The return of Wajahat Rauf to Television after a gap of five years has sort of elevated its status; from a Saas Bahu spectacle, it has evolved into a mini screen for filmi efforts, and Raqs e Bismil is the biggest of ‘em all!
The grand treatment given by the director to Hashim Nadeem’s script and the performances of all actors makes it something worth your while. Is it enough to engage the audience, with the story moving ‘faster than the speed of light’ (or a little slower, maybe!) that remains to be seen, but it does make your weekend interesting!
Zohra (Sarah Khan) meets Moosa (Imran Ashraf) as per her promise to his mother, and tells him to leave her alone, if he loves her and that’s exactly what he does. However, he stays on the edge since the meeting and is suspicious of all, including his brother’s wife Sakina (Anoushay Abbasi). Unknown to her, he was tracking her every move and that’s what saved her when he arrives in time to rescue her from friends of her beau Kamran (Taha Humayun). Before leaving, Moosa shot all three in their legs and was arrested for attempted murder later that night.
However, he doesn’t tell anyone who the girl with him was in the jeep and that transforms Sakina from a 'Moosa Hater' to a 'Moosa Worshipper'. With him in jail, and his family banished from meeting him by his father Pir Qudrat Ullah Shah (Mahmood Aslam), his prospective in-laws decide to call off the engagement that disturbs Sitara (Faria Hasan). On the other hand, Malik Sheheryar (Furqan Qureshi) is using everything in his powers to convince Anna Jee (Gul e Rana) that he is the best person to marry Zohra, even if it takes kicking them out of their house!
The Good – Imran Ashraf, Anoushay Abbasi, and Mehmood Aslam steal the spotlight!
Imran Ashraf is the star of the tenth and eleventh episode, where he transforms from a lost lover into an angry young man, in the mold of Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha. Remember Kaala Patthar where Shatrughan’s Mangal saves Neetu Singh’s character from an assault? Moosa’s scene had the same impact minus the dhishoom dhishoom, and while Neetu’s Channo falls in love with her rescuer, Anoushay Abbasi’s Sakina starts worshipping her brother-in-law for his act. The anger in his eyes, the sorrow in his heart from Zohra’s rejection is real, and he unloads it all on the three guys who thought Sakina was a damsel in distress.
Talking of Anoushay Abbasi, the actress manages to share the spotlight with the protagonist and makes you sympathize with her character despite her intentions to leave her loving husband. From a defenseless girl stuck in unwanted surroundings to a sister who had the back of her brother-in-law, her expressions were priceless. Her questions after being rescued had the genuineness required from her character and it was then and there that her mind switched loyalties, something that was visible throughout the episode.
And then there is the breathtakingly beautiful Sarah Khan who makes the audience fall in love with her again and again; Momin Saqib as the younger brother impresses with his powerful acting and the scene where he receives a phone call from his wife is executed well. However, Mehmood Aslam manages to show his class as the father who has been repeatedly disappointed by his elder son, and doesn’t want to be known as his dad anymore. He continues to impress in his non-Mehmood sahib roles and makes you wonder where he would have been, had he stuck to dramatic roles only!
The Bad – In an attempt to win the race, you miss some steps!
Faria Hasan Sitara doesn’t come across as someone Moosa would choose over Zohra; she is a beautiful girl who lights your screen in TV commercials but here she comes out as a contender, not a competitor. Also, Taha Humayun’s Kamran is shown as a normal person, who wants to elope with his girlfriend but has to look after his aged parents as well. However, the way his character has been portrayed, it comes out as a weak guy, with sleazy friends. And finally, if Moosa had shot the three guys in their legs, why didn’t they answer the phone or call for help? Did they unlock their phones with their legs? Had they used their hands (and their brain), they might not have been in a critical situation as they turned out to be, and Moosa might have still been roaming around as a free man!
The Verdict – Raqs e Bismil blesses your Friday like no other play!
The credit of Raqs e Bismil’s success goes as much to Wajahat Rauf as to Hashim Nadeem; produced by his wife Shazia Wajahat and featuring the best actors in the industry, the drama keeps getting better every week. One must mention the astounding OST and the background score that keeps enhancing the quality of the visuals and grabs the audience’s attention. With film actress Zara Sheikh and veteran actor Rashid Farooqui to make their entry in coming weeks, the play will become grander and more interesting.