Ruswai Last Episode: Sameera Finally Gets Her Much-Deserved Justice – But Is It Too Late?
While viewers of this Sana Javed show have been waiting for Sameera’s fight for justice since the first batch of shows, the moment feels half-baked when it finally arrives. Is it a case of too little too late?
“Ruswai” started off as a strong, promising show. Starring the likes of Sana Javed, Mekaal Zulfiqar, Adnan Jafar, Mohammed Ahmed, Seemi Raheel, Osama Tahir and Mina Tariq, the show had “hit” written all over it. Produced by Six Sigma Plus, directed by Rubina Ashraf and written by Naila Ansari, the show set out to tell the tale of a rape “victim” turned survivor who fights to bring her attackers to justice- and fights against society’s perception of her after the incident. I’ve griped about the flaws in the show week after week, but to simply it, the show basically chose to focus on watta-satta and bad marriages instead of the fight for justice. Where was the fight? Was it in the show? Yes. In the very last episode, we are finally given the content we expected to see over the course of 4 months.
Let’s sum up the events in the finale. First, Salman (Mekaal Zulfiqar) is seen regretting his behavior towards Sameera, thinking about Dr. Feroze’s (Adnan Jafar) words about how he abandoned Sameera. He has a conversation with Salma (Irsa Ghazal) where he makes it clear that he understands he was in the wrong in not supporting and loving Sameera when she was going through the worst time of her life. He blames Salma for encouraging his behavior instead of thinking about his mistakes and well-being, provoking him to act out against his wife and basically telling Salma what viewers have been thinking through the entire show. The scene between Salma and Ariz (Usman Peerzada) is a great one where he points out her own hand in destroying her children’s lives and trying to control them.
On the other end, Sameera (Sana Javed) is being supported by Hamza (Osama Tahir) and Dr. Feroze in her desire to take her attackers to court. After being arrested though, the men are let go because of flimsy evidence and high stature. This whole sequence just looks rushed, because we’ve only seen these men in the actual attack episode and haven’t seen them since. The officer makes too many excuses for the men and Sameera’s “fight” is reduced to two visits to the police station. There’s an attack of bullets on Sameera’s home and while everyone is safe at the end of it, they are all visibly rattled. Salman realizes that Sameera is being called to court and has gone alone, so he rushes to see her, aware that she’s in danger. He arrives just in time to see the shooter, Sameera’s attacker, and dives in front of the bullet to save her. While Sameera accompanies him to the hospital, Salman tells Sameera he loves her and is sorry and while Dr. Feroze does his best to save him, Salman loses his life saving Sameera. Because of the shooter’s attack on Sameera, he and his friends are sentenced to jail time and Sameera wins her case. Sameera and Dr. Feroze are also seen happily married at the end of the show and, in the strongest part of the show, Sameera meets Mukhtar Mai, a real-life rape survivor who is an advocate for women’s rights.
Overall, the take-away of the show is good – Sameera came out of her trauma and found happiness in her own life, within herself, with a strong career and, in the end, even found a supportive, loving life partner. But that being said, why did we have to suffer through so much nonsense to see all that? Why wasn’t the focus on Sameera to begin with? Why didn’t we see more of her struggle coming to the positive side instead of breaking her down completely and only changing her life after her father’s death? Why did her family have to suffer so much before they decided to stand up for her? Why did we have to watch so much of Hamza and Warda’s marital issues? Why did Salman get to die with “honor” by dying for Sameera and erasing his sins in the process? Salman was an abusive husband, physically and emotionally. He treated his wife terribly at a time when she was at her lowest. He should have lived with that guilt and seen her happy with someone else instead of “making it up to her” by dying for her. While Mekaal Zulfiqar and Sana Javed performed the scenes between Sameera and Salman very well, enough to bring the viewer to tears and feel badly for Salman, it’s not the way the show should have gone.
The performances in “Ruswai” were strong, there’s no doubt about that. With the exception of Irsa Ghazal, who played Salma in a strangely asthmatic and over-the-top way, everyone else played their role to the best of their ability. It’s not their fault they were handed a flawed script that got horribly off-track. Overall, the show spent 20 of its 30 episodes focusing on the actual storyline and spent the remaining 20 on domestic abuse, watta-satta and saas-bahu drama. The appearance of Mukhtar Mai gives the show credibility, she’s such a strong figure in herself, but even that isn’t enough to make this a memorable show for the ages – at least not for the right reasons.