Alif Episode 2 Story Review – A Visual Treat

Opening Thoughts – Visual Treat:

Ohkay so, this episode of Alif ended too soon. Alif is such a visual treat but I must say I am so impressed that there is so much more that meets the eye than just the visuals. Haseeb Hassan has shown his caliber as a director in Alif & the first two episodes have depicted the kind of vision he had for a script like Alif. This episode of Alif was beyond brilliant & just like the first episode, this too felt like a well-directed movie which had so much to offer. One of the strongest aspects of this drama so far happens to be the to-the-point approach of the director, there is so much that has been explained but a lot more which has not met the detailing, which shows that the director wanted the viewers to also untie the knots themselves while watching every single episode of Alif. This episode of Alif was impressive because of the way the mood & the feel kept on changing within each scene. The best part is that even in every single scene, every character gets enough attention so that their emotions can surface. Alif so far has been nothing short of a treat & I can’t begin to imagine how much better it is going to get.

Loss of Hope, Loss of Connection:

Momina did not get much coverage in this episode but I loved how the director drew a comparison between Momina & Qalb e Momin in the initial scenes. Their lives are on completely different stages, they both themselves are in very different phases in their lives but one thing that is common between them is the lost connection with their Creator, which to some extent is a form of their weak faith. Umera Ahmed once again succeeded in elaborating the spiritual struggles of people, who when tested by their Creator either get to establish a stronger connection or lose it completely. One thing that was similar in little Momin & Momina Sultan’s journey was a ray of hope that kept their faith alive & the moment they felt they were losing hope – was the time when they actually lost the connection with Allah.

Momina had to let go the love of her life Faisal (Osman Khalid Butt). They both had liking for each other but Faisal didn’t paint any false picture in front of Momina. Faisal let Momina know that her family background was questionable. Momina must have loved Faisal with all her heart considering that she still thought of him but for Faisal, it was too obvious that his relationship with Momina was becoming a burden to him. Momina let go of him because she realized that she had to take care of her brother. Momina did bravely take up the challenges but because she is a human being after all, she tends to get tired too.

Momina’s interaction with Master Jee (Saife Hassan) was beautiful & heart-wrenching. It was nice to see that there is at least one person that Momina confides in, someone who understands her struggles & feels for her. Momina is losing hope, not in Allah but like she said, because things are not working at all, she is forced to think that may be Allah doesn’t love her. That entire conversation was simple but it had such a deep meaning, it showed how trials & tribulations not only affect people on the surface, but they leave you feeling uncertain, ambiguous, doubtful & hopeless from within as well. “Sab Allah ke hain, bas Momina Allah ki nahi hai” depicted how Momina was losing control of her emotions & she could not find that hope which would help her to hold onto her faith in Allah. Sajal Aly is such a phenomenal performer, she moved me to tears in just that short scene. I love how they have shown that Momina Sultan does calligraphy & it works as a catharsis for her. This is the only thing that she is doing for herself & it gives her peace. Beautiful!

Alif Episode 2 Story Review - A Visual Treat

I loved how they showed a contrast in the lives of people who belonged to the same field but were on very different levels. There was Momina who was even questioning the kind of work she was being forced to do in order to provide for her family & on the other hand, there was Qalb e Momin, who was enjoying the limelight & there was no one to question him about the kind of work he was doing. Momina was failing but Qalb e Momin stood tall & arrogant. Qalb e Momin has reached the level where people actually deem him as a sign of success & Qalb e Momin is not ashamed to admit that he has achieved everything on his own & he actually wants people to envy him. Qalb e Momin thinks he has overcome his vulnerabilities by carrying this facade in front of the whole wide world but as the episode progressed, it showed that his vulnerabilities were just intact & he was very much aware of them all. Qalb e Momin is at the stage where he wants people to only talk about his success & present, that is why he has kept everyone in the dark about his past. Qalb e Momin is not only hiding a lot, he is even ashamed to admit that his past was not according to his idea of perfect just like his present is.

Alif Episode 2 Story Review - A Visual Treat

The rest of the episode just covered Qalb e Momin’s success party & the get together he had at his place. It was interesting to see how people are attracted towards Qalb e Momin because of what he has, not because of what or who he is. Shelly was playing her game too & then Neha, the fashion designer was two-timing Qalb e Momin. Neha obviously is involved with Zulfi & she is cheating on Qalb e Momin. He doesn’t know that yet but he will slowly learn that the world that he was creating on his own, which was purely based on his success was surrounded by all those who wanted to enjoy a piece of it without being loyal to him. Qalb e Momin will get to learn that his success brought nothing but insincere people in his life & he will realize that the success that he so arrogantly flaunts comes with the territory.

Qalb e Momin is chasing after something, he has burnt all the bridges from the past & he has now engulfed himself in this world of his own which has nothing to do with the people from his past. This is the reason why even though he had immense respect for Dada Jaan (Manzar Sehbai), he was not in touch with him. Qalb e Momin knows that his Dada Jaan is the only link to his painful past, that is why he was not too keen about him. I loved Dada Jaan’s entry & his demeanour. The director, at the right time took the story into the past & linked it with the present. The young innocent Momin that we saw writing letters to Allah was the ace director Qalb e Momin of today. Qalb e Momin saw his mother & his grandfather chasing after his father Taha who estranged them & ran away. Momin, at a very young age got to experience what heartbreak & disloyalty is. What losing hope feels like. The scene where Momin tore his letters apart was beautifully done, it showed that by tearing those letters, Momin had given up on the hope that he had & that very hope was basically his connection with Allah, which was lost right at that moment & after that, Momin never really got back to fix that bond.

Alif Episode 2 Story Review - A Visual Treat

Dada Jaan, a practicing Muslim did not judge Qalb e Momin for who he had become but yes, he was sad to see the path that his grandson was walking upon. Dada Jaan could totally see that Qalb e Momin had lost his path, he had lost his faith & he turned into someone he did not recognize. The scene where Qalb e Momin was trying to ignore the call for prayer was dark but was done so well. It depicted the battle that Qalb e Momin & a lot of people like him fight every single day – where they do get the reminders but they force themselves to ignore those reminders. Qalb e Momin might have lost his connection at a very young age, but there is still something in him, it was expressed when he turned the paintings & stowed one of them away. The little nuances make a whole lot of difference in the drama-watching experience. Dada Jaan obviously was now finding out things about Qalb e Momin because he was out of touch with him for so long, he never really wrote him back therefore Dada Jaan did not know what Qalb e Momin was upto. He not only was taken aback, but it was obvious that he was now feeling a little disappointed. I can not wait to see the impact Dada Jaan will have on Qalb e Momin’s life!

Closing Thoughts – Perfection:

This episode of Alif was perfect in literal sense. Be it dramatization, picturization, art direction, acting, characterization & display of emotions – everything is subtle yet so clear & it absolutely leaves an impact & allows the viewer to ponder about what they are watching. The dialogues are simple but they carry so much of meaning. Hamza Ali Abbasi, as arrogant Qalb e Momin is so convincing. He has embraced this character in such a way that I am finding it hard to even imagine who else could’ve played the role of Qalb e Momin with this much perfection. Sajal Aly is such a fine actor, in such short scenes, she has left such a huge impression as Momina Sultan, the desperate, eager, helpless Momina Sultan who just wants to save her brother. Yashma Gill & Sadaf Kanwal did justice to the characters they have been assigned to play but their performances were the kind that anybody could’ve portrayed with just this much ease & it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Manzar Sehbai’s screen presence & his minute expressions were a treat to watch. Pehlaaj Hassan has breathed life into the scenes of young Momin, who saw his mother’s sufferings. Hasseb Hassan should take a bow for giving such a convincing start to a story like Alif. Eager to watch the next episode already. Please share your thoughts about this episode of Alif.

Keep Supporting,
Zahra Mirza.

Zahra Mirza

Zahra Mirza got associated with in 2012. After moving to Australia, Pakistani content was a way of staying connected to the roots, language & Pakistani culture because it felt home. Eight years ago, review writing began as a hobby but has now turned into a passion.

  • Truly zabardast qist.. maza aagaya while watching it… i am happy, they have done justice with novel. Nice review

  • After watching this ep of Alif, Zahra I am compelled to day that I have never Hamza Ali Abbasi gave such an effortless performance ❤️❤️. It was so natural, so flawless 👌🏼👌🏼 as if the character hd been written for him only!! As usual,Sajal Aly even a few scenes, depicted her extraordinary acting skills👏👏. The calligraphy scene was very impactful. The direction has been spot-on while Umera Ahmed’s script is as powerful as it gets❤️❤️
    A great episode and a great review 👍

    • Thank you so much Ibrahim. I totally agree, this has to be Hamza Ali Abbasi’s best performance of his career. Sajal Aly is phenomenal. Couldn’t agree more that even in Alif the assistant director told the director that she was a performer. :)

      • Hey, Zahra. I just watched the TRP chart for Saturday and I have to say… I was so disappointed 😔. I really expected Alif to dominate the time slot but.. the thing is that the public ‘enjoys’ dramas like MPTH (which I refer to as ‘masala entertainment) instead of ‘quality entertainment’. Yes I understand that TRPS don’t make a huge difference but a drama like this deserves all the applause and viewership there is. All I can say is that the channel should have kept in mind the competition before airing Alif.

  • Thank you for the review. Momina’s words ‘bus Momina hi Allah ki nahi hai’ and Momin’s tearing of letters were really painful scenes. Momina’s shooting scene where they said she steals the show is so true for Sajal. I like Hamza’s acting in interview scene where he was trying to hide his part. I also noticed the scene where momin turned the painting while dada was praying. Also, Azaan scene showed real challenge of people.

    • Thank you so much Pakistani. Yes, Sajal Aly’s performance was phenomenal & even the assistant director mentioned that, rings true for her. Hamza Ali Abbasi has given a brilliant performance in Alif, can’t wait to see more of Qalb e Momin & Momina. :)

  • Thanks for writing such a wonderful review. Much respect to the writer, director, and reviewer, and viewers for coming up with such a perfect script. These kind of drama came out once in a lifetime or decade.

    I am glad they have chosen the very right actor for the roles. There is very least left to be expected from the drama apart from momina’s dailogue delievery, Sajal is no doubt a wonderful actor but the weak connection in her voice left lot to be desired; when you hear her dialogue delivery and compare it t other ladies in the drama who have more powerful tone and mature voice.

    The kind of struggle little momin, qalb e momin and monina are going through are day to day of most of individuals who constantly struggle between finding contentment or inner peace and the kind of challenges life throw at them. It’s kind of a cute how little momin shares his problem with Allah and now qaleb’e momin is trying has created his own magical world and doing whatever he could do to escape from bitter past.

    • Thank you so much Shahz for sharing your insights & for appreciating the review. I do understand your perspective about Sajal Aly’s voice & tone in comparison to other actors but yes, her overall performance is phenomenal.

      This is why Umera Ahmed’s novels & her writings hit home with so many people, she writes about such struggles that everyone faces in their regular lives. So good to see them bringing a drama based on such a subject, this is going to be so interesting. :)

      • Thank you Zahra, Umera Ahamed’s have a clear perspective and a quite balanced approached and she prints a picture of society in a most subtle way and connects it with reality. She goes above and beyond to address the real issue without sounding too preachy. I wish writer of other genre learn from her too as she is one of the most finest writer and novelist. Plus, I thank you again for choosing this drama to review and sharing your perspective.

  • Another brilliant episode and you have reviewed it perfectly!!
    I am loving the way they have dramatized it. Sajal and Hamza were brilliant.
    PS: I imagined Dada as a soft doll but Manzar Sehbai’s Dada is really Sassy xD I like that xD

    • Thank you so much PP. I am so glad to hear that all the novel readers are loving the way it has been dramatized. Says a lot about the vision of the director. :) Lol @ Dada’s description, he was cute. :)

  • Amazing story. Kubras role is leaving a little to be desired though. I can never understand what she is saying when she is doing the emotive crying scenes. Otherwise she’s okay. Same with Dada, sometimes the background score is so loud that his speech gets fuzzy whereas it should be taking center stage! Uff.. Hamza Ali Abbasi and Sajal own their role like no other. Speechless!!!

  • this is the 1st time i’m seeing Hamza Ali Abbasi in a drama & I am very impressed by him
    I haven’t read the novel but have listened to a couple episode of audio on youtube & find that they are so brilliantly made into scenes for the drama
    thanks for the review, it was so well written like always

    • Thank you so much Shameem for your kind words. Yes, all those who have read the novel are for the first time convinced & happy with the way the story has been dramatized. It sure is a win for the entire team. :)

  • Love, love, love this drama. Only 2 episodes in but it’s brilliant and engaging. Hamza is such a fine actor and has essayed this role to perfection. Sajal was a perfect choice for Momina. Umera Ahmed’s script is always deep and meaningful and Haseeb Hassan has done complete justice by his superb direction. Thanks for the review Zahra.

    • You’re most welcome Kanwal. I knowww, I am already in love with Alif. Haseeb Hassan surely has done a phenomenal job in covering all the aspects & details of the story. Can’t wait for the rest of the story to unfold. :)

  • A perfect episode and a brilliant review
    I like the interview scene the most. Hamza ali abbasi truely depicted the emotions of a successful person as well as an internally broken one in a very perfect manner. I want to thankyou to the team alif for casting him as QALB E MOMIN.
    The expressions were very good when he answered that his mother was a housewife(hiding husn e jahan).

    • Thank you so much Noor. Yes, Hamza Ali depicted Qalb e Momin’s discomfort brilliantly. His entire body language changed, even in the scenes when his Dada came. Phenomenal performance.

  • This drama is a born blockbuster. For me also this is the first drama of Hamza that Im watching, and he is outstanding. Sajal as usual excellent, she is one of the best in crying scenes. Remaining all support well. Just 2 points, then past and present not connected well, scenes start abruptly. And second, in some scenes, little background music is needed, it can enhance the impact of scenes, like the way it has been in many blockbuster dramas.

  • Perfect review for the perfect episode. Momina’s dialogues were so relatable, no other actress can do emotional scenes like sajal does, it moves you to tears and that dialogue ‘wo scenes khajati hai koi b role do’ is so true. Completely agree with you alif is a treat to watch.

  • Nice review Zahra.
    But I have a different opinion.
    Alif is unconvincing, cliched at parts, underwhelming and shallow till now.
    Like in today’s ep, all burden for “breakup” felt on Momina when actually Faisal was not strong enough and was running away.
    The past present transition is so unconvincing. I see some inspiration from This Is Us, but the transition is so turbulent and so random that it makes no sense. (& Taha is no Jack Pearson)
    Turkey’s camerawork is fine. But the other is part is too much for a tv serial.
    Momins dialogues and the whole portrayal of film industry is so random and seems inspired from old bollywood stuff. The conversations btw actresses is so random and useles, and the glamour industry is shown so cliched and with bad lens. This drama aims to show strong characters and here they show all the actresses wearing western outfits are bad and run over boyfriends for success.
    This whole sterotyping of fashion industry is done as the writer doesnt belong to the glamour industry, might even not have attended a single party, hence the cliched portryal.
    With such shallow beginning, I wonder if the future eps hold any interest and if the whole soul searching “journey” will be convincing or not.

    • Thank you Sarmad for appreciating the review & for sharing your perspective. I do understand you might have some reservations but for me, the story as well as storytelling is working well. Hope you enjoy the future episodes. :)

      • Thanks for respecting the opinion. Maybe I am in so much haste and should wait for the real deal to start.

  • Hello. Thanks Ms Zahra for such a nice review. Very well made and enjoyable drama. However I really don’t like the loud background music during the dialogues. It makes it hard to understand what they are saying. I hope there are others who share my views as well.

    • Hi Saud. Thank you so much for appreciating the review. Yes, I have seen a lot of comments where people are finding the background music quite distracting. Hope the editors look into it & make changes as per the feedback they are getting.

  • Superb review
    I m happy that finally such drama has made. I find it so close to reality because I have seen such people like momin jinka Allah sy rabta toot jata hai aur jab Allah sy rabta toot jata hai tu insaan duniyavi cheezon mein sukoon dhondta hai par usko uss mein sukoon nhi milta. I am excited to see the Journey of momin from Duniya to Allah. That azaan scene was portrayed really well. Momina’s character is also very realistic Bcoz aisa hum mein sy bhot sy logon k saath hota hai that sometimes we get disappointed and felt that Allah don’t love us. Humein lagta hai k sari muskahlein aur pareshaniyan bus humarey liye hein but aisa hota nhi its just a test from Allah and we have to believe in Allah and I think so momina will do the same. Hamza Ali abbasi and Sajal Ali both are doing amazing job as momin and Momina. Looking forward to coming episodes.

    • Thank you so much OeN. So good to hear from you. Waqay hi, Umera Ahmed ki yehi khaas baat hai ke wo aam insaan ki struggles ke baray mai detail mai likhti hain. Momin aur Momina ki story bilkul aisi hi hai jiss se har koi relate kar sakta hai even though wo log media industry se related bataye hue hain but unke andar ki struggles are very real & relateable. :) Hamza aur Sajal ne waqay hi in characters mai jaan daal di hai. Agay ke episodes ka bohat ziyada intezar hai. :)

  • I cried when Momina said, ‘Sub Allah k hain bus Momina Allah ki ni ha’. Right now i am also in that trial and test period and i feel just like Momina. Perhaps i lost my connection with the creator and i am trying to reconnect. I pray that Allah will bless me. Sometimes i feel helpless and sometimes i get angry.
    Coming onto this drama. This is by far the best drama i have seen in a while. Hamza has left his mark and nobody can say that he can’t act. Fyi i think Hamza is going to leave the industry. This will probably his last drama. Acting, Direction and writing is beyond excellence. Great review Zahra g

    • Hi Ahsan, i know you since one year through this website and i found you an interesting and an intelligent commentor and I definitely read your comments once i finished my comment on any review. Regarding your struggle, i can give a little advice, if you don’t mind. Keep yourself busy in work during the day & do many small subtasks and set the deadline for each subtask like, if i finish this task then i will pray zohar, if this then Asar. This will create us more concentration at work which gives out good results as well as it help us to follow prayer timing. We can not concentrate on spiritual work and ignore our daily work, both should go hand in hand.

      • Thank you so much Aamer. I read your comments too. I like the details in your comments and especially the length of your comments

    • Thank you so much Ahsan. Yes, even I think this is what Hamza’s announcement will be about & may be he planned it accordingly because he wanted Alif to be his last project, making an impact on everyone. Let’s see what he has to say.

      I really hope you find solace & peace. Always remember that there is ease with every difficulty & Allah does not test a person beyond his capabilities. Insha Allah everything will be fine. :)

  • Brilliant review as always Zahra. 2 episodes in and I feel like I get transported into that universe every week. This is what happens when brilliant writing, direction and acting all come together. Finally we have a play which is living up to expectations!! A lot of effort has gone into making Alif and it shows in every scene! I love how seamlessly the story flows between the past and present.

    Sajal Ali as Momina and Kubra Khan as Husn e Jahan are nothing short of brilliant (and personally I’m not a fan of Kubra). Manzar Sebai feels perfect as Dada Ji. But for me this is Hamza Ali Abbasi’s play. He owns Qalb e Momin and you can see his heart is in the character. If this is his swan song than he couldn’t have chosen a better one!! Now really looking forward to Ahsan Khan’s appearance!

    • Thank you so much Sam. I so agree, I also feel lost in the world of Alif the moment I start watching it. Ahsan Khan did say that they have used the film lens for this drama & this is why the clarity & the dimension in every frame is on next level. This drama surely is well-directed & then what else can be expected from Umera Ahmed.

      Yes, I so agree, Sajal & Kubra have done wonders. I liked Manzar Sehbai’s entry as well. Can’t wait to see the impact he will have on Momin’s life. Yes, Hamza Ali Abbasi has owned this character, I am sure no one else could’ve done justice to this character the way he has done.

  • Hi Zahra, it was a wonderful review, I actually reminded the whole episode after reading this. You detailed out the differences and similarities between Momina and Qalb e Momin perfectly. Also noticed many small detailings such as turning the canvas reverse by Qalb e momin, prayer call and the pain & past Qalb e momin is hiding. It was really nice review. The drama is really growing on me. The battle of both lead characters with their respective lives were interesting to watch ahead. I would like to know the reason of Taha leaving his wife and Momin. Looks like that Taha might caught between the creator and wife’s filmy background. Yes, i too would like to see more of Dada ji’s dealing with Qalb e momin.

    • Thank you so much Aamer for your kind words. This drama gives you so much to talk about & there is so much to notice & grasp, this is why I couldn’t stop mentioning all that I picked up. :) The detailing in this drama is what makes it so beautiful. I am also keen to see Taha’s character & his journey. Though it does look like it is going to be a sad one but let’s see. :)

  • Alif novel meny 1 din me puara paraha mein Mis Umera Ahmed k novel esy e paglon ki tarha parhti hn din rat ik kr k, Insan ka Allah sy taluk Rohaniyaat this drma is best must watch, shyd ye hum bathaky huy logo ko b hamari rooh sy pehchana krwa dy or hum b Husne jaha sy Husnaa or Qalbe momin sy Momin Ban jAen۔
    I Just love this novel drmaa or esy bht sy bht drmay banaty rahy…

  • Brilliant review Zahra. It indeed was a visual treat. And yes, rightly agreeing with everybody, for the first time the drama is as good as a novel. The minute details the director has kept in mind while depicting two different households is amazing.
    The scene of Momina and the Master literally made me cry. Even the supporting actors are performing well.
    Initially, Sanam Baloch was rumored to be playing Husn-e-Jahan. Maybe that’s why I’m finding it hard to appreciate Kubra Khan. I imagined Sanam as HeJ while reading Alif. Hopefully, future episodes where they show her story will change my mind on Kubra.
    And yes the background score is loud in some scenes. Also, the point raised by Ms. Umera is amazing. Now-a-days our elders who are religious become rigid and rude towards youngsters on a non-religious path. But dada jan is so calm and considerate towards Momin. Showing that religion should make you humble rather than arrogant.

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