Critic Rating

Written by: Sophia Khurram

Directed by: Mohsin Mirza

Produced by: iDreams Productions

 

A double episode of Beti packed full of excitement and hair-grabbing moments aired last night. In regards to acting, the villains are always the highlight of this drama. Asma Abbas has a legion of experience to validate the excellence of her acting but it must be acknowledged how hard it is to play a character such as the grandmother, who is the enemy of her own gender. The fact that it is so easy to hate the grandmother can only be the triumph of Asma Abbas’ acting. On the other hand, the protagonist Mariam played by Saheefa Jabbar Khattack is equally as easy to sympathize with. Many times during the episode, we were on the edge of our seats with excitement and awe at the hardships Mariam had to face. Saheefa Jabbar depicts the passionate affection of a mother beautifully.

 

Asma Abbas as the villainous Dadi

 

The episode started off with the grandmother having paid off a nurse to throw Mariam’s newly born daughter into the trashcan. Mariam of course creates a ruckus and has the police called in, who immediately suspect Mariam’s in-laws. Mariam herself prays desperately to God and has hallucinations of her daughter crying, which lead her towards the trash in which her baby had been thrown in. The next episode consisted mostly of how her in-laws lash out at Mariam bringing her daughter home. The episodes were truly thrilling to watch and Sophia Khurram continues to tug at our heartstrings with her well-penned dialogues.

 

Saheefa Jabbar as Mariam

 

The same themes of ignorance and misanthropy are continued with these episodes too, but nothing new in terms of being eye opening was offered in these episodes. The episodes instead focused on building an emotional clash and turmoil for dramatic purposes with the introduction of Majid, the uncle of Taimoor who begins to create a divide amidst the family. Taimoor himself is on the edge over his position in the family, sensing that his younger brother Azhar gets preferential treatment. But there is no pity in the audience for Taimoor, and the only characters we find ourselves sympathizing with are Sonia, Mariam and Mariam’s daughter. Even Azhar who once seemed to be a ray of hope begins to shadow the path set by his own father and brother, going as far as shouting and hitting Mariam for going against his orders. The poisoning of his mind and character is a tragic thing to see, yet not surprising since it is hard to avoid a predestined aspect of one’s personality. This raises the question of whether one can ever escape this internalized misogyny, and hopefully Azhar’s character will discover a way to do so and thus give us a satisfying solution.

Although the social commentary of the drama has kind of mellowed out as more focus on the character clash is enhanced, Beti still manages to be distressingly honest about the concealed vices of our own minds. Mariam continues to show an aspect of resistance that women have undergone for centuries: the silent struggle against a society set against them.

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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