Sanju

Please do note that I might be a little biased because I have always been a huge fan of Sanjay Dutt.

#spoileralert
#sanju

I have always been a huge fan of Sanjay Dutt. For reasons unknown to me. The only reason I can think of is that all the adults in my life loved him because he was nargis’s son. I personally have never watched any of her movies but apparently she was almost like a goddess.

And then came the time when he was jailed. I still remember it was soon after the release of Khalnayak which I had on VHS and had probably seen a few hundred times. I remember how people in Pakistan simply assumed that he was targeted because his mother was a Muslim. I don’t remember if I believed that but he still remained a favourite for a long time. Still, the reason was completely unknown.

Over time, Sanjay Dutt’s life became less interesting for me. There were more important things in life to worry about and it was only the first teaser of Sanju that made me look for reasons why I might have liked him. I still like him, just not too interested anymore. He is like this giant with sad eyes and a gentle face. But that’s not enough to like him.

So I used my trusted friend, Google and found out about his first marriage, his drug addiction, how he overcame it, his daughter Trishala and how he abandoned them both while his wife was fighting for her life against cancer, how he cheated on her with Madhuri Dixit and how he almost became the biggest superstar in India and then also how he ended up in jail.

He made some awful decisions in his life. He was irresponsible. He saw what he was getting into and still stepped into it with open eyes. Without realising that his actions, no matter how respected his parents were or how successful he was as an actor, had repercussions. He failed to realise that his wrong decisions will not only affect him, they will affect everyone associated with him.

Now, I do believe that he is not a terrorist and probably he only had illegal weapons at home because someone asked him for a favor. But I do believe that he was friendly to some terrorists and paid a hefty price for it.

Now coming to the movie, it has left me completely confused. I have spent my life liking Sanjay Dutt, making up excuses for him. Now, I am not too sure how I feel about him. Sanju is a movie that tells the story from Sanjay Dutt’s perspective. From his perspective, Trishala, his daughter from his first marriage is so insignificant that she didn’t even deserve to be mentioned in an almost 3 hours long movie. Also, why is cheating on a girl friend or a wife portrayed to be so cool. 308 girlfriends…. That’s something to be proud of as per Sanjay Dutt. And his reasons for commiting all the mistakes are so weak. The reasons I made up for him were far more convincing. Also, the second half is like forcing everyone to believe that he was like a puppet who people used for their advantage and that he was only victimised due to the pressure built up on police and the courts by the irresponsible media. Really?

The movie would not have worked at all if Rajkumar Hirani was not the director or anyone other than Ranbir Kapoor was playing the protagonist. It seems Ranbir Kapoor only got into the industry for this role. He has done it so well that till the end of the movie you pretty much forget how real sanjay dutt looks like. I don’t think he will ever be able to get a role better than this one, anyway.

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If you are a Sanjay Dutt fan and got confused after watching this movie, you will probably just forgive him again for being such a jerk. Because… Well I don’t think I’ve still figured it out but our generation is probably just supposed to love him. And when you love someone, you don’t need a reason.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet and still reading despite the disclaimer, you should be watching the movie rather than wasting time here. Especially if you have kids who are already in their teens, please watch it with them. They need to know that drugs and bad company can ruin lives. And everyone is not as lucky as Sanjay Dutt that no matter what, people still shower him with so much love and affection.

Also, I don’t know why but I have a feeling that there will soon be a movie about how innocent salman khan is.

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Muqabil (review) Episode 23 – 25

Muqabil has handled the subject of child molestation in a way completely novel for pakistani television. We recently watched Udaari which also dealt with child abuse but Imtiaz was shown to be a bad guy overall and people hated him from the bottom of their heart. On the other hand, Mehmood was someone anyone would trust easily. He was shown to be a religious and civilised man. He had a respectable job and had brought up his kids well. He was the hero his daughter would always look up to. But he had a dark side no one was aware of: he was a paedophile. So, on one hand, people hated him to have abused Pareesa, they also liked him for his various good traits. This was a tricky situation as the serial humanised the rapist in a way, it should not have. People should not be sympathising with him. But I’m glad the makers of the drama handled it in a good way, which satisfied most viewers without losing out on the message it tried to convey.

So everyone included Pareesa’s parents found out about how Pareesa was abused as a child by Mehmood. It was interesting to see see that it was not only the pool where she was abused. She felt vulnerable for the rest of her life till the time she fell in love with arman. Her fear and insecurities after the incident were described in a very good way. There is a reason why ‘mehmood ki goad main pali hai Pareesa’ was mentioned through out the serial. That’s because he carried her a lot with the wrong intention. Here it also must be noted that she was not abused because she had a working mom but because her parents trusted someone with their child when they should have in fact listened to their daughter and trusted her (remember Udaari? The mother was instantly aware something was wrong with her daughter. She was working as well but the key point was communication). So anyway Shehnaz decided to kill Mehmood but Mehmood committed suicide himself. I quite liked the scenes where everyone questioned Mehmood’s sudden death and reasons for his suicide. I’m glad they showed that a pedophile is and must be considered the ‘bad’ guy regardless of how pious he pretends to be.

Soon after, arman decides to end his commitment with Sarah but he has no intention of getting back togather with Pareesa although he is very well aware that he is deeply in love with her. On the other hand Pareesa decides to leave for Canada. But before leaving, she holds a press conference telling people about how she was abused as a child and how the suffering of the victim can be minimised through family support. This was one of my favourite scenes too as it was so satisfying to see a girl who could hardly stay outside her own bedroom mustered up the courage to tell the world what she was afraid to tell her parents too. And she gave the credit to her husband for her new found confidence.

Of course, it was a relief to see arman and Pareesa together in the end. And that scene was just so beautiful and vulnerable. I’m glad they didn’t make it too cheesy.

So, all in all, Muqabil was a wonderful journey but it could have been wrapped at least 5 weeks earlier. The editing department could have used their chopping skills in a superior manner to make it more impactful but nonetheless it was a great watch.

As for the performances, of course the three lead actors did an amazing job. But it was the supporting cast that needs a special mention too coz it would not have been such a treat to watch if the supporting actors had faltered.

Great work team Muqabil. Looking forward to more work from you.

Yeh raha dil (review) Episode 10-13

Oh yes, I’m so in love with this serial!

Yeh Raha Dil is definitely just how romantic comedy should be done. It’s very emotional but at the same time intimate, vulnerable and funny. And to top it off, great performances.

So a lot has happened since I last reviewed/recapped Yeh Raha Dil.

Afaq is still trying to win hayat’s heart. Now that hayat has refused to get any help from her estranged father, Afaq is now trying ways to win over Nida so that she agrees to give up Hayat Villa.

Hayat has been able to secure her job back at the school she used to work before. But now there is a new recruit that she has to compete with. Although, the new entrant Hassan is quite boring, I quite enjoy his scenes as it brings out the cute bubbly Hayat back.

Finally, Zaki has confessed his love to Hayat and I must say I was pleasantly surprised when hayat tries to reprimand Zaki and reminds Zaki how hopelessly he had been in love with nida. So she is not there to steal someone’s man. That’s like a breath of fresh hair.

Nida is still very insecure. Now that she is quite sure that Zaki is interested in hayat and not her, she is determined to win Zaki over once again. And our Zaki has just made a blunder of telling Jimmy that he is no more keen in marrying nida.

The serial is going at a very reasonable pace. The chemistry between ahmed Ali and Yumna Zaidi is undeniable. They look very cute togather and finally there is a couple on screen which values their friendship a lot.

On the whole, Yeh raha dil is a beautiful serial. It has all the ingredients of a perfect rom-com: the cute future couple, comedy, complications and the sweetest confession of love I have seen in years.

Muqabil (review) Episode 21 – 22

For the past two months, Muqabil has slowed down a great deal. I feel that in one episode they show the happenings of only one day (in terms of the time span being shown) . And that might be the reason why they have so many filler scenes and so many conversations that don’t seem to be going anywhere. We all do that at home with our family members, right? But when we are watching a serial, we want each and every scene to somehow contribute to the progress of the story. Unfortunately for the past several episodes, Muqabil has been full of such futile conversations. However the good thing about Muqabil is just when I’m losing hope, it hits me with a shock, a surprise, a twist in the story which is completely unpredictable.

Since arman found the truth about his father, the story was going round in circles. Although I did understand what arman was going through, I found it a little difficult to digest many of his dialogues even with his flawless acting. I kind of knew that arman is angry with Pareesa because he thought that Pareesa has used him against his own father as revenge but it came a lot later than I expected. The conversation between arman and Pareesa should have been in the previous episode. That might have saved us from a lot of tantrums that arman has been throwing since. Anyway, better late than never. Perhaps they wanted everyone to feel and sympathise with arman. So yes, great scene where Pareesa is trying really hard to save her marriage with arman because she loves him and arman is just trying hard to get away from all of them because he considers himself the real victim here. I really liked his dialogues and the way they both delivered them (Mohsin Abbas needs to improve his urdu a bit more) and what was the best part of the episode was the last bit! Yes, arman’s mother has overheard them! And with her screaming capabilities, I’m hoping she will be able to tell the rest of the world.

I have watched na maloom afraad and I thought kubra khan and Mohsin Abbas haider were the real weak links of the movie. Fast forward a few years and they have turned into a treat to watch. They have an amazing chemistry, great on screen presence and impeccable acting skills. The way Mohsin Abbas haider looked at kubra khan in the last scene when she was leaving the room was done so well. The expression on his face was that of a man who was completely helpless: someone so deeply in love but who has no choice but to let go of his love.

So anyway, now that arman’s Mommy hopefully knows the truth, I’m expecting a power packed and happening episode next week. I hope they don’t drag it further and can finish it off in 24-25 episodes.

 

Yakeen ka safar (review) Episode 1

Post edited by Warda moeed Siddiqui

 

Written by: Farhat ishtiaq

Directed by: Shahzad Kashmiri

Cast:

Sajal Ali, Ahad Reza mir, Shaz Khan, Hira Salman

I have been waiting for a while for this serial. The main reason being that I have read the novel ‘woh yakeen ka naya safar’ several years ago and fell in love with the romance between Dr asfand and Dr zubia. I recently read it again only because it was getting difficult for me to wait for it to start. However it’s going to be difficult but I will try my best not to compare the serial with the novel because Farhat ishtiaq herself announced on her fan page that although the serial is based in the novel, the serial will be a lot more detailed.

The first episode showed three girls from three completely different backgrounds.

  1. Noori is an educated girl in a village called Rab Nawaz Village. She is a school teacher is considered very ambitious due to the Conservative environment in the village. She is abducted and like a lot of men in pakistan, her father blames her for this. He is embarrassed and does not want to go the police because he thinks that he will become the laughing stock for everyone for letting his daughter pursue her dreams.
  2. The second one is zubia (Sajal Ali) who lives in karachi. Her father (Ehteshamuddin) is a very conservative patriarch. Her mother (fazeela qazi) has recently passed away and zubia is devastated. Her father is unable to understand the gravity of the situation as he never valued his wife ever in her life and is only doing rituals sans any emotions. Zubia’s Khala, Mahjabeen (Huma nawab) tries consoling her and also tells her brother and bhabi to take extra care of zubia as she was very close to her deceased mother. Her father, on the other hand, although considers himself very religious but he lets no chance go by where he can other people’s feelings.
  3. Finally is the beautiful Gaiti (Hira Salman) who is getting married to Daniyal (Shaz Khan) after a six year long engagement period. Daniyal was in England during this time, studying to become a lawyer. Daniyal is Gaiti’s cousin and it seems her younger sister ┬áis also engaged to Daniyal’s younger brother Asfand who is pursuing his mbbs currently. This track was the only relief during this high intensity episode.

Over all, I quite enjoyed the first episode. Every one looks good for their roles. Sajal Ali and Hira salman look beautiful. But as far as the performance goes, Sajal Ali was definitely the best. When the serial was announced and I found out the Sajal Ali will be playing the role of Dr zubia, I wasn’t completely convinced but her performance in the first episode was beyond awesome and I’m glad she was chosen for this role.

Did any of watch the first episode?

Muqabil (review) Episode 18 – 19

One word – wow!

The last 2 episodes of Muqabil proved that pakistani actors are immensely talented. All they need is a good script and a director who can push them in right direction and they can do wonders.

So the big secret is out as Arman knows who violated Pareesa as a child. He probably tried to commit suicide but was somehow saved and was brought into a hospital. Almost 20 minutes of the previous episode were spent on showing the reactions of all the people involved, while they were searching for Arman and i was cursing ARY for showing that Arman would be in hospital in the precap of the previous episode.

I’m glad Arman didn’t suffer from amnesia and clearly remembers the conversation he had with Pareesa in the pool. Arman had a difficult time seeing his father and his wife in the same room and rightly so. Pareesa asks everyone, including Mehmood, to leave as she wanted to stay with her husband. I loved the ‘woh Meri Zindagi hai’ dialogue btw. During the night she realised that Arman is perhaps angry with her and doesn’t want to see her in the morning and she goes back to her parents home. On the other hand Arman’s mother is sensing that it’s something to do with his mental state as his physical wounds are not so serious.

The last two episodes were full of extraordinary scenes. I really enjoyed the two conversations between Pareesa and Mehmood’s confrontation in last two episodes. Pareesa and Arman’s conversation in hospital was heart wrenching. Mohsin Abbas was phenomenal in that scene. The way his eyes overflowed with tears was a tear jerker for me as well. I also liked how Pareesa just went and hugged her father, it was really cute. But of course my favourite was the one where Mehmood tries to make dua and Arman feels disgusted of his father and throws up. Mohsin Abbas is a power house of absolute talent. This scene had such a great impact due to his impeccable acting.

Both Kubra Khan and Asif Reza Mir are doing a great job but Saba Hameed needs a mention here too. She is such an amazing actress that we take her for granted and often even forget to praise her hard work. Her dressing and make up is always on point and the way she has handled the character development in Muqabil, it needs to be applauded.

The preview of the next episode was quite intense and now i just can’t wait for next week. Here’s hoping a happy ending for both Pareesa and Arman.

Edited by Warda Moeed Siddiqui

Yeh Raha Dil (review) Episode 8-9

I’m so glad I’m watching this serial. The name suggests that it would be a hopelessly romantic story with cheesy dialogues and cringy display of affection. But I’m so glad I’ve been proven wrong. At the core, Yeh raha dil is a romantic serials but there is so much more to it than just that. It’s about emotions, ┬árelationships and family. It’s about problems that people do face in real.

Nida’s parents have reached karachi to meet zaki and give their blessings. Nida’s decides to take her parents to see the house that zaki’s parents have bought for his restaurant. Although zaki’s thinks it’s a horrible idea as hayati is there but still agrees. On reaching there, Nida’s father realizes that its the house where he used to live with his wife and daughter. On enquiring from zaki, it’s confirmed to him to hayat is indeed his daughter. On seeing her father after 20 years, hayat faints. Afaq, her father, starts feeling guilty on knowing the hardships she is going through and takes her to a hotel. Later zaki convinces her to meet her dad and speak to him but she is not willing to forgive him. She makes it clear to him that there is no space for him in her life. Although Afaq tries to explain that there is a side of story that she does not know about but hayat does not give him a chance.

On the other hand, Nida is feeling insecure. Not only she feels zaki cares about hayat a bit too much, now hayat has also turned out to be her step sister. She is furious to say the least.

Personally I loved two scenes the most in the last episode: one where Afaq and hayat were having a conversation due to the emotional content and the other one where haroon and zaki were talking to each other. It was so nice how haroon hinted that zaki might have started liking hayat and that might be the reason why he is getting so involved in the whole issue.

The last two episodes were very emotional but done just right. It’s amazing how I as a viewer have been able to create a relationship with all the characters and I can feel the pain of each one of them. Yumna Zaidi is doing a tremendous job in this serial. While she did an absolutely awesome job with the comedy scenes in the initial episodes, she is totally nailing the emotional sequences now. All the other actors are doing well too. Each one fits perfectly in their roles and I must give credit to the person who chose these actors for these characters.

I’m already waiting for the next episode!