Viewing and then reviewing this hidden gem, Gul-o-Gulzar on ARY Digital, came as a surprise to me, however, this is one guilty pleasure that keeps on giving every few weeks. With a cast that delivers just the kind of performances their characters demand, and the stellar treatment of a story that had all the trappings of being just like any other family drama, Gul-o-Gulzar tackles its themes in a way that has kept us hooked.
The latest episode saw Adil getting a taste of his own medicine at the hands of his second wife, one that he married without the consent of his first wife, Gul, who he beat up relentlessly in the previous episodes. Being a character that has contrasting personalities at different points in the story, Omer Shahzad’s portrayal of Adil seems spot-on. Although it is not a very tricky character to begin with, but to pull it off with such finesse deserves credit.
This episode has left much to be discussed, half of which is positive commentary, thanks to Adil’s second wife, Mahjabeen’s act of defiance that is rare on our TV screens. Where most women are shown as the ultimate damsel in distress or perpetually crying about their fates, this one feisty girl is not ready to accept her husband’s abusive treatment, slapping him in return when he raises his hand on her. Two wrongs do not make a right, we know, but this is a narrative that is much needed on our screens, at a time when you see/hear of cases of domestic abuse every other week.
Even when social issues are brought up in local plays, they tend to reduce the women to a weakling, but that’s not the case with Gul-o-Gulzar. Every female in this drama serial is a strong woman, able to hold her own and stand up for herself, be it Gul taking a stand for her marriage and showing up to Adil’s wedding, or Mahjabeen hitting back at Adil when abused, or Gulzar wanting to pursue further education and her mother-in-law supporting her.
It’s heartening to see that the serial remains trending on YouTube every week as new episodes are released, even if it doesn’t garner the same amount of mainstream attention as its weaker counterparts. This has to mean something about what the audience wants to see on screen as well, and we’re all for it!
Watch the latest episode here: