Critic Rating

Written by: Faiza Iftikhar

Directed by: Ali Faizan Anchan

Produced by: Faisal Qureshi

This week’s episode of Baba Jani finally showed progress in certain relationships between characters, while in other places it fell apart. Asfand’s relationship with Nimra as a father experienced emotional turmoil. On the other hand, Sadia took herself off the dialysis after Najiba went on a tirade about how Sadia’s health issues were becoming a drain on Asfand’s financial resources. The episode ended with Sadia lying about going to the doctor to Asfand and sitting in a park, looking weak and in pain.

 

 

Asfand and Nimra’s progress as a father and daughter was the highlight of the episode as we finally saw a positive resolution. Nimra insists on moving out of the house and getting a job to pay for her own studies, which Asfand does not take kindly to. It is an understandable reaction from Asfand, a traditional man who has always held the burden of his loved ones upon his shoulder. Alongside that, he is hit with his insecurities of not being a good father. Their conversation that follows is a beautifully written monologue, specially by Asfand who delivers it in a heartrending way. Their fight finally reaches a conclusion when Nimra accepts Asfand’s reasoning and calls him “Baba”. It is a small detail, yet it carries so much weight in Asfand’s heart. And the way it is executed is laudable on the part of the writer, since the dialogue of the drama always is brilliantly written.

 

 

The other major event that happens is Sadia once again falling for Najiba’s tricks and compromising her own health to please Najiba and ease the financial burden on Asfand. She also lies to Asfand about still being on the dialysis, which spells nothing but trouble for the future. The character is wonderfully portrayed, but Sadia’s demure and naive attitude is getting overplayed at this point. Sadia’s character is certainly a major one, yet she is the only one who floats along with everything anyone says to her and just ends up being lazy writing. The same could be said about Najiba as well; although we are shown why she is so conniving (a desperate need to consolidate her son’s future), it still does not explain the lack of her character moving forward in terms of development. There is always a need for stagnant characters in any piece of work, be it a story or a drama, but the amount of stagnant characters in Baba Jani is ludicrous.

 

 

Despite certain shortcomings, Asfand and Nimra have become the central attention of the drama. Rightly so, because their arc is the one major thing that makes the drama shine. It is something rarely shown in dramas, and when it is it becomes a mess when the writer gloss over it hurriedly. Baba Jani took its sweet time for the bond between father and daughter to develop, but the wait certainly reaped what it sowed.

 

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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