Having just watched the first sloppy episode of the romcom-esque drama ‘Noor Ul Ain,’ I was hoping the man behind it, Sarmad Khoosat would rekindle my meager hope after what was a desultory attempt. There’s been quite a bit of hype around ‘Aakhri Station,’ what with its unique structure – it’s meant to be a mini-series, with each episode entirely focused on one particular story. The seven female protagonists all end up on a train, and it’s their stories that will be keyed in on with each episode. The first episode was an exemplary, gutting take on the first story revolving around Eman Suleman.
Eman Suleman plays the neglected woman married to an abusive gambler, basically your usual narcissist. Eman strips herself of her glammed model career for a raw take in Sarmad’s play, as a wife hushed up to the four walls of her home with her young daughter. Her husband spends whatever little money they have on gambling, alcohol and a pack o’ cigarettes.
We get a glimpse of the quintessence Sarmad Khoosat in exquisitely framed scenes that are grimy and grungy
Sarmad’s got an imagination, there’s no denying that. He’s careful in his craft and keeps frames simple and gloriously heavy at the same time. His scene with a musky red flashy neon room at one point in the episode is admirably impish but subtly entwined to perfection, so much so that it never detracts from the sober undertone.
It’s slow-paced but is deliberately done so, to emulate life’s often sedated, and unrushed at most
The opening scene keys in on Sanam Saeed floating through the Lahori train station lost in a daze, inciting the audience to question just why she’s there. It’s a great start, a pseudo if you will; it’s not focused on her story despite her character toplining the start. It softly shifts to Eman’s character when she sits by her on the carriage.
The episode unfurls the prevalence of marital sexual abuse, with a tenor of social issues that will form a premise of the drama in subsequent episodes.
Eman’s character is sold to her husband’s friend without her volition and raped, and while she lies lifeless on the floor the day after, at the same time we know that she’s mustered enough courage to either murder him ruthlessly (it’s all in her eyes) or plunge off the roof of her haveli. It’s neither in the end, and we’re plunged forth to the present with both mother and daughter fleeing.
We’re waiting for the second episode! Have you seen the first one? What did you think of it?