Meet Bashar Momin: corrupt, uncouth, harsh and appalling in his dealings with those beneath him. And everyone is beneath him, which is why BM only talks in high decibel. Correction. He doesnâ€™t talk, he shouts.
Now meet Rudaba: the young, pretty damsel in distress. If you thought girls didnâ€™t faint anymore then think again. This one faints when she faces BMâ€™s wrath. Her poor heart canâ€™t take it. A bit Victorian? Well, yes.
As much as the play, airing on GEO TV these days, was publicized last month, I could not convinceÂ myself to writing about it because, well, it was just another play. But four episodes into Bashar Momin (the first three I watched on Dramas Online), I am hooked. No doubt, the drama has serious Beauty & the Beast undertonesÂ and itâ€™s intriguing to see the beast soften in the presence of innocence and kindness = true love. Also, the eastern take and adaptation is interesting.
Letâ€™s admit, weâ€™re all a sucker for fairy tales. So now with Rudaba, engaged to a man she has never seen nor spoken to and now left at the mercy of her brotherâ€™s manipulative and wily wife (the equivalent of a step mother) as her father has just passed away, we want someone to save her. Will that someone be her fiancÃ©, who just made a debut in the last episode or will BM be her true love, as we all know he has the heart of a marshmallow inside the prickly exterior.
What makes Bashar Momin tick:
1. Faysal Qureshi as Bashar Momin is the strongest character. His performance is convincing, powerful and his avatar (inclusive of the Ahmed Bham suits) projects Bashar Momin as a real and three-dimensional character.
2. The dialogues: a bilingual dialogue makes the drama very natural and easy.
3. Ushna Shah as Rudaba is effective in her role but Iâ€™m still not 100% convinced that she will be able to justify all the way now that her character is entering a complicated phase.
What ticks me off?
1. The cinematography, which is dark and tacky, certainly not worthy of the â€˜most expensive playâ€™ banner that Bashar Momin boasts. I know that the cheap bedspreads and ugly, ostentatious curtains in Basharâ€™s house are reflective of his nouveau riche status but it couldâ€™ve been more tasteful.
2. Yasir Mazhar (Adil, Rudabaâ€™s brother) is essentially a good-looking guy but his personality leaves a lot to be desired. His hairstyle is as annoying as his constant reference to Rudaba as â€œbetaâ€.
3. The boom-boom scene stallers. The way the background score booms in and out at the time of a climax is too reminiscent of Indian soaps. I wish these scenes were sped up.
What do you think?