After a long time or should I say (finally) we get to watch a drama that breaks silence over the sensitive issues of color shaming and harassment. It gives us a much-needed relief from the fiascos of ‘Saas-Bahu, Talaq, Dosri Shaadi and Halala’. Parizaad dares to explore the struggles faced by a man through different phases of life. Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem, the core theme strikes at the root of societal and mental blocks that prevent people from reconciling themselves with their looks and facing the world with confidence. It has a prickly theme that sustains its sense of proportion and its control over a challenging narrative arc.
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Deliciously laced with hardcore drama, the plot takes on the plight of the lead character Parizaad essayed by Ahmed Ali Akbar. Episode 1 opens with the arrival of Parizaad in this world. Born in a lower-middle-class family, his father played by (Saleem Mairaj) isn’t happy with his birth and thinks that he is just an additional burden to the family. His mother is the only one who is the happiest; she names him Parizaad (Pari) a name that later on becomes a permanent embarrassment according to the set beauty standards of the society.
After twenty years, Parizaad is all grown up, despite having a heart of gold he is only judged by the color of his skin. He is good at studies, he loves poetry, and gives tuition to support his household. He lives with his sister (Kiran Tabeer) and two elder brothers (Tipu Shah and Paras Masroor). His sister is the only member with whom he shares a warm relationship. The narrative moves forward and the viewers are now introduced to Shauki Bhai, a goon who resides in the neighborhood.
He is head over heels in love with Naheed (Ushna Shah) daughter of Mirza Sahab (Syed Muhammad Ahmed). He is a respectful member of the neighborhood. Pari gives Urdu tuition to Naheed after finishing college. Shauki, convinces Pari to write a love letter for Naheed. Without being aware of the recipient Pari writes it and gets into trouble. In a series of unfortunate events Shauki drops the letter at Naheed’s rooftop and escapes. It is later found my Mirza Sahab who recognizes the handwriting.
Episode 2 begins with the confrontation of Mirza Sahab and Pari in front of the entire neighborhood. He agrees to the allegation but stays quiet just to safeguard Naheed’s reputation. He is beaten up by his brothers; as a result, he isolates himself to the maximum. He discloses the reality to his sister. Strangely, Naheed chooses to stay quiet throughout.
Shauki meets Pari and apologizes, and informs him that there was someone else on the roof. Pari gets puzzled and follows Naheed after her college and discovers that she is dating Majid Bhai who has a pious reputation in the neighborhood. To save their relationship both Naheed and Majid let Parizaad face all the humiliation alone. The scene highlights the ugliness in the hearts of these good-looking people who think that they are above others.
Director Shehzad Kashmiri excels in fleshing out the real and raw nuances of the characters. In a role that demands a complete look transformation, Ahmed Ali Akbar effortlessly manages to hold the viewers’ attention throughout. He builds his character with small details like the minimum eye contact, one arm hanging, and clenched hand. All of this, every moment in the drama, is on Ahmed’s shoulders, and he delivers something more complex than any word I might use to describe it.
Getting an emotional response from audiences is no easy task. Right from the outset, Parizaad keeps the audience hooked. It proves that a good storyline is enough to leave an imprint on the viewers rather than going overboard just to get TRP’s. Choosing a bold theme, getting a superb cast, and a stellar set of performances, that’s the magic of HUM network. Keep watching Parizaad as many interesting characters will be coming our way in the upcoming episodes.
Parizaad airs every Tuesday, 8:00 pm only at HUM TV.