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Alif Episode 1 Story Review – What A Start

Introductory Details:

Ohkay so, production of Epic Entertainment, direction of Haseeb Hassan & writing of Umera Ahmed; Alif is a journey which began tonight & the first episode was nothing short of perfection. The first episode of Alif made me feel like I was watching a movie, a well-directed, well-written movie which was not allowing me to look away even for a second. This episode of Alif was picture perfect which was laden with so many emotions, where it showed hope of a young boy, facade that a man was carrying & helplessness of a girl who was living not for herself, but for her family. The first episode of Alif had so much to offer & while watching it, I felt like it took me to another world which was magical. I am so glad that this drama has had such a perfect start which makes me excited for the rest of the journey already & I just finished watching the first episode but I am sure I am going to watch it again.

Cast & Characters:

I must say, Alif has given such kind of an introduction to all the characters which I have never seen before. The kind of detailing all the tracks got was enough to establish a connection with them right from the beginning. All the scenes were clear & to-the-point where they perfectly conveyed what the storytellers wanted to. The very first scene, though long was my most favorite scene from this episode of Alif. It showed that the young boy was not living a regular life & because of that, he was sensitive, observant & trying his best to do what he can to make his mother happy. Momin (Pehlaaj Hassan) was well aware of the emotional trauma that his mother was going through, this is why he was eager to have his father back so that he could see his mother the way he wanted to. Momin didn’t have answers to all his questions but he dared not ask his mother because he knew that he would hurt her & then she will not be able to give him the answers that he was looking for. Momin, as a young boy had only one person in his life that he well & truly loved & that was his mother. Yes, Momin wanted to have his father to experience how it felt to be like a complete family but his feelings & emotions were all related to his mother.

All the scenes that covered Momin & his mother’s scenario & equation were not only beautifully done but they were absolutely sweet. They brought a smile to my face but also made me sad because I could feel that Momin won’t be having the kind of life he dreamt of. I loved how it was emphasized that Momin was aware of the fact that things were different & difficult for him & his mother but he made sure to be a good boy so that he does not cause more pain to her. I loved seeing Momin as a boy who was hopeful & honest, he was innocent but still he was wise enough to analyze the situation. All the things that Momin said about his mother, about her emotions & smallest of observations about her were simply beautiful!

Momina Sultan (Sajal Aly), a girl who is just working hard to provide for her family. Momina Sultan is forced to do what she does not want to but then because she feels for her brother Jahangir (Hadi Bin Arshad), she can not say no. It was quite obvious that Momina happens to be a daughter of a side actress (Lubna Aslam) & a makeup artist Sultan (Saleem Mairaj) but now her parents are past that age where their expertise were needed in the industry, therefore Momina is doing everything to fit in their shoes. Momina Sultan is a struggling actress but she does not have big dreams for herself. For Momina, all that matters is her brother’s medical treatment & this is why she at times dreams of doing something noticeable or substantial so that it can bring her the money that she needs to afford the medical treatment. Momina’s scenes with her family were done so well, especially the one with her brother Jahangir. It was also beautifully shown that her father had this faith in her, yes, Momina’s parents are dependent on her, they rely on her a lot to the point where it makes it difficult for Momina but still, they do acknowledge what she does for them & her father especially does see the potential in her. Momina on her own is an unhappy soul who realizes that her life is tough but she also knows that she can not complain because she is the security blanket of her parents & her brother. Momina’s helplessness as well as her frustrations were shown convincingly in the first episode of Alif, where it immediately made me feel for her & understand all of her struggles. I am so glad that the director Haseeb Hassan took so much of time to give an introduction to all the characters because it laid the strong foundation for the rest of the story.

Qalb e Momin (Hamza Ali Abbasi) is now a very famous director. He is blunt, he is ruthless, he knows what he wants & he knows how to achieve that. Qalb e Momin has worked hard to be where he is & now when he is at the top of his game, he is not ashamed to enjoy that status & be arrogant about it. Qalb e Momin so far has been surrounded by superficial people who are running after success, they only deal with him because they know what he is capable of & the kind of advantage being with him is. Shelly (Yashma Gill) was just another actress who was not ready to move on from the equation that she shared with Qalb e Momin & she also believed that she was important for him – but then again, it was not her, it was Qalb e Momin who gave her that wrong impression & false idea!

Qalb e Momin & Momina Sultan had a brief encounter where they realized that they both were on a very different level. The things that were normal for Qalb e Momin were a no-go for Momina Sultan. For a second, Momina did try to land herself the role in Qalb e Momin’s movie but then she realized, he was asking for more & she didn’t have much to offer. In the audition scenes, Momina’s eagerness was elaborated phenomenally by Sajal Aly where she made sure to show that even though she was auditioning for a movie, at the back of her mind, all that she had was the money that this project will bring to her because she needed it for Jahangir. I loved seeing how they humanized all these characters by showing their vulnerable side as well as their struggles. Momina & Qalb e Momin’s argument was something that has definitely ignited the spark. Momina regretted misbehaving with Qalb e Momin but then again, it was only because she was keen to get a good project. Her friend did try to alter her perspective & made her realize that things didn’t work the way Momina wanted them to because success, money & fame came with the territory & if she wanted to experience it all, she’ll have to let go of some of the emotional & mental blocks & barriers.

Qalb e Momin was seen proposing a girl (Sadaf Kanwal) but then again, she seemed to be a reckless decision of Qalb e Momin, a decision that he took without putting much thought to it. At this stage where Qalb e Momin is doing so well, it is understandable that he will be surrounded by girls like Shelly who will love him for what he has & not for who he actually is. Husn e Jahan (Kubra Khan) is the name that now is associated with all the painful memories of Qalb e Momin. However, it was interesting to see that for all of those who were related to the industry then & now, the name of Husn e Jahan was very respectable & reputable. People loved her because she was Husn e Jahan, but Qalb e Momin loved her because she was his mother, no one saw her failures except Qalb e Momin, so yes, this name has a whole world of emotions attached to it for him!

Closing Thoughts – Absolutely Incredible:

This episode of Alif was absolutely incredible. I will say this again, the way all the characters were introduced was definitely new and brilliant. This shows how strong the script is & what an amazing story it is going to be. Haseeb Hassan surely has a vision & he showed it in the very first episode. I am so glad that this is going to be such an amazing journey & I can’t wait to see it all. This entire episode was such a visual treat, I loved the house of Momin & Husn e Jahan, it was cute & cozy. All the shots & the camera work was brilliant, this is why I felt I was watching a well-directed movie. Pehlaaj Hassan was absolutely adorable as young Momin, he was sweet, he was cute & he acted brilliantly as well. Hamza Ali Abbasi was absolutely convincing as Qalb e Momin, he has embraced this character & he was in his element right from the beginning. Sajal Aly was phenomenal as Momina Sultan but then what else can be expected from an actress of her caliber who is always beyond brilliant in all of her projects but yes, in Alif, I could totally see Sajal Aly taking her acting a notch higher & this is just the beginning, wow! Kubra Khan conveyed the emotions of sad & dejected Husn e Jahan perfectly, like right from the start, Kubra Khan owned that character & made me feel for her. I am so impressed with the first episode of Alif & can not wait to see the rest of the episodes. It is going to be a long wait every week, I can totally feel that. Please share your thoughts about the first episode of Alif.

Keep Supporting,
Cheers,
Zahra Mirza.

No Spoiler Alerts Please

I totally know that the novel Alif has been read & loved by a lot of readers & they all are equally excited for this drama. However, I request all those who have read the novel to please not share any spoiler alerts & please let the drama buffs (who have not read the novel & are only watching the drama to find out the story) enjoy the drama as it comes. Thank you.

Alif Episode 1

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Editor's Rating:
4.5
  • Woww you have penned my feelings! As i have read the novel so in my mind i thought just to see feq glimpses of how the drama has been executed! But its really beyond amazing. Just couldn’t stop watching it and the already eager for next one. And while watching i was thinking of your review. So glad of the shared sentiment!

    • Aw so happy to know that. Wow, this is again a first, mostly those who have read the novel are not too keen on the drama because of its execution but if you as a reader liked the episode then it says a lot about how strong the storytelling was. :) Looking forward to more discussions on this one. Thank you so much. :)

      • I have read the novel and right after watching the Ost, i was eager to watch it. i was so impatient to experience it having read the novel already and i must say the opening episode was magical.

  • I was waiting for your review Zahra!! I have been waiting for alif for too long. The novel itself is a masterpiece and I was not sure how are they going to do it. Everyone in the cast is just perfect. I am totally sold now.
    I have read the novel so I was watching it with a different perspective, knowing the story but as u haven’t I am pretty surprised the way you have explained the details about each character in the review as you know the story. Great Job :)
    1st episode has exceeded expectations and it was exactly like the novel and I am glad that they are going to stay true to it and believe me if they do do you guys are in for a real treat!!!
    OST is really good!! It’s on repeat for me.
    One thing that I wasn’t sure about was how were they going to cover Qalb e Momin’s dream and I really liked the way they did it!!
    Looking forward to next episodes and to watch Manzar Sehbai!!

    • Thank you so much Pakistani, always good to hear from you. I am glad you liked the review, yes I have not read the novel but the storytelling was so amazing that I could pick up the minute details. :) It was amazing to watch & experience it. I loved the dream sequence too, it was surely done beautifully. So glad this beautiful novel is getting such an amazing treatment. :)

  • What an episode and what a wonderful review! It was as if we were transported into a different world. Loved it!

    Just wanted to ask you, were you the one who reviewed the Something Haute Week in Review last Friday with Aamna? I have always wanted to see you. May be I am wrong?

  • The episode starting with the verse is not something we haven’t watched quite often. It is certainly one of those scripts which builds a unique connection between hash realities as well as form a spiritual connection with Creator.

  • Wow what a great review. You have covered every aspect of story beautifully. I have already read Alif novel and i am much impressed the way it has been dramatized. Just perfect. Eagerly waiting to watch how story will unfold as there is so much in novel which i obviously won’t write to spoil the story. Yet i can’t help to watch it out. I wish it would have been broadcast either on humtv or ary digital.

    • Thank you so much. I am so glad all those readers who have read the novel are praising the first episode of the drama just as much. It truly shows that they have put in a lot of effort & have done justice to the novel. So excited for the rest of the story! :)

  • Great review, Zahra👍. Absolutely agree that the first episode of Alif was stunning.😍😍 I have been personally looking forward to this drama since it’s announcement, and after watching the first ep I am convinced that this drama will definitely have something to offer 👌🏼👌🏼

    • Thank you so much Ibrahim. Oh yes, I was super excited too & now after watching the first episode, my excitement has skyrocketed. :) So happy & so looking forward to the rest of the drama. :)

  • I haven’t read the novel so please guys don’t write any spoiler. Yes this episode was phenomenal. Acting,story and Direction was on another level. Some people think Hamza Ali Abbasi is not a good actor but that’s not the case. He doesn’t only have looks but he has skills as well. From the first scene i was hooked. This episode totally looked like a movie. I’m so glad that producers didn’t hold back and they put the money. I think this drama is going to change the visual standards of our dramas. Direction, visual and camera work was exactly like from a high budget movie. I was on the edge when they called Pehlaaj but boy he is brilliant at everything. His voice and acting was really great. You can tell how good the script is. Sajal was absolutely brilliant as well. I found her father a little weird character. Maybe he has some history with Husn e Jahan because of the way he was remembering her. I actually really liked the character name of Hamza’s character. Qalb-e-Momin. It’s such a great name. This drama will be huge. Thank you so much for brilliant review.
    PS: ARY stop using these cheap tactics. Don’t try to hit Alif because it’s something really huge and your cheap tactics aren’t going to work

    • You are right ahsan. Truly loved the drama. There was nothing special in MPTH episode. In fact it is stopped at a point same things again n again. However this is very cheap. We all know that there is great competition for ratings but these cheap tactics are really bad.

    • Thank you so much Ahsan for sharing your thoughts & appreciating the review. I totally agree, this episode was such a visual treat & it looked like a movie. Yes, this is definitely going to be a game-changer & it is so amazing that we have such production houses who are ready to invest in a drama like this. I too was really surprised with how confidently Pehlaaj acted in the first episode, like he embraced the character of Momin right from the beginning, he was super cute. Hamza Ali Abbasi’s acting was very convincing. He was in his element right from the beginning. I think Sultan was a personal makeup artist of Husn e Jahan but yes, like people backstage know the personal lives of the stars, he must have some inside news too.

      I am not sure what ARY did, please do let me know!

  • Exactly zahra, what a start. I had a fear that it is very difficult to bring to stories at the same time and what would be the treatment to this masterpiece of umera ahmed. But i am glad that it was brilliant. The cinematography is amazing. I love the shades of blue, peach, pink and aquamarine. These two shades are used in whole drama, from sets, to scenery to dresses. I love it. The spiritual vibe just give me goosebumps zahra…… That’s realky touching. By the way drama is not geo type, i was thinking that its on hum because usually hum tv brings this type of concepts on tv… Like shehre zaat, alif Allah or insan and many more. I tryly love the acting of every actor.

    Amazing review ZM.

    • Thank you so much Ali. Yes, usually Hum Tv brings such dramas but Geo too has produced Umera Ahmed’s Meri Zaat Zarra e Benishan in the past. Alif however kept on shifting but finally it has started airing on Geo. Yes, I noticed & loved those hues too, this is what made it look so magical & just beautiful! It surely was a masterpiece, can’t wait to see the rest of the drama. :)

  • Loved it. Like you said, it looked like a movie. It has real feel to it. And the casting is perfect. I am curious to know who was knocking door of Husne Jahan’s house.

  • Gr8 review, this was definitely an awesome start to a born blockbuster drama. Zahra, its good you mentioned about not talking abt spoilers, but problem is that the trailers have literally shown complete story. I have not read the book but in excitement watched all teasers and trailers, and almost everything is revealed there.

    • Thank you so much. Yes, I know they do give away the entire story in the OSTs and promos but then again, watching and experiencing it is still better than getting unsolicited spoilers. :)

  • I haven’t read the novel and this is the first time watching a drama where I could feel an instant connection like I actually wanted Ahsan Khan to show up because of Husn e Jahan and Momin.. The detailing in this drama is next level like Husn e Jahan and Momin were on their own so they went for shopping second hand clothes. And Momina and Momin’s scene was soo well executed and so real. All the sets nd scenes were executed brilliantly. It definitely had a movie’s vibes and the experience was magical. I’m so looking forward to this.

    • And Forgot to mention I came here just after watching the drama. Your review is so insightful and I’m looking forward to your reviews.

    • I so agree, the connection was established immediately with all the characters. I have never seen such a convincing start of a drama before where all the characters are given so much of detailing & depth right from the beginning. Their shopping scene was so emotional, like they wanted to look good with whatever they could afford as the arrival of Momin’s father was such a big deal for them. It was beautifully shown. It sure was magical!

  • what a great drama and review! just loved Hamza and Sajal in this drama. Kamal hay! Umera Ahmed k script ki kya baat hay. It was so Sweet to see writing letter to Allah by Momin (child).

    • Thank you so much. I know, Momin’s scenes were so sweet & heart-touching. Script ki shuruwat to bohat achi hai, can’t wait to see the rest of it. :)

  • Brilliant review! Mom & son’s scenes were beautiful. Kubra khan looked like a mom – a beautiful fragile mom.
    Brilliant performance by Hamza & Sajjal….. cant wait for next week!

    • Thank you so much. Yes, Kubra was amazing as Momin’s mother. I loved Hamza & Sajal’s performances too, this is going to be so exciting. :)

  • Thankyou for the review zahra❤ ever since i read the novel i was desperately waiting for tye drama and it has totally been worth the wait. I must say haseeb and the actors have done complete justice to the novel. Each and every minute detail has been shown so well just as it has been described in the novel. I cannot wait for the next episode. Alif is truly going to be a master piece. So agree about sajal, she is my favourite actress💖

    • Hi Fatima, so good to hear from you after such a long time. <3 I am so happy to hear that the novel readers are finding this episode & all the detailing just in line with the novel. This rarely rather never actually happens, so its a first. Really excited to see the rest of the drama & have long discussions about it. :)

  • your review was perfect, i enjoy watching this drama & I love watching Pehlaaj Hassan scenes Ma Shaa Allah he is such a lovely young boy

    • Thank you so much Shameem for always being appreciative. Yes, Pehlaaj was really cute as Momin in the first episode. :)

  • First time I am commenting although i love to read your reviews…I was umera ahmed fan since those days when nobody knew her and whenever her novel was converted it to drama i always had issues with the cast…This is the first time i m absolutely satisfied with the cast and the director as well i had already read the novel but i enjoyed the first episode as much and have no complaints.P.s i love momin and Husne jahan house as wellit was same as i have imagined while reading the novel ….Great acting by everyone and u did an awesome job with the review

    • Thank you so much Sidra. So glad that you decided to comment. It is nice to know that all those who have read the novel are finding the first episode just perfect, this is such a good sign. :)

  • Hi zahra

    Could you please tell me the scene where its disclosed that husn e jahan (the name)is that of the character of the mother of momin

    • HI Sarah. It wasn’t disclosed but it was pretty obvious. Also, they gave it away in the very first promo by showing the names of all the characters. I just knew because of that & I wish they hadn’t shown the names in the promos because otherwise it definitely wouldn’t have been this obvious in the first episode.

      • You must be a good observer than.oh so you haven’t read the book?it really wasnt obvious in the first episode and I wish you would follow the advice you were giving us about not giving key info away.thankyou

  • I was waiting for your review and finally it’s here. As someone who’ve read novel didn’t find a single flaw in the episode, brilliantly directed and executed and your review is spot on.

    • Thank you so much Shifa for appreciating the review. Yes, the first episode was flawless. Excited for the rest of the journey. :)

  • Hi Zahra, the drama looks very interesting. I, now understand that qalb e momin is the same boy Momin. Now things are clear and sajal ali part about her family and struggle and even qalb e momin as a dedicated director, looks very realistic. And thanks for the spoiler alert message, it help and including me who has not read the novel.

    • Thank you so much Aamer. Yes, the story has had a perfect & clear start. I am also hoping it doesn’t get spoiled by spoiler alerts but unfortunately, the story has been given away in the promos & OST. :(

  • Superb review
    I just loved the first episode of alif.It was well directed and all the characters did and amazing job. Momin and her mother scenes were so cute and nice to watch. Qulb e momin and momina sultana first meeting was well executed and showed that both of them are poles apart. I m looking forward to seeing that which thing will bring them together.

    • Thank you so much OeN. Good to know that we’ll be watching & discussing this drama together. Yes, their first interaction was very intense & done well. I too am keen to see their relationship. So excited already. :)

  • What a beautiful episode and what an apt review.. it was certainly a visual treat, a piece of art, a life crafted magically in scenes. Looking forward to the drama and your reviews.

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