The darkening of Ahmed Ali Akbar has been a high discussion point, one that began immediately with the show’s advertisements and continues to pop up in discussions even 9 episodes later. That being said, that aspect of “brownface” is the only criticizing point of “Parizaad” at this point with everything else, mostly Ahmed Ali Akbar’s brilliant performance, catapulting “Parizaad” into a different league. If the show continues at this rate and maintains this quality, “Parizaad” will go on to be a classic. Starring Ahmed Ali Akbar, Ushna Shah, Mashal Khan, Saboor Aly, Yumna Zaidi, Nauman Ejaz, Urwa Hocane and many others, Parizaad has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Shehzad Kashmiri.
The pull of something bigger with more money involved takes Parizaad (Ahmed Ali Akbar) to Karachi with aspirations to move on to Dubai in episode 9. One thing to note is how not only his sisters-in-law, but also his brothers are essentially flippant regarding his departure, only worried with how the neighbors will perceive his send-off. This only hammers home that Parizaad isn’t leaving much behind – except his sister, Saeeda. The farewell scene between Saeeda and Parizaad is beautiful, their bond the strongest in this show. It’s particularly heart-warming to see how Parizaad, in his worry for Saeeda after his departure, asks Salim (Malik Raza) to be true to his relationship with his wife, not getting caught up in the feud between his mother and wife. It appears after Parizaad’s departure, Salim takes these words to heart and focuses on keeping Saeeda happy – something which piques the interest of his meddlesome sisters-in-law. Will they create trouble for Saeeda in Parizaad’s absence?
His kind-hearted boss sends Parizaad to Jaanu (Hassan Shah), a young man who once worked for him, who works in Karachi as a driver. The immediate bond between Jaanu and Parizaad is sweet – as has been most of Parizaad’s male connections, whether it be with Shauky (Raza Ali Abid) or Na Saaz (Adeel Afzal). The casting of these actors is a real high point of “Parizaad,” amongst the many other highs. Hassan Shah has previously been seen in “Yakeen Ka Safar,” along with, more recently, in “Faryaad” and “Be Adab,” but his role as Jaanu makes an immediate (likable) impact. Jaanu takes Parizaad under his wing and it’s endearing to see the innocence in Parizaad’s face, the dreams and aspirations as he sees things like a revolving door and elevator for the first time. While Jaanu only takes Parizaad to his workplace to meet his manager, they run into the “big boss” Behroze Karim (Nauman Ejaz) in a chance encounter and Parizaad’s job is secured in Karachi. Ironically his name Parizaad, which has been a source of scorn all his life, is the very thing that makes a mark with Behroze. While working though, Parizaad quickly realizes life in Karachi isn’t as sheltered of a life as he had back home, encountering corruption almost immediately.
Ahmed Ali Akbar is a shining star, an actor who has been working for years and earning praise over those years. With “Laal Kabootar” and “Ehd E Wafa,” he cemented his place as an actor, but with “Parizaad,” he has proved that he is one of our best. While he has been doing a great job in each episode, this one stands out with Parizaad’s wide-eyed wonder and the purity with which Ahmed Ali Akbar portrays this. Naheed’s (Ushna Shah) arrival back home is an interesting development, but where is it headed, especially since Parizaad is no longer there? Overall, episode 9 moves “Parizaad” forward leaps and bounds in terms of Parizaad’s location. No longer the small-town boy, Parizaad is now able to work towards his aspirations – but where will those aspirations lead him?