Instep Today

Ehd e Wafa concludes; shines light on bond of friendship

By Buraq Shabbir
Wed, 03, 20

Breaking away from social and domestic issues, the ISPR-sponsored drama serial had its highs and lows before coming to an end. Several strong performances made it an interesting watch.

The final episode of Ehd e Wafa, which was initially considered a sequel to Alpha Bravo Charlie –directed by Shoaib Mansoor -was supposed to be screened in cinemas on March 14 and 15. However, with cinemas shut down for at least two weeks in the wake of the corona virus, this didn’t materialize and viewers watched it on their TV screens this weekend (March 15).

With Ahmed Ali Akbar, Wahaj Ali, Ahad Raza Mir and Osman Khalid Butt headlining the Pakistan Army-centric narrative, the drama offered a fresh script to TV watching audiences. It did attract some negative criticism for not living up to the hype initially, especially when comparisons were made to Alpha Bravo Charlie, but the story picked up over the course.

Ehd e Wafa stood out for tackling an unusual genre, with male protagonists, their struggle and friendship being the highlight of the drama.Besides, the women in their lives, essayed by Hajra Yamin, Alizeh Shah, Zara Noor Abbas and Momina Iqbal, played small yet substantial roles that had impact on their male counterparts. Despite a males-centric plot, it was refreshing to see most of these women having a professional life and contributing to society, unlike most other Pakistani dramas.

Directed by Saife Hassan, the recently concluded drama serial revolved around the journey of four friends – Saad (Ahad), Shahzain (Osman), Shariq (Wahaj) and Shehryar (Ahmed), as they came together to study at the prestigious Lawrence College in Ghora Gali, Murree. Fun, fights, misunderstandings, distance and eventually reconciliation is what defined their friendship that only got stronger with time. Keeping up with their family legacies, Saad became an army officer while Shahzain joined politics; Shariq took on the role of a reporter while Shehryar got appointed as an assistant commissioner.

Though busy in their lives, the news of Saad’s injury brought all of them together in the last, double episode, that left viewers in tears. One almost predicted Saad be martyred, given his last few conversations with family and friends, but he survived – making up for a happy ending.

Performances in Ehd e Wafa were definitely a plus, even with loopholes in the story and execution at certain places. Wahaj Ali as the media man and Ahmed Ali Akbar, who weren’t the focus of many headlines before the drama went on-air, proved once again how strong their craft is. Their performances attracted major appreciation, more than other characters in the production. Osman Khalid Butt, whose performance in Surkh Chandni didn’t impress, reestablished the fact that he can act and can be pretty good at it. Ahad Raza Mir, who is presently essaying a very contrasting role in Yeh Dil Mera, was convincing as Captain Saad, a simple yet strong man who stood by his promises throughout.

When the drama went on-air, the first episode disappointed viewers; the setting, some sequences against the backdrop of the army college as well as the humour wasn’t as convincing. However, after the first few episodes, the plot got interesting with twists and turns, as well as additional characters such as Malik Allahyaar, played by Syed Mohammad Ahmed, and Rani, essayed by Zara Noor Abbas.

Mohammad Ahmed may not have been able to pull off the accent of a Punjabi landowner but his character certainly garnered praise for the senior actor. Zara, who stepped into the world of dramas with cliché roles of weeping women, stood out in Ehd e Wafa with a rather fun, chirpy character. Alizeh Shah as Dr Dua also got to show off her acting chops, unlike her other dramas where one mostly finds her crying. Hajra Yamin, on the other hand, kept up with playing strong, diverse roles as she portrayed a fearless journalist in the drama; her delivery was phenomenal. Other actors such as Vaneeza Ahmed, Faraz Inam Siddiqui, Sajeeruddin Khalifa and Adnan Samad Khan, who were integral to the plot, had impressive screen presence too.

An interesting and strong script by Mustafa Afridi touched viewers’ hearts, with a meaningful OST by Asim Azhar and Aima Baigas the cherry on top. Pakistani television needs more dramas that offer unusual, diverse storylines, outside the confines of a household.