Around 6 pm my khala texted from the east coast: "Wasn't the first episode of Bin Roye just awesome?"
She had seen the episode on YouTube. Then about an hour later my mother hurried to the living room so as to not miss any part of the drama; it was all very reminiscent of our days with Humsafar.
Now if you don’t know my family, trust me when I say this, our standards for dramas are high so getting an ‘awesome’ means something went very right!
The drama everyone had been waiting for the entire year finally aired this weekend. Written by Farhat Ishtiaq (who has already given Hum TV back-to-back hits with Diyar-e-Dil and Udaari), the drama is an adaptation of her novel ‘Bin Roye Aansoo.’
It is also an 'adaptation' of the feature length film Bin Roye that was released in 2015.
Produced by Momina Duraid and directed by Haissam Hussain and Shahzad Kashmiri, the drama’s cast boasts of superstars like Humayun Saeed, Mahira Khan, Armeena Khan, Zeba Bakhtiar, Javed Sheikh, and Junaid Khan.
The episode starts out with Saba and Irtiza (Mahira Khan and Humayun Saeed) driving (in a really sweet BMW) to the house where Irtiza and Saba's elder sister, Saman (Armeena Khan), used to live when they were married. The house clearly hadn’t been lived in for years.
A distraught and confused Saba walks into the house where her sister’s echos seem to follow her wherever she goes, stating how happy she was while married to Irtiza. Here Mahira Khan owns the screen.
And then finally when she can't take it anymore, she runs out of the house and almost falls off a cliff - saved by Irtiza at the last moment. It was actually a haunting experience. I’m not sure which director was part of this scene but it really was shot brilliantly.
Rewind to many years ago when Saba was about eight and Irtiza about 15-16. To Saba, no one is better than Irtiza (not bhai, but best friend) at anything.
Irtiza has been taking care of Saba since she was born. His parents passed way and he lives with his dadi, chacha, and chachi (Saba's parents, Zeba Bakhtiar as Maliha and Javed Sheikh).
From letting Saba disturb him while getting tutored, to teaching her badminton, to doing her hair (that was weird, especially since their dadi was sitting right there watching happily), Irtiza lets Saba do whatever she wants and whenever.
These were scenes not shown in the movie. It was a lapse — we never got to know how and why Saba and Irtiza’s bond actually formed and why Saba thought only she had rights over him.
That summer, Maliha’s brother and family — which includes Saman — come by for holidays. Saman overhears Maliha and her mother talk about how Maliha was asked to give Saman to them since her bhabi couldn’t have any kids herself. I’m not quite sure what such information does to a mind of a 11-12-year-old girl.
The bhabi, although very grateful for Maliha’s sacrifice, seemed very touchy, which I guess is understandable given her position. This was more key information not relayed in the movie. In fact, if I remember correctly, we never even got to see Saman’s parents at all. I’m going to just add here that Zeba Bakhtiar looks absolutely amazing; seems like she's stopped aging!
Flash forward to a few years later during chand raat and we see Mahira and Humayun Saeed all grown up again (thank God cause their younger versions weren't working for me at all). Saba is on the rooftop looking for the chand and as soon as it is seen, she goes off with Irtiza to get chooriyan.
Saba is still all things Irtiza. To her, her life began and will end with him.
Bin Roye has been in the news for at least a couple of years now and was one of the most anticipated dramas ever. For a first episode, this was really good. Even if you've watched the movie (like me), it still lives up to the hype because there's so much that was explained in this episode that we didn’t see in the movie. The script was light and everything flowed naturally and in a very simple manner.
And even with so many people in one house, the relationships were easily explained. There was no confusion on kaun kiska kya hai.
But a few things still didn't click, like the song and dance (amazing as it was) during chand raat. Can someone please explain to me which Pakistani bazaar hosts a crazy song-and-dance during one of the busiest nights of the year? Clearly some scenes that were part of the movie just didn’t belong in the drama.
And one factor in the Saba-Saman-Irtiza triangle is left unexplained: when Maliha and her mother-in-law talk about how Irtiza was really sad after his parents’ death and got a new lease on life after Saba was born, I had to ask myself — where was Irtiza when Saman was born? Maliha claims she had just gotten married when Irtiza’s parents had died, so Irtiza should have known about Saman.
Besides this, Humayun Saeed was flawless and his chemistry with Mahira Khan was very evident. He easily fit the typical Farhat Ishtiaq character: kind, really good-looking, and successful. The comfort level and the bond that needed to be shown between Saba and Irtiza was easily visualized, thanks to the directors and actors.
Truth is, Humayun Saeed can easily give the youngsters of today a run for their money. Mahira Khan looked pretty as always and owned the character of Saba completely. I think we're seeing her for the first time on the small screen after Sadqay Tumhare and she was terrific! She is one of those actors who comes on the screen and makes it her own. Also, I want the outfit she wore, please!
All in all, kudos to Team Bin Roye for a job well done!