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 doesn’t talk, he shouts.
Now meet Rudaba: the young, pretty damsel in distress. If you thought girls didn’t faint anymore then think again. This one faints when she faces BM’s wrath. Her poor heart can’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 convince 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 undertones and it’s intriguing to see the beast soften in the presence of innocence and kindness = true love. Also, the eastern take and adaptation is interesting.
Let’s admit, we’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 brother’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 fiancé, 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 I’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 ‘most expensive play’ banner that Bashar Momin boasts. I know that the cheap bedspreads and ugly, ostentatious curtains in Bashar’s house are reflective of his nouveau riche status but it could’ve been more tasteful.
2. Yasir Mazhar (Adil, Rudaba’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 “beta”.
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?