“Safar Tamam Hua” is a show with a fabulous, talented cast, a beautiful OST that one wants to listen to over and over again and beautiful cinematography. And yet, what should be a beautiful drama somehow falls flat. Starring Ali Rehman Khan, Madiha Imam, Syed Jibran, Haaris Waheed, Sonia Nazir, Saife Hassan, Samina Ahmed and others, the story follows a family and their complicated relationships – both familial and romantic. Written by Rahat Jabeen, the show has been directed by Shehrazade Sheikh.
With episodes 13 and 14, there are a couple of major events that take place. First, after hearing his wife ask for a divorce, Anoushay’s father (Saife Hassan) passes away, leaving his two daughters behind. While Nazo has spent her life with her mother, Nazli (Ayesha Gul) and shared little of a bond with her father (or his family), Nazli does not waste a moment abandoning Nazo with her husband’s family and moving on to the next great opportunity. While this looks terrible in theory, did Anoushay’s father ever do anything of worth for Nazli and Nazo? One really can’t blame Nazli for having wanted a divorce – but abandoning Nazo is where things get sticky.
Now left with a new family, Nazo (Noreen Gulwani) continues to navigate her way through this new group of people, unsure of how to tread. Making matters worse are Jamal’s (Syed Jibran) nefarious plans, the sticky individual that he is. It’s not clear what Jamal’s intentions are exactly – does he actually like Nazo or is he trying to turn Anoushay (Madiha Imam) and Sami (Ali Rehman Khan) against each other? Regardless, Jamal continues to speak to Nazo on the phone pretending to be Sami, trapping her in his “love,” a love that she believes is coming from Sami. While Jamal is doing an incredible job of turning Sami and Anoushay against each other once again, this plot is simply too wafer thin. What is stopping Sami or Anoushay from gathering together with Nazo and clarifying the entire situation? A simple glance at Sami’s call logs would show that he has never spoken to Nazo on the phone. This is the failing of “Safar Tamam Hua” – the entire drama rests on wafer-thin plotlines.
While the cast is doing the best they can with the material they’ve been given, it’s Haaris Waheed who is truly shining as Nabeel. While Nabeel and Ayeza (Sonia Nazir) have now gotten married, Nabeel is haunted by his past mistakes – a mistake we, as viewers, know involves Rija’s death. While he shares sweet moments with Ayeza, she is surprised at all the trauma Nabeel is experiencing on a daily basis. Prone to terrifying nightmares and mood swings, Ayeza and Nabeel’s mother struggle with Nabeel’s attitude change.
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Haaris Waheed’s performance as Nabeel is one of the real positives of “Safar Tamam Hua.” He portrays the complexities of Nabeel’s character with just the right amount of softness and intensity required. Nabeel has never been a “bad guy.” He has been a man who is inherently good, a man who has been loyal to his family and has been kind to all around him. But a “moment of weakness” (his words, not mine) have turned Nabeel into a man struggling with himself, struggling with his conscience and fighting the terror of his own actions. While it’s not clear what exactly happened between Nabeel and Rija, it was the direct cause of her death – and that is a huge burden to bare and puts Nabeel into the “villain” category. Meanwhile, Jamal and Sami continue to fight over placing blame.
Overall, “Safar Tamam Hua” is a show with a mildly interesting storyline and a very good cast. Unfortunately, its sluggish pace, bland storytelling and premise based on petty misunderstandings make it a less-than-gripping show.