Gul E Rana episode 11 review
I watch a lot of dramas, some good, some average and some so bad they make me laugh. It is rare that a drama leaves me so disaappointed but that is how I felt after watching Gul E Rana this week.If Gul e Rana could have stayed the mind numbing nonsense it started out as I might have let it pass , there are plenty of simplistic , easily digestible potboilers out there and I just ignore them . Gul e Rana reached a whole new level this week which was hard to put aside. It took me a full hour to calm down and gather my thoughts enough and decide what to write. As a drama fan and reviewer I am constantly complaining about the Mazloom aurat syndrome which seems to endemic to most of the serials on ARY Digital and GEO TV , annoying and uninspiring as they are, these weeping women do their job , they get ratings and help housewives pass the time of day . Anyone of these sad women and /or Dusri Bivi’s is preferable to the rape culture being promoted by HUM TV at the moment.
When this episode begins we see Gul e Rana is now living with her bad, bad boy husband Adeel somewhere around Islamabad. We are then treated to non-stop interaction between the two leads. I am guessing Hum TV learnt their lesson from Dayar e Dil , which didn’t catch fire in the ratings till Faraa and Wali ‘s interaction didn’t come to the fore So this time they are actually allowing the audience to watch the main attractions who are without question Sajal Ali and Feroz Khan. There much vaunted screen chemistry is very real and both deserve a prize for bringing this mess of a screenplay such high ratings. Both Sajal Ali and Feroz Khan are excellent actors, but together they are fabulous. On a side note I know these two are now making a film and if it has even half a good script it will be worth watching just to see them on the big screen.
Adeel continues to have a strange, schizophrenic character, threatening one moment and a complete pushover the next. Rana is so supremely unaffected by Adeel that he has to coerce her into making him breakfast or organize his clothes cupboard just to reassure himself he is still in charge. One minute he will call her poison or Zeher then in the next scene he will indulgently smile at how beautiful she looks when she is angry. The characters are all so badly defined there is just no telling what reaction anyone of them will have scene to scene. Maybe I am just spoilt because I am watching Preet na Karyo Koi but Adeel and Rana’s strange, inconsistent personalities give me a headache. The only consistent thing about Rana is that she won’t give her husband the time of day. I have to give Sajal Ali all the credit here, no sidelong glances, no halfhearted sighs or softening attitude for Rana, just out and out revulsion tempered by indifference. It must have been hard because Feroz Khan had finally got his game together and looked rather fine this week. Thank God he finally ditched those ugly jeans.
The routine at Hum TV these days is another day another rape scene , because that gets TRPS which bring advertising revenue and then apparently all the lovely people making these things go home with a clean conscience and manage to sleep at night . These people are so good they never consider the consequences of their actions; they never consider that they are normalizing in fact, romanticizing sexual violence. Sangat is continuing in its shameless trajectory of sanctifying a rapist, so feeling left behind ,the makers of Gul e Rana thought they must do something.
The crux of this awful episode was about Adeel trying to make Gul e Rana jealous, and what better way than to take advantage of an old “friend”. Adeel has a female friend who is feeling threatened because two men seem to be scouting out her residence. She turns up at Adeel’s house in pants and a t shirt and asks to spend the night because she feels unsafe. Rana has forgotten all her manners and cannot even greet her guest or show one ounce courtesy or concern at her plight. Fair enough the woman is behaving in a silly, flirty manner and perhaps Rana just doesn’t like it, I tell myself. That night Adeel tries to rape his friend. When she screams and fights back, he says she is asking for it by coming to na mahram man’s house at night. When Rana discovers them and the woman pleads for protection, instead of holding her husband responsible Gul e Rana turns on the victim and says in plain terms that the woman invited the attack because of her clothes and because she asked for help from a man who wasn’t her relative .
This is a disgusting case of victim blaming and a clear case of rape culture. Rape culture normalizes violence against women and allows Men to control women and the spaces they can enter. Rape culture perpetuates the myth that men have no self-control and that women invite the cruel and brutal act of rape by not following set cultural norms. Rape culture is always pointing fingers at the victim rather than blaming the actual perpetrator. Rape culture always goes hand in hand with hypocrisy and if we must talk about religion in this context let’s examine MS Gul e Rana through her own looking glass……. Adeel is quite right, why does Gul e Rana have a relationship with Ashir? Ashir maybe her cousin but so was Adeel, she may “think “of Ashir as her “brother “but he clearly isn’t, as a Nikkah is permissible. When it comes to dressing Gul e Rana is seen wearing a rather beautiful blue sleeveless shirt and shalwar with a completely see through chiffon duppattah. In contrast, Adeel’s “modren” (spelling is deliberate)friend is a bit more covered as she is wearing a t shirt with at least half sleeves. According to conservative Muslims Rana shouldn’t have ventured out of the house or in front of her male servant with such clothes and in general she should wear an abaya or at the very least a head covering over her blow-dried locks. Oh, and the way Rana keeps rejecting her husband might be considered a contributory factor by some. So why doesn’t Gul e Rana blame herself?
I am curious to understand the writer’s thinking in this respect, is every man a potential rapist? What happens if Gul e Rana asks for a book from a male class fellow or talks to a male teacher or male colleague at work, are they allowed to rape her because she got familiar and asked for it? What about the household servants or the shopkeepers she meets or her female friend’s brothers, if she speaks to them will it be an invitation to rape? This is an incredibly dangerous road to go down and Hum TV needs to take responsibility for its content which has reached such a low moral level. The saddest part is that women run Hum TV. The producer of Sangat is Moomal Entertainment so I don’t expect much, but the sad surprise is Gul E Rana is produced by Momina Duraid whom I had a lot of respect for because she was the producer of not just most of my favourite dramas but a progressive ones like Rehaii, which took a stand against abuse and child marriage.
The media and dramas in particular cannot inhabit a conscience free zone. We cannot let this pas because it is “just a drama”.Consider the number of women who want Asher or Wali for a husband because they have idealized that image and set it in their minds as a standard. Look at the silly, impressionable girls and even sillier women who are impressed with the rapist in Sangat because he is played by what they think is a good looking actor. Adeel is played by Feroz Khan who has more charm than he should and now girls will think, it is fine to like a rapist because they are watching this handsome actor play him from a safe distance; what happens when they meet such a predator in real life ?
Next week’s promo shows us That Adeel is asking for Gul e rana’s help to change . Quite rightly Gul e Rana says that is not her responsibility, but who will take responsibility for the damage done to our culture and society by making such serials?
P.S Let us all make one thing absolutely clear : Rapists cause rape .no one else ..It is a choice made by the rapist , that is it and Please I am exhausted writing about this stuff can we go back to normal dramas ?