As a usual recapper of our dramas, new show ‘Bandish’ had me clenching my fists tightly to my chest right from the opening scene. It keys in on a young girl, Aleena whose bed begins to violently shake in the middle of the night, and as she calls out for her parents, they don’t seem to be anywhere insight. We’re teased with an escalation of lingering shots of Aleena watching the house doors slam open, with wind and the usual horror tropes (that still left me very impressed since it wasn’t overtly done) – until she wakes up. It was just a dream.
The ensemble cast is impressive; we have the parents Madiha and Junaid played by Marina Khan and Sajid Hasan with three daughters Sania, Hania and Aleena respectfully played by Hira Mani, Zubab Rana, and Hoorain. The introduction to the family is nothing new, but necessary. It’s a far cry from the nightmare Aleena had in the beginning, and we immediately understand the closely knit tribe the family is. Multiple storlyines start interweaving at once; (i) we find out that a new secretary hired by father (Junaid) is involved in black magic; (ii) Sania (Hira) hasn’t seemed to be able to find a ristha, and (iii) the three sisters are asleep when Aleena’s woken by the curtains repeatedly drawing back and forth.
Farah Shah, who we last saw in ‘Suno Chanda’ is the vindictive Sumbal, who shadows her black magic teacher (this daunting old man who lives in some weird cave full of haunting paintings) and learns the tricks of the harrowing trade. She wants revenge on Madiha and Junaid’s household, and she’ll do just about anything – even kill her teacher to attain all his power.
Junaid is slowly and unknowingly drawn into his secretary’s spells, and fakes an illness to get closer to him; when they’re at hospital, she insists he stays despite there being a daawat at his home. He’s already under his spell, already bound in a casket of her unholy power.
I’m hooked already. ‘Bandish’ has a strong opening episode, and whilst it is most definitely heavily layered around black magic, the first episode has left a lot of answers I’m curious about finding out.
Let us know what you think of the first episode!