If one wants to learn the art of dragging a horror show, one need not look any further than “Neeli Zinda Hai.” With 31 episodes down, the story has not moved in any logical direction in the past few episodes. Starring Mohib Mirza, Sonia Mishal, Urwa Hocane, Mohammad Ahmed, Kinza Malik, Aliya Ali and others, the story has been written by Adeel Razaq and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed. When the family discovered the truth about Neeli’s presence, the audience immediately felt relieved for both Sumbal (Sonia Mishal) and Minaal, who would no longer been seen as imbalanced. And yet, things have not improved post this reveal, rather they have simply gotten worse…..and illogically so.
While the Aalim has been trusted blindly, it has always been Fahim (Mohammad Ahmed) who gave him full control, following his words to a T. And now, after Fahim’s death, these decisions have fallen upon Aman (Mohib Mirza). The household is disturbed after Fahim’s death, and rightly so, but the disturbance is made worse by the fact that Minaal appears to have had a hand in the death. Minaal doesn’t help matters by smiling at inopportune times, disappearing with Neeli replacing her only to reappear later in the same spot and carrying out Neeli’s dirty work. Minaal appears to be completely under Neeli’s control now and this should be much more alarming for the family than it actually is. Not only is Sumbal aware that something is going on, but she continues to keep things quiet and cover for Minaal’s actions instead of going directly to the Aalim and reporting what she’s seeing. The Aalim, on his part, isn’t dim. He is observing Minaal and realizes that things are not well with her.
Again, the Aalim, after a scary encounter with Neeli (Urwa Hocane) and realizing that Neeli is actively trying to take Minaal “with her,” encourages the family to move out immediately and move into his home. However, the family drags their feet and puts off the move, packing with leisure. Honestly, if one knows that there’s a spirit trying to take their daughter, would they waste time packing up the house or would they flee with essentials, get their daughter off the property and come back with more people to pack up later? This is not only frustrating to watch, but only opens up the narrative for more dragging.
The actor playing the Aalim is absolutely wonderful and it’s his performance and character that is keeping the show interesting at this point. Agha Mustafa’s character, Daniyal, is another part of the puzzle that needs to fall into place soon, revealing the past. And when will Osama Tahir finally make his much-awaited appearance? It’s almost as if the team forgot he was supposed to be in this show. Neeli’s past has been the most awaited part of this show – and it continues to be teased and kept hidden. Will the audience even care by the time it is revealed at this point?