“Sabaat” has had a strong run for Pakistani drama viewers, depicting a lead pair that was both lovable and relatable alongside a couple racing towards disaster. Starring Mawra Hocane and Ameer Gilani as the adorable Hassan and Anaya, this pairing was balanced out with Sarah Khan and Usman Mukhtar’s unstable pair, Haaris and Miraal. However, at present, Hassan and Anaya are racing with Haaris and Miraal to see which couple will combust first. Directed by Shahzad Kashmiri and written by Kashif Anwar, “Sabaat” started off on a very high note, but over the weeks, the show has begun to resemble a mish-mash of different shows, losing its own identity along the way.
In episode 22, viewers watch as Haaris (Usman Mukhtar) continues to conceal his leave of absence from work as having “quit” his job. With Miraal (Sarah Khan) encouraging him to join her office, a career completely removed from psychiatry, it’s clear that she will not come around to Haaris’s desire to return to his own clinic. And what will Miraal’s reaction be when she realizes that Haaris has been lying to her? Will this be the breaking point for their marriage? It is nice to see in this episode that Haaris has begun thinking for himself, thinking about his profession and its importance again and has begun to understand (with the help of his friend) that marriage is not about suppressing one’s self by bowing to the whims of the other. Sarah Khan and Usman Mukhtar continue to perform well, but Haaris is just a very “flat” character and I’ll say it once again – Usman Mukhtar deserves better. Sarah Khan is doing a great job, but this storyline needs to begin moving and heading somewhere – which it seems like it will in next week’s episode.
Hassan (Ameer Gilani) and Anaya (Mawra Hocane) set the stage for the mood of the episode in the first scene itself when Hassan begins fighting, very aggressively, with Anaya over her attitude towards Atif. Atif is a different issue altogether, but Hassan has slowly moved away from the bright, kind, determined guy he once was into this brooding, angry, insecure version we see at present. While one could say the show has dragged, it’s the slow progression that has made Hassan’s current behavior believable. That being said, Anaya deserves an award for being the most patient, genuine wife who is willing to stand by her absolute mess of a husband. Hassan has decided that Anaya is having an affair with her boss, an idea propagated by his snake of a friend, Atif. Atif also shows Hassan a video of Anaya leaving the hospital with her boss, a video which completely misconstrues the situation. There is no other way to describe this man other than “asteen ka saanp.” Atif is not only antagonizing Hassan with his job situation, but he is also taking immense pleasure in character assassinating Anaya and cementing the idea of her “affair” in Hassan’s head. It’s not only low, it’s downright despicable and one can only hope Atif is left entirely empty-handed by the end of this for the trauma he has inflicted on a happy couple for selfish gain.
At present, Anaya now knows she is pregnant and is planning on surprising Hassan with the news. Unfortunately, Hassan will now believe Anaya is having an affair and will most likely accuse her of being characterless regarding the baby as well. The show has taken a very frustrating turn and it’s downright upsetting watching this couple fall apart in such a way. Atif is enemy number one on the show, much more than Miraal has ever been to be honest. Despite the complaints regarding the show, Ameer Gilani and Mawra Hocane are doing a great job with their performances. When they are on screen together, you simply can’t take your eyes off of them. Unfortunately, the story has begun to take predictable turns and the “hero” is slowly being stripped of his likability, which is difficult to watch. One can only hope “Sabaat” takes a positive turn in the next episode or two.