By Shahid Siddiqui
Last week I happened to watch 'Be-had', a telefilm, starring Nadia Jamil and Fawad, produced by Momina Duraid and directed by Asim Raza. Now that we have a number of channels in Pakistan, the frequency of TV plays is also enhanced. With this proliferation, the quality of most of the plays is diluted. A quality play requires a gripping story, crisp dialogues, good acting, and intelligent directions. Unfortunately we do not find this combination in a number of plays that are aired on TV channels because of the monopoly of certain production groups.
Watching Be-had was a pleasant experience as one could see a good script (Umaira Ahmed) with great acting by Nadia Jamil and Fahad and intelligently directed by Asim Raza. The story revolves around Masooma (Nadia Jamil) who lost her loving husband, Hasan, in an accident. Her daughter (Maha) was only 10 when Hasan died and suddenly Masooma and Maha found themselves in a world where they were all alone. Masooma was the whole universe for Maha and Maha was the only focus of Masooma's life. Masooma wanted to give every bit of herself to Maha- time, care, attention, and love. This not only alienated her socially but impacted her career negatively as she could not go to professional development workshops just because she didn't want to leave her daughter alone.
Nadia Jamil and Fawad gave one of the best performances of their life.
As they say, where there is love there is fear, Masooma was over protective about Maha and would treat her as a little kid. Maha, now a grown up, girl of 15, also became overdependent on Maha. She hates men and she won't let anybody come in their world. Jamal, joe (Fahad), a younger brother of her friend meets Masooma accidently in her office. He had taken up a job of marketing manager in the city. Joe is a lively person and very soon Maha (Masooma's daughter) accepts her as welcome guest in their home. Masooma tries to look for a bride for Fahad but he does seem interested in marriage. One day, however, he takes Masooma to to a surprise visit to his spacious home and, sitting on stairs, proposes her. Masooma was shocked as she was five years older than Fahad. She shares with her daughter about Fahad's proposal who gets upset as she never wanted her mother to share her love with anybody else. One day when Masooma was away and Fawad was at their place Maha thought of a plan and started screaming and ran out of the door where she met with Masooma, giving her mother the impression that Fawad made had bad intentions about her. This incident shatters all plans and Masooma pushes Fawad out of her home. After six months Maha apologises to Fawad admitting that she did that because she feared that her mother would not be giving her as much love as she used to give before marriage. In the end Masooma,who has already seen the evidence of Fawad' innocence on close circuit camera, also joins them and the film comes to an end.
The script of the play was strong with a message that over protection of children cripples them mentally and they cannot face the challenges waiting for them in real life. We see the attributes of conflict and action which are so important for the success of a play. The action is more in the inner worlds of characters where they fight with themselves. The dialogues are crisp and at times imbued with good humour.
The real success of story, however, is its enactment. A good script, with poor acting, cannot create the impact on audience. In case of Be-had Nadia Jamil and Fawad gave one of the best performances of their life. Nadia did full justice to the central role (Masooma) assigned to her. Here acting was quite natural. There were situations which could trap her in 'overacting' but she remained so real and natural. The beach scene where Hasan mentions of his death Nadia's acting was superb. Similarly the lunch scene where she praises Maha's Salad and wants Fawad as well to admire the trifle made by Maha, was so natural. Another great scene was when Masooma (Nadia) shares with her daughter about jamals proposal. Her expressions, gestures, delivery of dialogues aptly communicated to the viewer what she was feeling. Congratulations to the production team that provided the viewers a quality tele film with good script, great acting and creative direction.