After several weeks, “Benaam” finally comes to an end. Despite its cliches, over the top acting and situations, this has been an entertaining daily watch and has lured in viewers. Starring Babar Ali, Noor Hassan, Komal Meer, Anoushay Abbasi, Saad Qureshi, Shazeal Shoukat, Nadia Hussain, Imran Aslam, Ghana Ali, Humaira Bano and others, the story has been written by Tahir Nazir and Seema Sheikh and directed Ali Masud Saeed. Initially focusing on the relationship between two twin girls and their estranged father, a fact that’s hidden from them, the story went on to show how these girls struggled to create a space for themselves in their new home……..but eventually took many twists and turns, taking family politics to a new level.
In peak drama writing clownery, Laiba (Shazeal Shoukat) has been killed off. Because, of course, how can a well-off, once-independent woman continue to live after losing her father and the man she “loved”? Rabia (Nadia Hussain) is left mourning a daughter she conditioned to behave in a way as hateful as Rabia has lived out her own life. Rabia doted on her daughter and wanted the best for her – which included Haider. However, in their pursuit of “the best,” they both essentially lost their minds and veered off the track of logic, kindness and sanity. She is now being punished for her actions through losing the one person who meant the most to her. These are Rabia’s own actions coming back to haunt her……but again, realistically, that point could have been driven home through Laiba’s bad behavior and desperate need for therapy. Death does not have to be the solution for every “bad” character and it’s high time our drama writers move past this done-and-dusted trope. This aside, it’s a nice moment – and some strong acting from Nadia Hussain – to see Rabia apologize to Aimal (Anoushay AbbasI0 and Ayeza (Komal Meer) and accept them as her own after realizing the ramifications of her actions.
On the other hand, Arsalan and Ayesha, along with Umer (Saad Qureshi) and Tooba’s marriages both hang in the lurch. Umer is dead-set against making amends and rightly so given the lies and deceit Arsalan and Tooba have put on Ayesha and Umer, painting them out to be the “bad guys” when, all along, lying about their own pasts and mental health all along. Still, it’s nice to see Arsalan reform and take Ayesha home with him without forcing Umer to accept his unwell sister in exchange. This is progress.
Of course, the show ends on a beautiful, much-awaited moment with Umer and Aimal’s wedding. These are two characters who have really jumped through a lot of hoops in life, but kept pushing along and it’s satisfying to see them find happiness with one another. Honestly, any different ending would have made the show a colossal disappointment. The performances in “Benaam” haven’t been much to speak of, other than Saad Qureshi, Anoushay Abbasi and Ghana Ali (who was replaced randomly towards the end). These three have given their all to their roles. The rest have done an okay job with their roles and there’s no doubt that Noor Hassan is a great actor and Komal Meer is beautiful and a natural, but their roles were not well-written. Overall, “Benaam” has been an entertaining enough soap and is certainly a success. It’s been an enjoyable, mindless, unintentionally comical ride, but this won’t go down as a classic, that’s for sure.