girl in the family, their parents’ reactions as well as the rational comments from Shafqat Khan’s character, makes you want to find out what happens in the next episode. The fourth episode may not have been as fast-paced as the first three but it connects the dots for those who want to find out whether Asfand Yar finds Hoorain or not. If he does, how will he handle her, and if he doesn’t, how will he handle himself ... that is the question!