When we found out that the self-proclaimed Churails were headed to make men feel responsible for their wrongdoings in a society where “boys will be boys” is a chant, things were bound to get ugly.
The Zindagi original web series started streaming on the 11th of August on zee5, and there was no way we couldn’t watch it. A brutal and gut-wrenching story that revolves around four determined women, entirely different from each other, who join forces to avenge other women. It highlights numerous ways of how women are exploited in our society. Forced marriages, casting couches, disloyal husbands, selfish parents, and the list goes on.
The story revolves around four characters. There’s Sara, played by Sarwat Gilani, who has what you would call a ‘perfect’ life with a husband that loves her, kids, big house and domestic staff, and the kind of riches that most people in the country can only dream of. But despite all that, she wants more because all of that doesn’t really bring her any contentment. Then there’s Batool, played by an effortless Nimra Bucha, who has just served 20 years in prison for committing a murder. She’s trying to find her footing in the world while doing something with her newfound freedom. The third member of the group is Zubaida, portrayed by Mehar Bano, a young boxer who wants to love and be loved. Last but not least, there’s Jugnu played by Yasra Rizvi, a brash, alcoholic wedding planner with a ‘devil may care’ attitude.
Mo Azmi, as the cinematographer, makes you a part of the narrative. In many scenes, the characters look dead in the camera and make their point. Mostly, these Churails are in tight spaces working together or fighting the world. Art direction has a sense of exuberance in it. There is a bit of Anurag Kashyap there. In contrast, the background score with a range of songs moves you. Meesha Shafi’s Mein will not be used in a more apt situation.
On the surface, Churails might have thrown you off – and that is precisely what it must’ve aimed for because it comes from a place of hurt, anger, and injustice that has followed the women in Pakistan all their lives. However, that is what makes it so brilliant. Asim Abbasi doesn’t compromise the narrative, neither the storytelling nor the message proving to be a true ally. Anyhow, these Churails have come bearing a message, and mard ko dard tou hua hoga, but that isn’t their problem.