CHEEKH Review: Why Saba Qamar’s Drama is one of the Best This Season
This mystery thriller starring Saba Qamar and Bilal Abbas is the story of the sexual assault and murder of a young woman that throws everything out of whack.
A poor girl really has no chance in life, does she? Ushna Shah plays a young and poverty-stricken Nayab who has no prospects in life except to be verbally abused by her stepmother and worry about her sweet old father (Noor ul Hasan Rizvi) to not be disappointed in her. She is friends with Mannat (Saba Qamar) who is married to a wealthy young man living abroad as a doctor (Emmad Irfani) and Mannat lives with her in-laws. Mannat’s in-laws comprise of Yawar (Aijaz Aslam) the elder brother, Haya (Azekah Daniel) the sister and Wajih (Bilal Abbas) the young brother who Mannat wants to marry Nayab. Nayab’s stepmother (Saima Qureshi) insists that Nayab should get married to an older widower who lives in Dubai so that they could at least live off her. The night Haya is having her mehndi/engagement, Nayab falls from the top of Mannat and Haya’s house and goes into a coma. Before dying, Nayab tells the police, “Tell Mannat Raja is an animal.”
So who killed Nayab?
Almost 8 episodes down, we see that Wajih was often referred to as “Raja” by Mannat and Haya. Wajih gave a full on confession to Mannat saying that because Nayab refused to come close to him or allowed him to touch her, he attempted to rape her and threw her off the top of the house. Mannat is grief-stricken. Wajih attempts to buy out Ramzan (Nayab’s father) with an offer of FIFTY LACS. Ramzan later comes and throws ink at Wajih’s face for offering him a bribe.
The drama is a must watch for all mystery, thriller lovers. There are a lot of elements that make Cheekh a compelling watch. The story is well written and the drama also sheds light on the misogyny, patriarchy and how people who appear to be really nice and kind are actually hiding horrible natures.
Another reason to watch Cheekh is Saba Qamar’s brilliant performance as “Mannat”. Mannat struggles with the truth as she aches to fight for justice but her mother asks her to stay silent. She is living in the same house as Wajih, who she knows is a psychopathic murderer, and Saba’s performance is top-notch. Also, the newcomer, Bilal Abbas, is a breath of fresh air. Even though he’s got some chocolatey good looks, he’s not afraid to try out a role of a psychopathic murderer that is just a polar opposite of what his image is.