Pakistani dramas often have a plenitude of characters that carefully wield out a thrilling visual experience, with unblemished acting and spotless execution on-screen. Our dramas have always given leeway to actors to really shine, and it isn’t constrained to just the leads; for the supporting actors garner enough to glimmer on-screen, and leave an impact that is far from fleeting. They become memorable characters we can’t help root for.
Here are just eleven dramas where the supporting characters truly outshone the main leads (if you look close enough)!
Saba Hameed and Imran Ashraf were both hauntingly brilliant. Saba played the unapologetic and fearless single mother to her hatchet man of a son Mohid. She’s the epitome of all that is empowering and inspires in all entirety as someone incredibly content with herself on all fronts. She’s raised a man, who might have the questionable vocation, is still raw enough to transform himself for the better – all thanks to his mother’s raising. Imran plays Dastagir, Mohid’s sidekick – and what a sidekick he is! His undying love for Mohid is outstanding – someone who would do anything for Mohid, even take a bullet for the man he admires so much. It’s heartwarming really, to see such a wonderful bromance that stems purely out of sheer love.
‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’
Samina Peerzada played Rafiya Murtaza, Kashaf’s mother – a soft, simple woman who was the stark opposite of her incredibly stubborn daughter. It was endearing, witnessing such a flower-esque mother constantly explain life’s lessons and morals, bestowing gems of words to her eldest daughter. Kudos to Sheheryar Munawar too, who played the achingly sweet Osama – a character much more a man than Zaroon; he was kind, appreciated Kashaf from the start and never let her respect dwindle.
Forget Farah and Afzal, Yasmeen was the frontrunner for the entire drama; her resilience and outstanding love for Afzal was unfading. She suffered a case of unrequited love, and while Farah was at most annoying, arrogant and incredibly stupid – Yasmeen was a woman to idolize; a role model, someone who didn’t let a man ever dictate anything to her, and someone who, in the face of heartache, tore through a blazing storm with utter vigour.
While the burning premise of the entire drama was undoubtedly Hassan and Bano’s devastating love, we can’t help wonder how shortlived and terrible Suraiyyah and Saleem’s life together was; they were absolutely incredible as the two in young in love – they were both brutally murdered as partition riots rose, days only after they had wed. As a first-time watch, I couldn’t help root for them endlessly so, and their premature death was heart-aching – it lingered on in the entire drama, both their presence and their awful downfall as two souls who just never got a chance.
Naveen Waqar as Sara was absolutely menacing. If you look at ‘Humsafar’ from an acting perspective, you’ll wonder at just how spectacular Sara is as a vindictive antagonist who will just do anything to claim the man she loves. From start to end, you’ll completely be drawn into her twisted world and honestly, without her, there won’t be the cult drama that is, ‘Humsafar.’
Moeez, also the villain but nonetheless the most unsuspecting one shone in this family drama. He was the more hushed antagonist, someone you felt sorry for in the beginning, but then actively sought vengeance upon as the story unfolded. Another supporting character throughout ‘Diyar-e-Dil’ was undoubtedly Arjumand; she was deprived of the man she loved on the day of her engagement and ended up with his younger brother Suhaib. However, she never let her pain get the best of her, and instead remained humble, kind and supportive of her husband until his last breath.
This drama was honestly brilliant, with a stunning cast that was breathless in executing simply Oscar-worthy acting. The critically acclaimed drama was toplined by Noman Ijaz and Sana Saeed, however, it was Paras Masroor as the alienated ‘ugly duckling’ Torah Khan who stole all screen presence. He was both a Pathan and Bengali, and when his mother is beaten to death, Torah spends the rest of his life burning, and quietly plotting revenge. Hira Mani too shone as Gaiti – a widow who still had nothing but radiating positivity seeping through catapulted her as incredibly memorable.
‘Yakeen Ka Safar’
Suhaee Abro is really a hidden gem and plays Noorie, the girl who is gang-raped and survives to not just tell the tale but vows to put those men behind bars. Noorie’s case is what escalates the entire catastrophe that shapes ‘Yakeen Ka Safar’ into what it was, with Daniyal’s ultimate murder and his family being torn apart.
‘Mera Naam Yousuf Hai’
One couldn’t help feeling empathy for Madiha in a drama about a love triangle. She, like Yasmeen from ‘Pyarey Afzal,’ loved Yousuf terribly so, and would do just about anything for him. Although Zulaikha and Yousuf ultimately end up together, it’s a shame Yousuf couldn’t give Madiha a chance; she did after all stand by him through thick and thin, even sacrificing her own love to make Yousuf happy, and aid him in his quest to Zulaikha.
Well, this drama was quite something, wasn’t it! While the storyline was lacking and questionable at most, while Mannu and Salahuddin kept running around in the most tedious circle, you have to hand it to Jameel – the housekeeper who had a magnificent character evolution from ruthless, to kind and then hilariously back to ruthless! He ended up being the sole saving grace of the drama when he revealed he had feelings for Jeena! Ridiculous, and silly, but a laudable performance by Saleem Mairaj.
‘Gul E Rana’
Once again, we have to hand it to Imran Ashraf. This drama shone a much-needed light on misogyny, physical abuse, and class conflict. Ashar was a real man; far from anything remotely macho, with the sweetest of hearts and the utmost respect for his love interest Rana. While it was unfortunate that Rana did not feel the same way about him, Ashar’s moments in the drama were always exuding a lingering warmth.
Have you watched a drama that isn’t on this list, but has strong supporting characters?