‘Raqeeb Se’ written by Bee Gul and directed by Kashif Nisar has redefined the romantic story telling on Pakistani mainstream television. An intellectually strong show, that tells relatively simple love story of middle aged multi layered characters, in a poetic yet realistic manner.
Script/Screenplay is the heart of this serial. Every character big or small is superbly written with individual unique aspirations. And what makes this simple story line extraordinary is how these characters interact with each other. On top story line is not linear, even though it may appear linear but past baggage that each character carries makes it complex. Every episode leaves the audience with more questions and theories.Episode 1 every one was questioning how come Hajra is so cordial with Sakeena who is ex of her husband but 15 episode down no ones questioning that , now the question is who is the father of Insha, along with many other sub questions like , is Abdul using Insha or he is really loyal to her etc. This suspenseful nature of the narrative keeps audience engaged to the plot.
15 Episodes down Raqeeb Se is full of mesmerizing scenes and moments which are directed and performed to perfection. If Script is heart of this Show, Performance of the entire cast along with Kashif Nisar’s direction is the soul of this spectacular. Sania Saeed’s expressions even with the limited dialogues connect well with the audience and tell much more than being said on screen while Noman Ejaz embodies pain of Maqsood Ahmed so well that you forget that it’s all an act. This drama is also acting debut of singer Hadiqa Kiani and her performance has surprised the most of us since it matches the giants like Noman Ejaz and Sania Saeed. Apart from that Iqra Aziz, Faryal Mehmood, Saba Faisal, Salman Shahid, Hamza Sohail all are very convincing in their part.
Raqeeb Se is full of beautiful moments and it will be a crime if I don’t mention them in an appreciation post. Episode 15 scene between Sakina (Hadiqa Kiani), Hajra (Sania Saeed) and Aatqa (Saba Faisal) appears as a perfect dance of emotions and should be taught in drama school. Atiqa’s frustration, Sakeena’s helplessness and Hajra’s Sympathy created never seen before magic on Pakistani TV screen. Then there is another scene where Hajra and Sakeena both discuss what they liked about other women in their men’s lives. Sakeena (Hadiqa) being the other woman for Hajra(Sania) but the way they both describe what they like is poles apart yet the emotion is same , another brilliantly written moment in the show. In another scene we see Hajra smelling Maqsood’s perfume since that’s the closest she can get to him or her expressions when Insha says she doesn’t feel like she is Maqsood’s daughter and even though till date they haven’t said it but Sania’s expression spilled the bean perfectly. For me Sania Saeed as Hajra is the highlight of the show followed by Hadiqa’s Sakina.
I also understand this drama may not cater to the palate of those who enjoy loud masala entertainers echoing with slaps and are based on cheating spouses but if you enjoy brilliant performance and carefully thought through storylines with poetic treatment then this one is for you.