Inkaar has been synonymous with quality since its first episode. A storyline based on true crime, excellent actors and well-paced episodes, Inkaar has become a hit with viewers. After being stabbed in a parlor on her wedding day, Hajra is now ready to fight her attacker. With the last episode, Inkaar moved away from the emotional fallout and has now moved into the courtroom. The audience is now seeing Hajra’s fight for justice – a fight that will seemingly be a long and tedious one.
In episode 16, Aisha (Rehan’s mother) holds true to her promise to Rehan (Imran Ashraf) and visits Hajra’s home to get better acquainted with her. And while Aisha attempts to apologize for her son and the situation, this move is not well-received by Hajra (Yumna Zaidi), who respectfully asks her to leave – and never come back. Aisha, slowly realizing the gravity of the situation, decides to stay for the duration of the trial. She asks Wajahat Chaudhry (Imran Peerzada), her husband, if she can stay. Aisha is an interesting character and does not support Rehan’s actions, but her behavior in this episode depicts a mother weighing the age-old debate of nature vs. nurture – are Rehan’s father and stepmother equally responsible in this scenario? One would suspect that Aisha is staying to judge for herself.
Soul-searching and attempting to make amends for his mistrust towards Hajra, Shayaan (Sami Khan) returns to work, as he now needs to support himself without the help of his parents. Despite his past error In judgement, Shayaan understands his mistakes and continues to work on himself in order to be worthy of Hajra’s love and trust once again. Shayaan is a human being, one capable of making mistakes, but this character depicts the “human side,” the sort of man who is capable of making an error, reflecting upon it and then attempting to rectify it. Of course, Shayaan is in stark contrast to Rehan.
In the courtroom, CCTV footage is discussed with Hajra’s lawyer surprising the defense with the revelation that there were cameras nearby which captured Rehan’s entrance and exit. Small victories are appreciated in the courtroom and Hajra and her father leave, feeling somewhat relieved. It is here that Hajra meets Shayaan, asking him why he has come. Shayaan replies that the courtroom is a public place and he wants to be there for her. Hajra softens for an instant before telling Shayaan that tomorrow is her testimony and she does not want anyone there who will distract her from testifying against her enemy.
In a beautiful moment, Hajra requests Hafiz Sahab (Rehan Sheikh) to stay home for her testimony. Yumna Zaidi’s acting here is brilliant, the shame and sorrow in her eyes imagining her father having to hear her testimony. The worry felt in Hajra’s heart is depicted wonderfully on Yumna’s face. Of course, Hafiz Sahab continues to be the ever-supportive father and consoles his daughter, giving her strength in his words and presence. Rehan Sheikh deserves a round of applause for his portrayal.
Finally, in the courtroom, Hajra gives her testimony where she describes in vivid detail the atrocities Rehan committed. It is during this time that images of Hajra and Rehan together are presented, along with romantic, intimate messages sent through email and WhatsApp that were exchanged between the two. These messages are presented to implicate Hajra and depict an image of Hajra and Rehan being in a relationship. How this presentation affects Hajra’s case will be seen in the next episode.
The takeaway from episode 16 of Inkaar is a thought. While other shows have started off brilliantly, they have been unable to hold the viewer’s interest throughout, have stretched the show beyond necessity and have lost the story in doing so. Inkaar is now 16 episodes in with the courtroom drama at its peak – and yet, it shows no signs of slowing down or letting viewers lose interest. The story continues to be interesting. The actors continue to give thoughtful, nuanced, deep performances that reveal how well they understand their own characters. And finally, the pace is riveting – slow enough for the viewer to “feel” the emotions, fast-paced enough that the story continues to move like a running stream. Inkaar is a consistently good show and one hopes it will carry this through the end.