When was the last time you saw two actors complimenting each other with their near-perfect performances and mannerisms? In the sixth and seventh episode of Saraab, the main leads are so well-synced that it would be unimaginable to have other actors than Sami Khan and Sonya Hussyn portray Asfand Yar and Hoorain. This is the fourth time Sami Khan and Sonya Hussyn are acting together (Mere Harjai, Aisi Hai Tanhayi and Ishq Zahe Naseeb being their previous collaborations) and their onscreen chemistry is so spot on that it will set the screen on fire. Kudos to writer Edison Idrees Masih for writing the characters in a realistic manner and to director Mohsin Talat who executed the script in the best way possible, making Saraab a must-watch drama on your list.
While Hoorain (Sonya Hussyn) and her family is convinced that there is something devilish about her, Asfand Yar (Sami Khan) believes that she has psychological issues. Against the advice of his parents (Sajid Shah and Kinza Malik), he decides to take his friend Saqib (Shafqat Khan) to interior Sindh with the intention of convincing Hoorain’s parents (Aurangzeb Leghari and Fareeda Shabbir) to return from the mazaar. But when he and his friend Saqib (Shafqat Khan) save Hoorain from a would-be rapist, he decides to take matters in his own hand and return to Karachi, with Hoorain without informing her parents. With things slowly going out of hand for Warda (Ghana Ali), she lashes out at Asfand Yar’s parents without realizing that whatever Asfand Yar is doing is the best way to handle her youngster sister.
Sami Khan and Sonya Hussyn sizzle with their onscreen chemistry; the scene where he saves her from a would-be rapist shows how much the two understand each other’s capabilities. Without going overboard, the director makes the audience understand that even if the two actors aren’t related in real life, they would look perfect as first-cousins, and share a bond that is stronger than any other. Both the actors in their individual and separate scenes portray the helplessness of their characters, and the more the serial moves on, the more sympathetic the viewers become towards them. When Sonya’s character scolds her eldest sister on the phone, she is on top of her game, and points must be given to Ghana Ali for her reaction. Not only does she realize that by marrying Hoorain off her husband’s brother would be a mistake, she starts planning how to make her in-laws realize that her sister is a ‘psycho’. Ghana Ali’s performance might be the best of her career because she irritates both the characters in the scene and the viewers at the same time with her weird actions that include closing the gate on her first cousin, disrespecting her Mamoon and later her Phupi as well when they visit their place.
And then there were the scenes featuring Sajid Shah as the cool and calm father who understands whatever is happening around him but is unable to do anything. His onscreen sister hates his wife, his onscreen brother in law slaps his niece in front of him and his onscreen son violates his trust by defying his instructions and creating more chaos in their already disturbed lives. To remain a sane voice of reasoning in such a mess can only be expected from good actors. One must also point out that while Aurangzeb Leghari’s performance might have seemed overboard after striking his daughter in the sixth episode, he justified it in the next one where he nearly collapses in the vicinity of the mazaar searching for his daughter. Whoever said that there is no substitute for experience must have had actors like Aurangzeb Leghari in mind!
When Saraab began, there was a possibility of an arc between Sami Khan’s Asfand Yar and Nazish Jahangir’s Namal but by the seventh episode, she has been relegated to a supporting character whose only relationship is with the mentally disturbed sister and their mother. The less and less the viewers see of Nazish Jahangir is bad for the story, since her character is the only one that has first-hand experience of Hoorain’s creepy behavior. Then there is the strange case of SMS/WhatsApp reading where the characters look at their mobile screens and give the expected expressions without the audience realizing what they had read, seen, or was going through their mind. I also couldn’t digest the lengthy chase sequence between the would-be rapist and the would-have-been victim. It could have been trimmed considering that the whole country is still in shock regarding the motorway incident and similar cases. It was great that Sami Khan and Shafqat Khan arrived on time, but wasn’t it too quick for even them in their old car, in which they left late at night and arrived earlier than morning.
The Verdict – Saraab Goes from Strong To Stronger Position with the last two episodes
Saraab has picked up in the last two episodes and might make it to the top three HUM TV dramas of the week, with Sami Khan’s Dulhan and Imran Ashraf’s Mushk being the other two. Not only does it cover a taboo subject, but it also raises a social issue in such a manner that nobody would get hurt or feel bad about it. We know that parents believe more in babas than their own children, and are the last people to accept that their child might have a problem, something this play highlights. In the coming episodes, it would be interesting to see how Sonya Hussyn’s character manages to play the schizophrenic patient, and how it is different from her other dramas including the mega-hit Nazo in 2015. The pace at which the drama is moving is something the viewers were missing on TV and the director must keep his foot on the accelerator if he wants to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, for the rest of the play.