Making its grand debut on Sunday on Green Entertainment, the highly anticipated 22 Qadam series takes centre stage with an electrifying two-hour episode. The drama emerges as a captivating tale that intertwines the realms of cricket and female empowerment.
22 Qadam was bound to catch the attention of the audience for when you combine nation’s beloved sport i.e., cricket and nation’s current heartthrob i.e., Wahaj Ali, it is hard to miss.
Written by Zeeshan Ilyas and directed by Anjum Shahzad the drama aims to shatter deep-rooted stereotypes whilst proving that cricket and dreams transcend gender boundaries. 22 Qadam is set in a backdrop of fierce competition and captivating cricket matches that resounds a chord with the audience, compelling them to reflect on the limitless potential and the power of breaking barriers.
Here are our thoughts about the first set of two episodes that released on Sunday night:
Unveiling the plot:
Centred around women empowerment and cricket, the title of the drama is very poetic and metaphorically accurate. 22 Qadam, as explained in the drama as well, is the size of the cricket pitch, and also presents the struggle that the main protagonist must incur by taking one step at a time, to achieve her dreams.
The drama centres around Farien Akhtar aka Fari who is the protagonist of the drama. Characterized by Hareem Farooq, Fari is a buyout and a lively girl who dreams of becoming a cricketer and play in the national team.
The drama opens with a dream sequence of an international match where Fari is going to the pitch for her batting, aiming to win for Pakistan against Sri Lanka. Woken up by her sister, her dream remains incomplete.
A dejected Fari leaves for her college where she is late – as is customary. While standing outside her class she meets Naz Karyana (Alina Abbas), a new student who shares her quirks and of course her habit of being late.
The story progresses as Fari finds out that Sana Mir will be visiting her campus. An excited Fari puts in all her effort to meet her cricket idol. When she fails to meet Sana Mir, Fari stages an accident where she comes in front of her car, acting as if she is hurt. A guilty Sana offers to drop Fari to her house.
We adored the interaction between Fari and Sana in the car. Sana Mir’s cameo in the drama was a delight to watch and her motivational words to Fari resonated with the audience as well.
The awaited entry of the zealous Junaid:
The fans eagerly awaited to see Wahaj Ali as Junaid, after his staggering performance in Tere Bin. However, Wahaj Ali was nowhere to be seen in the first episode and made his debut in 22 Qadam after the first 10 minutes of the second episode.
Essaying the role of Junaid, Wahaj seamlessly established his character in his limited screen time. He is a passionate cricketer who despite his injuries is determined to play the sport he loves, sidelining his personal life and health.
The adorable car interaction in 22 Qadam
Fortunately, unlike Wahaj Ali’s entry, the audience did not have to wait to see the first interaction of the lead pair.
Fari, who is desperate to reach her college to meet Sana Mir, takes a lift from Junaid, who voluntarily offers to drop her after seeing a bat in her hand. Both get off on the wrong foot and Fari steps out of his car.
The spontaneous interaction that lasted shorter than we would have liked, established a great on-screen chemistry of the lead pair and reassured the audience that they are bound to like this on-screen pairing, especially after the audience is sceptical of Wahaj’s paring with an actress apart from Yumna in Tere Bin.
Leading the charge Fari and Junaid aim to break gender stereotypes and break boundaries:
The protagonists Fari and Junaid are presented as an epitome of ambition and passion that embody resilience and grit as they challenge societal norms, demonstrating that where there is will there is a way.
The dedication they have to their passion is an excellent way to inspire youth to achieve their dreams with determination and hard work, no matter what comes in between.
In addition, the drama is aptly presenting the significance of female empowerment by portraying a strong female lead who is making her presence felt with her actions, instead of preachy messages and long monologues.
The drama stars a strong supporting cast which includes Shahnawaz Zaidi, Nida Mumtaz, Kinza Razzak, Alina Abbas Shah, and Zainab Waseem.
The addition of stretched subplots in 22 Qadam:
22 Qadam promises a strong narrative that deserves its sweet time to unveil and develop. While we appreciate the addition of engaging subplots that add to the main storyline, 22 Qadam is failing to do so.
A substantial amount of time was given to develop Fari’s sister plot in the drama and her parents’ efforts to find her a suitable match. This resulted in the audience losing interest in the drama and fighting the urge to fast forward. We wished that the screen-time was instead allocated to uncover Junaid’s plot, which the viewers highly anticipate watching in the upcoming episodes.
Nevertheless, we cannot take away from the makers who have put together an unconventional drama together for the audience that not only promises a heartwarming love story but also a plot that incites the audience.