In life, individuals do endure misery. Tragedy can befall any family or individual at any moment. Life can be sad, but life also offers moments of happiness and each tragedy does not have to fall upon the exact same family or individual. Written by Zanjabeel Asim Shah and directed by Saqib Khan, “Fraud” stars Saba Qamar, Mekaal Zulfiqar, Ahsan Khan, Mehmood Aslam, Adnan Samad Khan, Nida Mumtaz, Annie Zaidi, Saife Hassan, Rabya Kulsoom, Asma Abbas, Alee Hassan Shah and others in prominent roles. Last week, we discussed the possibility of “Fraud” heading down a sour path. This week, it’s time to genuinely unleash anger towards “Fraud” and the “Fraud” team, making it clear that we no longer want to watch these unnecessarily miserable tales that throw in funerals and depression for the sake of…..what is it exactly? Ratings? Do channels get ratings from killing off beloved characters? Are writers/producers/directors sadistic? What is it exactly that makes a team believe this is a good step to take?
In episode 21, Shaan (Mikaal Zulfiqar) decides it’s best to get remarried for Zimmal’s security, realizing Tooba has been mistreating her. This is a great decision and what’s better is the feeling of mistrust he now holds for both Tooba and his mother, keeping Zimmal out of their reach. He also meets Shujaat (Ahsan Khan) in an effort to get Tooba married and away from Zimmal. Unfortunately, the most “happening” sequence in the episode focuses on Talaal (Alee Hassan Shah). Before leaving for a wedding, Talaal encourages Maila (Rabya Kulsoom) to wear artificial jewelry, as “halaat” are not good. Her mother in law also encourages her to change her jewelry, but Maila wants to look nice, so she convinces Talaal – and of course, they are robbed on the way. The scuffle results in Talaal being shot and while the episode ends on Talaal in the hospital, the preview for next week shows that he does, in fact, pass away.
The scenario sets the stage for Maila to be “responsible” for Talaal’s death. He could have convinced her to take the jewelry off or, reasonably, crooks could have robbed them anyway – because, really, who knows if a set is artificial or not? But of course, the stage has to be set for saas-bahu nastiness, even though Maila and her mother-in-law have had an excellent relationship. Going down the path of a hateful relationship between women is a necessity.
Really though, why did Talaal have to die anyway? Is there any logical reason? It’s all so predictable. Nael (Adnan Samad Khan) will step in and save the day by marrying the now-widowed Maila, brining the two families back together. Why couldn’t Nisar (Mehmood Aslam) just forgive Nael anyway, because he’s his nephew? Was this track necessary at all? The majority of the audience has been expecting Talaal, who is a police officer, to be involved in the ultimate arrest of Shujaat. This is all very disappointing. Alee Hassan Shah has portrayed the best character in “Fraud” as Talaal. Quite honestly, this has been a problem with Zanjabeel Asim Shah’s collaborations with ARY in the past. Whether it be “Cheekh,” “Dunk” or now “Fraud,” misery has had to be the icing on the cake, inflicting more grief than necessary in an already bad scenario. We expect better, because Zanjabeel is a good writer. Of course, last but not least, a drama that claims Saba Qamar is the lead character focuses on Saba Qamar for about 5 minutes in each episode. Why? At this point, there isn’t any drive to continue watching “Fraud,” but I may continue doing so out of habit. It has lost its charm after this episode.