“Berukhi” has been advertised heavily lately, expectations of a hit riding high on both Hiba Bukhari and Junaid Khan’s presence in the show. It is one of two, the other Hiba-Junaid starrer being Inteha E Ishq on A Plus, which also started today. Written by Ghazala Naqvi and directed by Mohsin Mirza, the show also stars Nazish Jehangir, Usman Peerzada, Noor Ul Hassan, Nida Mumtaz, Rehan Sheikh, Hassan Ahmed, Iffat Omer and really, some of the best character actors in the Pakistani industry. And yet, the opening episode leaves a lot to be desired.
As the episode begins, we see a young girl named Saba’s body being wheeled into the hospital and it’s soon determined that she committed suicide. With her elderly father falling apart, Kamran (Hassan Ahmed), Saba’s boss, comes to his aid and “supports” his loss by giving him 10 lakh. It’s quickly revealed that Kamran has a habit of luring young girls through marriage, having relations with them and then breaking off the relationship. Saba was yet another one of his victims who committed suicide after being asked to abort her child. How does this story tie in with the main “love story”? Kamran is Maira’s Mamoon (Uncle).
Maira (Nazish Jehangir) is your stereotypical, rich, snooty girl who believes she is better than her less-well-off relatives. She is not only snooty, but also conceited and believes it’s appropriate to throw a full-blown tantrum because the driver had to pick up her relatives and couldn’t pick up her cake. By the way, who orders their own birthday cake for their own birthday party and if the timing was such an issue, why couldn’t she have picked it up earlier? And has she ever heard of paying for a rider to pick up and deliver a cake? This is an illogical method of showing what a mess Maira is. Fortunately, while Maira and her mother (Iffat Omer) are horrible, her father (Rehan Sheikh) and sister Sana are perfectly lovable individuals.
Samreen (Hiba Bukhari) is Maira’s cousin and somehow winds up engaged to Kamran when her Chachi spontaneously declares it. On the other end, we also are introduced to Irtiza (Junaid Khan) who comes from a well-off, traditional family. His identity is shrouded in some sort of secrecy, which his Aiyi Jaan (Saba Hameed) does not want revealed and his Agha Jaan (Usman Peerzada) wants to tell him after he has fallen ill. This is as much as we know about Irtiza at this point.
Like most ARY shows these days, the cinematography and production values are on a different level. They are visually appealing, which makes the audience want to watch the show. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything in this show that is “new.” There is a heavy feeling of déjà vu while watching the first episode and while the cast is sprinkled with some of Pakistan’s finest talents, they aren’t doing anything worthy of that talent. Noor Ul Hassan is playing the poor relative yet again, Rehan Sheikh playing the rich relative yet again, Iffat Omer scheming yet again, Nida Mumtaz being “majboor” yet again, Nazish Jehangir being “ghamandi” yet again, Hiba Bukhari being forced into a marriage yet again……it’s pure repetition. If there’s anything worthwhile about this show other than the cast, it’s not evident after episode 1. Will the show pick up later? We will have to wait and see.