Kashif Nisar is an exceptional director; Bee Gul is one of the most talented writers around. Together their creation wouldn’t be less than anything magical, and Raqeeb Se is exactly that. In the era of Saas-Bahu, it comes as a refreshing drama that takes you back in time, when life was simple, and problems were genuine. Add to that the best actors in the business and you can go anywhere but wrong!
The life of Maqsood Ahmed (Naumaan Ijaz) is in turmoil since his ex-flame Sakina (Hadiqa Kiani) and her daughter Ameera (Iqra Aziz) became unwanted guests in his house. His own wife Hajra (Sania Saeed) and daughter Insha (Faryal Mehmood) have the opposite views when it comes to the two guests, but with the man of the house in two minds, nothing seems to be going right for them. While Maqsood Ahmed’s elder brother Masood (Salman Shahid) took care of an FIR Sakina’s husband Rafiq Ali (Saqib Sumeer) had registered, Insha’s boyfriend feels insecure because of joblessness, making her angry and frustrated.
With Ameera going to college, life was coming back to normal in the household; however Sakina feels bad at going against Maqsood Ahmed in court twenty years back, and that makes her sad all the time. When Maqsood Ahmed confronts her for coming back into her life twenty years too late, Hajra entered and disrupted their discussion, embarrassing them both. Will Maqsood Ahmed opt for Sakina once she divorces Rafiq Ali, or will her abusive husband return to disrupt life in Maqsood Ahmed’s house again?
The Good – It’s Maqsood Ahmed versus the women in his house!
Raqeeb Se is one of those plays where every character is integral to the plot; besides Maqsood Ahmed and Hajra (Naumaan Ijaz and Sania Saeed), there is Sakina (Hadiqa Kiani), Ameera (Iqra Aziz), Insha (Faryal Mehmood) and Rafiq Ali (Saqib Sumeer). Their presence in the plot is essential, be it for comedy or serious purposes. There was a hint of disturbance in Hajra’s expressions when Insha spoke about her father and the way he treated her; Maqsood Ahmed doesn’t feel comfortable when anyone grabs him for any reason; he wants the best for everyone and that’s why only Naumaan Ijaz would have been able to do justice to the character.
Sania Saeed as Hajra is the perfect selection as well because she doesn’t let the audience know what’s going in her mind, yet they know how she feels. She loves her man but knows that his attention is divided ever since Sakina came back into their lives. She rebukes her daughter when she asks her why she doesn’t take any action but we all know that Hajra knows in her mind that Insha is right in every way. Hadiqa Kiani is a revelation here and excels as an actress especially in the scene where she tells Insha about the murder that destroyed her life.
The Bad – It becomes too old-fashioned at times
In a world of computers, mobile phones, and Zoom, Raqeeb Se comes out as something that was written before the advent of technology. Insha calling her beau (Hamza Sohail) on mobile seems to be the only ‘new’ thing in the play. Secondly, Iqra Aziz’s Ameera might be shown as young and raw, she doesn’t look better than Hadiqa Kiani’s Sakina who is still more desirable, and attractive. Why do the makers want her to appear as a second-string person when it is her character that is the reason for Maqsood Ahmed’s destruction?
The Verdict – Will Maqsood Ahmed ever get a good night’s sleep in Raqeeb Se?
Writer Bee Gul and director Kashif Nisar must be commended for providing powerful lines to the actors and then letting them perform to the best of their abilities, making Raqeeb Se one of the best plays on our screens. Be it the scene where Naumaan Ijaz’s expression changes while driving a car with Ameera on the driving seat, or the scene where Sania Saeed talks to her husband about Rafiq Ali’s visit, every scene has been executed in the best possible manner. Will Maqsood Ahmed find peace with so many women in his house or will the situation remain the same, that’s what makes the drama all the more interesting.