As the final curtain falls on ‘22 Qadam’ the audience is left on an emotional pendulum swing. Being one of Green Entertainment’s pioneering offerings, this drama is probably one of their lengthiest productions to date, with the drama exceeding more than thirty episodes.
Written by Zeeshan Ilyas and brought to life under the direction of Anjum Shahzad, ‘22 Qadam’ effortlessly seized the audience’s attention. As it combined the nation’s raw passion for cricket with the charm of Wahaj Ali, the current heartthrob, it became an irresistible watch. But as the drama reaches its conclusion the burning question remains: Has the fervour and adoration from the audience endured over these past few months, or has it transformed with the conclusion of this cricket-infused saga?
The highs and lows of the last episode
Truth be told, the last episode left us hanging, craving for more yet elated as we witnessed the drama gracefully steering toward a joyous conclusion.
The adrenaline rush was palpable throughout the episode as Fari, portrayed by Hareem Farooq, gave her all during the match, a pivotal moment that held the fate of the characters hanging in the balance. The cricket scene, which was masterfully shot, evoked an excitement similar to a Pakistan vs. India match, though we were quite confident here that our protagonist while sweep the trophy. The well-executed scene coupled with the soundtrack, sung by Zain Fatima, added an extra layer of intensity to the moment.
As Liza, played by Dur e Nayab, stepped in with her injury, the tension soared. The narrative unfolded with Fari striving to save the day through powerful sixes, only to face setbacks. Then enters Liza, overcoming her own challenges, leading to a triumphant moment as the pair guides the team to victory.
The victory shot was a highlight, capturing Hareem’s expressions that ranged from disbelief and shock to the realization of her triumph, intertwined with the nostalgia of her father’s words urging her to pursue her dreams. Her subsequent prostration, expressing gratitude to God, was a much-needed scene that encapsulated the culmination of more than thirty episodes of anticipation.
The raw, unfiltered moments of the team’s happiness after the victory, devoid of excessive makeup and perfect blow-dry hair, resonated as a perfect representation of women after an intense match. The scene where the entire team walked out of the cricket ground together underscored unity among females and reiterated that this wasn’t just Fari’s victory, but it was a moment of triumph for all women who are striving towards their goals.
In a final glimpse, we catch Fari arriving at the field to play for Pakistan against Sri Lanka, hinting at her international career and introducing a new arena for her battles. The beautifully orchestrated scenes leave us eager for what lies ahead, extending the legacy of ‘22 Qadam’ beyond its gripping conclusion.
By this point, you might be wondering, ‘Where is Junaid?’ Herein lies the most significant flaw of the last episode i.e. how it deprived the audience of witnessing Wahaj Ali on screen as Junaid and denied us a proper conclusion to Junaid’s story. As viewers, we could only wish for a gradual and triumphant recovery for Junaid, envisioning him reclaiming his place in the game and eventually playing on the international stage. The absence of closure left fans yearning for more.
However, in those fleeting seconds of screen time, Wahaj Ali once again left an indelible mark. The power of eye contact spoke volumes as Fari and Junaid locked eyes, and Junaid exuded pride. No dialogue was needed as Wahaj won us over with his expressions, showcasing the art of acting with his eyes. While the lack of a conclusion to Junaid’s storyline left us disappointed, Wahaj once again won us over.
That being said, our craving for Fari and Junaid’s love story to reach a satisfying conclusion left us wanting for more than just fleeting eye-contact scenes. This left us thinking that could the absence of a resolution in their love story and Junaid’s plot be a subtle hint towards a second season. Are we right to anticipate a sequel where we witness the union of these two characters navigating both their personal lives and conquering the cricket world? The lingering questions only intensify our curiosity about what might unfold in a potential second season.
Messages of women empowerment, mental health, and a relentless pursuit to fulfil your dreams
From the outset, the drama set itself apart by embedding powerful messages and raising awareness about social issues. While it navigated through an array of societal challenges with considerable success, there were moments, particularly in the beginning, where it momentarily lost its way with some excessively melodramatic scenes, notably during Fari’s sister’s quest for matrimony.
The narrative skillfully unfolded Fari’s journey, portraying her resilience in pursuing cricket despite external challenges and internal battles convincing her parents and challenging societal norms. Amber, portrayed by Kinza Razzak, emerged as another beacon of strength, battling domestic violence and getting out of an abusive marriage. The drama’s depiction of women empowerment was commendably great, with both the protagonist and supporting characters finding their voices and establishing themselves.
In addition, the integration of mental health and suicidal thoughts into Junaid’s character was thoughtfully executed. His struggle following an accident, coupled with the jeopardy of his career due to injury, shed light on the pressing issues surrounding mental health. This multifaceted approach to storytelling ensured that ’22 Qadam’ not only entertained but also served as a powerful medium for societal reflection and discussion.
In the middle, the drama deviated a bit with some excessive melodramatic scenes, particularly during the initial focus on Amber’s marriage proposals and then Fari’s father getting sick. Despite these moments, the drama successfully resumed its impactful exploration of social issues, weaving layers of diverse narratives that added depth to the storyline.
Wahaj Ali and Hareem Farooq’s chemistry
Initially, as ‘22 Qadam’ was gearing up for its launch, ‘Tere Bin’ held the spotlight with Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi’s captivating chemistry, leaving audiences enthralled. The looming question was whether Wahaj and Hareem Farooq could recreate that magical presence.
Despite the absence of immediate fireworks, the characters of Fari and Junaid gradually and steadily won our hearts. Wahaj and Hareem, portraying these roles, forged a connection that resonated with the audience, making us root for their on-screen chemistry.
What set their chemistry apart was its foundation in the plot. Their relationship was crafted on the pillars of mutual trust, respect, and admiration, underscored by their shared passion for cricket. As their characters went through emotional journeys and encountered personal challenges, we witnessed not only the actors’ chemistry but also their deep admiration and respect for the roles they portrayed. This on-screen casting and relationship proved to be a delightful and engaging aspect that kept us eagerly watching.
Alongside the lead protagonists, the drama had an exciting lineup of a talented cast, featuring Kinza Razzak, Aleena Abbas, Muhammad Usman Malik, Nida Mumtaz, Saleem Miraj, Dur e Nayab, Muhammad Abdullah Zaman. The drama also included cameo appearances from Sana Mir and Shoaib Akhtar.
Here it is worth mentioning that Kinza Razzak as Amer Akhtar, Aleena Abbas as Naz Kiryana, and Dur e Nayab as Liza were a few new faces that we saw in the drama who left us impressed with their performance. We do hope to see them soon in new projects.
Was ’22 Qadam’ worth the hype?
Produced by Hareem Farooq and Imran Raza Kazmi under the banner of IRK Films, ’22 Qadam’ proved to be the perfect marketing material, offering a promising cricket story with Wahaj Ali and Hareem Farooq at the forefront. While the drama had its share of highs and lows, with moments feeling overly melodramatic and stretched, it ultimately delivered a substantial and novel plot.
What elevated the drama to greater heights was the collaboration of casting, direction, and writing. This triumphant teamwork didn’t just make the story entertaining but injected it with powerful messages. It ensured that the audience, beyond being engaged, was also taught powerful messages by the unfolding plot. ’22 Qadam’ went on to be not just a TV drama but also as a commendable fusion of drama, sports, and social issues, making it a standout attempt.