Udaari episode 3 review
Udaari is building into a powerful commentary on Pakistani society without falling into the trap of obvious clichés. This week provided another slice of the lives led by a segment of society that doesn’t worry too much about the Zardari’s and Nawaz Sharif’s of this world , a segment that has been so singularly failed by any sort of development that, apart from the gadgets like mobile phones, is still living in the 18th century . They don’t complain about the lack of clean running water or load shedding because they never had such amenities to miss them.
A stand out performance from the brilliant Bushra Ansari as Sheedan made this another must watch episode. Sheedan is so full of life and love, nothing brings her down and she has the courage of those who have always had fight hard for everything in their lives. Sheedan acts as the elder and arranges Sajda’s Nikkah to pa Imtiaz, celebrating their marriage with all the joy and generosity in her soul. Sajda’s marriage is the main focus of the episode and it is set to some wonderful, soulful folk tunes that put me in mind of the old dholki songs my aunts used to sing before the fun Bollywood dance numbers at weddings .The news of her husband Majid’s death cast a dark shadow on the wedding celebrations. It was heartbreaking to see Sheedan and her family suffers this loss.
The other dark shadows this week were Elyas and his mother. Elyas is a dangerous character, abusive and controlling, but the one good thing about people like him is that they are easy to spot. Elyas never hides who he is and I wonder why Meeran is so desperate to be with him? I can only guess he was the first man to pay her any attention, otherwise Meeran’s only family provides a much more stable and pleasant picture of family life than Elyas and his “middleclass” values. Elyas is just an extension of his small minded mother, convinced of their own value and full of jealousy and judgment for everyone else. Again Urwa manages to impress as Meeran, she has the whole silly, young, unthinking teenager down to an art. Harris Waheed who plays Elyas is very effective too, mixing menace with his attraction to the young Meeran; a fascinating combination for some young women.
Pa Imtiaz is a dream husband. Young, plenty of money and a friend to all; Imtiaz is also a caring husband and a surprisingly good father to Zebu, whom he is determined to continuously spoil with gift after gift. At first Sajda doesn’t know what to make of such extravagance and so much attention. She is not a fool, a sensible, honest woman; Sajda has worked hard to live a decent, respectable life without depending on anyone. I felt happy for poor Sajda, she has been so lonely and so starved of affection and companionship for so long that I wanted to believe Imtiaz was a mercy sent by Allah in this widow’s hour of need .Next week’s promos however prove I am wrong, my heart trembles just watching the scene of Imtiaz handsome face take such and evil cast as he talks to Zebu in a disgusting and totally unacceptable manner.
Ahsan Khan is simply brilliant in this role, and it looks as if this will be another landmark role for him. The way Imtiaz has won everyone’s good opinion and the way he has trapped Sajda is typical of such monsters. Unlike Elyas such devils don’t come with warning labels. It is a shame because it is already difficult to find a match for single mothers, who often live lives of loneliness because of such fears for their children. Sammiya Mumtaz has also given yet another sensitive and sincere performance as Sajda; it’s just that this has been her go to role for some time. She plays basically the same roles in Dukhtar and in Ali ki Ammi so nothing new there.
Director Ehtashamuddin deserves a round of applause for this wonderful episode. After Dayar e Dil ended I have been missing something and I think Udaari has filled that hole. The wonderful authenticity, the way all the tracks are blended and the great performances elicited are all due to the directors expert touch .The best part is the way the music has been used to enhance the story instead of taking it over.
This week we got to see the elite class band again. I have to congratulate Babar Zaheer the famous stylist, for Farhan Saeed’s look. Although he has a wonderful voice, I usually switch over the channel as soon as I see Farhan Saeed on screen but in this drama he actually looks kind of cute… I really like all the members of this band especially the girl with the pet, she seems the most authentic. The weakest link is Maryam Fatima Playing Farwa, her dialogue delivery lacks any inflexion and she really has to work on her expressions. Add to this someone has frightened her into using a bucketful of self-tanner which is pretty obvious when she creeps out of the house to meet her friends.
Udaari looks like another tour de force by Farhat Ishtiaq. I laughed, I smiled, I cried and then I trembled with apprehension for Zebu. Farhat Ishtiaq has always been a master story teller; I am just hoping she gets the dialogue right this time and takes this serial to the next level. So far its been good so I have my fingers crossed .