Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam – It’s a commendable attempt to defy preconceptions and show strong individuals with sufficient conviction and sympathy. A DARK THRILLER WITH KILLER LADIES FROM ACROSS THE BORDER THAT BURNS SLOWLY.
Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5
This six-part anthology series tells the experiences of women who will go to any length to save themselves from a bad circumstance and defy the standards. Even if it means murdering someone or giving their own life in the process.
Mysterious figures darkly lit lanes and blood-spattered in an old historic mansion somewhere in Pakistan — a setting that defines the grim tone of the story from the first episode forward. Menu Gaur, a critically renowned British-Indian filmmaker, spends no time in introducing us to the world of fierce women, whose beauty and vulnerability completely conceal the fire that burns within them.
Gaur meticulously plots the storyline of all her works with a repeating sub-plot as its backbone, which acts as a common ground, relying largely on her ensemble cast from across the border. The neighborhood where Mai (Samiya Mumtaz) resides in her opulent yet modest house is the breeding environment for a slew of stories and mysteries that gradually emerge as the program develops.
While the first few episodes are more self-contained and wholesome as stories, the last several are a revelation from the first, since the show follows a non-linear format. This, however, is what makes the series overly convoluted and difficult. This has an unfavorable effect on the storytelling tempo, which slows down over time.
To be honest, keeping track of so many people, some of whom are even identical in appearance, and plotlines that are running concurrently and crisscrossing across the episodes is difficult. This might be a big stumbling block for the show’s success.
Independent tales are, by definition, more intriguing and engaging, because they have fewer problems. The stories starring Zuvi (Sanam Saeed), Kanwal (Faiza Gilani), and Massey Ma are our particular favorites (Beo Raana Zafar). All of the stories have a noir tone to them, as well as a mysterious soundscape that adds lyrical refinement. The filmmakers do not appear to have freely explored Pakistan as a setting for whatever reason.
While there are a few sweeping ariel vistas of the cities, most of the action occurs within. Most of the scenes show the background (in out-of-focus), and all we know is that everything is taking place in a little Pakistani village. The show’s most compelling feature is its all-female cast. While everyone does an excellent job in their roles, Beo Raana Zafar, Sanam Saeed, and Samiya Mumtaz stand out for their controlled acting.
Overall, it’s a commendable effort to overcome preconceptions and show strong individuals with sufficient conviction and sympathy. They include not just oppressed and mistreated women, but also other disadvantaged groups who are unable to live the lives they desire. If you enjoy a slow-burning, unorthodox dark thriller, ‘Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam’ is a must-see.
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