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Khuda Mera Bhi Hai Episode 1 review

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I could say it’s next to impossible to judge and entire serial by a first episode but, KMBH is definitely pushing all the right buttons and so long as it doesn’t lose its way this might be something worth watching. It’s great to see Pakistani dramas that explore difficult subjects and push people to think outside their comfort zones  I have always been an Aisha Khan fan but MannMayal and a few of her recent roles have been so inexplicably facile and downright awful that I had lost hope of seeing her in a good drama with a decent script. However this serial looks very promising. This serial is directed by Shahid Shafaat and written by Asma Nabeel.

Mahgul (Aisha Khan) is a strong, self-sufficient working woman, in what seems like a world full of annoyed aunties smothered in some really bad makeup.  Mahgul’s mother played by Saba Hameed lives a separate life from her father because of the way he lied about his previous marriage and hit her. Surprising neither mother or daughter are bitter but Mahgul in particular is very opinionated and refuses to back down from her principles on anything. The episode begins with Mahgul jumping to her friend Sanam’s defense and forcibly separating her from her husband Amir. Amir seems to be a typical serial abuser who has been shielded by his mother and his wife for too long.

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I really appreciated the way Sonia’s mother actually took her daughter’s side once she learned the truth but for some women another person’s suffering is never real. Far from being sympathetic or understanding, Amir’s mother brings her friend Arshi (Irsa Ghazal) to negotiate Sanam’s return to the marital home. Arshi already dislikes Mahgul, who works as a writer at Arshi’s husband’s family run magazine. Meanwhile Arshi’s son Zain has taken a special interest in Mahgul and from the looks of the next week’s promo marriage is in the air.

Mahgul is a rather careless, abrasive character who doesn’t realise how many enemies she is making. Mahgul may be right about Sanam’s situation but she needs to empower Sanam rather than making Sanam’s decisions for her.  At a certain level I can understand that a woman asking for anything in a conservative society will rub people the wrong way no matter what she does but Mahgul is walking a fine line between savior and becoming just as domineering as Amir. Women like Sanam often return to men like Amir and risk losing their lives, it is never “just “a matter of the odd slap, this is why it is so important to empower the actual victim rather than railroading them.

Aisha Khan is playing another strong woman character opposite Syed Jibran in Noor e Zindagi; I cannot help but compare Noor with Mahgul. Is Mahgul annoying because she doesn’t wear Noor’s beatific smiles and doesn’t conform to the image of femininity we understand? Is Noor more acceptable because she cooks , cleans and even cries a little at her husband’s obvious mistreatment, all the while keeping a duppattah firmly pinned to her head ? These roles have made me question my own perceptions to a certain extent ..While Noor and her smiling ,passive aggressive goodness put my teeth on edge at times , she didn’t irritate me half as much as Mahgul . Perhaps it’s none of the above and simply Noor’s vulnerability that makes her seem more attractive, or are we just trained to find assertive women disturbing?

As I mentioned before there are some seriously dangerous aunties in this serial and the makeup has been pasted on them to render them into what seem at first glance like caricatures. kmbh2Irsa Ghazal as Arshi is a rather cold, distant mother who is obviously destined to be a villain. I hope that a great actress like her is not wasted in absolute villainy and some nuance is brought to her character. A lot of prejudice is based on ignorance and fear rather than simple malice and I sincerely hope that writer Asma Nabeel has not cast everything in black and white. It is great that such topics are being addressed but they also need to be handled with respect and depth and not just superficially touched on to get ratings. The one thing that gives me hope is Saba Hameed’s character as Mahgul’s mother. The mother –daughter scenes are sweet and nicely done, and the mother’s character is shown to have some doubts and insecurities about her past that even her daughter cannot understand.

Another good thing about this serial is that not all the men are shown as villains. Zain’s father is a friendly sort who makes an extra effort with his sons to make up for their mother’s strangely distant behaviour. Zain is also supposedly an open minded, happy person, just recently returned from working at an American publishing house.

I am not sure what ARY hopes to achieve by giving away  70% of the story beforehand but I suppose I will have to live with it . I am not going to repeat it to ruin it for everyone else though.

So overall the first episode was good and I think I will watch next week . Tell me what you think ?

Sadaf Haider

 

 

5 Comments »

  1. Hi Sadaf! Just saw the ep today and really enjoyed it. I thought it was v well made. Haven’t see Noor-e-Zindagi but I like the Aisha-Jibran pairing here. Gonna catch ep 2 now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m curious to see how this subject will be tackled. So far, it’s been a slow start but I understand that they are trying to establish Mahgul’s personality. I hope Ayesha Khan doesn’t go OTT as she has the tendency to do so. Lol@ seriously dangerous aunties. Thanks for the review, Sadaf.

    Like

  3. Sadafffff!!! So glad you reviewed it. I loved the first episode and it sure seems promising. Ayesha Khan and Saba Hameed both gave very natural performances I think. Loved watching their scenes together. I agree that Mahagul seemed a little too domineering in her treatment of Sanam, but a personal experience taught me that occasionally, when your friend is in a very vulnerable position and voices from the critical sphere of the society (re:the annoying aunties) are just hitting her like an axe cuts a tree, then you have to be real loud and assertive to drown out those voices; to tell her that this perspective (albeit less heard) is as powerful and worth consideration. But I agree, in the long run you have to empower the person because no one can help a victim, unless the victim herself decides to do so.

    I personally did not find Mahagul annoying. She was everything I wanted my heroine to be. Confident, opinionated and blunt, strong but sensitive, critical about the prevalent norms but not bitter. Some actresses usually overdo the confidence part but I found Ayesha Khan’s acting very controlled and I found Mahagul’s personality very pleasant.

    The drama was paced very nicely. I get a little weary when first episode is only dedicated to verbal introduction of characters; where the scene starts on a breakfast table with the mother of (usually) the heroine utters a word or two to describe the heroine’s character. In KMBH, they actually created a situation in the first episode which led its heroine into action and let us got to know her better.

    Dialogues were another thing that got me hooked. The writer has decided to do away with cliches and I hope it remains this way. Also, I liked Zain’s father. He doesn’t seemto eb influenced by his wife much. Nice seeing him tell her to the point that office and personal matters should be kept separate.

    Hope you review it every week. And hope it exceeds our expectations.

    Looking forward.

    Like

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