Pakistani drama audiences are exhausted from watching misery-heavy dramas with constant tragedy inflicted upon its lead actresses – and yet, these are the shows that bring in high ratings. “Angna” is the latest daily show on ARY Digital and while “Angna” also revolves around the marital woes of four sisters, this one is earning praise from both audiences and critics alike. Why? “Angna” stars Azfar Rehman, Areeba Habib, Ali Abbas, Rabab Hashim, Javed Sheikh, Atiqa Odho, Sajjad Pal, Laiba Khan, Asim Mehmood, Knawal Khan, Danial Afzal Khan, Mohsin Gillani, Rabia Noreen, Gul E Rana, Ismail Tara and Rubina Ashraf in lead roles, while the story has been written by Sameena Aijaz and directed by Saqib Zafar Khan & Tehseen Khan.
Honestly, with “Angna” and how enjoyable it is, it’s all in the treatment. While these stories include psychological abuse, greedy in-laws, dishonesty and deceit in marriage, there’s a lighthearted feel surrounding the stories. With four sisters, there’s always a character or storyline to serve as a buffer to keep the story from feeling too heavy. Adding to this is the loving, supportive, kind environment from which the four girls come from. Azfar Baig (Javed Sheikh) and his wife (Atiqa Odho) have raised their daughters in a highly loving home and even if these girls cannot confide in their own parents in order to protect them, they are able to share their problems with one another. It also must be said that watching loving sister relationships on-screen is something drama audiences have been waiting for and these sisterly bonds are not only sweet, but a realistic depiction of how sisters in normal households behave.
While Abeeha (Areeba Habib) and Taimoor’s (Azfar Rehman) relationship is the ideal marriage, with the two supporting one another through mishap after mishap, we cannot help wondering when their relationship will be impacted? Will one die? Will they label Abeeha as “manhoos” (bad luck) for all these mishaps eventually? Can this relationship remain as happy as it is from start to finish? This is how trained our minds have become to watching toxicity on our screens. While this couple is still thriving and every bit the image of a strong marriage, will it last? Areeba and Azfar are incredibly sweet together and we hope they remain this happy!
Meanwhile, due to Abeeha’s accident, Nayyab’s marriage functions have been put on hold, irking her greedy to-be inlaws. It’s Raza (Sajjad Pal) who is the least likable of all the sons-in-law at present. There really isn’t any reason for Azfar to trust him so blindly and it’s downright ridiculous the way he isn’t even checking the accounts and handing over money, property and anything else in the name of trust. There is being kind-hearted and there is being downright blind to the faults of others. It’s nice to see that his mother (Gul E Rana) is the intelligent, observant person that she is. Of course, let’s not discuss the odd casting choice here, as Gul E Rana is easily 10 years younger than Javed Sheikh.
Aiza (Kanwal Khan) and Amaar (Asim Mehmood) are now married and she is blissfully unaware of his wife and child while his parents attempt to throw the two together so Amaar miraculously forgets about his first wife and child. This is an infuriating situation, because it’s not clear at all what Amaar’s plan is. What was his intention behind getting married? Why didn’t he just tell his parents the truth from the beginning? Is there even a long-term plan here? He is perfectly content with Aiza, smiling and enjoying his honeymoon, and then sneaking off to speak with his wife and kid. This is serious betrayal at work here and there isn’t a clear reason for it.
Meanwhile, the most interesting story comes in the form of Eeshan (Rabab Hashim) and Zain’s (Ali Abbas) relationship. Zain’s mother (Rubina Ashraf) has heavy shades of Shamim Hilaly’s role in “Uraan” and this is a compliment, as this was a fascinating character. Zain’s mother has been emotionally and psychologically abusing him since childhood, confining him to the household and isolating him from friends. She has forced this young man to rely on her and only her for her own need of self-importance and this is an attitude she continues to promote even after his marriage. Now she has turned her abuse to Eeshal, commanding her to never meet her family again. Adding to this insult, Zain is instructed to move to the bedroom next to his mother’s and not speak to his wife. At this point, we would instruct Eeshal to run back home and never look back. However, seeing Zain’s emotional breakdown, doesn’t Zain need help as well? This is a window into the sort of abuse South Asian parents are capable of inflicting on their children and Ali Abbas is brilliant while enacting these emotions.
“Angna” is only going from strength to strength with so many stories to explore. This is not saying this is a brilliant show on the level of “Parizaad” and “Tanhaiyyan.” It is certainly a guilty pleasure sort of watch, but there is quality here. This is a show that doesn’t weigh to heavy on the brain and provides entertainment while also delving into some serious, meaningful topics. So far, “Angna” is a winner.