“Nauroz” is a show which is winning over audiences without mass publicity or trends – rather, it’s the content alone which is pulling in viewers. “Nauroz” tells the story of a young woman raised away from society who is suddenly forced to enter the world – and experience it for the first time. 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.
In episode 7, while Reshtina (Mawra Hocane) is settling into her life as a TikToker, building an audience – with the help of Hira (Mahnoor Shaukat). Agha Jaan’s (Shamyl Khan) training comes in handy when, at a social influencer event, another TikToker refuses to take “no” for an answer. Much has been discussed about this scene, but the point that it really drives home is the need to respect boundaries and listen to “no” as an answer. While Reshtina may not have needed to get physical with Junaid, she clearly said no to him twice, shrugging him off as he got handsy and only attacked on his third attempt. Consent is honestly not difficult and this moment brilliantly illustrates a clear-cut indication of “stay away.” This is a lesson young girls in South Asian society need to know, a lesson in how to protect yourself. We can see the general reaction in Hira’s reaction – a reaction of fear. As women, we are often taught to toe the line and go with the flow in an attempt to stay safe and not incur the wrath of volatile personalities. Hira is upset at Reshtina for defending herself, something which is absolutely ludicrous in the given situation – but for two women living alone, this is cause for alarm.
Fortunately, the exchange is recorded and Reshtina becomes a social media star overnight, applauded for defending herself fearlessly. Seeing Reshtina’s bravery, Rustam (Rana Majid Khan) visits Reshtina to congratulate her. Our dark, brooding, criminal hero has become a fast favorite due to Rana Majid Khan’s performance. This character may not be soft or cuddly, but he’s an intense, protective man when it comes to Reshtina – and that’s exactly what she needs. Reshtina also brings out a softness in Rustam that no one else does. It’s not clear if this love story actually stands a chance at a happy ending, but Reshtina and Rustam are root-worthy.
Of course, we cannot forget to mention Mahnoor Shaukat as Hira. Social media use in an attempt to attract and please others can be linked to poor mental health. Hira is a happy, independent woman for the world, but behind closed doors, she’s a girl struggling with clinical depression. In a world where individuals put on a face to make others happy, when does the “face” truly come off? Mahnoor Shaukat is excellent in this moment, the contrast in presentation vs. reality depicted as Hira breaks down while wearing a clown suit. We’ve been loving Hira and Reshtina’s friendship, but will Reshtina’s success have a negative effect on their relationship?
Mawra Hocane cannot be praised enough for her performance as Reshtina. Mawra’s depiction of Reshtina with her innocence, naivity and transformation shows why she’s one of our best talents. Reshtina has been thrown into a ruthless world -a world we all live in. The horror of our reality is presented through Reshtina’s eyes as she experiences success and discomfort while navigating her new reality. Honestly, “Nauroz” is winning from every angle with its crisp writing and direction. It’s not clear how “Nauroz” will continue to play out, but we’re loving every bit of the journey.