Horror dramas are not particularly common on Pakistani entertainment, most eerie shows revolving around black magic. The supernatural angle is what sets “Neeli Zinda Hai” papart. Starring Sonia Mishal, Mohib Mirza, Urwa Hocane, Mohammad Ahmed, Kinza Malik, Aliya Ali and others, the story has been written by Adeel Razaq and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed. Unfortunately, “Neeli Zinda Hai” has been stretched out to a point where the audience is losing interest.
Quite honestly, “Neeli Zinda Hai” has become stagnant. In episode 32, Aman (Mohib Mirza) and the Aalim Sahab pay a visit to Daniyal (Agha Mustafa) to discuss Neeli’s past. This is the third time we have seen Daniyal attempting to tell his visitors the truth about Neeli while his loud, illogically brash wife chases the visitors out of the house. By this time, even she should recognize that there’s more to the story than what she is aware of – which is very little to begin with. The story has become repetitive, because the Aalim has been speaking about digging through Neeli’s past for a long while now, at least 3 episodes, and the reveal isn’t inching anywhere towards a conclusion.
Neeli (Urwa Hocane) has now essentially possessed Minaal and the child is now carrying out her dirty work, attacking her own family members. Meanwhile, Sumbal (Sonia Mishal) has made it a habit to act surprised, as though saying “bachi hai” innocently will wipe out all knowledge that her daughter has, in fact, been under Neeli’s influence. Why does this character act so dense and dimwitted? It’s beyond comprehension. It’s Aman who is the logical one in this relationship and after discovering the truth about Neeli, he’s the one who has been actively trying to do something about the situation, as opposed to Sumbal. Sumbal simply believes acting surprised and making excuses will make the problem go away. Rather, it’s creating resentment and anger within her (truly evil) mother-in-law and even Aaliya, who is finding it difficult to make excuses for Sumbal and Minaal at this point as well.
The stars of the show at present are the actor playing the Aalim Sahab and Mohib Mirza, who are not only giving the strongest performances, but who also have the most active characters. Urwa Hocane has been the “face” of the drama, but unfortunately, “Neeli Zinda Hai” has been spiraling downhill due to the dragging nature of the story. It has been 32 episodes and there is still no sign of a true reveal. Due to this, even Neeli’s “horror” quotient has dissipated. Is this story even scary anymore? Urwa should have had the maximum scope to perform – but again, the lack of story progression has deteriorated the impact. The only relief at present is that the preview for episode 32 finally shows not only Osama Tahir’s much-awaited character, but also Shamim Hilaly. These two characters will shed more light on Neeli’s past – but hopefully their arc will not be dragged out for another 20 episodes.