“Raqs E Bismil” is a show that carries a lot of expectations and has immediately pulled viewers in with its star cast and story. Starring Imran Ashraf, Sarah Khan, Momin Saqib, Anoushay Abbasi, Mehmood Aslam, Javeria Abbasi, Nida Mumtaz, Furqan Qureshi, Saleem Mairaj, Gul E Rana and other talented actors, the story moves back and forth between a pious, conservative family and a family of entertainers. The show has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Wajahat Rauf. Musa, a conservative man (to say the least), finds himself in a strange spot when he falls for a woman after a chance encounter – however, she’s from a completely different strata of society.
Overall, episode 3 isn’t as engrossing as the first two episodes of the show, but it does manage to paint Musa in a more human light, especially when compared to his persona in the first episode. Most of the episode simply focuses on Musa (Imran Ashraf) and his pursuit of Zohra (Sarah Khan), trying to convince her over and over that he has good intentions and wishes simply to send his family to meet her family for his proposal. Musa may be rigid and hard in his beliefs (offensively so with his desire to murder his cousin for trying to marry a non-Syed man of her choice), but he does manage to politely explain his stance to Zohra, making it clear that his intentions are pure and his feelings for her are sincere. It’s also great that Musa did not fall in love at first sight with a woman’s appearance, considering everything he stands for. Rather, he fell for her persona, her confidence and the fact that she stood up for the truth and defended him when his back was against the wall. He fell for her character over her beauty (which he had not seen). Zohra recognizes his good intentions, but is also well aware that he is drawn to her “purity,” seeing her naqaab as a sign of her piousness. Knowing this, she doesn’t have the heart to tell Musa her reality herself, but calls him to a place where she and her family will be performing that night, leaving Musa in shock when he sees her dancing with men without her naqaab. One may say that this story is cliched or predictable, but such shows are generally about the emotions and portrayal more than action, aren’t they? Imran Ashraf and Sarah Khan are both great performers and their chemistry is already one to watch out for. It will be interesting to see how Musa reacts to Zohra’s reality, considering his conservative nature.
Isa (Momin Saqib) and Sakina (Anoushay Abbasi) continue to be at odds within their marriage. While Isa is loyal and genuine in his care for Sakina, Sakina cannot overcome how their marriage took place. She is a strong, educated woman who chose a partner of her own choice – and was then forced to marry another man immediately after being ripped away from her love on her wedding day. It’s an intense situation and Sakina is unable to forgive Isa for not objecting to the marriage. However, Isa is not a sitting duck and while he’s a genuine, kind-hearted soul, he snaps in anger, telling her that she’s lucky she’s married to a man like him who will listen to her taunts rather than someone like Musa. Isa, in anger, tells Sakina that if Kamran is man enough to come back for her and accept her now, he will reunite the two. Of course, it doesn’t take much to realize that Sakina will fall for Isa over time and Kamran will not live up to expectations. But Anoushay Abbasi and Momin Saqib are performing these roles so well, it will be fun to see this story play out.
Despite Zohra’s reality, the next episode will see his struggle with this new information, processing internal feelings towards this woman and holding them up to his values and principles. Will his values win or his love? And what is his love really based on? Is his love for this potentially unattainable woman strong enough to reject the proposal his parents have agreed to on his behalf? The story may be predictable, but the way it’s being carried out is enjoyable.