Anaa is a show that moves in almost slow-motion. The pace is sluggish at best – and yet, it’s interesting. It’s captivating in its ability to display the true inner emotions of its characters. The ensemble cast comes together to give brilliant performances, each role with different aspects, layered in such a way that you hate them, while sympathizing with them, empathizing with them. And yet, when examining one episode and then the next, episode 23 did not present a story much different than episode 22.
In episode 23, Daneen (Hania Amir) and Areesh (Shehzad Sheikh) continue to play house in their furniture-less, grocery-less flat. Areesh finally realizes that they need food - and like the interfering “angel” that she is, Anya messages, telling Areesh to inform her if the two need anything. What’s particularly perplexing about Anya is her characterization. If anything, it should be noted that Anya is a poorly written character. Anya forcefully inserts herself into Areesh and Daneen’s life, marrying Areesh and separating him from Daneen despite knowing that he is desperately in love with Daneen. Altamash (Usman Mukhtar), her brother, tells her before the wedding to leave with him and informs her that Altamash will never stop loving Daneen – and yet, Anya essentially tells him to mind his own business and continues with the wedding. Post-wedding, she is told that Areesh will never love her….by Areesh himself. In fact, Areesh asks her to request a divorce, because he will never behave like a husband to her. She chooses to stay, witnessing Areesh and his phone calls to Daneen. Knowing that Areesh is having an affair with Daneen and that he plans to marry her, she has a physical relationship with him (Yes, what?) and finds herself pregnant – surprise! But don’t worry, Anya is too sweet to let that get in the way, so of course she suggests the most logical explanation to Areesh. “I’ll have an abortion!” At present, Anya continues to play what should be called “sneaky doormat,” a doormat who has no self-respect, but also does things so that her husband will be drawn to her angelic behavior. Anya continues to apologize for her own rape to Areesh and these scenes are rather uncomfortable. Anya Is assigned the task of acquiring Areesh and Daneen’s passports, so the two can leave the country. Again, it must be said that Areeba Shahood is doing a good job with her role – but the role of Anya itself is poorly written, in the sense that one can’t get a sense of her. Is she manipulative? Is she a doormat? What is it exactly?
In a powerful scene that almost foreshadows Daneen’s fate, Daneen and Areesh argue over Areesh and his affection for Anya. Areesh, a dense, dim and cowardly man, now finds himself warming up to his wife, his I’ll-bend-over-backwards-to-help-you wife, and this disloyalty begins to anger Daneen. Daneen tells Areesh to leave and go back to his wife, as she is not his burden, nor does she want to be an object of pity. Areesh tries to explain that he loves her, but Daneen has already begun to see the tides turning and she knows the connection between herself and Areesh has changed, as there is now a third wheel in between them, along with his soon-to-be-born child. Watching Hania Amir’s acting in this scene Is what makes it so powerful, as you are able to feel Daneen’s pain and confusion. She has left everything behind, her family, her husband, her respect, all for Areesh and his interest in Anya makes her feel that it was all for nothing. Areesh consoles her and manages to temporarily pacify her.
After being chastised by Nashwa (Javeria Kamran) and Ghazanfar (Shamil Khan) over Daneen’s character, Zahid (Raju Jamil) visits his father’s grave where he attempts to commit suicide, only to be discovered by Sadia Begum (Seemi Raheel). Raju Jamil’s acting up until this point and in this scene is commendable. He brings viewers to tears with his performance. He is rushed to the hospital, where he is saved. Ghazanfar is angry with Sadia Begum for saving Zahid’s life, demonstrating how far removed from humanity Ghazanfar’s ego (or “Anaa”) has taken him, unable to even spare a kind thought for his cousin. Daneen is informed of Zahid’s condition and she blames herself, knowing that Ghazanfar and family must have said something to him to trigger this step.
Izza (Naimal Khawar) and Altamash (Usman Mukhtar) are relegated to the background with only 2 short scenes in the entire episode. In those short scenes, their chemistry, as always, leaves the audience wanting more. Altamash informs Izza that Anya is helping Daneen and Areesh and requests that Izza find Daneen’s passport.
This is the story at present and while the episode was not particularly eventful, other than Zahid’s suicide attempt, the story continues to maintain viewer interest. Now if only Izza and Altamash would get a few, solid episodes dedicated to their story, fans would be overjoyed. How the story for Anaa progresses from here, time will tell – but one hopes it’s not ending too soon, as there are several plot points that need to be tied up. Let’s wait and watch!
Watch full episode here: