When it comes to Pakistani content, we don’t often associate the words ‘noir’ or ‘feminist’ with it. However, after Churails, Zindagi has taken the bar up further with its brand new offering from across the border, Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam.
An anthology about women who don’t hesitate to kill, this show makes murder seem poetic. Created, directed, and co-written by Meenu Gaur, along with Farjad Nabi, Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam brings together some of the biggest names in Pakistani showbiz, including Sanam Saeed, Sheheryar Munawar, Osman Khalid Butt, Sarwat Gilani, and many more. But the two characters who steal the show are Mai Malki, played by Samiya Mumtaz, and Anarkali, played by Mehar Bano. They make a great team on screen even though their characters are nothing alike.
Another character to watch out for is Zehra, portrayed by Eman Suleman. She shocked us with her quiet but powerful role in Churails and the powerhouse of talent is also an important part of Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam.
The similarities with Churails cannot be missed. While Churails was all about being loud, even in its visuals, this series is the opposite in its Gothic, dark themes.
Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam is a coming-of-age for Zindagi. Mature storytelling, understated but powerful performances, thought-provoking dialogues, brilliant music and compelling visuals make this show a must-watch. Even if the culmination of some stories looks predictable, the way the director takes you there is unpredictable.
The series is mostly based in Dhani Ram Mansion and its residents who each have their own dark secrets. Each story has its moments and memorable twists, but one of the most memorable is Zuvi, the story starring Sanam Saeed. It’s refreshing to see a non-caricatured, non-villainised representation of the queer community in South Asia. In its portrayal of human complexities and greed, this story is particularly relatable. Massey Ma too is a story that will take you by surprise in its unexpected twists and turns.
Unlike Churails, the viewer is not bombarded with feminist messages through the series. You are not forced to focus on several different issues through each episode. In fact, it’s the murdering women who will steal your attention and, in some episodes, will shock you when you realise what they’ve done.
The first couple of stories in Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam can seem a bit draggy in parts but be patient. Get through those parts and keep watching because you will be rewarded with dark, twisted storylines.
Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam is streaming now on Zee5. The six-episode series is easy to binge-watch on a cold, dark, spooky Saturday night. Turn off the lights and enjoy the drama.