“Sabaat” is a show that has been a fan-favorite since its first episode. However, as “Sabaat” is inching towards the last bulk of episodes, none of the problems on this show seem to be showing signs of clearing up any time soon. Hassan and Anaya, played by Mawra Hocane and Ameer Gilani, are growing further apart due to Hassan’s silence and Anaya is unable to understand why. On the other end, Miraal and Haaris, played by Sarah Khan and Usman Mukhtar, have already gotten off to a rocky start in their marriage and things seem to be getting worse as Miraal lets her true colors show.
To say Miraal and Dr. Haaris have reached the end of their honeymoon period would be an understatement – but was there ever truly a honeymoon period? While Dr. Haaris appeared to be a kind, flexible husband and it appeared that Miraal was behaving in a manner better than what viewers were expecting, the two have been fighting since the day of their marriage (courtesy Miraal). In episode 20, Miraal (Sarah Khan) has now grown jealous of female patients visiting Haaris (Usman Mukhtar), stating that she once used to sit there as well. In a way typical of Miraal, she demands Haaris quit his job. When he refuses, she leaves for her parents’ home, leaving Haaris stunned – which is pretty silly in itself.
Usman Mukhtar is a great actor and he has delivered solid performances in past roles, but somehow here, this role is a let-down. It is not Usman’s fault and he is doing the best he can with this role, but Dr. Haaris is simply not well-written. He is a character that is relegated to the background, a man who is a yes-man to Miraal and quite honestly, this is odd. Dr. Haaris is a qualified psychiatrist who has been through years of training and yet, not only was he unable to assess the depths of Miraal’s problems in therapy, but also continues to allow her (insane) behavior to go unchecked. As a viewer, I am simply waiting for the moment that this man sits up and says “I married my incredibly unstable patient” and recognizes his mistake simply so Usman Mukhtar can be given some material to actually work with as an actor. We know he has the talent, but this role has not been written as such to display it. Sarah Khan is doing a great job as Miraal, there’s no doubt about that. While Miraal is as unlikable as a female lead generally could be, it’s still fascinating to watch her and think “What will she do next?”. And while it’s never anything positive, will there be a moment where she will finally recognize her own problematic behavior and the need to seek treatment? Funny enough, Dr. Haaris referred her to a different therapist. What happened to him/her or did Miraal simply not go?
Hassan (Ameer Gilani) and Anaya (Mawra Hocane) continue to work in their respective jobs. While Anaya reaps in the rewards and benefits of her hard work (including a promotion), Hassan and Atif find himself at the mercy of less-talented employees when Yasir Qureshi’s office girlfriend is promoted and becomes their boss. But things aren’t that simple. While Hassan is losing his self-confidence and his ego is beginning to affect his relationship, Atif continues to be the snake he is and twists the knife into Hassan. Atif insinuates that Anaya’s promotion was the result of an office affair with her boss. Planting the seed of doubt in Hassan’s mind, Hassan is overcome with suspicion and mistrust, even forgetting Anaya’s birthday. Meanwhile, the health of Anaya’s father (Mohammad Ahmed) continues to deteriorate, indicating impending misery for Anaya and the audience.
Ameer Gilani is doing a wonderful job of enacting this role, but that doesn’t make Hassan any less frustrating. In a marriage with a talented wife who is also supportive, Hassan has stopped communicating with her and has allowed Atif to have his ear. Atif, on the other hand, is elated with his scheming and really seems happy to “save” Hassan, showing that he is the worst kind of friend one could have. One can only hope Atif is left empty-handed all around at the end. Mawra Hocane is great, as always, with “Sabaat” simply being one of her best performances.
“Sabaat” started off as a strong show and continues to be. However, the current storylines with Miraal-Haaris and Hassan-Anaya are running parallel and are both at heavy junctures, making the overall feel of the show feel grim at the moment. It would be nice to see the men on this show wise up, in different ways, with Hassan dropping Atif and his own negative thoughts and Haaris recognizing his wife’s mental state and not giving in to her antics. Will that happen? We will have to wait and watch, but here’s to hoping the proceedings pick up in the next episode.