“Baddua” is one of those stories that doesn’t necessarily sit well with the audience, but somehow still manages to bring in repeat viewers each week due to good performances and interesting characters. Starring Amar Khan, Maryam Noor, Muneeb Butt, Mohsin Abbas, Osama Tahir and others in lead roles, the story has been written by Sameena Aijaz and directed by Ramish Rizvi. Last we saw, Abeer (Amar Khan) rejected a proposal in front the guests, declaring that she will only marry Junaid (Muneeb Butt).
In episode 6, Abeer’s family is in arms over Abeer’s refusal and treat it as her disobedience (even though Abeer asked her family to meet Junaid’s family). Many taunts are thrown Abeer’s way while Abeer, as argumentative and rude as ever, declares that she will run away and get married if they do not listen. When Junaid’s family arrives, her father asks them to come within the week to get Junaid and Abeer married, essentially making it known that he no longer wishes to be associated with his daughter. He is marrying her off as his last obligation and throwing her out of his life Iin anger. What’s even more frustrating about this scenario is that Junaid is marrying Abeer for a twisted sort of “revenge.” He blames Abeer for Neelam’s rejection and the humiliation faced because of it – but Junaid was engaged to Neelam and he was cheating on his own fiancée. Why and how is this Abeer’s fault? She only carries her share of the blame, the blame of deceiving her friend. But Junaid and Junaid alone is responsible for his own actions in betraying his fiancée – and his betrayal being uncovered.
There’s something very confusing about the message “Baddua” is trying to send out. Abeer is a horrible human being, no doubt about it. She openly dates multiple men at once, hooking on to the more well-off man, disrespects her family, slaps her sister and literally steals her best friend’s fiancé. And yet, can we pause and discuss the attributes of a “good girl”? After Abeer’s outright rejection of the proposal, Abeer’s father is furious that Abeer is so disrespectful. The entire family is horrified that Abeer couldn’t declare her liking for someone with respect – but she did. Abeer not only told her mother that Junaid would send a proposal, but she also (very politely) informed her father. Both rejected her desire and called over the other family. While Abeer may not be a good person, this doesn’t wipe out the fact that Abeer did try to persuade her family to reject the proposal before the visit and meet Junaid’s family instead. So what qualifies as a “good” daughter? Daadi is also heard chiding her son for educating his daughters, because he should have simply married the girls off. Again, while Abeer is of bad character, what does her education have to do with it? And while it may be true that this is a realistic mindset, showing it when the lead female character is projected to be “bad” essentially sends out a negative message to viewers that education leads to “badmateezi.”
Still, Amar Khan and Muneeb Butt’s performances are good and it’s these performances that keep the audience coming back for more. Amar Khan in particular is excelling in this negative role of a woman who does not recognize right from wrong, thinking only for herself. We will have to wait and see how the story unfolds from here and what sort of message it sends out to the audience.