Fashion Times (Review): Agar Gracefully Unknots The Challenges, Complexes, Fears & Hopes Of Middle-Class Women


MD Production’s recent outing Agar has turned out to be the viewer’s favorite due for two main reasons. Firstly, the powerhouse actor Juggan Kazim returns to TV after a long hiatus. Secondly, the strong premise depicting the striking personalities of the central characters Hooriya (Hina Altaf), Annie (Juggan Kazim) and Chandni (Maheen Siddiqui) largely attract mass viewing. Written by Madiha Shahid, and directed by Ilyas Kashmiri, the initial episodes establish the plot well by giving out glimpses of each character and their personality.

Agar: The Premise

Set in a middle-class household, meet Quratulain aka Annie, the elder sister and a responsible daughter who shares the burden of the family. In fulfilling her duties, she neglects her personal life and never thinks of getting married. Her younger sisters Hooriya and Chandni are young and pursuing their studies. The former is interested in getting married and living a luxurious life. While the latter is obedient, has a sense of responsibility and wants to become a teacher.

Annie works as a school principal and shares a cordial equation with Shahwaiz (Junaid Khan) who works as a staff teacher. Shahwaiz has a rich family background, he prefers teaching over his family business. His mother wants him to marry his cousin Hina. On the contrary, Shahwaiz is love-struck with Annie, and despite the big age gap between them, he proposes Annie. However, this development doesn’t go well with his parents.

There’s another track where Farukkh (Osama Khan) is a roadside Romeo trying his best to woo Hooriya. To get close to her family, he knowingly helps her mother in picking up heavy grocery bags from the market. One fine day he visits Hooriya’s place with his mother and asks for her proposal. Hooriya’s mother doesn’t pay much heed to the situation as she feels her daughter is naïve and immature to deal with marriage that requires one to be responsible.

The Return of The Graceful Juggan Kazim

The wait has been long but it has been worth its while. After a decade-long hiatus, Juggan Kazim makes a pleasant comeback with Agar. She pulls off a nuanced performance as the yearning woman, loving sister, and earnest daughter, you could just wax eloquent about her. There are rare moments when the trembling meekness gets to you. Subtly performed and duly underplayed Agar is undoubtedly the perfect comeback vehicle for Kazim.

Noticeable Acts

Hina Altaf is in top form, she perfectly gets into her character of a free-spirited girl. Junaid Khan shines in a sugar coated role and gives no reason to complain. Maheen Siddiqui is growing with every project, she makes Chandi’s inferior complexes look real. Usama Khan is adequate. Hina Bayat is dependable as always.

Ilyas Kashmiri Is In Good Form

There is a strong director at work here. The women-centric narrative moves with poise and Kashmiri let viewers enjoy the feel-good and intense moments. The characters are underplayed and so are the emotions. Well-shot and crisply edited, Agar offers a fresh feel, that is a rare thing to witness on television these days.

Verdict So Far

Agar sets the foundation of the shortcomings and insecurities of women from middle-class setups. If one had to necessarily pick out a flaw then it has to be the slow pace which seemed a tad bit long for its liking. Do watch Agar due to its engaging narrative powered by some fine performances.

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