Sanam's character is a strong, fearless and outspoken woman
Renowned for their gripping storylines, strong characters and impressive performances, Pakistani dramas have proven to be one of the nation’s best mediums of entertainment.
Whilst these dramas are broadcast across most Pakistani channels internationally, and are even spanning across to Indian entertainment channels, the online world is still relatively short of legally streamed dramas.
Also rising in fame and popularity are Pakistan’s entertaining and well-written movies. In recent years, the film industry has seen a revival and produced some outstanding performances from new and emerging Pakistani talent.
As Netflix continues to expand its catalogue of international films and television shows, it now offers viewers some of the biggest Pakistani dramas and films that have been loved on television screens across the world.
So, which ones should you watch? DESIblitz has put together a list of the best Pakistani dramas and films available for you to watch on your next Netflix binge.
Catapulting both Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan into superstardom, was this intense and emotional drama titled Humsafar. After causing a frenzy in Pakistan, the show was subsequently aired in India and attained tremendous success there too.
Making Fawad Khan almost an overnight heartthrob in India, it seems as though this drama helped place him in the minds of Bollywood directors who later cast him in Kapoor and Sons (2016) and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016).
Taking viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, is the portrayal of the troubles that a married couple, Ashar and Khirad, face.
A marriage based on family ties, Ashar is essentially given the responsibility of Khirad after her mother passes away.
Overcoming the coldness of their initial relationship, the drama continues to unveil layers of complex issues that the couple have to endure. False accusations of infidelity, separations, mental health and family politics manifest into a gripping drama.
Zindagi Gulzar Hai
Another Fawad Khan drama which proved a hit with audiences is Zindagi Gulzar Hai. Khan’s role is as Zaroon opposite the talented Sanam Saeed who plays Kashaf. After initially clashing in college, their drastically different upbringings, social class and family dynamics define them as polar opposite characters.
Sanam is a strong, fearless and outspoken woman who speaks out against injustice and incorrect behaviour. In comparison, Fawad’s character is of a spoilt and carefree wealthy young man. Despite their differences, over the years the two eventually form a relationship. Fawad pursues Sanam and the two eventually get married.
Unfortunately, Kashaf’s insecurities and inferiority complex causes her to initially hold back from the relationship completely.
Experiencing numerous ups and downs, eventually, the relationship almost reaches breaking point when Kashaf realises that Zaroon is still in touch with his ex and assumes he is having an extra-marital affair.
Though pregnant, Kashaf returns to her mother’s home as she feels betrayed. Eventually, the two realise they can’t live without each other and reconcile.
Set in the 1980’s and based on the writer’s real-life experiences, Sadqay Tumhare shares the story of Shano played by Mahira Khan and Khalil played by Adnan Malik.
Betrothed since their childhood, the cousin’s parents decide that the two will marry when they are the right age.
Where the simple village girl, Shano, strongly upholds and believes in their childhood engagement, Khalil does not share the same feelings. Shano is desperate to meet her fiancé, but Khalil shows no interest in meeting her.
Things take a turn when Khalil has a dream about Shano. He decides to meet her, and after not seeing each other for years, it’s love at first sight.
Though the two fall in love, Shano’s mother now rejects Khalil as her daughter’s fiancé, due to his previous behaviour towards Shano. The drama follows the couples hurdles and journey to be united.
This romantic comedy starring Bilal Ashraf, Armeena Khan and Ali Rehman Khan is a smash hit movie guaranteed to make you laugh.
Meena played by Armeena returns to Pakistan for the holidays to attend her cousin’s wedding. On her return, she falls into a love triangle between Asfandyar (played by Bilal Ashraf) and Daniyal (played by Ali Rehman Khan).
Though Meena starts to fall for Asfandyar, Daniyal’s parents try to set her up with their son. The initially light-hearted rom-com takes a turn of events when Asfandyar’s boss is accused of child sexual abuse.
Family politics, and the fact Asfandyar is adopted, causes tension and upset amongst the youngsters. As they pursue justice for the abused child, Asfandyar and Meena finally confront each other about their feelings for each other and Meena proposes!
Starring Samiya Mumtaz, Mohib Mirza and numerous other talented Pakistani actors, Netflix features the gripping tale Dukhtar (2014).
Samiya plays the role of a strong-willed and brave mother who elopes with her daughter in a bid to free her from being a child bride to a grown man.
Risking her life to save her daughter’s innocence and happiness, she flees home. With the men searching for the two, Sohail played by Mohib Mirza makes the brave decision to help them. Escorting them in his truck, the kind gesture gives the mother and daughter a better chance at survival.
The gripping tale is a must watch for those who want to see a rustic and emotional portrayal of social issues in Pakistan.
Ho Mann Jahaan (2016)
The coming of age drama follows the lives of a group of friends and their shared interests. It stars Mahira Khan, Sheheryar Munawar and Adeel Hussain as the main characters. They characters all share a passion for music and aspire towards fame and success.
The film highlights the struggle for children to abide by the restrictions imposed on them by their parents. The parents love their children, but sometimes struggle to understand them.
A strong cast and good storytelling made this one of Pakistan’s most successful recent movies.
Whether you love Pakistani dramas and movies or are yet to experience one, these smash-hit entertainers are definitely worth watching.
Though the list of dramas available online isn’t extensive, we’re sure that Netflix will only increase its collection of Pakistani drama serials.
What are you most looking forward to watching or hoping to see on the popular streaming service soon?