Pakistani TV series review: 'Parizaad' takes on hypocritical standards of society

Sa'adia Reza
Filed on August 29, 2021

'Parizaad' delivers its promise of a gripping story that has chosen a route off the beaten track.

In a world where everything from beauty to behaviour is stereotyped, HUM TV’s drama Parizaad is an apt reminder of hypocritical standards set by society, and what happens to those who don’t fit within those parameters. With a stellar cast comprising Ahmed Ali Akbar, Ushna Shah, Suboor Aly, Nauman Ijaz, Urwa Hocane, Yumna Zaidi, Syed Muhammad Ahmed, and more, Parizaad delivers its promise of a gripping story that has chosen a route off the beaten track.

Based on a novel by Pakistani writer Hashim Nadeem, Parizaad follows the story of a young man (Ahmed Ali) belonging to lower middle class strata who suffers from a severe complex regarding his looks which don’t conform with societal expectations of beauty – a sentiment further reinforced by those around him. No stranger to ridicule, Parizaad struggles through life in search of acceptance and love while shouldering rock-bottom self-confidence and low self-esteem. Finding solace in poetry, he pens his thoughts and emotions into beautiful words.

Since the first episode, the drama has created quite a stir for its very different subject, an even-paced script, great story progression and intuitive direction, all propped by applaud-worthy performances. Past its 6th episode the drama continues to impress for its absorbing and intelligent narrative and several twists that have kept the viewers hooked.

Nadeem has done a brilliant job at penning the script with maturity and sensitivity, with each episode presenting more food for thought, be it highlighting double-standards or struggles of a tomboy – brilliantly portrayed by Saboor Aly – who wishes to live life by her rules. Directed by veteran Shahzad Kashmiri, the plot has so far remained slick and to the point.

Full marks to Ahmed Ali Akbar for imbibing the role of Parizaad to perfection in a way perhaps few actors could have managed. From voice modulation to a diffident body language, a stoop-shouldered gait and eyes that remain downcast, Akbar has owned Parizaad’s character to the T, highlighting his insecurities flawlessly. Yet, he successfully brings out Parizaad’s lovable, kind-hearted gentle soul, whose humble personality and naughty-meets-sweet smile has all the arsenal to melt viewers’ hearts, who can’t help but sympathise with him.

Another noteworthy mention is that of Adeel Afzal who takes on the role of Ahmed Naasaaz, Parizaad’s friend who helps to bring him out of his shell and explore his passion as a poet. The fact that he’s able to hold his own against Akbar says a lot about his acting potential. We hope to see more of him in other dramas as well.

Parizaad is aired on HUM TV every Tuesday at 7pm UAE time. The drama is also available on YouTube.


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