“Raqs E Bismil” has been a highly awaited show for Hum TV viewers, particularly because the channel has been heavily pushing the promos. Regardless, the star cast itself is reason to be excited. Imran Ashraf, Sarah Khan, Momin Saqib, Anoushay Abbasi, Mehmood Aslam, Javeria Abbasi and Nida Mumtaz are seen in the first episode – but along with these stellar actors, Sarah Khan, Furqan Qureshi, Saleem Mairaj, Gul E Rana and other talented actors are also a part of the cast. The show has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Wajahat Rauf. So how does the first episode fare? Let’s discuss!
In the first episode, we are introduced to Peer Qudrat Ulla Shah’s (Mehmood Aslam) family. Sakina (Anoushay Abbasi), who is the Peer’s niece, and Kamran are a young couple in love and are forced to run away to get married due to opposition from Sakina’s family – as they only marry Syeds. Unfortunately, Musa (Imran Ashraf) and Isa (Momin Saqib), Sakina’s cousins, arrive before the Nikkah can take place and drag Sakina back home. A very cheesy, half-baked “action sequence” ensues here and one really feels this scene could have been shot more convincingly, but it’s a small thing to criticize. Once home, Musa tries to, essentially, kill Sakina, but she is spared when Sakinas mother (Javeria Abbasi) begs for her life. Instead, Sakina is married off to Isa, who is two years younger than her. Isa likes Sakina, but believes he’s not worthy of her. It’s clear that Isa is different from his brother and father and is of a softer demeanor – but is, for this reason, also easily influenced by his brother under peer pressure. We will have to wait and watch to see how successful this marriage is. Sakina curses Musa on her wedding day, wishing that he will fall in love with someone as unattainable to him as Kamran was to her – and her curse comes into effect almost immediately. The day after the wedding, Musa finds himself on a bus after his car runs out of gas, where he is “saved” by Sarah Khan’s character after he is accused of harassing a woman. Musa is immediately attracted to this woman in niqab, impressed more by her demeanor than anything else.
The high point of “Raqs E Bismil” is that the show takes off flying, story-wise. The audience is immediately drawn into this world, a world with conservative values, mentalities and traditions, and well-written characters. It’s generally difficult to get a grasp on characters within the first episode, but this time around, viewers are able to not only get a feel as to what each character is about, but also connect to the characters on a personal level – even the ones that seem outwardly “negative” (such as Musa). Whether it’s Musa’s rigid persona, Isa’s inner conflict with the ways of his father and brother or Sakina’s frustration at having to live according to oppressive rules, the writing and direction offer a clear window into these characters, their thoughts, their lives and conflicts. Without trying to sound repetitive, this is a huge positive, because first episodes are generally simply to lay the foundation for the rest of the show. Here, the show has already taken leaps and bounds in the first 35 minutes, making it clear what this drama is about and where it’s heading.
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Is there a low point? No, there is not as of right now. There is little to criticize in these 35 minutes and as of right now, there’s really only praise to give. Imran Ashraf is an actor who has worked hard to reach these heights. As someone who has witnessed his climb from small roles in “Mere Meherban” and “Gul E Rana” to now seeing the star power he holds is incredible. Anoushay Abbasi is a strong performer and she proves this time and time again. Momin Saqib also stands out in this episode, his character and performance appearing far more impressive than his in “Be Adab.” Javeria Abbasi has some impressive moments as well in the scenes where she begs for her daughter’s life. Overall, “Raqs E Bismil” is off to a roaring start, set to be a winner with viewers in coming weeks.