Alif: Episode 17 Review

Written by: Umera Ahmed

Directed by: Haseeb Hassan

Produced by: Epic Entertainment

Once again this episode of Alif opened a lot of doors for the characters and showed the development undergone by them throughout the course of the drama, as well as some new conflict arising. With a focus on Momin and Momina’s relationship that starts out stiff and cold and gradually becomes begrudging admiration and understanding, Alif has created a very accurate and in-depth sketch of characters. A lot of Momin”s background story is revealed, showing how exactly he turned into the arrogant Momin who dominated the film industry, and then contrasted sharply with the way he is now. Momina also discovers finally the link between her father, Husn e Jahan and Momin and this discovery changes her outlook towards everything. Overall, a well-rounded and developed episode!

Sajal Aly has really begun to prove that she can virtually do any role with conviction and excellence! Her depiction of Momina is honestly what makes the character so endearing and charming to me. Instead of going down the typical route of over dramatic acting, she instead has a much more nuanced and expert way of depicting the character in  a much more realistic manner. This results in quite some mind blowing acting. Not to forget her male co-star, Hamza Ali Abbasi, who has also given Qalb e Momin’s character the life and soul that any other actor could not have. Without being burdened with excess dialogues, Hamza Ali Abbas makes good use of all acting tools, specially his facial expressions and body language that go through a visible change throughout his character development. Both leads were chosen accurately and have made Alif a worthwhile watch.

Alif Ep 16: Haseeb Hassan & Umera Ahmed setting a golden standard for dramas!

Needless to say, even if the story or the acting does not cater to your taste, it is undeniable that Alif’s visuals and direction are unique in their own right and a pleasure to watch! I have rarely seen a drama that has such focus on establishing scenes in such a perfect manner, and actually constructing a discernable storyline through the use of the setting. All the credit should go to Haseeb Hassan and the crew that has worked together on this set, which has resulted in some of the most beautiful scenes I have seen in a drama.

In regards to the writing, anyone who has followed Umera Ahmed’s huge body of work are pretty familiar with the nature of the issues she usually tends to address. With Alif, she has once again shown a pretty in-depth analysis of the human nature and the struggle between the body and the soul. All of this is certainly rather heavy stuff, which might not cater to every member of the audience specially those only looking for entertainment. Ironically, Umera Ahmed addresses this very aspect in the drama as well when Momin’s shift to a different tone in his movies leads to a loss of his fame and respect. However, while the topic of the drama might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it has to be admitted that as far as writing is concerned the script is way more articulate and stirring than majority of the dramas we see on television. Combined with stellar acting performances and the unique director-driven style of the drama, Alif is certainly on a right path! What were your thoughts on this week’s episode of Alif?

How Mere Paas Tum Ho Could Have Ended Better? -By Omair Alavi

Umaima Munir is a film and theatre nerd who is extremely passionate about well-written scripts. Her love for television stems from days of watching old PTV dramas such as Andhera Ujala.


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