Express Entertainment does not see the kind of promotion and attention that Hum TV, ARY Digital and Geo receive. However, Express Entertainment has been known to churn out pretty great dramas periodically, including “Aik Thi Laila,” “Hum Dono,” “Talkhiyan” and the currently running “Guru.” Its latest launch is “Gunah,” which not only boasts of a talented cast, but also an intriguing, unique storyline. Starring Saba Qamar, Sarmad Khoosat, Juggan Kazim and Rabia Butt, the story has been written by Mohsin Ali and directed by Adnan Sarwar.
The first episode opens with a small town abuzz with gossip over a woman who has run away with a younger man. As the narrative unrolls, we learn that the woman, Gul (Juggan Kazim), is not only a mother, but also the wife of an influential man, a landlord, Malik Hayat Khan (Sarmad Khoosat) and has disgraced her family by running away with her son’s tuition teacher. However, upon Sabiha’s (Rabia Butt) arrival, a police woman, it’s revealed that the present narrative surrounding Gul’s disappearance may be a cover-up.
Episode 1 does a great job of driving home the point that things are not always as they seem. Is this a case of a missing person? Or could it potentially be murder? Saba Qamar’s character, Gul’s sister, is another complex one. While she seems ready to step up and marry her brother-in-law for the sake of the child – is she really being forced into this scenario? Or is this all playing out exactly as Malik Hayat Khan planned it? The last few moments of the episode cast an entirely different perspective on the show and give viewers a lot to think about.
Performance-wise, there’s little to criticize. Juggan Kazim is the most complicated character at present, as we do not quite understand her. She is portrayed as conniving in some scenes, innocent in others, meant to throw us off and Juggan fits the mold. Sarmad Khoosat is wonderful as the brooding, silent, rigid Malik Hayat Khan who wants to be seen as Mr. Perfect by the world, even his in-laws, but may be someone entirely different behind closed doors. And of course, Saba Qamar has a silent strength in her scenes, even if she is more of a spectator in episode one with only a small handful of dialogues. Rabia Butt is confident and plays her part well, as always. “Gumrah” will most likely only be 6 episodes, like other mini-series before it, and while that’s disappointing in terms of length, it also means we will be given well-written, strong episodes leading to the finale. “Gunah” is worthwhile!