“Benaam” is ARY’s latest daily show, filling in the void left by the many ARY shows that have now wrapped up. If there’s a new show set to take the “guilty pleasure” slot, it’s “Benaam.” With a likable star cast including Noor Hassan, Komal Meer, Anoushay Abbasi, Saad Qureshi, Babar Ali, Nadia Hussain and many others, the show has been written by Tahir Nazir and Seema Sheikh and directed by Ali Masood Syed.
The positives of this show are that there are some strong performers in this one along with some underrated ones, such as Anoushay Abbasi, Babar Ali, Saad Qureshi and, one of my favorites, Noor Hassan. It also attempts to tackle a subject that hasn’t been seen much with a father trying to form a bond with the daughters he once abandoned – but without alerting them to his identity. This is difficult, because Taimoor (Babar Ali) is scared of his daughters judging him and hating him for his past actions and yet, Rabia (Nadia Hussain) and Laiba (Shazeal Shoukat) are unable to accept these young women in their home without a clear explanation. Still, it’s clear that if these two women were given the real explanation, their anger would be fueled even further. Laiba is a highly unlikable character, as is Rabia, but what happened to Haider’s (Noor Hassan) mother suddenly, played by Humaira Bano? In the first episode, she’s seen praising Taimoor to the skies, grateful to him for his lifelong support through their tough times, willing to marry Haider off to Laiba only due to his “ehsaan” on them despite realizing Laiba is unstable. And suddenly, in episode 8, she’s barging into rooms on behalf of Rabia, blasting two young girls for being in her sister’s home without an ounce of empathy of humanity. Why has this character gone from being a single mother who has seen hardships to being a plotting, scheming, unempathetic woman? It’s this character who is the greatest disappointment so far, her character traits changing too quickly to be believable.
On the other end, Umar (Saad Qureshi) has been arrested by Babar’s (Imran Aslam) crooked cop friends and is in lockup while Aimal (Anoushay Abbasi) mentally questions his disappearance. Saad Qureshi’s performance as Umar is really sweet and makes this young man a character worth rooting for. But will Taimoor step in and help Umar, defending him and Aimal against the lecherous Babar? Or will Babar manage to convince Taimoor that he’s the right partner for Aimal?
There’s also a really sweet track between Umar’s sister (Ghana Ali) and her student’s father. This is a story that deserves more attention! Overall, “Benaam” is an interesting enough story with some good performances from Saad Qureshi and Anoushay Abbasi so far while everyone else is slogging through. However, with actors like Noor Hassan and Babar Ali at the forefront, we can hope the story and performances pick up soon. This is an entertaining watch.