Starring Madiha Imam, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Bushra Ansari, Saba Hameed, Behroze Sabzwari and others, “Chauraha” has been written by Edison Idrees Masih and directed by Aehsun Talish. When a story like “Chauraha” comes along, the most we can hope for as viewers is that this story of catfishing, kidnapping and even murder does not whitewash the criminal. Looking at the team behind “Chauraha,” one cannot imagine this happening considering the sensitive writer Edison Idrees is and the success with which Aehsun Talish has recently handled a redemption arc in “Ae Musht E Khaak.” And yet, still, after watching episode 7 of “Chauraha,” one cannot help being nervous about the direction in which the show is headed.
In episode 7, we see Junaid (Mikaal Zulfiqar) now grappling with the reality of Zoya’s (Madiha Imam) background. With Zoya coming from a poor family, Junaid and his friends will not be receiving a penny from this kidnapping and, adding to it, Zoya will now have to suffer a harsh fate after being out of the house for the night. This is the reality of society that the world looks at girls with dubious eyes if they go “missing” and, in this case, nosy neighbors also play witness. This is one flaw, as in reality, no one really pays attention to the going-ins and outs of a household, so why would Arsal’s mother be so curious as to whether Zoya has returned home or not?
Junaid is also on the alert with his younger sister at home and it’s interesting to see how, as a result of his “work,” he is protective and aware of his sister’s actions. Hypocrites like this run free in society, protective of their own while exploiting others. And while Junaid manages to come to Zoya’s rescue, his conscience kicking in, is it enough to pardon his crimes? Zoya is now home and the two shared a “moment” after Junaid’s “kindness” in helping her escape (but is it really kindness when he is the one who kidnapped her?). But can we forget that Junaid didn’t simply kidnap a girl for ransom? He does this regularly, chatting with girls, luring them in and then extorting their families. Also, can we forget that a girl was murdered in the last episode as well, a murder we are supposed to attribute to Junaid’s gang?
It’s difficult to digest this relationship between Junaid and Zoya becoming anything more than kidnapper and victim. That being said, if Junaid reforms and somehow helps Zoya’s life come back together without there being a romantic angle (and also justice being served), this could be an excellent show. Mikaal Zulfiqar is great in this negative role, a young man living a double life between being a family man and a ruthless kidnapper. This is something different for him and he is performing well. Madiha Imam is good in her role as Zoya, believable as a gullible school girl who falls into a trap due to financial struggles. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out, but so far, this one is worth a watch!