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Bin Roye Episode 1 Review

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This is the serial I have been waiting for since Humsafar ended. I remember scouring Facebook pages and websites looking for clues about its story and playing the usual game of fantasy casting. My ideal cast had been Fawad Khan as Irtiza, Mahirah as Saman and Sanam Baloch as Saba … well fate shook the dice and came up with another combination. I am still not sure about Humayoon as Irtiza, but Mahirah as Saba is perfect and as for Saman, well when Armeena gets some screen time we will see.bin-roye-2

The first ten minutes of the episode frightened the life out of me. A depressed and distraught looking Saba walks into what looks like her sister Saman’s house in America and everywhere she turns she sees the echoes of her sister’s life. Afraid and guilty she nearly steps off the sharp cliff the house is built on. This kind of thing works in movies (sometimes), but it looked really out of place in the drama.  I am guessing the makers wanted to add shock value to a story everyone already knows .Apart from that ,I think this drama has super hit written all over it if the producers can just exercise some self-control and not make a khichri out of it the way they did with the movie.bin-roye3

I really liked the child actress playing the younger Saba and the way the entire family’s relationships were so fluidly mapped out .The actors playing the childhood versions of all the characters were well chosen and made just the right impact. Saba and Irtiza’s relationship was wonderfully explained and the transition from childhood to adulthood smoothly done . Irtiza has grown but Saba has not ; inside that beautiful young woman is spoiled ten years old who thinks she owns him.

Humayoon and Mahirah have the right chemistry but right now it isn’t earth shattering which fits well into the story line. It is obvious that Saba is deeply, madly in love with him but he treats her like a pet kitten who occasionally scratches him. No matter how silly and rude Saba was acting, I couldn’t help but love her. She reminded me so much of Emma Wodehouse from the Jane Austen’s novel Emma.  Just like Saba, Emma was not the most perfect character: she was impatient, used to getting her own way, overconfident and a mastermind at creating trouble for herself. She too was used to being first in Mr. Knightley’s affections.

 “Till now that she was threatened with its loss, Emma had never known how much of her happiness depended on being first with Mr. Knightley, first in interest and affection. – Satisfied that it was so, and feeling it her due, she had enjoyed it without reflection; and only in the dread of being supplanted, found how inexpressibly important it had been.”

Irtiza is a very different character to Mr Knightly. Like all Farhat Ishtiaq Heroes he is a world of perfection: kind, generous, well-educated and of course very protective of his family. The fact that he was orphaned doesn’t make him moody and or withdrawn but instead he is very caring and makes time for everyone. So far Humayoon has it down well and Saba’s attraction seems understandable. Now is that attraction just a childish crush or real love? To be fair to Irtiza, it probably looks like a crush from his angle binroye-facebook

There were a lot of lights, and a riot of colours and strong visuals to this first episode and they almost overwhelmed the actual story. There are some lavish sets and it seems as if no expense was spared as this was Momina Duraid’s pet project. Which is fine by me, I thoroughly enjoy seeing this kind of attention to detail.

Best scenes were Saba and her Chand Raat wish, then Irtiza and Saba sneaking back into the house.. …all so intimate and sweet. I remember when the Guardian reviewed the Bin Roye Movie the critic could not understand the importance of this scene. I guess not all cultural experiences are translatable but I did leave a comment asking him to do a little research. If only he knew after fasting for Thirty days the sighting of the moon does get you a little excited, but that would require an effort at actual understanding.

I really liked Zeba Bakhtiyar and Javed Shaikh in this. While Bigul Hussain as Dadi was lovely. This is one of the great things about Haissem Hussain’s serials; he knows how to bring out that very natural, authentic family dynamic. I am guessing the normal, watchable stuff is Haissem’s (because it has his signature style all over it) and the overwrought melodrama belongs to Momina Duraid or one of the other directors she had on board.bin-roye-5

Unsurprisingly the song from Rahat Fateh Khan was beautiful but again the picturisations made it look out of place in the drama.  After some rather authentic pictures of Pakistani bazaars and the atmosphere around Eid , the song picturisations came off as a bit plastic . Can someone tell where this magical place is where people do impromptu street dances? Again, what works in a movie can look strange in a TV drama. Having said that Mahirah looked amazing, loved her swaying to the music and that Outfit … sigh I must have it! So, despite the filmi bits It seems like a great watch every Sunday and probably My go to,” happy place” every week.

Sadaf Haider

15 Comments »

  1. Sadddaafffff trust you to bring Jane Austen into this! =P
    Love your review! You said everything and I agree. The filmi bits do not work in the drama but a lot of it gets a pass because it is actually sticking to the narrative.

    It does have Haissam’s style all over it! So happy to see his work on screen after a loonnng haitus! Why does he do this to us?
    Family dynamics were lovely and everyone had a story which was great. How wonderful does Zeba B look and act? Why don’t we see more of her?
    Clearly this is my main complaint in this comment

    BUT may I play ‘inspiration’ spoiler alert here – The take the money from my wallet bit was a direct lift off from Parineeta!
    Still looking forward to future episodes and your reviews.

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    • Omg yes !! I knew it sounded familiar Aaj But Parineeta is one of my favorite movies ❤️ Bin Roye has a different vibe .. Zabardasti B was amazing .. Those eyes said it all . I wish Haissem would make more stuff …. Looking forward to BaluMahi

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  2. Hi Sadaf. Thanks for a mazaydar review. And thanks for telling which parts might have been directed by Haissam, coz for the life of me, I wouldn’t be able to tell. Please batati rehna.
    I enjoyed the ep. The start was interesting. I didn’t mind it at all. Plus isn’t it obvious that we’ll be seeing parts of the movie all along? I mean it was filmed once and that’s the footage that’ll be used here too.
    Any idea how many eps are we in for?

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    • Come on Afia , you have seen all of His serials do you think that beginning sequence was his or the Bollywood song is his ? You are the one with the eagle eye who notices the bloopers and continuity which I never pick up on . It wasn’t obvious to me .. Always last to pick up on things I guess 😉 but now I know what to expect . Since everyone is enjoying the filmi touch that means it was a good move on their part .

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  3. Hey Sadaf!
    Great review as usual:)
    A bit miffed about the whole chunk taken out of the movie? What was that, I mean really???
    Anyways up till then it was very nicely done, the child actors did a great job and introduced their characteristics very well. I have a feeling they will keep taking parts out of movie amid all the directorial issues they had, hope it doesn’t turn into a hot mess!

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  4. I loved Humayoun as Irtiza. He’s definitely aging we’ll and has improved tremendously as an actor. Mahira was a good choice for Saba. Since I haven’t watched the movie, I was looking forward to the drama. I had a feeling of deja vu during the song- Kabhi Khushi Kathi Gham song “Yeh Larki Hai Allah”. The chaand raat depiction was what you see in Bollywood- a riot of colors inspired by Karwa Chaut. I don’t mind the filminess for now but I see your point of hoping they are able to contain it. I’ll look forward to reading your reviews. Thanks for reviewing it, Sadaf.

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    • Humayoon ka jadoo chall gaya . I was fully expecting you to be the conscientious objector here … Remember how annoyed you were with FQ in Bashar Momin … I think Humayoon has played it very smart … he is now back in romantic hero mold after the magic of Dillagi …. Now with Bin Roye he is all set to be the Khan of Pakistan ..

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  5. Thanks for the wonderful review.

    You’re right, the way the episode opened, & the first few scenes with MK & HS scared the hell out of me. What was the point of that? & then the flashback started immediately.
    I don’t understand this house of MK & HS that they showed were actually the scenes they shot in US? What was the point of that? In the novel, their home is in Lahore. Wouldn’t it have been cheaper if they had shot those scenes in a house in Lahore than going all the way to US?

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    • This is the whole problem with Bin Roye the movie . I think part of leadership is the ability to delegate and trust qualified people to do their job . It seems like a lot of cut and past was going on in the movie and in this first episode . Message to the makers : we have had the movie .. You guys have had your chance now stop messing up the drama . The point if a drama is that it takes more time and has more depth . It’s like those aunties that wear their waleema Ka jora to their cousins wedding — over the top and inappropriate .
      Khair the actual drama buts were good and Mahira is perfect .. I loved her ❤️

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