Sar-e-Rah Episode 1 Story Review – Perfection

Writer: Adeel Razzaq
Director: Ahmed Bhatti
Producer: Abdullah Seja
Schedule: ARY Digital Every Saturday 8 pm

After a really long time just when I had almost given up on Pakistani dramas altogether, the first episode of Sar-e-Rah reminded me of the reason why I started reviewing dramas in the first place! This first episode was pure genius. It had a soul that most dramas nowadays lack. Most importantly, this first episode was not just meaningful but also gripping right from the first scene till the last one. Even some of the actors who usually don’t deliver were at their best; the director Ahmed Bhatti definitely deserves credit for that. I don’t remember the last time when the opening episode of a drama made me connect to and root for the main protagonist as much as this one did. The most interesting bit was that although the subject matter of the drama is really serious, the overall feel of the drama was not gloomy or dark. The cinematography, direction, and treatment given to the script couldn’t have been more ideal. The director even managed to make it visually pleasing while ensuring that the meaning did not get lost in translation.

Even though the promos of Sar-e-Rah promised meaningful entertainment and I was expecting it to deliver but this opening episode completely blew me away. The clarity in the script and the execution won me over. This episode was also inspirational in many ways because the hope this story carries outweighed everything else. Women empowerment is a topic that is really close to my heart but there are only a few Pakistani dramas that have done justice to it. Some of the dialogues put this message across in the most concise and impactful manner possible. “paisun ki koi jins nahin hoti”, had to be my favorite one from this episode.

Inspirational and Uplifting

Sar-e-Rah’s first episode was fast-paced therefore it would be wrong to say that it merely introduced the characters to the viewers. We were introduced to so many dynamic and well-etched-out characters and at the same time their stories took off from this episode as well. The main protagonist Rania was the star of the show, enacted powerfully on-screen by Saba Qamar. This first episode covered the first major step in Rania’s journey while commendably showing different shades of her character.

Sar-e-Rah Episode 1 Story Review – Perfection

The first few scenes showed a young woman who was in love, others showed a strong woman who was determined, responsible, intelligent, and articulate, and most importantly there were so many scenes that highlighted the ‘human’ element of this character which stood out more than any other. Rania’s concern for her parents, the way she owned and respected her father’s profession (wearing that wristwatch being my favorite), and last but not least her love for her younger brother even though it was not reciprocated. The scene in which she gave her mother the money she earned and asked her to keep on giving Hatim (Junaid Jamshed) his pocket money was one of the many subtle yet powerful scenes that showed she was not bitter towards her brother even though he had been anything but supportive.

Sar-e-Rah Episode 1 Story Review – Perfection

Rania’s first ride was another one of the many scenes that showed that the writer was more interested in telling her story as one of hope and was not going to show her as a victim. Also, unlike many other such stories, it was not a case of Rania against the world. Starting from this first customer who gave her a valuable piece of advice as a token of his support to the lady who runs the NGO, Rania met quite a few people who were supportive. This variation in characters and the kind of people Rania met along the way made this first episode more interesting. Had it been any other drama, this first episode would only have covered Rania’s equation with Faraz (Agha Mustafa Hassan) and her father’s deteriorating health. I would especially like to mention here that I was pleasantly surprised to watch Agha Mustafa performing so well. His expressions have never been so balanced and his dialogue delivery was exceptional. His performance had to be the surprise package in this episode. The character itself was not ‘new’ but the performance and the on-screen chemistry he shared with Saba Qamar, made their scenes and track stand out.

Sar-e-Rah Episode 1 Story Review – Perfection

Rania’s household and the way it was being run showed the typical mindset which is prevalent in many such low-income houses. The parents invest all their savings in educating their sons because they are the ones who are expected to be the bread-winners. However, the turn that this story took was refreshing in so many ways. Also, it was good to see the parents realizing their mistake and even though the father, played beautifully by the exceptionally talented Rashid Farooqui was not comfortable with his daughter taking up the role the men in the house were expected to take, was in a way proud of her. There are only a handful of Pakistani actors who manage to say so much just by their facial expressions and Rashid Farooqui is definitely one of them.

Sar-e-Rah Episode 1 Story Review – Perfection

Final Remarks

I watched this episode today, a day that started on a grim note because there were 3 different news on the media today in which women had been violated in public spaces in the most horrific manner. Watching a woman take control of her life even if it was on-screen and that too in a convincing manner was definitely something I personally needed today. Also, I feel that women in Pakistan are breaking barriers now. I see women driving motorcycles with other women escorting them; I have seen women delivering food on motorcycles as well – something which was not happening a few years back. Women are making space for themselves in places that were considered fit only for men therefore this story is also relevant in so many ways now more than it ever was.

This first episode not only shows the challenges a woman faces when she decides to take up a job that is traditionally assigned to men by society but also showed that a woman is able to make it on her own. Also, it was especially pleasing watching female characters who supported Rania. The on-screen chemistry Saba Qamar shared with all her co-stars in this episode definitely made all the difference. It was quite obvious that she put her heart and soul into this project. Her performance coupled with the way Rania’s story has been written as well as the excellent treatment given to the script by the director made this first episode of Sar-e-Rah unforgettable.

If you haven’t watched this first episode, you are missing out! If you watched this episode please do share your views. Did you fall in love with it instantly as well?

Fatima Awan

Fatima Awan has been a part of reviewit right from its inception. She feels very passionately about Pakistani dramas and loves discussing them in detail. An enthusiastic writer, thinker, and political scientist, constantly trying to look beyond the obvious. Full-time mom.

  • I was keep visiting to check the review of Sare Raah and surprisingly, it is here.. hurrah.

    I can’t express how much i am happy to see the first episode of sare raah. It is poignant, highlighting true picture of society and breaking stereotypes in subtle way. Kudos to the writer, director, production house and actors who have done tremendous job humanely without depicting characters either black or white. Grey characters are too good and we are seeing it..

    Saba Qamar stole the show and proved her mettle once again. I loved it when she asked boy to sit back. This courage won’t allow anyone to hurt strong women. Other actors were also performed so well.

    Being a student of gender studies, i have stats which break my heart, 11.6 million girls are out of school children in Pakistan, as per ASER. Every year more than 1000 women are being killed in the name of honor. Domestic violence is prevalent as 78pc women face here in our country. Normalizing violence and preferring sons over daughters is patriarchal.

    We want it to end in true spirit. Pakistani women have come a long, there are still impediments, more power to them, stated by Zohra Yusuf in Womenplanning book.

    Best review of yours.

    • Hi Waqar, I am glad we did not let you down :) How could I not review it, it was so beyond amazing. I have watched it twice already and I am totally in awe, loved it beyond words. This is the drama we have been waiting to watch.

      Those stats really are heartbreaking. I am so glad there are men out there such as yourself who are opting for such subjects and can see where the problem lies, you are the change we wish to see in our society IA. I wrote my first research article for a university journal on Women Empowerment, it was such an eye-opener. The way women have been exploited in the past and are still exploited in so many different parts of the world is horrendous. Two young ladies were raped today and one brutally killed by her own husband, like you said all this violence against women has been normalized, it is sickening. I so needed to watch something like Sar e Rah today and I am so glad I did.

      Yes, absolutely, grey characters are the best.

      Thank you so much. So good to have you on board.

  • Ye kia dekh liya! Ye waqaee aajkal main banne wala drama when we are complainig of number of flop projects for last many months.

    Maza aagay SeR dekh ker. Promos were promising that’s why this is for the first time i asked my 10-year old daughter k aik drama aane wala aur woh ham kathe dekhain gey. Dramay ki title screen/ opening dekh ker lag raha k koi netflix series hai.

    Saba Saba hai, amazing performer! Kaheen naheen lagta k koi acting horahee hai.. aur phir kahani, us ka flow, dialogues, proper scense ka duration, ourdoor shooting aur mazay ki baat k is qist ka end aane walee episode ki kahani ka start hai. They covered every aspect very convincingly, even they also showed why she couldnt be registered with any online taxi company.

    Mini series ka lagta hai trend aaraha hai. Let’s see aage kiya dekhne ko milta hai. Muneeb wali episode wala promo was giving me chills.

    Very well written review.

    • Bilkul aisa hi hey, sahi kaha aap ne. Honestly, while I was watching this episode, I was waiting for it to take at least one typical route but like you said not a single scene that was predictable or not on point.

      Yes, definitely a good trend. I am so glad we finally have a drama that is not commercial but also not outrageous or boring! This first episode was a complete package and effortlessly so.

      I totally agree with you about the outdoor scenes, zabardast direction, and photography. Sick and tired of feeling claustrophobic while watching most Pakistani dramas.

      Thank you, Urs, keep reading and commenting.

    • After watching this one, I am actually really impressed with Ahmad Bhatti’s directorial skills. Yes, do watch, this was the only episode this week that was worth watching.

  • What a classy actress,Saba Qamar is, She did a full justice to the role, She made me cry, Drama is so emotional and realistic,I am impressed by the characters,every one played, Thank you very much for showing so realistic Drama.

  • Hi Fatima,
    Nice to see you again. I wanted to see cores my comments about this drama and found that the only place where I comment, is reviewing this drama through you.
    The dialogue you capitalised about pausing ki jins, was my favourite too. While the dialogue getting uttered, my mind was going at all those women and girls going out on road for the bread & butter got their families and most of them are forced by some unavoidable circumstances in their families. Really, salute to their courage & that depicts that paisa is not Jageer of Mard. It is for those who earns it. Never thought that someone will relate money with reference to gender and making it genderless at the end.
    As the drama started, it was giving me vibes of Mrs. & Mr. Shammem when I saw Saba and the actor together. But how beautifully in the very first episode, she talked to her fiancée to finish the relation and never meet with same intention. This is new thing because now we will see her independent journey as Taxi driver. Also, good to see the three lessons from the very first passenger going to sheer shah because this will make her journey different than getting torture on road being a female taxi driver.
    Will comment more next time., in a hurry now. But looks like this is the drama has more content to discuss in every episode.

    • Hello Aamer, So glad you’re watching this one and liking it just as much as everyone else here. I am especially happy that the recent episode got the attention and views it deserved. So true, you expressed your thoughts about paisa and the dialogue so clearly, totally agree with it. loved the concept, and how it was initiated and taken forward in this episode. I haven’t watched Mrs & Mr Shahmim yet, will definitely give it a go. That first passenger was the best opening for this journey, I am glad they showed someone like him at the beginning and not someone who made things difficult.

      Will look forward to your comment :)

  • Love your review. If you want interesting, engaging, and meaningful content then Mrs. and Mr. Shameem is the biggest thing that you are missing out on. Please do watch the series and don’t forget to review it.

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