“Ibn E Hawwa” tells a story of how misogyny can manifest in a patriarchal society and create deep-rooted biases that can be harmful to women within that society. While “Ibn E Hawwa” is moving at a relaxed pace, the story it is telling is an intriguing one with interesting characters. Starring Shahzad Sheikh, Hira Mani, Aymen Saleem, Nadia Afgan, Noman Habib and others, the story has been written by Saji Gul and directed by Syed Ahmed Kamran. In the first four episodes, we have been introduced to Zahid, Mahjabeen and Aaliyah, our lead three characters, and their different backgrounds – and attitudes towards life.
In episode 5, Zahid’s (Shahzad Sheikh) father passes away after spotting his ex-wife trying to meet his daughter, Naila. On his deathbed, his misogynistic, woman-hating words are his last gift to his son, ensuring his mindset continues to hold with Zahid even after his death. Zahid has spent his entire life dedicated to his father, so regardless of what his mother now attempts to say to him, it will be difficult to change his mind, which has been molded from a young age. Shahzad Sheikh is playing this part convincingly and it’s nice to see him in a role which is so complex. On one end, Zahid is a good man and appears to be kind at heart – however, when it comes to women, he has been so deeply impacted by his father’s words and his mother’s abandonment that he simply does not respect the female species. Unfortunately, the brunt of his behavior will most likely be faced by his innocent sister, Naila, who is now under his protection.
Meanwhile, Shabratan (Nadia Afgan) has started the process of searching for a match for Mahjabeen (Hira Mani). Shabratan and Mahjabeen’s relationship has been a highlight of the show so far, though we’ve all known that Shabratan’s intentions are not as clean as we would like. However, in this episode, we realize that Shabratan is looking out for her own benefit in her drive to get Mahjabeen remarried. Shabratan has slowly been testing the waters, trying to ensure Mahjabeen’s blind trust – and Mahjabeen does trust her blindly, unfortunately. It’s still not clear what Shabratan’s ulterior motive is, but she is manipulating the situation to put forth her pre-decided suitor. Considering Aaliyah’s (Aymen Saleem) affections for Zahid (Shahzad Sheikh), is Shabratan potentially planning to throw Zahid in Mahjabeen’s lap to keep him away from Aaliyah? And if so, how will this play out?
Aymen Saleem and Nadia Afgan are a joy to watch on-screen in their lighter, more comedic roles. While the overall theme of the show is heavy, it’s these two characters that keep the proceedings humorous. Shahzad Sheikh is also doing a great job in his role. It would be nice to see Hira Mani in a strong, confident role where she’s seen standing up for herself and not taking abuse sitting down – but this does not appear to be that role. Regardless, Mahjabeen’s backstory and upcoming future will give Hira Mani plenty of space to perform. Overall, “Ibn E Hawwa” is an intriguing story, but the last two episodes have been moving a bit slowly. The pace needs to pick up just a bit, otherwise this is a praise-worthy concept.