There are Pakistani drama classics. There are some shows which are memorable. There are shows which are entertain at least in the moment. There are shows which test one’s patience. And then, finally, there are shows like “Qarar,” shows where the viewer honestly asks themselves “Why am I watching this train wreck?” – and yet, somehow, we continue to watch such shows out of sheer horror and curiosity over how low a female lead can sink in the name of “protecting her family.” When “Qarar” began, most Pakistani drama viewers felt this would be a sure-fire hit with the talented star cast, including Sanam Jung, Rabab Hashim, Muneeb Butt, Mekaal Zulfiqar and Ali Safina. Written by Aliya Bukhari and directed by Barkat Sidiki, this is a show void of logic.
In episode 23, Junaid (Mekaal Zulfiqar) has already begun to see his brother, Ammar (Muneeb Butt), as a leech in his life, thanks to his wife Maya’s (Sanam Jung) brainwashing. If one takes a moment to stop and analyze, what brainwashing powers does Maya have? Anyone can see how cunningly she speaks, the taunts constantly thrown out by her and how money-minded she is. Why would Junaid, once a family man, fall into her trap and believe her words over everyone else? Of course, this is, again, asking for logic where there isn’t any, because logically, why would Junaid marry a woman who was once supposed to marry his brother? Yeah, okay, moving on…..Ammar finally sees sense and not only leaves his job with Junaid, but also leaves the house. At this point, the only likable character has lost everything – his job, wife and now home.
Fariha (Rabab Hashim) is hanging out with her Taayi and Taaya Abu after being thrown out. Fariha is another insane character, the stuff self-sacrificing Ekta Kapoor heroines are made of from Star Plus. If Maya is cheating on her husband with Salman (Ali Safina), her ex-husband, why is Fariha sacrificing herself and her marriage for her? What does Fariha think she is going to achieve from all this sacrifice? Neither Maya nor Taayi appreciate it and Taaya Abu clearly loves Fariha more than he loves Maya (these are just facts), so what is the need for all this drama? And still, Fariha continues to be dishonest to every other relationship in her life to protect her sworn enemy, Maya. This is sheer nonsense. But wait – it gets worse. Maya is expecting Junaid’s child and now she and Salman have decided that she will have an abortion, so they can be together. Fortunately, Salman spots Maya and Salman together and is connecting the dots – but not fast enough.
The shining star of Qarar is Muneeb Butt and Muneeb Butt alone as he plays the only likable character on the show – and, if we’re honest, he wasn’t likable initially either, but every other character has become so unlikable that he’s the only one left to root for. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that one hopes Ammar starts his own company, is very successful and leaves his brother and wife behind and moves on in life. He deserves some happiness away from the toxicity of all these other characters. It’s simply a shame that a show with such potential has fallen on its face like this. There really isn’t any redeeming factor other than wanting to see all these characters suffer – except Ammar.