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8 Nov

Haute Review: Khaani episode 1 has impact!

The first episode of Khaani aired with great expectations. The teasers and trailers looked good and it promised to bring to screens a big story about how power and politics play with lives; most significant however was the casting: this is when fans would get to see Feroze Khan and Sana Javed (now being referred as ‘Sanroze’) together.

The episode began with the premise of two families, as polar apart as possible. We were introduced to Khaani, the heroine, who is named after the fearless ‘Khans’ synonymous to brave warriors but is actually afraid of even a mouse. She is one of four siblings – including a twin brother – and comes from a middle class working background where the parents are struggling to keep things afloat. They are waiting for a break in terms of a scholarship that will allow their son to pursue a foreign education.

On the other end of the spectrum is Mir Hadi, the entitled son of an influential political figure, with a high powered mother whose life revolves around building her husband’s image and political career. When she sees a dent on her son’s car she is worried, not because he may have accidentally hurt or killed someone, but because it may give the media reason to attack her husband. Mir Hadi, however, is kept behind the scenes, with his image and reputation preceding his first appearance in the story. That build-up leads to an impactful first encounter, right at the end of the episode.

Also read: Playing with power and politics

Saarim, Khaani’s brother, has just shared the good news of securing a full scholarship with his family when he finds Mir Hadi’s car parked behind his. He is eager to get home to celebrate and Mir Hadi is on the phone, looking the other way. What should have been decent interaction flares up to a scuffle, resulting in Mir Hadi losing control of his emotions and shooting the young Saarim.

This is the climax of the episode, which totally revolves around Mir Hadi’s ruthlessness, brilliantly portrayed by Feroze Khan. Even though he appears in the last 5 minutes of the episode, these 5 minutes completely overshadow the remaining duration and set the mood for what’s to follow. One feels for the dying Saarim, for the poetic tragedy that unfolds as his phone is ringing with his sister calling. But one also sees the flickering of immediate shock and regret flash across Mir Hadi’s face when he realizes what he’s done. That combination of entitlement, rage, and vulnerability is quite impressive and gives one hope that there is a human being underneath the apparent monster that this man has become.

Power games will begin when Hadi is accused of murder; his influential father will, of course, pull all strings to pull him out of the situation. And complications will arise when he falls in love with Khaani, which is what we predict will happen judging by the teasers. One cannot predict whether justice will be served or not, but the journey to the end certainly looks exciting.

Aamna Haider Isani

The author is Editor-in-Chief at Something Haute as well as Editor at Instep, The News. Full time writer, critic with a love for words and an intolerance for typos.