The name Hashim Nadeem carries weight when it comes to TV dramas in Pakistan; his most recent play Ishq Zahe Naseeb impressed all with his filmi storytelling and even got nominated in nearly every category of Lux Style Awards.
The dynamic playwright is back with another play Raqs e Bismil, theteasers of which were revealed on Wednesday. Besides featuring two extremely talented actors Imran Ashraf and Sarah Khan in the lead, the play marks the return of Wajahat Rauf as a director on TV, with his wife and producer Shazia Wajahat ensuring that nothing goes wrong in the project.
The two teasers managed to raise the audience’s expectations and made them anxious to wait for the drama that would begin airing next month. Read on to know four of the many reasons that will make you wait for play:
Imran Ashraf – The Human Chameleon is back!
Currently Imran Ashraf is ruling the scene as Adam in Mushk which is also written by him. He plays the ‘daddy of all heroes’ because he doesn’t care how his good deeds will affect him, for his objective is to bring happiness to the face of those he loves. Before that, he was the detested Rehan Chaudhry in Inkaar and the annoying Bhola in Ranjha Ranjha Kardi for which he has been nominated as the Best Actor in the Lux Style Awards 2020.
In Raqs e Bismil, he looks like both a young man possessed with rage and one in love with a stunner, played by Sarah Khan. Why was he chosen for the role of Moosa and how did he try to make it different from his other characters, both Shazia Wajahat the producer, and actor Imran Ashraf had interesting stories to tell.
According to the producer Shazia Wajahat, ‘I always wanted to work with Imran Ashraf but we were usually producing films and he was busy in TV dramas; I also was waiting for a perfect script to cast him so when I got the script of Raqs e Bismil, the first name that came into my mind was that of Imran for Moosa. I am glad that we managed to rope him in for he is a team player as well as a powerful actor.’
Imran Ashraf has a more or less similar story to tell about how he ended up with the role of Moosa. ‘I was sitting at home when Shazia Bhabi called me up and started telling me about the new drama, and the character of Moosa.
By the time she had briefed me, I had stood up in anticipation, and told her that if she hasn’t cast anyone else in the role, I would be willing to be Moosa. I had a great time working with her and Wajahat Bhai who are a great team and take care of the cast like two heads of a huge family.
The biggest challenge I faced was to look different – different than Bhola, different than Rehan Chaudhry, different than Adam – and thanks to my team and co-actors, I think I have managed to do that, with the approval of the writer and the director. Phew!’
Sarah Khan – Raising the bar after Sabaat
For those who think that the character of Miraal in Sabaat was the best performance of Sarah Khan, think again. The teasers of Raqs e Bismal show her in a new avatar, one that is much different from Miraal as well as her other characters. She looks gorgeous in every frame of the teaser and makes the audience fall in love with her again, which was a hard thing to do considering everyone hates Miraal, more than they hate Covid-19 in 2020.
Shazia Wajahat was all praise for her female lead as well, terming her as the perfect fit for Zohra’s character. ‘For Zohra, even the writer had Sarah Khan in mind when he was writing Raqs e Bismil, and I actually imagined her when reading it as well. She was the perfect one for this character and our first and last choice too and she will shock the audience who don’t expect her to do another powerful character so soon!’
Ensemble Cast – An amalgamation of young and old!
These days, TV dramas choose popular actors in lead roles and leave the supporting ones to whoever is available. However, Shazia Wajahat has gone against the tide and selected the best possible actors for her drama; if Mahmood Aslam was needed in the character of the patriarch, then Mahmood Aslam was approached, selected and locked.
The same goes for seasoned actors; Nida Mumtaz, Sajid Shah, Rashid Farooqui, Gul e Rana and Saleem Meraj have been cast due to their ability to mold themselves in their characters than on the basis of their fan following.
Although she isn’t shown in either of the teasers, film actress and the drop-dead gorgeous diva Zara Sheikh makes her TV debut through Raqs e Bismil, in a pivotal role. Sisters Javeria Abbasi and Anoushay Abbasi reunite for the project after a long time while talented youngsters Furqan Qureshi and Taha Humayun can also be seen playing characters that are yet to be revealed. Comedian Momin Saqib, who recently made his TV debut through Be Adab, could be seen playing Imran Ashraf’s brother in Raqs e Bismil and has done a wonderful job for someone who is new to acting.
Seems like the producer did a fascinating job going for the best so that the audience remain mesmerized during the serial’s airing. When asked about the casting process, Shazia Wajahat had this to say: ‘I really enjoyed doing the casting for this play since each character is powerful in his or her own way. When the audience will see they will definitely agree that all the actors have done perfect justice to their characters and were the right choice for it.’
Raqs e Bismil teasers have the film-feel we miss on TV!
For the last five years Wajahat Rauf has been busy making films and only decided to return to TV because of Hashim Nadeem’s script and his wife Shazia’s involvement with the project.
However, his spending time in filmdom helped the script in a way that no one imagined. Not only do we witness a fight sequence in the teaser, but beauty shots, long shots, close-ups, and Steadicam shots that give the audience the feeling of watching a film, instead of a TV drama.
The way Imran Ashraf walks in the teaser shows that he means business, even if it means taking the law in his hand, whereas the grace with which Sarah Khan carries herself makes her seem like someone straight out of a dream sequence.
Raqs e Bismil begins airing next month on HUM TV