An enchanting world of imagination presented in fairy tales is not easy to showcase visually. I can safely say that Aik Nayee Cinderella captures the magnificence of a rousing saga with utmost elegance. It bears the poise of a Victorian romance and boasts a richness that is entrancing. Characters such Mayer and Bano exhibit a great regality in their mannerisms and way of dressing, rendering their respective roles with aplomb and finesse.
The viewer gets absorbed into a stirring visual experience, one that is larger than life, quaint and heartwarming. The haunting background score is the soul of the serial that enhances its magic and the poignant performances lift the mesmerizing scenes.
Today’s episode especially was a visual treat, with the wilderness of Murree captured in its true essence inimitably, both in its tranquil low light and lustrous daylight, painting a heavenly picture. Kudos to Haissam Hussain for possessing such an artistic eye.
Some of the noteworthy picturesque scenes include the sequence of the rippling pond in which Meesha is pelting stones and shots of the lush green forest where the protagonists are interacting with each other. There was a spellbinding indoor sequence in which Mayer welcomes home his mother, as the room glows in the afternoon light that bodes well with the pastel shades of the actor’s clothing and makes the whole sequence very soothing to watch.
The episode had a lot of romantic moments which were fleshed out with aplomb.
Faiza Iftikhar’s story is carrying forward so unexpectedly and she writes the scenes in a way that injects them with a blazing energy. The screenplay never becomes sluggish which is a great achievement on her part.
The backdrop of the sublime evening setting of the mountainous backdrop awash in inky blue light was picture perfect for the interaction between Mayer and Meesha, who are gradually getting gripped by passion.
There was a delicate interplay of expressions between them and an incorporation of gestures such as Mayer walking towards an anxious Meesha with an intense look on his face and gradually covering her eyes with his hands to give her a surprise. They were consequently able to generate moments of profound intimacy in their scenes in a manner that is rarely seen on television in this part of the world.
There was again a lot of depth in the scene where Mayer looks at Zaini with his anger waning and morphing into concern, him gradually wiping off Zaini’s tears and Zaini following him gleefully with her tear smudged, red eyes.
Mayer is entangled in a dilemma as he draws closer to Meesha but finds it hard to let go of his strong infatuation for the conceited and beautiful Zaini. Osman Khalid Butt continues to reaffirm his mark as an actor par excellence who is able to engender a great intensity without too many expressions and is always in command of his character, gliding through the scenes with ease and impressing greatly in the process. In this episode he without a doubt steals the show with his nuanced acting.
Maya is a ball of energy and her boisterous mannerisms ignite many of the scenes with an endearing charm.
Meanwhile, Meesha’s happiness knows no bounds and she is reveling in her sense of accomplishment of finally getting Mayer to reciprocate her longstanding feelings.
Zaini in a desperate attempt to cling on to an irate Mayer apologizes to him and proclaims her love for him which melts his heart.
Meesha is again left in a lurch and Romaan is the shoulder to cry on.
Shrewd as she is Zaini quickly notices Mayer’s contemplation and doubt which are a result of his equation with Meesha but Zaini accuses Bano of poisoning him against her which unravels into an altercation between Zaini and Mayer yet again.
Mayer is in the climax of the episode is seen uttering sweet nothings to a dreamy-eyed Meesha so as to make Zaini envious, who is seething and observing the two.
Mukarram Kaleem and Qavi Khan are two men on a mission but the mystery surrounding their plans continues to intrigue viewers and is something which is likely to add a new dimension to this play. The feel of their scenes hitherto is quite cryptic.
Romaan continues to counsel Meesha but simultaneously is secretly smitten by her. Amy’s hopes of winning Roman over are dashed when he reveals that he already is in love with someone.
Faizan Khawaja is a complete natural and is very comfortable in his character which makes it quite realistic. He knows how to use the right expressions at the right time without going overboard and comes across as quite likeable.
The serial gets more and more interesting with every passing episode, making the viewers wait for the next one with greater anticipation.
The makers of this serial have dared to venture into precarious territory as this genre is relatively new for Pakistani dramas. The play has been embraced with open arms by the audience as good television, be it whatever category, is always watched.
Television in the West is constantly coming up with new and interesting stories dabbling with romance, action, comedy and drama (Seinfeld, The Newsroom, Entourage, Lost, and Game of Thrones among others). Drama producers in Pakistan though are content with the same stories of romance and family issues time and again. In the process they underestimate the taste and sensibility of viewers, who it must be noted, are exposed to foreign television in today’s globalised world.
Here’s hoping that more filmmakers experiment with new styles and scripts to gradually move the industry out of the rut of hackneyed plots. Though plays are visually impressive, capitalizing on latest technology, their content must be equally potent for the drama industry to truly become creative and robust.
Syed Abbas Hussain.