“Bakhtawar” has been improving with each episode. While the first two episodes felt as though they were moving too fast and left little room for emotional development or even a connection to the lead character, episodes three and four have improved drastically in that regard. Starring Yumna Zaidi, Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz, Saqib Sameer, Mizna Waqas, Adnan Shah Tipu, Huma Nawab and others, the story has been written by Nadia Akhtar and directed by Shahid Shafaat.
Up until now, we’ve seen Bakhtawar (Yumna Zaidi) continue to grapple with the struggles life has been throwing at her. In order to escape the hardship that comes with being a woman, Bakhtawar adopts a male persona and attempts to live out her life as a man. But while Bakhtawar initially seems to be doing well with this charade, viewers do wonder how long she can keep it up? And the answer soon arrives – not very long.
Dilawar’s (Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz) life comes into focus in episode 4 after being shot at in a restaurant, the same restaurant Bakhtawar works at. Ultimately, it’s Bakhtawar who saves Dilawar’s life. Dilawar is a politician’s son and has just come back to Pakistan after studying abroad. Now back home, he’s not only no longer used to the life and restrictions placed upon him as a politician’s son, but he also frowns upon that scene entirely. Zaviyaar steps into this role nicely, fitting in well with the character and making him seem quite likable and sweet. While Zaviyaar has felt rough around the edges in his past roles, he appears to be coming into his own with this one. There’s a stand-out moment where Dilawar argues with his parents over the concept of indentured servitude and fights against the taking in of one such girl, knowing she will not ever be released back to her parents. This is a situation that continues to exist in Pakistan amongst wealthy landlords and while Dilawar’s parents are perfectly at peace with the “normal” situation, Dilawar is now seeing his family’s practices with new eyes….and disapproval.
Bakhtawar finds herself in trouble after saving Dilawar’s life with her mother now worried for her life at the restaurant. Bakhtawar isn’t a quitter and continues to work until she can find something more appropriate. However, while getting caught in a shootout may not be Bakhtawar’s breaking point, her breaking point arrives only days later when she comes face-to-face with Tony. While Bakhtawar has been passing herself off as “Bakhtu” and has been reveling in the newfound freedom of being a “man,” she quickly learns that life isn’t necessarily easy for men either…..especially men who look and behave in a feminine manner (the reason being obvious in this case). While Tony begins harassing Bakhtu at work and has her fearful for being exposed – or worse, attacked, Bakhtu is also mercilessly teased by the neighborhood boys for being too girly. Life isn’t as easy as Bakhtawar thought it would be while posing as a man.
Adding to the mix is a neighborhood boy, Sheeda, who has befriended Bakhtu in the hopes of getting close to Bakhtawar – a situation clearly more complicated than it would be under ordinary circumstances. Sheeda is not of great character and while things appear to be getting murky for Bakhtawar, Dilawar shows up at just the right time like an angel, offering “Bakhtu” a job.
The story is moving forward now with episode four and one can see where it’s headed. While there isn’t any doubt that women face a hard life in Pakistan living alone and attempting to provide for themselves, it’s interesting to see the flip side where a man who is regarded as feminine also experiences the same sort of harassment and discomfort. This plotline along with the one following Dilawar’s inability to become reacclimated with his father’s lifestyle has taken the show leaps and bounds forward. How will the show move forward from this point?