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For anyone tired of the melodramas, middleclass saints, conniving women and faithless husbands that flood our screens, Goya is the ideal antidote. This intelligently scripted, fast paced, romantic thriller is sure to keep you glued to the screen every Saturday evening.

The story revolves around Rahat and Omar Hashmi, whose dysfunctional family dynamic resembles that of a prisoner and his jailer rather than a normal loving father and son. Rahat Hashmi (Usman Peerzada) is a powerful, incredibly wealthy man, whose word is law for his only son Omar (Osman Khalid Butt), who as a grown man is not allowed to decide what shirt to wear let alone who he will marry. However his world turns upside down when he meets local reporter Mohini Mirza (Sana Javaid) at an Art exhibition. It isn’t love at first sight, the lovely Ms. Mohini is a strong, independent girl raised by a single working mother Asma Mirza (Farah Shah) but very soon their love threatens the plans Senior Hashmi has already set in motion for his son. Rahat Hashmi is a ruthless adversary unencumbered by affection or conscience in his quest to control his son. Will Omar ever manage to escape his father’s grip?

This story is fast paced, with well plotted twists and turns that make each episode more interesting than the last.  A talented cast of young faces lifts this drama even further away from the clichéd look of many dramas today. Gohar Rasheed, Furqan Qureshi, Hira Tareen, Christina Albert and Asad Siddiqui are not just good to look at; they are well cast, capable actors who have significant roles in the main protagonist’s lives. Gohar Rasheed commands attention no matter what role he plays and here he gives a short but powerful performance as Adnan Viziri, Omar’s drug addict, over needy friend. Similarly Furqan Qureshi as the easy going Ali and Christina Albert as the mysterious  housekeeper Zaib un Nisa are all fascinating elements in a plot which seems to get deeper with each episode.

Writers Mohammad Ahmad and Yasir Rana, break many through many stereotypes there are no evil manipulating women as far as the eye can see .Positive images of women are one of the many plus points of this story .Mohini and Asma are working women who neither lecture us on their saintliness nor do they threaten civilized society by refusing to make the odd roti. In fact none of the men in this serial feel in the slightest bit threatened by them speaking their minds or holding nine to five jobs . Sana Javaid is a delight, proving what a versatile actress she is after her popular role in Pyaray Afzal. Normal is perhaps the USP for most of the characters in this serial and Omar Hashmi is no exception. Despite his father’s wealth and arrogance Omar is at heart a simple, caring person who uncomplainingly exchanges his car for sweaty vans and his mansion for a small apartment just to be with Mohini. Osman Khalid Butt plays Omar with sincerity and an understatement that seemed to have been lost to Pakistani dramas for a long time.  Osman is no doubt a star with a huge fan following on both sides of the border since his wildly popular role in Aunn Zara but he never forgets he is an actor first. Sana Javaid and Osman Khalid But look great together in this first outing and their perfect chemistry is wonderful to watch.

Like all the best dramas, Goya works because the writers and director Furukh Faiz are on the same page and share a fresh young vision for this story. Just like their previous collaboration Dareecha, this drama is a mix of dark and light. Their moments of intense sadness and death mixed with the simple moments of laughter and fun that mark real life. Similarly the dialogues are crisp, modern and relatable making this one of the few thoughtful dramas to watch.

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By Sadaf Haider

( This first appeared in Dawn Images)

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