“Raqs E Bismil” is Hum TV’s latest offering and they have been advertising it with enthusiasm over the last several weeks. After having a promising start, episode two pushes the storyline further, giving viewers a good idea of what to expect from the story. Starring Imran Ashraf, Sarah Khan, Furqan Qureshi, Momin Saqib, Anoushay Abbasi, Gul E Rana and others in prominent roles, the story has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Wahajat Rauf.
Episode two picks up where episode 1 left off with Musa pursuing Zohra. Musa’s (Imran Ashraf) interest in Zohra (Sarah Khan) has become an obsession as he is immediately enthralled by her personality. Zohra impresses Musa, not only with her conservative garb which covers her from head to toe, but also with her confidence and ability to speak up for what’s right. In Zohra, Musa has begun to see his ideal woman and truly believes Zohra is the sort of woman he would want to be married to. So deep is his belief that, after the second meeting, he proposes marriage to her. What’s interesting – and strikes the viewer, yet seems to go unnoticed by Musa – is Zohra’s response to Musa. She clearly shows her displeasure towards the male species, stating that men are always only after one thing and Musa has also proven that he’s the same. While this is a red flag as to the direction in which Musa and Zohra’s relationship is headed, Musa does not pick up on the deeper meaning behind it.
Zohra is from a family of dancers and immediately, the viewer is struck by a similarity to “Deewar E Shab,” in which Sarah Khan also played an educationally-driven girl born in a home of dancers and musicians. Once again, she plays a similar role with one major difference – Zohra seems to be much more confident, sure of herself and does not appear to be ashamed of who she is. And still, she uses the veil to conceal her identity in order to continue going to university unbothered by others and their perceptions of her background. Sarah Khan manages to make quite the impression on viewers in her role as Zohra, giving a stand-out performance even behind the naqaab with only her eyes visible. Sarah Khan has been improving as an actress steadily over the years and she is now one that grabs eyeballs, so good things are expected.
Imran Ashraf, of course, continues to do a great job as Musa. Viewers saw Musa’s conservative, brash, almost evil side in the first episode, but episode two shows a slightly different side. In this episode, the audience is introduced to Musa’s loving side, the side that shares a sweet banter with his mother and younger brother and discusses issues with his father with respect. He’s a family man at heart, even seen giving Isa (Momin Saqib) advice on how to break down barriers with Sakina (Anoushay Abbasi). It will be interesting to see how Musa’s character progresses – and how he will react when he realizes his “perfect woman” stands for everything he speaks against.
It’s nice to see that Sakina continues to be herself, an outspoken rebellious character, even after marriage and doesn’t see her marriage as an instant fix. She lashes out at Isa, asking why he didn’t stop the marriage when he knew that she was opposed to it. Isa states that he has always liked her, but this statement doesn’t win Sakina over. She won’t resign herself to this fate and it appears Isa may help her reunite with Kamran as the episodes move forward. Momin Saqib and Anoushay Abbasi share great chemistry as Isa and Sakina. These two characters are not given as much screen time as the others, but they shine in their moments on-screen. Momin Saqib is not particularly impressive in “Be Adab,” but his performance in “Raqs E Bismil” is winning hearts already as the sweet, obedient Isa, a man trying to win over his wife who has lost her love and is now bitter because of it. Side tracks are not usually as interesting, but these two characters make this story enjoyable.
“Raqs E Bismil” took off with episode one, delivering a promising start. Episode two has further cemented the belief that good things are to come (for viewers). The cast, story and even visuals all come together to give its audience something to look forward to week after week. Let’s hope the story maintains traction.