The story of “Wabaal” centers around earning money by illegal means (loaning money on interest) and how that “black” money can come back to ruin one’s life – and afterlife. “Wabaal” stars Sarah Khan, Talha Chahour, Shagufta Ejaz, Saleem Sheikh, Tara Mehmood, Merub Ali, Mohammad Hunbal, Hareem Sohail and others in pivotal roles. The story is written by Qaisera Hayat and directed by Amin Iqbal. Quite honestly, over the past several weeks, “Wabaal” has been slow, repetitive and slightly dull to watch – however, this week, the narrative picks up.
In episode 16, Maham (Meerub Ali) and Hammad are now married and happily living out their newlywed life. This duo is meant to be sweet, innocent and endearing – and sure, we as an audience know they’re “good people,” so we’re going to root for them –, but their sequences are horrifyingly dull and awkward to watch due to weak acting. On the other end, Anum (Sarah Khan) and Faraaz (Talha Chahour) are facing a rocky time in their married life. After a car accident, they not only have hospital bills to pay, but also have to pay for repairs to the car. It’s in these moments that we recognize how important it is for parents to take their child’s wishes and desires into account. Sure, Maham was slightly out of control, but knowing she had big dreams, was it right to marry her off to a struggling young man who was still trying to get his life off the ground? If anything, it’s admirable that Maham has been written as a strong girl who, instead of crying over her circumstances, got up and began working herself. Unfortunately, her selfish nature is exactly that – a selfish nature, one where she even cares more about her car than her own broken neck. Faraaz and Anum’s marriage appears to be at the end of its road with Faraaz growing increasingly irritated with Anum’s attitude. Sarah Khan is very good in this role and does a great job of letting the audience in on Anum’s thoughts, wishes and psyche. Anum is horribly unlikable, but we understand her. Likewise, Talha Chahour is endearing as Faraaz and his predicament is understandable – but how does one “control” a girl like Anum? And is it fair to clip her wings if she wants more? Talha is a natural actor and deserves bigger, better roles.
The highlight of “Wabaal,” at present, is the story following Zarka (Hareem Sohail), the indentured servant at Shagufta’s (Shagufta Ejaz) home. Zarka has been working for Shagufta after her parents dropped her off, unable to pay back the loan taken from Shagufta, and Shagufta has been working hard while her parents tried to earn enough money to release their daughter. Unfortunately, miserable in her daughter’s absence and unable to overcome the grief of knowing they will never be able to free her, Zarka’s mother passes away. Knowing this, Shagufta keeps this secret from Zarka while Gul Khan (Raza Ali Abid) feeds Zarka a story, pretending to hep her escape. After overhearing their conversation, Zarka is now aware that she will have to come up with her own plan for escape. Hareem Sohail is doing a great job in this role, appearing every bit the innocent, mistreated, abused young girl now fired up to extract her revenge against these injustices. Up until now, Naveed’s (Mohammad Hunbal) purpose was not exactly clear other than Shagufta’s sidekick son, but Naveed will now be a pawn in Zarka’s revenge – and that is something to look forward to!
Overall, “Wabaal” is not unwatchable and is worthwhile for Sarah Khan, Talha Chahour and Shagufta Ejaz’ performances. Alongside that, Hareem Sohail’s Zarka is a character worth looking out for and is making the current storyline interesting. Let’s see how this plays out moving forward!