The Best of 2015 (Dawn Poll)
Results of DAWN NOMINATIONS 2015 (Jackson Heights Images used with permission from Asim Farooki
Pakistani dramas have always been an alliance between artistic and commercial interests but this year it was a notably rockier relationship, as commercial interests ( just like their favourite trope) found a “Dusri biwi” in the form of films. The nascent Pakistani film industry took its toll on the Pakistani television industry, cannibalising the best talents and stealing most of the focus usually spent on producing a good serials.
Directors, producers, and actors who were once the backbone of the drama industry were all busy planning, signing, shooting and promoting movies. It wasn’t that dramas were completely ignored, infact 2015 did manage to produce some good dramas but they were far fewer than in previous years. At times it seemed as if dramas had become nothing more than a launch pad or a cash cow to finance the movie industry’s almost exponential growth.
Movies weren’t the only factor in the changing entertainment landscape as ARY and GEO launched ‘Jeeto Pakistan’ and ‘Inaam Ghar’ skewing the usually prime time weekend slots when channels used to show their best serials. These so called quiz shows allowed the contestants themselves to become the entertainment promoting a hitherto unseen level of shameless materialism.
Despite the generally downward trend, Hum Tv managed to consistently keep both quality and innovation alive, a fact amply supported by the high count of nominees from their drama in all categories. Although ARY Digital was busy making movies it did not neglect it’s drama department entirely and still managed to produce a few basic quality dramas . Aplus and Urdu1 focussed on mostly commercial projects but they managed to keep a stake in the race with at least one or two quality serials worthy of mention.
The biggest surprise this year was that, Geo, once a reliable source of well-crafted productions was unable to scrape together one noteworthy primetime drama serial .
Here are the winners of Dawn’s Drama Polls 2015.
- Chup Raho
- Jackson Heights
- Mera Naam Yousuf Hai
- Sadqay Tumharey
People’s choice: Dayar-E-Dil
Winning by a sweeping majority with 58.2% of the vote, Dayar-e-Dil proved to be the popular choice for the best drama of the year. Sadqay Tumharey followed at a distant second
Critic’s choice: Dayar-E-Dil, Jackson Heights
Dayar-E-Dil: For capturing the imagination of every demographic , but especially the youth . This was one serial that brought every generation together (hyperink http://www.dawn.com/news/1189967/diyar-e-dil-hits-home-by-stressing-family-values ) , sharing timeless traditions and bringing us truly wholesome family entertainment.
Jackson Heights: For looking beyond the television landscape of domestic squabbles and talking about live wire issues (hyperlink http://www.dawn.com/news/1172235 ) of immigration, domestic violence, and exploring ideas of home, love and loss.
It’s time Pakistani dramas step out of drawing rooms and look to a rich heritage of writing which at one time could include everything from current affairs to satire, and intersect that with our personal lives.
Here’s hoping for a wider canvas in 2016.
- Anjum Shehzad (Rang Laga)
- Ehtashamuddin (Sadqay Tumharey)
- Haseeb Hassan (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Mazar Moin (Kitna Satatey Ho)
- Mehreen Jabbar (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
- Shehezad Kashmiri (Alvida)
- Yasir Nawaz (Chup Raho)
People’s choice: Haseeb Hassan (Dayar-E-Dil)
Continuing its majority lead in the people’s poll, Haseeb Hassan wins for Dayar-e-Dil. His masterful execution of this saga and marshalling of so many highly talented and diverse talents deserves recognition .
Critic’s choice: Mehreen Jabbar (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
Mehreen Jabbar’s strong directorial stamp and subdued interpretation (hyperlink http://www.dawn.com/news/1196299 ) of Khalil-Ur-Rehman-Qamar’s flamboyant and filmi style, made this drama an outstanding success.
Honourable mention : Ehtashamuddin (Sadqay Tumharey)
A more than honourable mention to Ehtashamuddin for bringing control but most of all vision, beauty and atmosphere (hyperlink www.dawn.com/news/1156740/save-mahira-sadqay-tumhare-doesnt-quite-pack-a-punch ) to a story that might otherwise have turned into pool of sentimental mush.
- Amna Mufti (Farwa ki ABC)
- Farhat Ishtiaq (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Fasee Bari Khan (Kitna Satatey Ho)
- Khalil Ur Rahman Qamar (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
- Khalil Ur Rahman Qamar (Sadqay Tumharey)
- Mohammad Ahmed (Goya)
- Samira Fazal (Chup Raho)
People’s choice: Farhat Ishtiaq (Dayar-E-Dil)
The undisputed queen of romance strikes again and captured the hearts of the nation. What is it about Farhat ishtiaq’s heros that no woman can resist?
Exemplary in character, never short on looks and willing to do or die for honour and duty yet human enough to make the kind of mistakes we would never forgive anyone else, what’s not to love?
Critic’s choice: Amna Mufti (Farwa ki ABC), Fasee Bari Khan (Kitna Satatey Ho), Khalil Ur Rahman Qamar (Sadqay Tumharey)
This was a tough year for writers, with channels dictating longer and longer serials forcing writers to add completely ridiculous plot twists to garner ratings and even an attempt to deny intellectual property rights.
We chose Amna Mufti for simply brilliant writing in Farwa ki ABC. She had comedy, social commentary and a mirror for our times cleverly wrapped up in a simple romantic comedy.
Fasee Bari Khan for his complete and masterful understanding of the human condition and showing us a more gritty reality in Kitna Satatey Ho.
Khalil-Ur-Rahman-Qamar for his courageous and painfully honest writing of Sadqay Tumharey, critics be damned!
- Arij Fatima (Kitna Satatey Ho)
- Mahirah Khan (Sadqay Tumharey)
- Marina Khan (Jackson Heights)
- Maya Ali (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
- Naveen Waqar (Mol)
- Saba Qamar (Digest Writer)
- Sajal Ali (Chup Raho)
- Sana Javed (Goya)
- Sanam Jung (Alvida)
- Yumna Zaidi (Jugnu)
People’s choice: Maya Ali (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
This was a tough race with Maya Ali just pipping Mahirah Khan at the post and winning for her portrayal of strong headed Zulaikha from Mera Naam Yousuf Hai. Her restrained, sincere performance proving her very capable actress under the right guidance.
Critic’s choice: Mahirah Khan (Sadqay Tumharey), Naveen Waqar (Mol)
Mahirah Khan’s luminous near flawless performance (hyperlink www.dawn.com/news/1156740/save-mahira-sadqay-tumhare-doesnt-quite-pack-a-punch ) was a pleasure to watch.
Naveen Waqar’s outstanding performance in Mol (hyperlink http://www.dawn.com/news/1192912/sick-of-love-triangles-on-tv-we-love-faysal-qureshis-mol-for-rising-above was an exercise in restraint and deeply powerful acting . Welcome back Naveen!
Honourable mention: Arij Fatima (Kitna Satatey Ho), Marina Khan (Jackson Heights)
Arij Fatima has been on a roll recently with one fabulous portrayal after , from Khilona to Kitna Satatey Ho to Ishqprast. She really has proven her versatility and range!
Last but never least, Marina Khan’s performance in Jackson Heights was quite simply a study in excellence, every colour, every shade of a woman from feisty to vulnerable flawlessly brought to life.
- Adnan Malik (Sadqay Tumharey)
- Faysal Qureshi (Rang Laga)
- Imran Abbas (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
- Nauman Ijaz (Jackson Heights)
- Osman Khalid Butt (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Sami Khan (Paras)
People’s choice: Osman Khalid Butt (Dayar-E-Dil)
Our only question is, Wali aap itney achey kiyun hai? Osman Khalid Butt has always been an incredibly talented actor and has borne the burden of good looks and popularity with admirable patience. However the real test is now at hand, as his popularity reaches such dizzying, iconic heights.
We suspect he will handle it with his trademark, self deprecating humour because good work always speaks for itself.
Critic’s choice: Faysal Qureshi (Rang Laga), Imran Abbas (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai), Nauman Ijaz (Jackson Heights).
Faysal Qureshi is quite simply one of the best actors of his generation and he proves it again with a knockout performance in Rang Laga.
Imran Abbas soulful performance as lovelorn Yousuf (hyperlink http://www.dawn.com/news/1189372/tv-drama-mera-naam-yousuf-hai-plays-the-filmi-card-and-wins ) stuck all the right chords. His ability to express his pain and pathos showcase his acting abilities and deserves praise.
Nauman Ijaz proved once again that he is in a class of his own. His inquisitive NY cabbie with a heart of gold proved to be the strongest character in Jackson Heights (hyperlink http://www.dawn.com/news/1160653/love-and-longing-in-jackson-heights ) . Nauman Ijaz brought multiple layers to his performance showcasing desperation, humour, along with the bitter -sweet melancholy of pinning for his homeland.
. Best Supporting Actress
- Hareem Farooq (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Mansha Pasha(Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
- Rabab Hashim (Zid)
- Rida Isfahani (Jackson Heights)
- Sara Khan (Alvida)
People’s choice: Hareem Farooq (Dayar-E-Dil)
Hareem Farooq is an actress to watch out for: skilled, sincere to her craft and let’s face it simply beautiful. Her role in Dayar-e-Dil was a welcome addition to the original novel.
Critic’s choice: Mansha Pasha (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai),
Mansha Pasha had a standout performance as Madiha in Mera Naam Yousuf Hai. Her empowered performance had shades of heartbreak, steely resolve and enough self-respect to love yet learn to let go.
Honourable mention : Rida Isfahani (Jackson Heights)
Despite Rida Isfahani’s small role as Jamshed’s love interest in Jackson Heights, she made a great impression with her soulful performance. Hope we see more of her in the coming year!
Best Supporting Actor
- Ahmed Hassan (Farwa ki ABC)
- Ali Rehman (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Ali Shaikh (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
- Gohar Rasheed (Goya)
- Mikaal Zulfikar (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Rehan Shaikh (Sadqay Tumharey)
- Shamil Khan (Sadqay Tumharey)
People’s choice: Mikaal Zulfikar (Dayar-E-Dil)
It was a tough call putting Mikaal Zulfikar’s performance in the “supporting “ category, but we are glad that he was recognized for a brilliant performance worthy of his talents.
Critic’s choice: Ali Rehman (Dayar-E-Dil)
Ali Rehman impressive performance in Dayar-E-Dil, won and broke many hearts everywhere. We expect great things from this talented actor.
Honourable mention:Ahmed Hassan (Farwa ki ABC).
Ahmed Hassan surprised the life out of us with his brilliant performance as Gogi. Mere Soney, Merey Piyaray please,please can we have some more? Though they were Amna Mufti’s witty lines, the delivery was flawless. Take a bow Mr Hassan!
- Dusri Biwi
- Jackson Heights
- Mera Naam Yousuf Hai
- Mere Ajnabi
- Sadqay Tumharey
People’s choice: Dayar-E-Dil
Composer Shani Arshad’s soulful music with lyrics by Sabir Zafar and sung with equal fervour by singers Zeb Bangash and Momin Durrani remained the popular choice.
Critic’s choice: Dayar-E-Dil, Jackson Heights, Mera Naam Yousuf Hai
Dayar-e-Dil’s beautiful soundtrack was used with subtle perfection to highlight the feelings and mood of every character.
Hat tip to a lovely reimagined version of Liaayan, liaayan by composers Zulfiqar Ali and Kailash Kher. Singers Saad Sultan featuring Rizwan Anwar bought just the right touch of melancholy which added to the feel of the drama Jackson Heights.
Composer Saad Sultan hit another homerun with Tu Mera Nahin which had all the pain and longing in singer Rizwan Anwar’s voice highlighting Yousuf’s heartbreak in Mera Naam Yousuf Hai.
Honourable mention: Mere Ajnabi
Adrian David Emmanuel composition and lyrics brought to life in a beautiful rendition by singer Farhan Saeed was a beautiful track despite the sub-par drama.
- Alvida : Composer: Sahir Ali Bagga Lyrics: Imran Raza Singer: Shafqat Amanat Ali
- Dayar-E-Dil: Composer: Shani Arshad Lyrics: Sabir Zafar Singers: Zeb Bangash and Momin Durrani
- Dusri Biwi Composer and Singer: Ahmed Jahanzaib
- Jackson Heights: Composer: Zulfiqar Ali and Kailash Kher, Singers: Saad Sultan featuring Rizwan Anwar
- Jugnu Composer and Singer: Sahir Ali Bagga Lyrics: Imran Raza
- Mera Naam Yousuf Hai: Composer: Saad Sultan Singers: Rizwan Anwer
- Mol Composer: Waqar Ali, Lyrics: Naseer Turabi, Singer: Bushra Bilal
- Mere Ajnabi Composer and Lyrics: Adrian David Emmanuel, Singer: Farhan Saeed
- Sadqay Tumharey: Composer: Sahir Ali Bagga Lyrics: Imran Raza Singers: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Best Negative Portrayal (male)
- Adnan Siddiqui (Kitna Satatay Ho)
- Ahmed Zeb (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Ali Kazmi ( Jackson Heights)
- Noor Hassan (Muqqadus)
- Syed Jibran (Chup Raho)
- Zahid Ahmed (Alvida)
People’s choice: Syed Jibran (Chup Raho).
Syed Jibran please take a bow for this polished study in sheer evil. Every nuance, every layer of this character’s being was laid bare for us by this incredible actor whom we cannot praise enough!
Critic’s choice: Adnan Siddiqui (Kitna Satatay Ho), Ali Kazmi (Jackson Heights), Syed Jibran (Chup Raho)
Adnan Siddiqui for a portraying the devil himself. An arch manipulator, a self absorbed nightmare of a person portrayed with the ease and charm only a highly accomplished actor such as Siddiqui can produce.
Ali Kazmi’s electric performance as the abusive and slightly unhinged Sikandar was one of the finest negative portrayals of the year. For an actor with palpable energy, imagine what he can do in other roles.
Syed Jibran is also the critics choice for all the reasons listed above.
Best Negative Portrayal (female)
- Rabab Hashmi (Tum Se Milkay)
- Nausheen Shah (Zidd)
- Samiya Mumtaz (Sadqay Tumharey)
- Ushna Shah (Piya Mann Bhayy)
People’s choice: Samiya Mumtaz (Sadqay Tumharey)
Samiya Mumtaz’s portrayal of the bitter, damaged Rasheeda (hyperlink http://www.dawn.com/news/1175867/sadqay-tumhare-can-a-victim-of-abuse-ever-shed-her-past )won well deserved, universal acclaim. Samiya Mumtaz is a highly skilled actress who never fails to make a mark.
Critic’s choice: Nausheen Shah (Zidd), Ushna Shah (Piya Mann Bhayy)
Nausheen Shah’s raw performance as a washed out, depressed and relapsing addict (hyperlink http://www.dawn.com/news/1166046/zid-review-engrossing-warts-and-all ) was stellar. Her unkempt appearance added to her internal conflict and moments of fragility were her strongest suite and definitely a more believable version of someone with substance abuse issues.
Ushna Shah is just not someone you can ignore,the absolute energy and presence she brings to every role made her shine in a pretty average pot boiler like Piyaa Man Bhaiy.
- Osman Khalid Butt -Maya Ali (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Ali Rehman-Hareem Farooq (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Faysal Qureshi-Naveen Waqar (Mol)
- Firoz Khan-Sajal Ali (Chup Raho)
- Imran Abbas-Maya Ali (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
- Imran Abbas-Sanam Jung (Alvida)
- Mikaal Zulfikar-Sanam Saeed (Dayar-E-Dil)
- Nauman Ijaz-Aamina Sheikh (Jackson Heights)
- Adnan Malik-Mahirah Khan (Sadqay Tumharey)
People’s choice: Osman Khalid Butt-Maya Ali (Dayar-E-Dil)
No surprises here for the so called Jodi no 1 (hyperink http://images.dawn.com/news/1174116/in-conversation-with-pakistans-new-jori-1-diyar-e-dils-osman-khalid-butt-maya-ali ) pairing that began with Aunn-Zara continues to win hearts. The audience never gets tired of seeing this modern, young duo.
Critic’s choice: Ali Rehman-Hareem Farooq (Dayar-E-Dil)
Ali Rehman and Hareem Farooq had a kind of magnetic chemistry which should never be wasted. They made a surprisingly fresh, well matched screen pair with an almost automatic rapport the audience just adored .
Best Directors Of Photography : Zaib Rao (Dayar-E-Dil), Qasim Ali Mureed (Mera Naam Yousuf Hai)
Zaib Rao’s captured the raw beauty of the Baltistan (hyperlink http://images.dawn.com/news/1173642/review-diyar-e-dil-opens-with-a-bang-and-is-a-visual-treat ) landscape to perfection and it served as the perfect backdrop to an emotionally charged, character-driven story.
Qasom Ali Mureed’s excellent cinematography, controlled use of vérité shots, interesting use of interior spaces especially his train shots (hyperlink http://images.dawn.com/news/1173626/review-mera-naam-yousuf-hai-is-off-to-a-smooth-start ) , lighting and props all add a visual layer to the story and heightened the experience.
For all the other things that we weren’t able to mention, here are some “Award of the year”categories that stood out for being good, bad or just plain-old-so-bad-they-were-good!
Most Eco-friendly Writer
Sajid Zaki for recycling the same story over and over and over again. One man two women and an inheritance.( Numm, Sultanate e Dil , Ishqavey)
Most Recycled Dialogues/Dialogues that need to be retired
“Baarish ko dekho mat, usey mehsoos karo”
“Agha jaan, Nashta Karley”
Most Coveted Role of the year:
From Nausheen Shah’s Z in Zidd, Hira Tareen’s holiday rehab visits to Gohar Rasheed’s high as a kite performance in Goya, drug addicts were the part to kill for and then (surprise!) save one, they all died.
Note from Vasay Chaudry (writer, Jackson Heights)
Don’t go to America, everyone is miserable there which is why I never went.
Note from us to Vasay Chaudry
Stick to film scripts!
The Kashaf Baji Award for the most Bholi Larki
Maryam from Maryam, played through a sea of tears by Mawra Hocain. A woman who can never stand up for herself …ever.
Chunna Kaka Award of the year
Hassan from Dusri Biwi played by Fahad Mustafa whose sheer innocence and goodness has to be seen to be believed.
The reason why the price of red lipstick is now astronomical
Aplus has bought every tube available for Yeh Mera Deewanapan
Best Unintentional Black Comedies Award
Sultanate-e-Dil, Bewafaii Tumharay Naam, Mere Khuda and Dusri Biwi
Four dramas so ridiculously awful we couldn’t resist watching them.
Worst Mother in the world Award:
Ramin’s mother in Chup Raho
Quantity over Quality Award
Saba Qamar and Sami Khan
Most Sensational Plot Twist Award
Two-way tie between
- a) the heroine marries her husband’s best friend to achieve a halala
- b) victims spending quality time with their rapists
Most Kidnapped Girl
Sadaf Haider and Sadaf Siddique are pearls of a pod, fellow freelance writers and drama buffs. More at https://sadafsays.com/ Follow Sadaf Haider @tomtomatoe