“Agar” tells the story of a family and how a mother’s decisions have affected her adult children’s lives in different ways. Refreshingly different, “Agar” has kept loyal viewers hooked – but is now beginning to drag. Starring Juggan Kazim, Junaid Khan, Hina Altaf, Maheen Siddiqui, Ahmed Randhawa, Ali Abbas, Hina Bayat and others, “Agar” has been written by Madiha Shahid and directed by Ilyas Kashmiri.
In episode 29, Shahwaiz (Junaid Khan) and Chandni (Maheen Siddiqui) are (very slowly) starting to grow closer. The Shahwaiz and Chandni angle initially felt “off,” particularly because Annie’s death wasn’t necessary and looking at your dead wife’s younger sister seems wrong. However, Junaid Khan and Maheen Siddiqui have performed their roles with such sincerity and their roles have been written in a way that we now find ourselves rooting for Chandni and Shahwaiz. This would be the perfect union not only for them, but also for little Arya who needs a mother figure like Chandni in her life.
Unfortunately, Hooriya (Hina Altaf) is now poised to strike. Waiting out her fake “iddat” period, Hooriya is working towards earning Shahwaiz’ sympathy. As she did after Farrukh’s death, Hooriya is again waiting to go out and eat, work and wear colorful clothing. Chandni rightly scolds her, saying she behaves like an overgrown child despite being a mother – and she’s right. Except this time around, Hooriya’s antics are not in the least bit endearing, because she’s simply not divorced. This is a married woman pretending to be divorced to lure in her widower brother-in-law. This character could not sink any lower and next week, she will propose marriage to Shahwaiz. One can only hope Shahwaiz sees reason and recognizes that Hooriya would be a terrible life partner for him – and a terrible mother for Arya. Hooriya cannot even care for her own child properly, constantly using Pari for her own gain, throwing Pari into arguments with Meheryaar and brainwashing Pari against him. Hooriya is a character who desperately needs help – and at the same time, Hina Altaf deserves a world of praise for playing this morally and ethically corrupt, lazy character so well.
However, the negatives must be addressed. First, there appears to be a serious editing issue. The entire family has rejected the proposal for Chandni, Chandni herself has rejected the proposal and it’s public knowledge. Shahwaiz has told Chandni she made the right decision and then later, he is seen telling her mother to not force Chandni into a decision. This scene not only feels out of place, but also just doesn’t make sense. Furthermore, the story has begun to drag at this point. In what world would Meheryaar simply cut off and not even think to speak to Hooriya’s family? Why would his own mother take off to her village, locking the gate and not even think to speak to them? This is just a means to drag the drama and in a show that has generally avoided such tactics, it does not work.
Overall, “Agar” is a good show that tells an interesting story while also highlighting human flaws. We are not a perfect race and no one person is perfect. Each of these characters make mistakes – Hooriya’s mistakes are atrocious, but she just never grew up. Behram and Zainab, who are such sweet characters, are ready to start their lives and in a rush to marry Chandni off, not realizing their brash decision could harm Chandni. It’s nice to see characters with depth, the ability to make mistakes and not painted as black and white. And yet, it’s time to propel this narrative forward and put this story to a proper conclusion. After 29 episodes, it’s beginning to wear thin.