A shroud of mystery continues to envelop the characters in “Phaans,” a story about a rape victim and the perpetrator – but who is the perpetrator? This is the story of “Phaans,” essentially falling under the mystery or thriller genre. The story has been written by Sameena Aijaz, directed by Syed Ahmad Kamran and stars Zara Noor Abbas, Shahzad Sheikh, Sami Khan, Yashma Gill and others in lead roles. At the present moment, there are four suspects – Saahil, Samad, Haashir and Saahil’s father.
In episode 5, Zeba (Zara Noor Abbas) has found herself in a terrible situation, not only being treated as a criminal by Saahil’s family, but also as a liar by her own. After Nadia releases the trio, Shakeela apologizes for Zeba’s behavior, but when Zeba refuses to apologize, Nadia slaps her and has the trio removed from the premises. Confronted by the reality of having no support in her grief, not from her family or from Hashir, Zeba attempts to commit suicide. While her family and Khala believe this to be a sign of her innocence, Hashir’s anger does not subside as he believes she’s only making life more difficult for them all with her refusal to stop fighting. Of course, this will affect their relationship when Zeba decides to press charges against Saahil. Zara Noor Abbas is doing a great job in this role, not only playing a rape victim, but a rape victim who is well-aware of her rights and will not bow down to anyone. It’s an interesting role, because as the daughter of “the help,” she’s expected to sit quiet – but Zeba is educated and so she will not let anyone put her under their thumb.
Saahil (Shehzad Sheikh) finally wakes up in a panic, showing concern for Zeba while also maintaining his innocence. However, Saahil does not blame Zeba and thinks someone is brainwashing Zeba against him as he sees Zeba as his friend. Hafsa (Yashma Gill) does not appreciate his defending Zeba, considering the misery she has brought upon the household (in Hafsa’s eyes). Still, Hafsa is now attempting to resolve things with Samad – but is it too late? Samad is deeply troubled by the situation and wants to get to the bottom of things and while he tries to speak to Zeba on their way out, Shakeela apologizes to him for all the trouble and asks him to leave them alone. However, Samad appears to be an upright guy who wants to discover the truth – but he also clearly did witness something that night. But what is it? Hafsa and Samad’s relationship is an interesting aspect of the story. Samad simply wanted Hafsa to trust him and believe in him, but Hafsa is unable to get over her mistrust of the male species due to her father’s indiscretions (and the way he has affected Saahil’s emotional well-being). And while Hafsa and Samad’s relationship seems to be over, Hafsa’s father won’t give up his attempts to fix their relationship. On the other end, Nadia (Arjumand Rahim) believes her husband may be the true culprit in this entire situation, which lands Hafsa and Saahil’s father the spot of the fourth suspect.
“Phaans” is doing a great job of keeping an aura of mystery surrounding the show, something which other shows with similar tracks have failed to keep going. However, there are certain issues that arise with stories like this. For example, while the situation should be a mystery for viewers, what happened is not a mystery for those involved. If Sarmad is innocent, he knows he is innocent and there should be a clear story told from his point of view. Likewise with Saahil and Hashir, but in this case, all three men have yet to say anything other than “Maine kuch nahin kiya” (I haven’t done anything). This is weak writing, because in reality, each man would have an alibi or a story to maintain their innocence. What is their story? Of course, someone would be lying, but a story is still required? This is the greatest flaw with the show at this point. Otherwise, it’s a gripping story with interesting characters and good performances.