It has become more of a frequent complaint lately that stories are missed opportunities. It’s not clear whether this is due to writers/directors believing their star-cast will gloss over any failings or whether this is because the team was too short-sighted in the direction/pacing of their story, but “Sinf E Aahan” has joined the ranks of “Hum Tum” and “Ishq e Laa” (in more recent months) in leaving the audience happy with the ending, but also wishing the story had been executed better or offered more in terms of pacing. Starring Sajal Aly, Yumna Zaidi, Syra Yousuf, Kubra Khan, Ramsha Khan, Yehali Tashiya Kalidasa, Dananeer Mobeen, Sheheryar Munawar, Sonia Mishal, Usman Mukhtar, Asim Azhar and many others, the story has been written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Nadeem Baig.
In the finale, much of the episode focuses on Rabia’s (Sajal Aly) inner turmoil when her brother, Daniyal (Usman Mukhtar), is injured in combat. She decides to stay back and focus on her duties while her brother’s life hangs in the balance and this is a defining moment for her – whether she will succumb to pressure and prove herself “soft” as her family believes or whether she will take charge and put her duty first. Of course, the audience knows what to expect and Rabia makes the “strong” choice, putting her career in the army first. This scene is set up to serve as a making-up moment for Rabia and Mahjabeen (Kubra Khan) as Mahjabeen stays by Rabia’s side and encourages her through her grief. This is a sweet moment and we have to wonder why this moment had to be saved for the last episode? Mahjabeen and Rabia are both strong girls and with this episode, it’s revealed that Rabia really did try to persuade Daniyal to consider Mahjabeen, but Daniyal had sister-zoned Mahjabeen. Rabia and Mahjabeen have both come from more upper-class families and make an impact as the first females to join the army from their families. Both Kubra Khan and Sajal Aly perform very well during these scenes and prove why they are two of our best actresses.
Honestly, the entire cast has done a commendable job with their roles. Syra Yousuf as Aarzoo is an inspiring character as a minority woman who has rose above her insecurity to find success in her career, pulling her family towards a happier future. Ramsha Khan is equally as inspiring as Pariwesh, a young woman from Balochistan who moves beyond gender roles to be her father’s support. Yumna Zaidi has been lovable as Shaista, a young Pukhtun girl who breaks barriers and cultural norms – and even finding a supportive partner to help her towards her goals. Yehali Tashiya Kalidasa serves as the “outsider lens,” as Nathmy, a woman who shows the beauty and acceptance found in Pakistan from a Sri Lankan’s perspective and she has been very likable in this role. Dananeer Mobeen has been sweet as a slightly more comedic relief character while portraying Sidra. It is great to see how Usman (Sheheryar Munawar) and Kiran (Sonia Mishal) finally find happiness together, but the impact of their story isn’t much and could have been more impactful if handled better. The supporting cast from Asim Raza, Saba Hameed, Zahir Lehri, Mohammad Ahmed…..these actors have all done a great job in their respective roles, while actors like Usman Mukhtar, Ali Rehman Khan and Asad Siddiqui have been grossly underutilized.
The story winds up in an inspiring way, allowing each member of the female cast their “moment” to shine light on the importance of their character’s journey. It’s honestly a wonderful way to end this show, but unfortunately, it’s bittersweet. The fact remains that “Sinf E Aahan” has served more as an advertisement for the army and less as a story-driven drama. There has been so much scope for a story, but the majority of the show has been fixated on training sequences. Of course, we love light-hearted shows, but even “Sunehre Din,” “Alpha Bravo Charlie” and the more recent “Ehd E Wafa” all managed to bring that light-hearted freshness while also maintaining a strong storyline. This is where “Sinf E Aahan” has lost points completely with many suggesting a “Sinf E Aahan 2,” just so these female characters, who have been nicely fleshed out, can actually get a story. Overall, “Sinf E Aahan” has been a great window into the lives of female officers (special mention to Major Samia, who has been fun to watch) and has boated of a great cast with great performances, but has been lackluster and flat as an overall product. A nice attempt, “Sinf e Aahan” does feel like another missed opportunity.