Up until now, audiences have been raving over “Agar” and its ability to stand out from the rest by depicting a natural storyline, one that comprised of relatable problems, human characters, good acdting and down-to-earth presentation while being visually pleasing. Honestly, “Agar” has had everything going for it. Unfortunately, with episodes 21 and 22, the story has taken on a twist that feels uncalled for. The show stars Juggan Kazim, Junaid Khan, Hina Altaf, Ali Abbas, Maheen Siddiqui, Hina Soomro, Ahmed Randhawa and Hina Bayat in prominent roles while the story has been written by Madiha Shahid and directed by Ilyas Kashmiri.
Pakistani drama fans simply want to watch shows that depict real problems, but also refrain from piling on misery unnecessarily. The first blow in “Agar” came after Farrukh’s (Usama Khan) death, a death which was predicted by just how happy Hooriya (Hina Altaf) and Farrukh were. Can Pakistani dramas really let a happy couple and a supportive husband remain that way? While Farrukh’s death jolted viewers and left audiences angry, the death made sense in a way with how Hooriya’s character was to play out. Hooriya has been a selfish, immature, irresponsible character from start to now. Before marriage, she did not want to help around the house or study. After marriage, she did not want to lift a finger to even cook food – or care for her own daughter. After Farrukh’s death, Hooriya was forced to get remarried to Meheryar (Ali Abbas), even though her family really did support her. What did they ask of her? That she either complete her education, get a job or help around the house. When Hooriya refused to do either of these things, they saw no choice but to get her remarried so she could enjoy the luxuries she so wanted without having to work for them. While Hooriya blames her family, she created her own circumstances instead of allowing herself to be independent. Hooriya’s story has served as a great lesson as to why women should be independent and self-sufficient. In this way, Farrukh’s death fit the story.
However, the second blow has come in the form of Annie’s (Juggan Kazim) death. Annie worked her entire life for her family, sacrificed her own happiness for their well-being. When she finally got married, she had to sacrifice that as well, along with being removed from her daughter for 6 years of her young, impressionable life. With Annie and Shahwaiz (Junaid Khan) finally reunited and set to enjoy their lives together, Annie’s death is miserable writing. There isn’t a lesson here, rather it just goes to show that Pakistani drama writers cannot think outside the box and create a narrative outside of misery. There has been so much story to cover in “Agar” from Hooriya’s continued immaturity, Zainab’s (Hira Soomro) childlessness, Chandni’s (Maheen Siddiqui) potential love story and shown independence (a workplace romance would’ve been great to see) and so forth. A great option for Annie would’ve been to show how a woman works her entire life and then struggles at home with the life of being a housewife, a life Annie has never had the opportunity to live.
Alas, despite all these great options, we know exactly where we are headed with this mediocre twist that has ruined the soul of the show. Greedy Hooriya will now forget that she’s already married (for a second time) and will attempt to marry Shahwaiz. Meanwhile, the ultimate “winner” of Annie’s widower will be Chandni, who will marry him for the sake of Arya. It’s depressing to see a strong, beloved show go from unique and inspiring to following the usual, predictable, cliched path of scheming and sacrifice. We can’t complain about the performances, which have all been great throughout…..but the latest twist has really left viewers and reviewers disappointed.