‘Baaghi’ unfurled, social media went ablaze. The drama was set to retell contentious media star Qandeel Baloch’s tragic life, however, the first episode revealed that the story was instead a fictionalized account. The premise was immediately clear; the story would be exaggerated at best, false at most and not conducive to Qandeel’s life at all – after all, it was all about entertaining audiences.
‘Baaghi’ in its own entity was a drama that had all the ingredients going for it
The foundation was a girl living in a rural pocket of Pakistan who didn’t let anything get in her way. Fouzia was fierce, strong and did as she pleased; the first few episodes opened to tremendous acclaim, with both audiences and critics lauding the show for projecting such fierceness in a woman, with her bold nature rightly serving as traits for the perfect role model. Her shenanigans as the independent girl in a hushed village were commendable, and the drama toplined television for a while.
The drama fell in substance after Fouzia moved to the big city, changing her name to Kanwal and undergoing an incredibly rapid and unrealistic change in all entirety
While Kanwal’s initial longing was to earn enough money to claim back her son through trial, this fell through as she began spending whatever she earned on those around her. Her didactic moral compass dwindled as she began accepting rather controversial jobs to earn money, thereby contradicting her initial expression of personality.
Osman Khalid Butt, Sarmad Khoosat, and Ali Kazmi are forgettable as the male protagonists in ‘Baaghi’
Osman Khalid Butt as Sheheryar gives it his all, but isn’t really stepping outside of his comfort zone, and hasn’t been given leeway to express himself fully – the same goes for Ali Kazmi who remains rigid throughout the show. Sarmad’s character is comparatively harder, as the darker and vindictive elder brother of Kanwal, however, becomes a bit bothersome as someone with little development in the role. The writers have constructed a star vehicle entirely made out of Saba, with no other parts from anyone else within the cast.
An ensemble cast of well-known faces can only add star value, however, this drama proves that this is never enough – a luring story is a must
The story floundered in repetition, with a recycling of Kanwal’s victimization as she tried to make it ‘big.’ Silly plotlines flooded the fading drama, with the story starting to effortlessly drag as each episode progressed, with an exhaustive circle of people trying to drag Kanwal down. The script weakened immediately, and it quickly fell in substance. Plot holes began to become uncomfortably frequent, so much so that the drama has now begun to brim in utter confusion.
The most fascinating thing about ‘Baaghi’ remains Kanwal’s beautiful exploration and detailed evolution as a character
Beneath the shrouded layers remains the Fouzia from the little village. Her determination is dogged and unfading as she catapults herself to the top of the social food chain, but despite how she seems in public, she is still Fouzia in all her rugged coreness. The writers gave it their all when it came to this spectacularly enthralling character, with impeccable detail to her dizzying downfall and swirling capacity as someone who has been through incredible pain. She misses her family terribly and gives them her utmost priority despite many backbiting her continually – one of the many traits we as the audience fall for.
Saba Qamar’s acting as the aching Kanwal remains the only thing keeping this sinking ship afloat
She wouldn’t wish her life upon anyone, at one point saying ‘Allah na kare tu mere jaise ban,’ in response to a girl who wishes to be like her. Dialogues are a strength in this otherwise meager story, and while all other characters falter in depth, it is Saba as Kanwal who we root for throughout, even when she displays shortcomings (that we might not agree with). Saba is essentially playing two entirely different characters, Fouzia and Kanwal – and it’s fantastic how she does it so naturally – she’s a born actress, with innate skills to set fire to the screen. Her artificial Urdu accent she adopts for her public videos is spectacular – it’s all a facade…it isn’t real. Saba is the saving grace of this drama ladies and gentlemen. What a fine, fine actress.
What do you think of ‘Baaghi’?