“Qarar” is one of the newer shows on Hum TV that showed promise. Starring Sanam Jung, Rabab Hashim, Muneeb Bhatt, Mekaal Zulfiqar and Ali Safina, this drama has a great cast and has been shot with a fresh look. Written by Aliya Bukhari and directed by Barkat Sidiki, the first two episodes were engaging enough and kept the viewer interested. Unfortunately, episode 3 takes the show’s viewers for a ride and the writing questions our intelligence, the fresh look unable to cover the old, cliched storyline.
As episode 3 begins, Maya (Sanam Jung) and Faria (Rabab Hashim) are seen discussing Maya’s engagement to Ammar (Muneeb Bhatt). Faria is angry that Maya has made her look bad by agreeing to marry Ammar after Maya sent her to reject the proposal. In this moment, one feels Faria has finally come to her senses and recognizes that she should stay away from Maya and her antics. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last. Maya continues to lower Ammar’s impression of Faria by calling him and apologizing for Faria’s behavior. Faria is also dim as she does nothing to actually clear Ammar’s negative impression of her other than saying “Aap ghalat samajh rahe hain.” It’s frustrating to watch such behavior and as an audience, we have grown to expect more outspoken, confident female characters – and this is not it.
The scene goes from bad to worse when Faria gathers the money from her two committees and job to put towards Maya’s wedding (on her Chachi’s insistence). But Chachi’s (Seemi Pasha) greed does not end here and she and Maya begin eyeballing Faria’s mother’s jewelry. Of course, one can’t blame Maya and her mother for being greedy – they are greedy, but that’s their nature and it’s the job of a sound mind to shut down this behavior. But neither Faria nor Maya’s father take a firm stand on this and, in fact, Faria gives a set to Maya that belonged to her mother. It’s clear that Faria has a strong attachment to this set, but gives in when Maya declares that Faria doesn’t want to part with it. Why would she want to part with it? Why can’t a woman of today stand up and say “Yes that’s right, I lost my parents and I have little to remember them by, so I want to keep my mother’s jewelry, because it’s not only my right, but it’s also my memory of her.” It’s simple. It’s logical. It’s easy. But not according to this show or these characters. Maya wins, Faria loses and for no valid reason other than that’s what the writer decided to do.
Now let’s come to Ammar, Muneeb Bhatt’s brilliant character. This is a man who saw a girl sitting on a swing and fell in “love” with her. Let’s just clarify this – Ammar does not know anything about this girl and has, even after the engagement, had two half-baked conversations with her. However, he is willing to believe anything and everything she says. Why? His own cousin has been friends with Faria for years and informs Ammar that Maya is a stubborn, selfish girl, but why would he believe his cousin who knows Maya personally? Of course, he knows better, because he saw her and fell in love! Why would he believe Faria, who has no real reason to lie to him? Because he saw Maya, fell in love with her and knows better! Why wouldn’t he think there’s a problem with Maya when one of her immediate requests is to move into their own, bigger house? Because he saw Maya, fell in love with her and knows her best! I understand that misunderstandings can be created, but this is not a misunderstanding – this is sheer brainlessness in this character.
Ammar is brainless. Faria is dim. Maya is over-the-top manipulative. Chachi is evil, Chacha doesn’t know what’s happening under his own nose, Naani is giving in to her grandson’s bad demands and even Faria’s friend has no voice to set her cousin, Ammar, straight on his bad decisions. Why have these characters been written like this? Sanam Jung is a good, natural actress generally and has given some nice performances in the past, but her recent choices in roles has been poor. Rabab Hashim and Muneeb Bhatt are also good actors and will look good together, but their characters have been poorly written. Episode 3 of “Qarar” truly tests the patience and intelligence of the audience. Is there any way for the show to come back from this ridiculous episode? Yes, especially with Ali Safina’s role still building interest and Mekaal Zulfiqar yet to make his entry. But the story, the acting and the treatment will all have to pick up quickly – before viewers decide to abandon the show entirely.