The Khuda Aur Mohabbat franchise’s third edition has been one of the most keenly anticipated television outings of recent times. Ever since the project was announced with a new cast and fresh storyline, fans have been curious and excited to see the magical unfolding of captivating visual content on the small screen produced by Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi. Directed by the Do Bol fame, Syed Wajahat Hussain and penned by the prolific Hashim Nadeem Khan, the first episode of Khuda Aur Mohabbat 3 (KAM3) premiered last night and delivered beyond its promise of being a visual spectacle.
KAM3 boasts of a stellar ensemble cast featuring Feroze Khan, Iqra Aziz, Junaid Khan, Tooba Siddiqui, Sunita Marshal, Javaid Sheikh, Mirza Zain Baig, Meharbano, Fareeha Jabeen, Asma Abbas, and Waseem Abbas along with other cast members who will be introduced in the following episodes. The casting is a perfect mix of senior industry legends and the brightest young talent of the country.
The premier episode hit the one million mark within just 4 hours of its release on YouTube reflecting the craze amongst fans.
The story revolves around Farhad, a middle-class boy from the Walled City of Lahore, and Mahi, belonging to an elite family of Bahawalpur. The episode shows Mahi’s arrival in Lahore for her best friend’s wedding where a series of events will lead to her proximity with Feroze’s character in the following episodes. The drama deals with multiple themes of love and religion, however, the writer should be mindful of not glorifying any certain religious belief or custom which can be problematic for the project.
Mirza Zain Baig’s character Taimoor represents a segment of the current generation that prefers to capture the beauty of shrines for social media rather than actually being there for its actual purpose.
The equation shown between Farhad and his siblings is extremely refreshing and praiseworthy. The three siblings consisting of two brothers and one sister treat each other equally and bond very well together so much that they even cover each other’s faults and mistakes and don’t feel happy when they are being praised in comparison to their other sibling. The sister is also an equal member of the sibling squad. A positive and progressive equation of siblings shown in this drama is praiseworthy since the majority of leading dramas currently boast of themes relating to sibling rivalry or discrimination.
Taimoor’s love at first sight sequence with Mahi seems exaggerated and unrealistic. In the scene, Mahi accuses Taimoor of theft and threatens him of calling the cops in the middle of a crowded railway station. She is constantly insulting him and doesn’t even smile once or talk politely. Hence a well-groomed boy like Taimoor falling for her in a scene like this makes very little sense. He gets so obsessed with her that he even stalks her and asks his affiliates to trace her. He is shown daydreaming about her which all just seems a bit too farfetched.
Direction and cinematography
Cinematography is top-notch, the DOP, Saqlain Raza Waraich, has done a fabulous job at capturing the architectural beauty of different cities of Pakistan, i.e Multan, Bahawalpur, and Lahore. The bird’s eye view shots are rightly cultivated in the screenplay. Also, the ariel shots in the opening sequences make the drama a visual delight and glorify the religious and cultural shrines/mosques/monuments of the nation. The opening shots are breathtaking but at times look pale due to the overtly saturated colour-grading, with overuse of orange and yellow filters.
Since the drama spans over multiple geographical regions, a little caption below certain monuments mentioning their geographic region would have given more clarity to the viewers. A more natural colour-grading would have made the camera shots more appealing to the eyes. The backdrops are colourful and visualy enticing. However, there are hardly any close-up shots of supporting characters even in scenes where they should be given more importance, especially Meharbano during her henna ceremony. The director should make the supporting cast look more significant.
The mall sequence where Farhad and Mahi cross paths, adds to the curiosity of narrative building.
Feroze Khan as Farhad is both loveable and relatable. The actor displays elements of comedy, helplessness, embarrassment, confidence, and confusion all in the very first episode. Iqra as Mahi brings life to the screenplay. She is a natural performer and makes the character believable despite its over the top nature. Her improvisation of dialogues in the train sequence with Zain is also noticeable.
Sunita Marshal looks elegant and does justice to her character. Junaid Khan appears in only two scenes but exactly looks the part of a feudal lord, his mannerisms and body language are also in-sync with his character. Zain Baig looks charming on-screen but lacks the natural element in his performance as some of his nuances seem to be over-rehearsed. Meharbano, Asma Abbas, Waseem Abbas, and Seemi Pasha are decent in their respective roles. The supporting cast does a fair job, however, it has been given less margin to perform especially senior actors such as Javaid Sheikh, who doesn’t even get a single dialogue, Fareeha Jabeen seems to be wasted in the role of a maid. Some characters only seem to be a filler. Noor-ul-Hassan gives a scene-stealing performance and impresses with just two scenes.
There are some minor continuity glitches as Iqra’s character complains to her sister-in-law that her blue shawl isn’t traceable in her luggage, but inquired her maid regarding the blue dress and not the shawl, later she again mentions to her friend that she needs a new blue shawl as she wouldn’t attend the mehndi ceremony without her blue dress. After her friend’s suggestion of quickly getting one from the mall, we see the two at a mall. However, at the mehndi ceremony, Iqra is seen wearing a multiple colour dress dominated by peach and orange with just an iota of blue on the shawl’s borders. What was this entire sequence about then if she had to wear a different dress at the event?
The first episode’s duration is more than 50 minutes which is indeed a delight for the fans of the cast members however a few scenes could have been chopped off to make the editing crisper such as the “Booti Baba” sequence was unnecessary and irrelevant to the narrative.
Farhad is shown coming out of the examination hall with his friends in one of the scenes however in the climax scenes his father is informed by a neighbor that Farhad’s examination officer informed him that Farhad hasn’t attended any exam.
The background score is stellar and enhances the screenplay’s impact especially in the shrine sequence between Taimoor and Baba Ji (a beggar on the shrine). It rightfully adds the essence of different moods and genres in different scenes, making the narrative light in the railway station sequence or interactions between Farhad and his neighbour and making the scene more dramatic and intense in the scene where Farhad is chased by a police’s car.
Little efforts have been made on the cast to get the right lingo of their geographical settings such as except for Asma Abbas, Feroze’s family lacks the typical Punjabi accent of Urdu that is used by the residents of walled city, Lahore or more popularly known as “Androon Lahore”. More accuracy of the linguistic elements would have made the characters more relatable.
Iqra is shown to carry an abaya in her hometown, Bahawalpur publicly, but doesn’t follow the same in Lahore which makes her dressing inconsistent.
In a scene where Farhad is interacting with his female neighbour, he takes off his shoe and points at her telling her to shut up or else he’ll hit her with his shoe. Although the two were indulged in a fun banter, such antics by a superstar like Feroze on-screen can be misleading to a section of the audience which might replicate their favourite actor’s gesture. The director should be more careful of such little gestures in the future episodes.
The first episode delivered what the teasers promised and beyond, stellar performances, brilliant cinematography and impactful background score makes gives it a winning start.