The title “Qalandar” is indicative of the subject matter of this drama, the word meaning one who is bestowed with a high level of spirituality. Straight away, “Qalandar” has some key points that pull the viewer in, the first being visually enticing promos. “Qalandar” has been shot with a good budget and boasts of some impressive production values. Second, “Qalandar” has an OST which is easy on the ears and gives the story an almost mystical feel with the background score. And last, the Muneeb Butt and Komal Meer pairing is an interesting, fresh one. Starring Komal Meer, Muneeb Butt, Ali Abbas, Hiba Aziz, Kinza Razzaq, Asma Abbas, Kashif Mehmood, Noor Ul Hassan, Kinza Malik, Ali Tahir and others in prominent roles, the story has been written by Samra Bukhari and directed by Saima Waseem.
The story of “Qalandar” introduces us to Dur-E-Adan (Komal Meer), a young orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle in a village. She does not live an easy life, taunted daily about living off her aunt’s good will, made to work like the house help and even eating the leftovers from the rest of the family’s dinner. Still, her faith in God is unshakable and she turns to prayer for each problem. Her faith is spoken of throughout the village and people begin to turn to her to solve their problems, believing her prayers will be heard. On the other end, Tabraiz (Muneeb Butt) is a well-educated young man, the “hope” of his family. Dur-E-Adan and Tabraiz form a sweet, friendly relationship when he comes to visit, but once he returns home, it’s clear that city life has changed Tabraiz. He thinks less of his brother Irfan (Ali Abbas) and seems to look down upon his own family’s circumstances. It’s this attitude that forces his father, Yaqub (Kashif Mehmood), to arrange his marriage to Dur-E-Adan in order to keep him humble. But will this arrangement work out or will it only bring more difficulties into Dur-E-Adan’s life?
If there’s a weak point, it’s the casting of Hiba Bukhari (who has proved herself as a wonderful actress in “Badshah Begum”) in this role. It’s simply miscast and the performance/role seems very forced and over-the-top. “Qalandar” is full of the usual plotting tropes with selfish characters, but there is something refreshingly different about it. The narrative being presented is interesting and engaging. Komal Meer is believable as Dur-E-Adan and has the innocence required to pull this role off. Komal Meer deserves praise. She has been steadily working since “Ehd E Wafa” to take on quality roles and her efforts have paid off. With “Badshah Begum,” “Wehshi” and now “Qalandar,” she is proving to be a well-rounded, talented actress – and is incredibly pretty. Muneeb Butt also suits the character he is playing. His performance is natural and his pairing with Komal Meer is easy on the eyes. An actor who deserves praise as well is Ali Abbas, who is excellent as Irfan. The subtle clashes between Irfan and Tabraiz are worth watching and Ali Abbas’ performance wins all the sympathy for Irfan, who finds himself being put down for his simple dreams and desires in life. Kinza Razzak is another actor who is doing well as Shafaq, Irfan’s cousin who loves him. She’s a sweet, loving character who appears to be a good, homely wife in the making for Irfan…..but is she entirely what she presents herself to be? It’s great to see Shafaq give it back to Juhi, Irfan’s bratty sister, making it clear that she won’t tolerate her nonsense. Hopefully this character can remain a confident, strong character who can defend herself without being a vamp.
Overall, “Qalandar” is a show that is thoroughly entertaining. The story will take many twists and turns moving forward and while it’s fairly predictable, the presentation and performances are what will keep viewers coming back.