When the drama serial Bakhtawar went on air, many of us compared it to Parizaad and wondered if Bakhtawar would be another unforgettable drama like Parizaad. The good news is that Bakhtawar was a memorable play in its place. It was a story of resilience and unwavering strength. The ending of both the dramas was more or less the same. However, it did not have the same impact that Prizad had on the audience. I rewatched the last scene of Prizad and I must say it was on a whole different level. The dialogues, cinematography and performances were mind blowing. Bakhtawar’s journey stuck to its core theme till the end but the final episode could have been much better. This drama and Yamuna Zaidi’s role is definitely another feather in her cap. The drama also ended on an appropriate, if not high, note. Even someone like me, who felt that the story was stretched and some elements of the drama like the production values and casting were not as remarkable as some of the other dramas of the same genre, couldn’t help it. But could not really appreciate it. The drama is over.
This review is going to be a review of the whole drama as I have stopped reviewing it weekly due to my reservations about the casting and execution as well as some of the tracks. Since the main content, theme and track of the drama were always presented, I didn’t want to talk about things that didn’t work for me every week.
The drama serial was a lot for Bakhtawar. The main character was definitely the drama’s greatest strength. The premise of the story was completely new and the way Bakhtawar’s journey highlighted how difficult it was for a woman to make it on her own was the best part of the play. Despite all the odds against him, the author never portrays Bakhtawar as a victim. She was always the hero in her own story. The author managed to show this and at the same time, the audience got to see the weaker and more human side of the character. Bakhtawar’s inner conflict has always been an important part of his story. We were ‘shown’ her ups and downs in detail and not ‘told’ what she was going through, which I think made all the difference. Yamuna Zaidi definitely made the right choice when she decided to play this challenging role. The character had many different facets, yet Yamuna Zaidi easily transitioned from one to the other.
Another strength that may not have gone unnoticed by many was Bakhtawar’s relationship with his mother. Bakhtawar’s mother was shown as a humble character. A woman who could never take a stand on her own but stood by her daughter through thick and thin when she decided to rewrite her story. The way her character developed was also interesting. At first, she only went with Bakhtawar because she trusted her daughter. Later, she came to believe in her daughter despite all her faults and that she had a voice of her own. It was great to see him find a voice and use it to tell Delaware’s mom. There was a time when this woman couldn’t even think on her own let alone face another person of such a tall stature.
Apart from the lead role, Bakhtawar also had some strong supporting roles. Sheeda’s character stood out because he best represented people like himself. Sunil Shankar’s performance made all the difference; He played his role exceptionally well. Naveeda’s character development has especially highlighted her in the past few weeks. The way she supported the young woman her husband had married was a pleasant surprise. Mizna Waqqas is an extraordinary actress who always brings life to all her roles. I absolutely loved her performance and in the last episode, especially her expressions were priceless. Mohsin played by Shamoon Abbasi was another refreshing element of the drama as we hardly ever get to see such cops in Pakistani dramas. It was a good way to show how much of a difference a good police officer can make.
In my opinion, the production values of the drama were not correct. Malik Dilawar, Horiya and their families were an important part of this drama. On paper, these families represented the wealthiest and most influential sections of our society but their lifestyles were not convincingly portrayed on screen. Everything from their homes and workplaces looked like a middle-class person. Apart from these two huge cars and a handful of guards, the whole scene was unbelievable. So many scenes were shot in Dilawar’s office but the whole setup was so lame it was almost laughable. There was a huge discrepancy between what the author had written on paper and how it was executed on screen.
The role of Horiya was a big loss for me. I am honestly sick and tired of seeing these rich, ‘educated’ and modern women running after men like they have nothing better to do. The way Horiya’s entire existence was focused on marrying Dilawar made me want to push her scenes. Things got worse when his attention shifted to Bakhtawar. Even his father was so active in helping him, it didn’t make sense. Although Noreen Galwani is an excellent actress, this role did not bring out the best in her. It was really hard for me to stay interested in this particular track and it was one of the main reasons why I stopped reviewing the drama.
Both male leads in the drama were disappointing, to say the least. Xavier Nauman completely failed to add any kind of charm or appeal to his character. Dilawar was an impressive and likable character on paper but the execution was so bad that he came across as too cute, too simple, too plain. The character was well written but the execution was a major disappointment. Xavier Nauman was not a good choice to play the role as he failed to add substance to the role. The production values and camera work didn’t help either. Ahad was another well written character but Ali Wasi Kazmi didn’t have the kind of screen presence that could have made the character stand out. This is the reason why there was never the equality between Bakhtawar and Ahad or Bakhtawar and Dilawar that was between Parizad and Annie.
The last episode of Bakhtawar had some strong messages that were completely in line with Bakhtawar’s journey. The importance of education and the need for women to support each other were emphasized more than any other. Towards the end, I tried hard to warm Dilawar and Bakhtawar’s relationship but it didn’t work for me. I’m glad the romance angle of this relationship was completely ignored but it makes me wonder why it’s been highlighted so much in the last few weeks! It was obviously a way to keep people guessing but I think it was totally unnecessary because if Dilawar and Bakhtawar ever got together like that, it would be very strange. The romance/seduction factor could have been easily avoided. Overall, Bakhtawar managed to stand out because of the content of her novel. It’s always good to see dramas that are progressive and show empowered women. That particular aspect of Bakhtawar’s journey remained on point till the end. The final scenes showed Bakhtawar playing Choti which meant a lot of time had passed in between so I couldn’t help but wonder if Bakhtawar managed to pass the competition exams. Bakhtawar Yumna Zaidi’s show was more than any other and I must commend him for nailing his character even though he had to work with actors who couldn’t even express properly.
Did you watch this last episode? Share your thoughts about it.
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