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.
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.