Each week, I sing the praises of “Badshah Begum,” a story that introduces new twists and turns each week, keeping the audience on their toes and generally putting forth an exciting, fresh narrative. This is not to say that the show is without flaws, but overall, the concept has been a winner – if not with high ratings then certainly with strong content and good acting. However, with this week’s episode, the narrative loses its grip in a way – or has the story been set up this way to throw the audience (and the Peeran Pur family) off? Starring Farhan Saeed, Zara Noor Abbas, Hamza Sohail, Ali Rehman Khan, Komal Meer, Yasir Hussain, Saman Ansari, Abdul Hassan, Shahzad Nawaz and others, the story has been written by Saji Gul and directed by Khizer Idrees.
In episode 26, an action-packed showdown takes place when Roshan Ara (Komal Meer) refuses to marry Kaiser (Yasir Hussain). While Roshan Ara’s heart is broken by this plot hatched by her father, Pir Shah Alam (Shahzad Nawaz), Shahzaib (Farhan Saeed) comes to the rescue by relinquishing his claim to the “gaddi,” and accepting Shahmir (Hamza Sohail) as the true heir. In exchange, he only requests that Kaiser and Roshan Ara’s marriage be stopped – and steps in to fight off Kaiser himself. These moments are rather exciting and executed well as Shahzaib and Kaiser battle (literally) while Jahan Ara (Zara Noor Abbas) bravely fights off Kaiser’s men with a shotgun. And while these moments are the highlight of the episode, there are some glaring flaws in this episode.
First, Bakhtiyar (Ali Rehman Khan) and his friends arrive in Peeran Pur to teach the young children of the village. This is a very noble cause and commendable on the part of not only Bakhtiyar, but also Shahmir for arranging this. However, setting up a school and teaching is not that simple. How does the team arrive, dust off desks and immediately begin teaching that same day? These developments should be shown in a logical fashion.
Second, Farhan Saeed is wonderful as Shahzaib, but it’s almost indigestible to see Shahzaib’s transformation over the past one episode. It has happened all too quick – his face-off with Jahan Ara, his denouncing his claim to the “throne,” Zulekha’s (Tanya Hussain) acceptance of his “love” (which was fairly abusive only one episode ago) and the two now expecting a child while Shahzaib declares his allegiance to Shahmir…….it’s simply too much. Of course, it has always been discussed that Shahzaib has been a product of his upbringing and needed to be taught to function as a good human being. But does one conversation with a sister suddenly change an entire personality? This isn’t a slight against Farhan Saeed, as his performance is what makes the entire scenario believable enough to watch – but logically, it’s too soon, too quick and without any real visible growth. Or is it possible that Shahzaib is putting on an act as yet another plan to seize power?
Overall, the episode is an interesting one and the actors all perform very well. Shahmir and Jahan Ara take genuine steps to change Peeran Pur for the better and those steps are visible throughout the episode. It’s also wonderful to see relationships growing within the Pir family, not only on the part of Shahzaib and his family, but also between Shahmir and Gulnar (Hiba Aziz). However, the images in next week’s promo carry a sense of foreboding. With Hakim Bi (Saman Ansari) and Kaiser now plotting to destroy the village crops and shake the foundation once again, Zulekha’s father joining in the plot, what sort of tragedy will the Pir family have to face in coming episodes?