“Badshah Begum” is Hum TV’s latest star-studded drama that has been pulling in Pakistani drama viewers. This is a story of warring families, blood turning against blood for the beloved “takht,” the seat of power. This seat belongs to “Badshah Begum,” a woman who is said to hold special healing powers in her touch and words with many coming to her with their woes. However, this position isn’t that of a do-gooder, rather it’s one of absolute power, power that can consume. Starring Zara Noor Abbas, Ali Rehman Khan, Farhan Saeed, Komal Meer, Abul Hassan, Hamza Sohail and others, the story has been written by Saji Gul and directed by Khizer Idrees.
There’s an interesting reveal in this episode where the audience is let in on the fact that Roshan Ara and Jahan Ara’s mother was, in fact, the first wife. Due to the “takht” and the rules surrounding it, Pir Shah Alam (Shahzad Nawaz) was coerced into marrying a second time, the second wife giving him his sons, Shahzaib (Farhan Saeed) and Murad (Abul Hassan). When his family was not given the respect he believed they deserved, he abandoned his second family and moved to the city. This is where it becomes easier to sympathize with Shahzaib over Jahan Ara. Jahan Ara and Roshan Ara lost their mother, sure, but the boys lost their mother and father, taking on responsibilities at a young age that should have been Pir Shah Alam’s. Which sibling duo are we to root for? Of course, Murad and Roshan Ara are the live wires in either case and it will be interesting to see the clash.
On the other hand, now that we have seen the relationship and debate between Jahan Ara and Roshan Ara, is the relationship between the sisters as clear-cut as it initially seemed? Is Jahan Ara as straight-and-arrow and kind as we imagined? Is Roshan Ara really the “bad” sister? Or is there some middle ground here, something Roshan Ara recognizes in her own sister that she wants to spare Bakhtiar (Ali Rehman Khan) from? It seems Pir Shah Alam has been raising Jahan Ara for this moment, the moment when she rightfully takes her place as Badshah Begum. But how will he manage this, considering his absence from Piran Pura for so long? Will Shahzaib wind up helping his sister himself, afraid of the “Takht” going to Kaiser (Yasir Husain) and his daughter?
There’s a lot to unwrap in each episode and it’s a well-made show with slick sequences and a gripping narrative. Still, is everything perfect? Absolutely not. The stabbing scene earlier on in the episode is downright comical, poorly enacted and executed. These are the moments that should make the greatest impact, but wind up looking like unintentional comedy. One also can’t help thinking that some roles have been poorly cast. Still, overall, “Badshah Begum” is off to a great start, though it does need some work in the more technical aspects. With Roshan Ara and Jahan Ara going to Piran Pura, the story is only going to become more exciting.