“Nauroz” is a show which has been consistently delivering a strong story while also making strong statements on the nature of our world. The lead character, Reshtina, has been learning her way around the world after leaving her basement home while also running for her life against enemies – her own blood relatives. Starring Mawra Hocane, Shamyl Khan, Rana Majid Khan, Mahnoor Shaukat and Manzar Sehbai, the story has been written by Kashif Anwar and directed by Shahzad Kashmiri.
As episode 22 opens, Rustam (Rana Majid Khan) meets with his friend and implores him to ask Reshtina (Mawra Hocane) to meet him in jail just once. Honestly, this scene is a strong one as Rustam finally manages to get his point across and soften the heart of his friend, his brother, as he realizes this may be Rustam’s final wish. While Hira (Mahnoor Shaukat) discourages her from going to the jail due to the discomfort she will experience, Reshtina decides to go after hearing Rustam committed murder for her. This meeting his highly emotional as Rustam confesses that had he not met Reshtina, he would have continued to live a life of sin and dishonesty, crediting her with opening his eyes. He also confesses his love for her while stating he knows he’s not worthy of her. Rana Majid Khan’s performance in these sequences is absolutely heart-wrenching and draws out the tears, particularly when he asks Reshtina to allow him to look at her for a moment to capture her in his memories. The anguish, the love, the heartbreak is all visible in this one moment – and it’s beautiful. Mawra Hocane also deserves a round of applause here, as her reactions to Rustam are simply perfect. She is not necessarily in love with him. This could have been an emotion that developed later on or maybe not, but she recognizes the good in him and how he has protected her. With Reshtina’s exit from the jail, Mawra Hocane’s walk itself shows how burdened and heavy Reshtina’s heart is in that moment. With this scene, we’re forced to accept that this is most likely goodbye to Rustam, a character who has created magic as a unique hero.
“Nauroz” continues to hit emotional highs with Hira this week as she finds her mother driving a cab on the streets. The way this scene has been shot is so natural, so human, so relatable in how Hira implores her mother to tell her about her father, begs for forgiveness and, finally, her mother cracks in an emotional reunion. Malik Raza and Mahnoor Shaukat are excellent as father and daughter are reunited, both changed individuals as a result of their separation. Watching Hira with her family after so many struggles is wholesome – and even more wholesome is the fact that Hira doesn’t go through any silly epiphanies, trying to give up her success. Success and family can go hand-in-hand and that’s what this storyline is highlighting. Hira has, in fact, become a source of light for her family, now able to admit her father into a good hospital for his treatment.
The third arc in this episode is slightly bogus, showing Reshtina and Shayaan’s film success – let’s be honest, the movie looked preachy and ridiculous, not something anyone would ever pay money to watch. In light of her success, ex social media star Junaid kidnaps Reshtina in an attempt to harm her. Fortunately, Shayaan and Hira save her and the culprits are arrested. Junaid is so angry at Reshtina for ruining his social media career that he turns criminal and the entire thing is just laughable. In the world of social media, scandals are forgotten as soon as the next one emerges, so Junaid’s plight feels artificial and a way to create another enemy for Reshtina.
Fortunately, the positives outweigh the negatives in episode 22. This is an emotionally strong episode that keeps viewers glued to their screens with Mawra Hocane, Rana Majid Khan and Mahnoor Shaukat’s excellent performances. Karavan Khan (Manzar Sehbai) and his son are missing in action these days, playing second fiddle, but with only a handful of episodes left, it’s clear that the story arc will shift in that direction soon. With Reshtina now strong emotionally, financially and professionally, she will be able to put up a fair fight – and we’re looking forward to it.