“Qalandar” can’t claim to be a masterpiece – and yet, it’s a thorough entertainer while also not taking its audience for granted. “Qalandar” is, at the heart of it, a tale of good vs. evil, the evil being human nature, greed and selfishness and the good being…well, Durr E Adan. Starring Komal Meer as Durr E Adan, the show follows her life as an orphan and the downtrodden circumstances she has been handed in life. Through it all, she holds on tight to her faith in God and her faith is so strong, others believe her prayers are always answered. The premise is interesting, but the show quickly went on to show Durr E Adan as the mistreated good girl who silently takes the abuse hurled her way. Despite it all, “Qalandar” manages to keep its audience hooked, weaving a compelling story that leaves us wanting more. After 56 episodes, there’s still scope for aspects of the story to continue playing out. Along with Komal Meer, “Qalandar” also stars 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 episode 56, Tabraiz (Muneeb Butt) and Adan (Komal Meer) have come back home to their village, leaving Sumbal (Hiba Aziz, Ehsaan (Ali Tahir) and their riches behind. What makes the Tabraiz character still somewhat root-worthy is that he has never been outright evil to Adan, as we have seen with “reformed” husbands in other shows. Regardless of his manipulations and aspirations, Tabraiz has always tried to treat Adan with kindness and love, even though he didn’t do a great job of protecting her from Sumbal or his own family. From this moment on is when he will need to make amends to prove that he’s worthy of Adan, who is like an angel on earth. This angle works so well due to Muneeb Butt and Komal Meer’s sweet chemistry and both are doing a great job of playing their characters.
Meanwhile, Shafaq (Kinza Razzaq) is remarried to an abusive spouse who treats her with suspicion and contempt while Urfi (Ali Abbas) has lost motivation in life without Shafaq. Shafaq feels that her circumstances are a result of the pain she inflicted on Durr E Adan and wants, more than anything, to apologize to her. We can predict how this story will move forward and can see it coming from a mile away – and yet, to see Shafaq go through this period of understanding and growth is just part of her return back to Urfi. Shafaq has never been a bad person, but she allowed her possessiveness over Urfi and Juhi’s (Fajar Khan) taunts and words to affect her own ability to think logically. Kinza Razzaq is an underrated actress and is performing well as Shafaq.
Last, Ali Tariq has made an impact with his performance as Ehsaan. Ehsaan has been a rich man with attitude, a man who believed he was above everyone else in status and stature. However, when human beings go through hard times, no one looks at wealth and social standing. They abandon people when their fortunes are down – and this is what’s happening with Ehsaan and Sumbal. Ehsaan is doing his best as a father to care for Sumbal, but can see her health deteriorating, along with her personality. While we are taught kindness as human beings, do we really feel for Sumbal, a girl who has not learned any sort of lesson or kindness even after all she has endured? Hiba Aziz’ performance has been downright atrocious as Sumbal, however now with Sumbal going through emotional and physical upheaval, she is performing like the strong actress we know she is.
At the end of it, “Qalandar” is, quite honestly, a soap opera. This is melodrama, a show that plays at your heartstrings and attempts to connect to your sense of pity for its lead character. However, it is well-written and the story has known where it’s headed from the start. There isn’t any part of the show that seems as though it’s headed off course, which is its strength. Keeping the audience engaged from the beginning to now is a feat in itself and it’s here that “Qalandar” is succeeding. “Qalandar” is an enjoyable show with some good performances and could easily go on for another 10 episodes (and most likely will) without exhausting its audience.