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Jeevan Nagar (Review): Hard To Pick Flaws, Flawless Entertainer So Far!

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Green Entertainment has brought back the lost glory of Pakistani dramas. The newly launched channel not only entertains but also educates with its thought-provoking genres. The promos of director Kashif Nisar’s outing for Green’s ‘Jeevan Nagar’ came across as dark, intriguing and interesting. So does ‘Jeevan Nagar’ live up to its expectations? Let’s Analyze!

Jeevan Nagar: The Plot

‘Jeevan Nagar’ is a fictional locality around Lahore headlined by Babbar Shah (Sohail Ahmed) a goon who cares the most about the residents of his town. The people majorly go through an identity crisis and are categorized with a social class division. Munni (Rabia Butt) is a fitness trainer who shifts to Jeevan Nagar and motivates ladies to get fit. There’s a parallel track where Laali Guru, a trans woman is identical to Babbar Shah. The rival of the latter makes full use of this opportunity by kidnapping Laali Guru and transforming her into a Shah.

Unusual Entertainer

‘Jeevan Nagar’ isn’t a run-of-the-mill enterprise and this becomes evident right from the word go. The interesting proceeding sulks you in the world of interesting characters. First things first, full marks to the makers for keeping the biggest suspense intact. Viewers kept speculating Babbar Shah and Laali Guru to be the same person, as he locks himself up late at night. But that isn’t the case. A moment of silence for all those who were speculating ‘Jeevan Nagar’ to be another ‘Ishq Zahe Naseeb’.

Writing Triumph

The writer (Awais Ahmed) balances entertainment along with various social issues. The dialogues are hilarious yet thought-provoking. We must confess that we haven’t seen such a cute on-screen kidnapping before. The cute conversation of the trans women with the goons, be it asking for a loo break, smoking cigarettes, or eating allo ke parathay brings the house down. On the contrary, the shocking manner in which the kidnapper reacts to Nello’s diabetes was an eye-opener. The moment when Laali Guru schools the goon that they also suffer with human ailment but sadly society doesn’t consider them humans was heart-wrenching.

Raw and Real Settings

The characters in ‘Jeevan Nagar’ look and perform within the required capacity. No one goes overboard. You get invested in every track, be it Nida (Amna Malick) and Faizan’s love story giving out a strong message to eliminate classism. Bilqees (Tahira Imam) and Zulekha (Kinza Malik) at the helm of domestic politics or how the male gaze objectifies women is depicted authentically. Kashif Nisar’s handling of the subject is exemplary. ‘Jeevan Nagar’ is a testimony that he can handle any script or genre and emerge victorious.

Killer Performances

Sohail Ahmed is explosive, to say the least.  It is impossible to believe that Babbar Shah and Laali Guru are played by the same actor. Ahmed truly deserves a national award for this one. Rabia Butt is a surprise package. Her initial scenes when she arrives in Jeevan Nagar and sets up her gym are nicely executed. But she leaves viewers stunned with her electrifying chemistry with Babbar Shah. Butt has a fantastic screen presence and holds her ground well.

Viewers have witnessed Saquib Sameer’s powerful acts in ‘Raqeeb Se’, ‘Kuch Ankahi’ and the ongoing ‘Kabuli Pulao’. In ‘Jeevan Nagar’ Saquib as Neelo and Billa is a revelation. What’s interesting is the common personality trait in both the characters i.e. the jealousy factor. Anyone who comes close to Babbar Shah or Laali Guru becomes his target. He is simply a chameleon.

The supporting actors are equally good and contribute to taking the narrative forward. Noor Hassan and Kashif Mehmood are super effective. Amna Malick leaves a tremendous mark. Veteran Khalid Butt is dependable as always.

Verdict So Far

On the whole ‘Jeevan Nagar’ brings to light the hard-hitting realities of society in a humorous yet effective manner. It is hard to pick flaws, ‘Jeevan Nagar’ so far is flawless. We can’t wait to witness Laali switching places with Shah. Highly Recommended!

Written by Ozair Majeed


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