“Baddua” is one of those shows that isn’t particularly light-hearted to watch, but falls into “mindless entertainment.” This is a story of karma, of delayed justice, which will come back to strike a wayward woman who has played with one too many hearts. Starring Amar Khan, Muneeb Butt, Maryam Noor, Osama Tahir and others, the story has been written by Samina Aijaz and directed by Ramish Rizvi.
The story takes an odd turn in episode 14, one that doesn’t really sit well. Affan (Osman Tahir) and Neelam (Maryam Noor) are now married, the two well-settled together and the spitting image of a happy couple. Neelam has made her place in Affan’s home, caring for Chachi (Salma Hassan) as her own mother, sharing a strong bond with her. On the other end, Abeer (Amar Khan) and Junaid’s (Muneeb Butt) marriage has also grown stronger, the two supporting each other. Abeer has also proved herself to be a valuable asset to Junaid’s family and has earned her place. But can happiness remain for couples in Pakistani dramas? Of course not.
With Affan and Junaid being childhood friends, they arrange to meet with their wives – and this is where drama ensues. While Affan is confused, Abeer and Neelam face off and Neelam storms away. Junaid, surprisingly, tries to handle things with a cool head, sensing he may lose his friend if this isn’t smoothed over – but Abeer is unwilling to listen or compromise. Junaid has been a “bad” guy, sure, but he has grown a lot post his accident (or has he?), so he is choosing to handle matters in a different way. This is a difficult situation for both men, but what comes across as most shocking is Affan’s reaction. Neelam has every right to be upset. She was engaged to Junaid and both Junaid and Abeer, her best friend, betrayed her. Her pain is more than simply a broken heart due to Junaid – it’s broken trust, trust which has taken time to come back, trust which Affan has earned. So when Affan’s mind goes directly to Neelam still being hung up on Junaid, it’s difficult for the viewer to not yell “OH COME ON!” and want to throw a shoe at his face. What makes it more frustrating is that this is a recurring theme in Pakistani dramas – a lack of basic communication. In real life, couples discuss their problems and talk out their issues. Not only does Affan hold these thoughts in his head, but Neelam also brushes them under the rug, painting a picture of happiness on her face the next morning instead of having an open, honest discussion with her husband about what it has taken for her to move on – and that she has moved on, with him. These words of affirmation mean something – and everyone knows this, except characters in south Asian television shows.
The acting in this episode is solid, particularly from the lead four characters. Maryam Noor, Osama Tahir, Muneeb Butt and Amar Khan all play their parts convincingly. The story of “Baddua” is certainly interesting, but of course, that “baddua” continues to hang in the air, sealing Abeer’s impending doom, which will ultimately destroy her life. We also can’t forget Abeer’s persistent ex lover who will not leave her alone in the name of “revenge.” This is the part that is unsettling about the show. Still, next week’s episode will be interesting with Abeer coming face to face with Mohsin’s mother (Salma Hassan) when she confronts Neelam and Affan. Will this be the start of more problems for Abeer?