“Raqs E Bismil” is a show that started with a bang, giving audiences something to discuss after every episode, winning over viewers with Musa and Zohra’s love story. However, over time, the show began to drag. With the finale, “Raqs E Bismil” leaves its audience raving once again. The show has been directed by Wajahat Rauf and written by Hashim Nadeem, starring Imran Ashraf, Sarah Khan, Momin Saqib, Anoushay Abbasi, Mehmood Aslam, Nida Mumtaz, Javeria Abbasi, Saleem Mairaj and others in prominent roles.
In the finale, Zohra (Sarah Khan) agrees to marry Ahmed, despite being advised by the women of the house to refuse, so they could plan for her marriage to Musa (Imran Ashraf). Zohra believes that as long as she is “available,” the issue between Musa and his family will never be resolved, deeming herself unworthy of his love and his family. Unfortunately, Zohra’s reasoning doesn’t make sense to the viewer at all, as she is marrying Ahmed, a close associate of Pir Qudratullah – which would mean she would remain in close association with Musa’s family, always dangling in front of Musa and haunting him, being a point of contention between Musa and his father. The moment when Musa realizes what his father is setting out to do, he storms into the house and drags Zohra out – before she stops him dead in his tracks when she declares that she has agreed to marry Ahmed. Musa’s heartbreak and anger are evident in this moment, brilliantly portrayed by Imran Ashraf as Musa struggles to understand why Zohra would listen obediently to those who scorned her and deemed her beneath them to begin with. Zohra, in this moment, thoroughly leaves the audience frustrated, wanting to shake some sense into her and make her realize how she is destroying Musa and his family with her actions.
Fortunately, Musa is an intelligent man and he pays a visit to Ahmed himself. Ahmed steps in to do the needful and not only convinces Pir Qudratullah to marry Musa and Zohra, but also reunites the father and son in a beautiful sequence. What follows after this is simply magic on-screen – Zohra and Musa’s Nikkah, Musa’s celebration and, finally, Musa and Zohra’s wedding night. There is so much to discuss here and yet, there’s no logical way to describe how stunning these scenes are, not only visually, but emotionally. Zohra’s reaction when she realizes she is marrying Musa leaves her shocked, overcome with emotion, leaving us in tears as well. And finally, Zohra and Musa are now husband and wife, delivering one of the most beautiful wedding night sequences in drama history. It’s rare that a show manages to get this right, but “Raqs E Bismil” does, showing everything from Musa and Zohra’s first prayer as a couple to their conversation now as husband and wife, truly getting to know each other, neither able to believe their good luck.
Imran Ashraf has put his heart and soul into Musa. While “Raqs E Bismil” has certainly dragged for the past several episodes and has taken many unpalatable turns, it has been Musa who has been the binding force of the show. Musa started off as a detestable character, one who was rigid, forceful, abusive and even murderous. But Imran Ashraf has enacted Musa’s transformation with such dedication and sincerity that, not even for a moment, has Musa’s humility and change felt unnatural. Musa has been a flawed man, but his love and life experiences have changed him from the inside, wiping out the negativity and replacing it with kindness. There’s a brilliant moment when Musa, after his Nikkah, requests Na Muraad and Lala Ji to stop the drums as his father will get upset. The men are too busy celebrating their friend’s marriage to care – and Musa, no longer the upright man he once was, joins in the celebrations, dancing with abandon. This is a moment that genuinely depicts the man Musa now is, a religious man who also no longer holds the rigid ideals he once did, humility taking their place.
Sarah Khan has been great as Zohra, proving to be the perfect on-screen partner for Imran Ashraf. Zohra has been a complicated character, one who isn’t always likable. Coming from a less-than-ideal background, she has always been confident in who she is – but alas, her life experiences lowered her image in her own eyes, proving that she was every bit as “inappropriate” a partner to Musa as she was labeled to be. And so, while the audience is left kicking, screaming and yelling at Zohra, it’s not difficult to understand why she behaves the way she does. Sarah Khan is beautiful, no doubt, but her performance as Zohra is about much more than that – it’s about the innocence and “purity” (for lack of a better word) Zohra has in her demeanor, the purity of her love for Musa (and vice versa). Sarah Khan “became” Zohra and won our hearts in doing so.
Of course, this is not saying this finale has been perfect. As stated earlier, Zohra’s actions come across as “too much” in the first half of the episode as she rejects Musa. There’s also a terribly unnecessary scene where Shehryar (Furqan Qureshi) is seen committing suicide after falling into financial ruin. Why was this needed at all? Overall, “Raqs E Bismil” has been an enjoyable show. Unfortunately, the last 10 episodes have felt like “filler” episodes and this drama did not need to be dragged out to this extent, the storyline with Zohra’s kidnapping feeling entirely unnecessary. What if Zohra had collapsed after her divorce and ended up in Musa’s house from then? The entire storyline with Faizi could have been written out entirely, leaving viewers happier. And yet, the last twenty minutes of the finale have more than made up for the dragging the audience has endured. The final sequences were absolutely beautiful – beautifully shot, the dialogues naturally written in a way that felt “real” and honestly, just leaving the audience wanting more while being completely satisfied with Musa and Zohra’s love story. “Raqs E Bismil” hasn’t been a perfect ride, but it certainly has been one worth watching. Now can we see Imran Ashraf and Sarah Khan together again in a show soon?