Eid has come and gone and along with Eid, all of the fun, light Ramadan shows have also come to an end (much to the dismay of the audience). “Tanaa Banaa” is one such show, a show that focused on arranged marriage between the youth of today and how two modern individuals not only handle marriage, but also living in a joint family system. Starring Daniyal Zafar and Alizeh Shah in lead roles, Javeria Abbasi, Komal Rizvi, Ismat Zaidi, Hassan Noman, Aamir Qureshi and others provide solid support. The story has been written by Hassaan Imam and directed by Saife Hassan.
Much like the overall theme of the show, the finale of “Tanaa Banaa” strives to keep things light-hearted as well – however, this time around, some issues are addressed in such a way that one is left wondering what message the show is trying to send. In the finale, we see Zain (Daniyal Zafar) now feeling horrible about the distances he’s created between himself and his family members. One must take pause here to admire Daniyal Zafar’s acting skills as it simply doesn’t feel as though this is his first acting gig. He is a natural. Zain begins making phone calls to his family members one by one, beginning with, of course, Fauzia (Javeria Abbasi) , his beloved mother who is also the most outwardly angry with him. In a series of sweet phone conversations, Zain hatches the ultimate forgiveness plan by inviting his entire family over for dinner, which he prepares himself, and apologizes to them for his lack of appreciation. While the entire family is overwhelmed and overcome with joy, Zain breaks to to them that he still wishes to live separate, causing Fauzia to leave in a fury. The games aren’t over though, as Zain and Zoya (Alizeh Shah) arrive back home before the family and surprise them once again with their return. As the show wraps up, the situation with the contract is finally focused on, but in a humorous, light-hearted way with the entire family poking fun at Zain and Zoya and demanding that Zain uphold his end of the bargain.
While it’s understandable that given the nature of the show, the writer and director chose to leave out the dramatics regarding the contract, was this the right decision? The sequences leading to Zain’s departure from the household were rather heavy for viewers (and anger inducing) and there were several moments where viewers not only witnessed Zain’s tears and heartbreak, but also those of his family – particularly Fauzia. So is it fair then for Zoya to get off completely scott-free for all the problems that arose from a contract she wrote up, plus all the times her own misbehavior got Zain into trouble? Zoya has been portrayed as a modern woman, independent minded and headstrong – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if the theme of the show was to demonstrate how two young individuals come together and learn to work out the kinks in their relationship, why has Zain been shown doing all the hard work, the heavy lifting in the relationship, the “changing” and growing? Does Zoya not have any responsibility to her husband and to her marriage? Shouldn’t Zoya have gotten at least a slap on the wrist or at least a moment of realization/maturity to her faults?
Saife Hassan’s direction has been great, the presentation fresh and youthful and Hassaan Imam’s writing progressive and comical. It must be said that the cast has done a wonderful job. Everyone from Daniyal Zafar, Alizeh Shah, Javeria Abbasi, Ismat Zaidi, Komal Rizvi, Hassan Noman, Aamir Qureshi – they’ve all done complete justice to their roles. “Tanaa Banaa” has succeeded in its mission to provide viewers with a light-hearted show that tackles the issues that can take place after marriage. And yet, the way the team chose to wind it up sent an odd message – that only one half of a marriage should work at making the marriage work, not the other. And while this injustice may seem quite fitting and almost like a role-reversal, considering the burden usually placed solely on women in a marriage, it would have been nice to see the message passed along that marriage is a two-way street with both partners equally responsible for making it work. Regardless, “Tanaa Banaa” was a genuinely enjoyable show.