“Safar Tamam Hua” hasn’t been the strongest in terms of writing and execution, despite its appealing, talented cast. Starring Ali Rehman Khan, Madiha Imam, Syed Jibran, Samina Ahmed, Haaris Waheed, Sonia Nazir, Annie Zaidi and others, the story has been written by Rahat Jabeen and directed by Shehrazade Sheikh. In previous episodes, “Safar Tamam Hua” had turned into a whoddunnit of sorts with Jamal (Syed Jibran) and Sami (Ali Rehman Khan) turning against each other, suspecting the other of murdering Rija. To make matters worse, Anoushay (Madiha Imam) played the flip-flopping supporter, jumping on the bandwagon to rage against the latest suspect of choice – mind you, without any proof. With the exception of Sami, each character had become insufferable, unlikable and the viewer just no longer felt any sympathy for them.
In episode 11, we see Sami turn things on their head when he swears on the Quran that he didn’t harm Rija – an act which immediately turns suspicion away from Sami, prompting Anoushay to call off the wedding. The fact that Jamal refuses to swear on the Quran himself (but why?) turns the family against him, Jamal now a prominent suspect, prompting Anoushay to call off the wedding. Anoushay feels immense guilt for suspecting Sami and attempts to run away from home, but Sami brings her back. The greatest flaw in this relationship is that Sami proves himself as a loyal partner over and over, cementing his love for Anoushay consistently – and yet, does Anoushay even respect Sami, let alone love him?
Ironically, just as “Safar Tamam Hua” reached the point of almost being written off, it takes a more interesting turn this week with episode 12 now that Nazo (Noreen Gulwani) is a prominent character on the show. If anything, the character of Nazo has brought some freshness to the canvas, giving the drama a greater sense of purpose than what it has been up until now. Even as episode 11 moves into episode 12, one couldn’t imagine the Nikkah fiasco took place only one episode earlier as the family simply brushes the entire mess away – with the exception of Sami, the only consistent character on this show.
Nazo’s arrival throws the house into chaos as her ways don’t match with their more conservative ones. Nazo and Anoushay may be sisters, but their upbringing has been as different as night and day. What’s refreshing to see here with this storyline is that while Nazo immediately felt irritating, it’s being revealed that these attitudes come along with her “image,” her background and where she comes from – not only within the family, but also from the perspective of viewers. Nazo has been raised to be “chalaak” and so, that’s how she behaves. However, spending time with Anoushay, she realizes that her way may not be the right way and maybe she wants to be different. Likewise, Anoushay realizes she may be too judgmental and harsh towards her sister. It’s actually quite sweet watching Anoushay and Nazo bond, sisters who have never spent any time together previously.
And yet, Nazo’s character isn’t a straight-and-arrow one. She is brash, she’s loud and she eyes men openly, flirting with Jamal behind closed doors and making advances on Sami openly. It’s clear that Nazo is simply trying to get whichever man will marry her and give her the respect of being a married woman (on her mother’s instructions). There are several sweet moments between Nazo and Samina Ahmed’s character where she tries to smooth out Nazo’s rough edges, explaining how girls should behave with etiquette and respect themselves.
While “Safar Tamam Hua” isn’t a perfect show and continues to drag, the premises has at least picked up with Nazo’s arrival. The “mystery” surrounding Rija isn’t much of a mystery at all with viewers aware that Nabeel (Haaris Waheed) is the culprit. Now Haaris is ready to put his guilt aside and move out of his depression by marrying Ayeza (Sonia Nazir). But will his tactics work? Will anyone ever really forget the tragedy of Rija’s death? Is this even possible? And what are the circumstances surrounding her death? “Safar Tamam Hua” still has scope to keep the audience interested – it simply needs better-written characters, along with a faster-paced script.