CHURAILS REVIEW-IS IT WORTH THE HYPE!!
Once I was watching Jamima Khan’s interview and she said, Pakistanis love conspiracy theories. At that time I didn’t like her statement but gradually I realized it to be very true and the same happened when web series CHURAILS trailers was released. From the looks of it people made conspiracy that it is a feminist play which is going to just robustly make fun of men and nothing good would come out of it. So much so that Sheikh Rasheed literally retweeted a tweet that said that dramas like this are threat to our culture. Clearly, they hadn’t watched the series.
People with frail understanding and insecure ego towards equality just flair up even when the word feminism comes. Very clearly, I want to tell you that Churails is not a plain feminist rant.
Here is my review of the web series from different aspects.
Pakistani dramas always have amazing music. There is no denying that our singers and composers have strength of art in them. The problem is that our OSTs are a complete reflection of the dramas they represent-sad and melodramatic. Every OST, like any other mainstream drama story, wails of female misfortune.
Churails has one thing common with mainstream Pakistani dramas and that is that its music is enjoyable and amazing. However, it is more than enjoyable; the OST is written very cleverly and provides an ironical reflection of the content of web series.
The lines from OST
‘Churails tera dusra Janam…’
‘Badnaam sa badd-adab ma bany’
‘Choupty kab tk ma macha dy khalbaly’
‘tery kahaany khatam’
‘kr dn gy tujhay baenakaab-han mujhy laena ha hisaab’
The OST seemingly reflects women who are trouble makers, women who are not sacred to pick up a fight and women who want to do more than what society has decided for them.
The title of show has basically appropriated the bad word ‘churails’ mostly used for bad women and used it for badass women who are resilient.
Within OST there are many chunks of rap that makes it fun to listen as well.
Not just OST even the music within the episodes is really well crafted and blends well with the story.
read my article on dushman-e-jaan drama here https://lifestylebymunaza.com/dushman-e-jaan-a-surprisingly-good-drama/
*No spoilers ahead
As I said through the trailer or OST it looked that Churails would be just a feminist rant against society but it is that and so much more. Churails is a story of 4 women who run a business-with each of her own motive. The business is of an agency that would find proofs against cheating husbands. The story does not remain so simple with their business growth, the story takes unexpected turns.
The plot is what makes Churails story more powerful. Once you are watching the show you literally feel as if it is a Hollywood play. The story is smartly progressed-every episode has multiple cliffhangers and a major one at the end of every episode. The plot is no way linear. The moment audience thinks that a certain situation will end up in a specific way it turns into a more complex and suspenseful one.
Plot is what takes their simple business of exposing cheating husbands to a twisted secretive society and underground illegal businesses etc. If there is one thing in this series that is the most perfect, it would be perfect weaving of the plot.
It diverges from main situations to many small side situations and yet does not leave the viewers astray.
One thing that seemed a bit off plot wise was that in the first five episodes the plot remains very realistic and from 6th episode on wards it has strong fantasy or experimental touches to it. This sudden switch between first and last 5 episodes may seem a bit hard to digest for close observing viewers.
I read somewhere that great teaching is not taught but shown I think Churails has exactly done that. Churails has touched many societal issues. It has very cleverly touched the idea of society, morals, law and religion all being manufactured, modified and manipulated by patriarchy. A close feminist friend of mine told me that her favorite line from Churails is by Batool, ‘ya qanoon mardon ka bnaya howa ha’.
Poverty is not shown with all sympathy and moral righteousness. Rather Churails very painful and scathingly shows poverty makes you do horrible things just because you do not find another option. And that’s how Churails goes deep in your soul to tell you what privilege you enjoy when you are sitting on a couch watching a series.
Along with that many tabooed topics are touched like gays, lesbians, women smokers,racism etc.
What is problematic however about sub-themes is that there is a bombardment of it. It seems that while writing the play the writer sat down, made a list of tabooed topics and then decided to shove them all in one web-series. And that’s why some topics left unexplored correctly like the relationship of two lesbian women.
Also I did not like the way Sarmad Khousat’s character was murdered mercilessly because he was found out to be gay by his wife.
The most unnecessary and useless portrayal was of racism against black man. Our society is dealing with colour-ism and that was to be dealt with. There is hardly any situation in Pakistan where black people mingle with common society. I think the webseries wanted it to be perhaps more internationally appealing that’s why they shoved it in the story.
Well this is a hard term that I have used. Well cinematography is the picturization of scenes, the angles used, the props employed etc. Through metaphors many artists convey subtly but clearly what is sometimes controversial. Metaphors are popularly used by Taylor Swift in her music videos. Taylor Swift in one of her videos left a one dollar note to symbolize her case against her sexual harasser.
I have explained this back ground because artistic metaphors have been abundantly used in this web-series and are very appealing to the audiences.
From every single scene to almost each scene there are multiple metaphoric elements. For example the use of burkas is symbolic that it does not always reflect piety. Then the shop’s name is HALAL designs is also ironical because they are catching cheating husbands doing haram deeds. Similarly, the props placed in HALAL DESIGN shops are scathingly pitching. There are nude women statues or at some places women’ heads are shown, which are on fire- which can be interpreted in so many ways, women who speak their minds are like burning fire etc.
The masks of secret party is reflective of sadist in Pakistan. The masks of party are animal masks metaphorically representing animalistic desires of powerful people. The way the party masks are made reflect the strong production of the web series.
Acting & Characterization
Generally the formula of a successful drama is to take A list cast but a truly successful series relies on story. Churails has so groping story that an A-lister cast seems unnecessary. All 4 main characters are B-listers in Pakistani mainstream media yet they seem very convincing in their roles.
The characters of webseries are built very strong. Each character is unique and develops into interesting personalities. Not only their present is strong but their past is intriguing too. The writer has not left its characters without a logical past which is making each one of them do what they are doing.
On the whole I would say it is a perfect work of art and creativity. A major role was of production. It seemed a very high budgeted webseries. The dresses of all characters, the decor of sets and scenes was exactly the way it should have been. Even the grand parties and get-together exactly looked like upper class expensively styled parties.
Churails is, in all its standards, of international level and perhaps we have to wait for next 20 years to have such shows on mainstream media. Not only that are production houses are not ready to take their bet on experimental topics but our regular public can’t digest blatant stories of honest truth.
Great thumbs up to the writer, director, actor and producers of Churails.
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