As far as guilty pleasure viewing goes, “Qalandar” has been the very definition of that – and yet, unlike other shows which tend to follow a less appealing track, “Qalandar” has not required the audience to turn off their brains. Rather, “Qalandar” has relied on the audience to focus on their own faith and their belief in the mercy of God. Does God listen to the pure of heart? Does God eventually bring those who stray back onto the right path? It’s with this belief that “Qalandar” guides its viewers through its story and while it has been heavily melodramatic in parts, the story has overall been an enjoyable, intriguing one to watch. Starring Komal Meer, Muneeb Butt, Ali Abbas, Hiba Aziz, Kinza Razzaq, Asma Abbas, Kashif Mehmood, Ali Tahir and Fajar Khan in prominent roles. The story has been written by Samra Bukhari and directed by Saima Waseem.
In the finale, the story makes a quick yet reasonable dash to wrap up loose ends. Some things happen very conveniently to move the story forward towards its end, such as Shafaq’s (Kinza Razzaq) husband passing away in a car accident. Many women who are victims of domestic violence and suspicious, possessive husbands are unable to escape those marriages, so this is not exactly realistic….and yet, we are happy the story takes this turn to give Shafaq well-deserved happiness. Sumbul’s (Hiba Aziz) passing is also a convenient twist. Sumbal lost use of her legs, but there was no real reason for her to pass away of any illness. Towards the end, Sumbal resigned herself to her fate, even accepting Durr E Adan as a sister of sorts, so the trio absolutely could have lived together peacefully. And yet, once again, this is a twist that we can accept for the sake of Durr E Adan’s happiness.
Durr E Adan (Komal Meer) and Tabraiz (Muneeb Butt) continue to live with Ehsaan (Ali Tahir), Adan fulfilling the duties of a daughter to Ehsaan and a mother to Sumbal and Tabraiz’s daughter. Meanwhile, Tabraiz takes care of the business while working a separate job, determined to make a name for himself without any shortcuts. While Tabraiz fought tooth and nail through unethical means to gain riches, it’s refreshing to see how he has recognized his own mistakes and changed his ways. Adan and Tabraiz also advocate for Urfi (Ali Abbas) and Shafaq’s marriage. There’s a heartbreakingly beautiful moment between Urfi and Yaqoob (Kashif Mehmood) as Urfi explains his reasons for leaving home to protect Shafaq. This scene moves into an equally tragic one with Yaqoob and Safia (Asma Abbas) finally recognizing Juhi’s (Fajar Khan) “crimes” as they lament how they’ve lost everything in their devotion to their daughter. While it’s novel to see parents doting on daughters and neglecting their sons in Pakistani dramas, this parenting duo have proved to be terrible parents to good children. Kashif Mehmood and Asma Abbas are stellar actors and these scenes prove exactly that. They have played crooked characters throughout the show, but now, as they’ve realized their mistakes, their performances have been elevated. Credit must be given to Fajar Khan for her performance as Juhi as well. She has done a great job with a character audiences have loved to hate.
The show ends with Yaqoob in the hospital, Juhi repenting for her mistakes and the family reuniting. Life doesn’t always come together this easily, but in “Qalandar,” the characters have endured a lot of pain, so it’s appreciated to see a happy ending. It also works in the favor of the show that time lapses were shown and forgiveness did not come immediately.
Komal Meer and Muneeb Butt have been the stars of “Qalandar.” Between this show and “Tere Aany Se,” they have proved themselves to be a hit pair and have performed exceptionally well. Ali Abbas and Kinza Razzaq are also, as always, naturals. Honestly, “Qalandar” is a show which had a lot of melodramatic moments and over-the-top characters (particularly Sumbal). There have been meme-worthy scenes and tracks which did not sit well and yet, putting it all aside, “Qalandar” told a beautiful story of how individuals can repent, turn to God and change for the better. So often we see stories of wrath and good vs. evil. “Qalandar” chooses to move beyond that and makes a different statement – it’s human nature to make mistakes, but forgiveness is an option. “Qalandar” has been a great ride and it will be hard to find a new show to fill this void.