“Saraab” tells a story about a young couple in loved, a love that is tested deeply when Hoorain is diagnosed with schizophrenia. The story has been written by Edison Idrees and has been directed by Mohin Talat. “Saraab” stars Sonya Hussyn, Sami Khan, Nazish Jehengir, Ghana Ali, Kinza Malik and others in supporting roles. Unfortunately, as has been the issue throughout its run, “Saraab” is 50% brilliance and 50% kitchen politics. The 50% that focuses on Hoorain (Sonya Hussyn) and Asfand (Sami Khan) is absolutely wonderful, meaningful and impactful enough to be called a masterpiece. However, it’s that other 50% that brings down the entire feel of the show.
There’s a heavy emphasis in episode 26 on those kitchen politics. Once again, we are forced to endure Sufiyaan and his venomous mother’s plotting as this terrible twosome decide to put their plan for “revenge” into action. The very idea of sending a proposal for the 2nd sister after being rejected by the first one in order to extract revenge is next-level gutter thinking and these characters are exactly that – gutter level. Both Warda’s in-laws and Hoorain’s own family are loud, unlikable characters that one will not miss at any point if they are never shown again on the show.
Namal (Nazish Jehangir) is determined to get Asfandyar despite his being her brother-in-law and does not care if she has to have her sister committed to an institution in order to get her way. There’s a deep sickness in this family and it’s not the type of illness that Hoorain is suffering from, something which is out of her control, something which is playing with her emotions and fears – Warda, Namal and their mother all suffer from true inner ugliness. All three are selfish to their core and do not even wish well for each other, forget Hoorain. At this point, Sufiyaan’s manipulations almost work in favor of the audience as it throws a wrench in Namal’s plans to “get” Asfand.
The highlight of the episode are, as always, the interactions between Asfand and Hoorain. Hoorain finds herself committed and is initially unable to understand why she has been left in such a place with “crazy people.” However, she slowly grows accustomed to the environment and when Asfand comes to visit her, she speaks to him normally – at first. Over the duration of their conversation, Asfand realizes that Hoorain refers to conversations they never had and these conversations are growing increasingly detailed and involved, conversations about his career – and even his intentions. When Asfand realizes Hoorain believes he has sold her to this place for money, he quickly leaves so she does not see him break down. It’s one thing to see a loved one suffer, but it’s entirely a different thing to know that you are a hallucination that preys upon her fears and insecurities.
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Both Sami Khan and Sonya Hussyn are incredible on this show, riveting in their performances. One also must mention Afandyar’s family and the actors playing the roles. These characters are being wonderfully enacted, but are also written in such a way that they are lovable. The show has always been intense, but with Hoorain now in the hospital, “intense” takes on a new meaning with the lovebirds separated for reasons beyond their control. The greatest complaint with “Saraab” is, again, that its brilliant scenes are simply brilliant, but it’s not-so-great scenes also take up a large chunk of the run time. One can only hope that as the show heads towards its final chunk of episodes, it focuses more on Hoorain and Asfand and less on the unnecessary family bits.