Name: Haq Se
Released On: February 2, 2018
Available On: ALT Balaji
No. of Episodes: 20
Written By: Devika Bhagat
Directed By: Ken Ghosh
Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Surveen Chawla, Parul Gulati
Inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women’, Haq Se revolves around the lives of four sisters living amidst the lush green meadows of a distressed Kashmir. The story is narrated by Jannat (Gulati) who pens down articles under the alias of ‘Mirza’. She highlights the plight of Kashmir and doesn’t believe in glorifying its constitutional breakdown as an ideal holiday destination. The biggest support to her progressive thoughts is her childhood mate Tabish (Pavail Gulati), who secretly loves her
The sisters differ in their individual traits and tend to represent the diversity of Kashmir. Meher aka Mehrunissa (Chawla), the eldest of all represents the serenity of Kashmir. Similarly, the power in Jannat’s writing seeks a revolution for the land. Bano aka Mahira (Akansha Sharma) has a scintillating voice that symbolizes the depth of the Dal lake. Lastly, Amal (Nikkesha Rangwala), the youngest of all is carefree and unordinary, with essence as that of the blooming flowers of ‘God’s Own Place.’
Image Source: IMDb
Jannat is a journalist in one of the dailies while Mehr attends interviews for prospective jobs as a doctor. The shy and reserved Bano has a passion for music while the impulsive Amal skips classes to portfolio shoot aspiring to be an actress someday. Haq Se thus highlights the journey of each sister towards fulfilling their goals amidst the forbidden land of riots, terrorism, and political exploitation.
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About the story:
The girls live with their mother Rabiyah (Rukhsar Rehman). They haven’t heard from their father Hashim Mirza (Ravi Khemu) for days. He is an Army doctor posted at the Siachen. Their widowed aunt Fatima (Simone Singh) visits them often. She earns a bad reputation for her extramarital affair with the state’s CM Salman Baig. The family faces a lot of humiliation at a wedding ceremony due to the presence of Fatima. While Jannat is supportive of her aunt’s thoughts, Meher condemns it. The two girls engage in a verbal debate. However, the actual reason for Meher’s resentment is her own failed affair in the past.
Meher gets an internship under Dr. Naushad Rizvi (Khandelwal) who taunts her for the audacity of Fatima. The duo is initially sour to each other. This makes Meher want to give up her job but she eventually continues when Naushad’s daughter Aliya grows fond of her.
Naushad has had a failed marriage before and has hence distanced himself from the idea of love and belonging. However, with the passage of time, Meher and Naushad fall for each other but can never be seen confessing about the same.
Image Source: Google
On the other hand, Jannat is unable to reciprocate Tabish’s feelings and has considered him to be her closest friend. She rather develops a passionate romance with Raghu Thapar (Karanvir Sharma), an award-winning reporter who comes to interview her following her blogs. Tabish is in turn liked by Bano who never confronts him about it, knowing about his feelings for Jannat.
Tabish, however, encourages Bano to pursue her dreams. He uploads a performance of her brand on social media and arranges a live concert for the girls. While one part of the youth shower appreciations for Bano, the other section of staunch Orthodoxes despises her. They even go to the extent of giving her death threats stating that for young girls to sing in public is a sin. Consequently, Jannat struggles in safeguarding the aspirations of her sister.
Image Source: IMDb
Amaal becomes extremely vulnerable and causes utter damage to the family. Not only does she reveal the secret of Jannat being the voice behind ‘Mirza’ but also tries seducing Raghu and puts falls allegations on him of having molested her. She does so to ruin Jannat’s life. This was due to Jannat noting her sister to be extremely childish and insane in the book she has been writing for long. Furthermore, Amaal goes to the extent of burning every page out of the draft of Jannat’s novel.
The family is cut off from society and receive open threats to curtail Bano’s freedom. Besides, The CM refuses to come to their aid since Jannat has previously exposed his real face to the world through her blogs. Fatima cuts off her ties with Salman to stand beside her family. Due to this, his goons vandalize her house.
An unwanted aspect of Meher’s past intervenes in her present and there is ongoing tension regarding the well-being of their father. Rabiyah struggles to maintain peace with her mind amidst the ongoing chaos and the worsening of the bond between the sisters.
Image Source: IMDb
Fatima moves on with her newfound love. Besides this, there is finally some good news regarding Hashim. Happiness returns to the family once again. However, on the night of Fatima’s wedding, Naushad misunderstands Meher’s piety and the entire family is shaken by a gruesome tragedy. The series ends abruptly with the return of Hashim Mirza and Jannat’s monologue on the family standing beside each other through thick and thin.
Haq Se highlights the poignancy of Kashmir and the lives of its people through a well-crafted screenplay. You will wish to empathize with the girls at some points. Surveen Chawla and Parul Gulati nail their characters. The makers could make more use of Khandelwal’s potential. Bano’s character was deliberately ruined. There was a possibility of a parallel ending to the initially promising story. Furthermore, some of its characters could evolve gradually with the advancement of the plot.
What works: Performances and cinematography
What doesn’t work: Abrupt ending
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