Pakistani film and television production usually work under some codes and revolved around same old issues and subjects again and again. They are reluctant to touch radical and bold topics.
But the recently released web venture Churails by writer and director Asim Abbasi negates all these conventions and though picks the long debated issue of women’s plight and their rights but touches the facets of Pakistani society which the world has not ever seen on screen by the Pakistani makers. The series also highlights the LGBT rights and shows lesbian and gay relationships as sexual identity and projects the issues of transgender in Pakistan, which are not commonly presented before to the rest of the world.
A 10 episode series each 55 minutes long, primarily Urdu/Hindi, Churails is the first original content produced for Zindagi tab at OTT app Zee5.
“Churails is an exciting and thrilling story with a theme which is poignant to rise against time for every man and woman globally. It would be a good watch and an exciting entertainment experience,” says Asim.”
Premiered on August 11, Churails revolved around the stories of four women from different backgrounds but going through the same feeling of pain and humiliation because of oppression inflicted by the men in their lives. They all meet in certain circumstances and form a squad to unveil the masked face of this patriarchal society by keeping themselves behind veils, disguising their office as clothing shop named Halal Designs.
Calling themselves churails, all of them come on this way leaving behind infidel husband, a psychotic uncle, a tyrant father and a forced marriage, where more women joined them in their secret mission.
As the activities of Churails soared, the witch-hunt stars but crossing all those perils, they kept going, and while revealing the lies and in search of ultimate truth these women go back to their own houses and to their closest men.
The storyline of Churails is interesting and engaging with all the characters fit into their places, each having its own sphere around.
The leading characters of Sarah, Jugnu, Batool and Zuabiad have been played beautifully by Sarwat Gialni, Yasra Rizvi, Nimra Bucha and Meher Bano respectively.
Sarah (Sarwat Gilani) is a lawyer and ‘perfect wife’, who loves her husband madly but at a certain point because of his infidelity, she feels broken and during the process of recollecting herself she meets these four women, and forms the squad.
“Her love has changed into vengeance and that fire prompted her to fight for every woman who is betrayed by her husbands,” Sarwat elaborates her character in the series.
Jugnu (Yasra Rizvi) is an event planner by profession, joins Sarah (also her best friend) after facing losses in her business, with primary reason to compensate her damages.
Telling more about her character, the actress said, “Jugnu is a funny, fashionable and a forward looking woman, who are generally categorized in a certain type by our society.”
Batool (Nimra Bucha) on the other hand is a self-determined woman with middle class background, who has become obstinate and ferocious many a time because of the adversities she has went through.
“Batool has had enough to bear from men and a society and now lead her life on her own terms and conditions’ Nimra added.
Mehar Bano plays Zubaida, a young girl from a poor family, who wants a become boxer but having strict restrictions on her form her parents.
“She wants to become a boxer and assaulted by her father because if her desire. At that point, she leaves home and also became a churailt,” Bano explains candidly.
One has to admit that the role of Sarah is the most arresting role of Gilani’s career till now. The persona and demeanour of the character she carried throughout the series is remarkable. Yasra Rzvi has never been seen like this before on screen. Moulding herself completely into Jugnu with even little details was amazing. Nimra Bucha is no doubt a power house of acing. Having a vast experience of theatre has helped her lot to step into the shoes of a complicated and mysterious Batool is unmatchable. Meher Bano, had a golden chance to hone her skills and learn from those giants of acting and definitely she took all advantage of that opportunity and presented her character with interesting expressions and natural talent.
Other cast include the veteran Khalid Ahmed, played a psychotic historian, Omair Rana, a sophisticated infidel husband and Adnan Malik; a liberated talent manger proved themselves a strong support to the series. Sania Saeed and Sarmad Khosat though played short roles in two to three episodes but left a very deep impact on the audience by their flawless acting. The ace star of Mahira Khan has also a cameo appearance in the last episode of the series.
According to Asim Abbasi, Churails has been made to keep in mind the appeal, which is very authentic to Pakistani, Sub continental and global audience of digital app that is why its issues and characters are universal in nature to relate to larger audience.
My Churail is a woman who is against every kind of oppression and stand up for her own and others rights; who is liberated emotionally, physically and sexually, and accepting g all this qualities and taking it as a stride and wearing it as badge of honour.
Yes, Churail is the project which our director and producers can never think of making it for television but the penetration of web series in Pakistani entertainment industry has made it possible to put these untouched and unseen issues of or society on television screens through digital apps.