Haq Se review: Stunning visuals, slick direction make for a satisfying watch of this ALTBalaji series

Gayatri Gauri

Feb,06 2018 10:02 04 IST

In a beautiful sprawling cottage, nestling in the lush green valley of Kashmir, live four lovely sisters with their mother. Rosy cheeked, defiant and independent, in the absence of the father figure, they make the best of an idyllic household trying to hold onto brief tranquil moments of paradise in the land of turbulence.

Rajeev Khandelwal and Surveen Chawla in a still from Haq Se. YouTube

Rajeev Khandelwal and Surveen Chawla in a still from Haq Se. YouTube

Adapted from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, the 11-part ALTBalaji Haq Se series follows similar characters of the four sisters  and the friendly neighbourhood boy but totally changes both the plot and the theme by setting it in Kashmir. And that is a good thing, considering that the highly popular 1868 novel reflected the role of women in domesticity and love in society, in that century.

After a disappointing Bose: Dead/Alive and more watchable The Test Case, ALTBalaji finally delivers a more satisfying watch in its charming web series Haq Se. The story  revolves around the Mirza household of women. The sisters are Meher (Surveen Chawla), Jannat (Parul Gulati), Amal (Nikkesha) and Bano (Aanchal Sharma). Meher is a dutiful medical intern with an unhappy secret. Jannat is a tomboy and a passionate blogger who writes under the pseudonym ‘Mirza’. Amal is the attention seeking dumb doll and Bano is the shy, innocent girl who transforms when singing. Their mother, Rabiyah (Rukhsaar) is a stern, dignified head of the family waiting for the news of her missing husband who is away tending to war victims.

The story starts off with a family scandal caused by the sisters’ gorgeous aunt, Fatima, who they call Khaala (Simone Singh, fantastic). Khaala’s secret illicit relationship as the married Kashmir chief minister’s mistress, causes both her and the Mirza family deep humiliation. While Khaala swallows her pride, the fiery niece Jannat  slams down the minister in her blog. Things come to a point when she has to seek his help later to protect Bano and her newly formed music band against stone pelting and life threatening goons. Taking on the lonesome battle, the women in the family rally around Bano. Jannat fights back with her blog writings and becomes the voice of Kashmir. “Main Kashmir hoon’’, She declares with rebellious pride when told there are other burning issues more important than her ‘little women’ family.

Under the slick direction by Ken Ghosh, the series falters a little when it moves on to becoming a justification of the story being set in Kashmir. The charming neighbourhood boy, Azi (Pawail Gulati), in love with the unaware Jannat and a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ like romantic track between Meher and the arrogant Dr Naushad Rizvi (Rajiv Khandelwal), form sweet and engaging subplots.

Simone Singh as the beautiful and humiliated mistress in love, appears probably in only 2-3 episodes but makes the strongest impact after the flashy eyed Chawla as the ever defiant Meher. Pavail Gulati charms equally in his constant, comforting presence in the Mirza house. Parul Gulati as the spirited Jannat has a refreshing screen presence.

While towards the end of the first season, the  series starts taking a turn towards a hint of terrorist areas, it is not entirely convincing how exactly Jannat will continue with this theme: “Main Kashmir hoon’ and the family representing the Kashmiris stuck between ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’. Her dramatic speech sounds great in its dialogue content but does not quite achieve the depth seen in the way the season ends. Sample this: “Kashmir woh naajayaz bachcha hai jise apne ghar ko ghar kehne ki azaadi nahin hai.”

Apparently shot in Manali, the location is indeed a paradise you do not want to leave. The women, the charming cottage (though a far cry from their dire poverty state), the dishy men including a late entry by Karanvir Sharma and most of all, the pristine Kashmir are enough to draw you in and wait for the next season.

It will be a pity to watch Haq Se on the phone. Go find a smart TV screen and be a part of this fantastic Mirza family and experience the courage of living in Kashmir.

Published Date: Feb 06, 2018 10:02 AM | Updated Date: Feb 06, 2018 14:22 PM