These 5 Best Sellers Set The Scene for Excellent Pakistani Dramas
Most of us have seen the rise and fall of Pakistani dramas, how they improved to a point in the 1970s and 80s and then eventually, began to fade. Ever since the drama industry has revolutionized around 2010, there has been a rising trend of drama scripts being made or adapted from a novel. This not only brought a new wave of storytelling to Pakistani drama culture but also offered a ‘novel; (pun intended), experience to the makers and audience alike. There have been some great productions that were based upon novels like Humsafar, Shehr e Zaat and Diyar e Dil amongst others. But all of these were mostly based upon novels written by Pakistani writers. Here’s a change of thought: What if we consider scripts from some of the best-selling English novels that have been adapted by numerous filmmakers and drama writers. Also, because we really DO need to step out of the saas-bahu world now!
1. Emma by F. W. Kenyon
Emma is a story of a young rich girl who is very much spoilt and loves meddling in other people’s lives. She also assumes that she’s great at matchmaking and will unite some amazing couples through her skills. But her lack of ability to respect people’s privacy, results in herself being the only person left out of the community while every match she attempts to make, find themselves a better partner.
In today’s age, this story can be very relatable to Pakistani culture as well, which is why showing a spoiled rich millennial, probably played by Hania Amir, can make a very good drama. The screenwriter can add a lot more elements relatively to Emma’s character as a Pakistani girl who, instead of focusing on her own life is more interested in others and gets herself entangled between the problems of an adult world, where nothing is fantasy. While Emma’s intentions remain innocent, she creates trouble for herself due to her meddlesome nature. Only her father truly understands and sympathizes with his daughter. This script could also make for a very engaging drama about a father-daughter relationship.
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre features a story of a young orphan girl of the same name who lived a troubled childhood. After teaching at her school for two years, she is offered a position of a governess in a family where she falls in love with the owner of the house. But when she is about to marry him, something comes up and she ends up leaving town. Later, she discovers that her paternal uncle has left her a huge sum of money and after dividing it with her cousins, she returns to her town and marries the man she loves.
Jane is a strong and independent young girl and these are the role models we need in our society. We need more empowered women like Jane and what better way to motivate than through a drama. Instead of showing helpless female protagonists, we should be following someone like Jane on screens. The story is ideal for a drama series and would make one inspiring story as well. The screenwriter can show Jane’s early life as a montage and emphasize more upon her adult life, where she isn’t oppressed by anyone and makes her decisions herself. I can totally see Sanam Saeed playing Jane’s character in the drama.
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights tells a story of a family house and the twists and turns of fortune that lead Heathcliff to eventually take possession of the house. The story highlights tales of love and heartbreaks, social differences, and hypocrisy. In the novel, the story is narrated as a flashback and a timeline of events that occurred at Wuthering Heights to allow Heathcliff to win his love Catherine and the house Wuthering Heights.
Wuthering Heights can be shown as a classic old tale from the past and related to the Pakistani culture in a way that outlines the crookery and fraudulent ways of the world when it comes to property matters. Heathcliff is a strong and passionate character that can be played by Fahad Mustafa, showing positive and negative, both aspects of his character. Property feuds are a very common part of our culture and we have already witnessed dramas on this theme. However, Wuthering Heights will offer a change in the stereotypical mindset as both positive and negative aspects of the character are highlighted in one person.
4. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White is a mystery novel that also shows the cruelty and evilness that comes with greed. Laura is the protagonist of the story and she falls in love with her art teacher Walter. Laura’s mother Anne lives in an asylum and knowing Laura is the heiress to Anne’s wealth, Glyde forces Laura to marry him after Walter leaves. But after some twists and turns in the storyline, Glyde eventually ends up dead trying to hide his secret, and Laura marries Walter.
This novel can also be turned into a classic tale of love and mystery as a drama. The details and the long storyline will add many twists to the dramatic and will definitely engage audiences Instead of adding too many episodes, the screenwriter can make it eventful by excluding the prolonged scenes and jumping right to the main events. Mahira Khan can play a very beautiful Laura while Adnan Malik can be her Walter just like Sadqay Tumharay.
5. Far from The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Far from the Madding Crowd is the story of a beautiful young girl Bathsheba Everdene who is a farmer. Throughout the story, Bathsheba is seen falling in and out of love with three very different men; Gabriel, Boldwood, and Troy. The recurring presence of Gabriel in Bathsheba’s life is a sign that he is the only true friend she can ever have. However, she promises to marry Boldwood and ends up marrying Troy who doesn’t love her back. After a few twists and turns of fate in her life, she ends up being with Gabriel in the end.
Bathsheba’s story can be turned into a modern-day twisted romantic drama, where ups and downs of a young girl’s life can be highlighted. Adaption of Far from The Madding Crowd in Pakistan’s culture can bring a very different flavour to storytelling and a new perspective towards modern day love stories. The screenwriter can show the importance of Gabriel in Bathsheba’s life in a manner that can also explore the life of every Pakistani girl, who faces difficulties in choosing the right partner. Bathsheba’s character can be played by none other than Sajal Aly, who can make the story more relatable for every girl with her innocence and charming screen presence.
Anum holds a Bachelors Degree in Media Arts from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. She passionately pursues a career in freelance film-making and content writing.
Anum has worked with Ideas by Gul Ahmed, SIUT and Sukoon. She plans to launch her own web channel one day.
Her Motto in life, in her own words: “Live in the moment, as it will pass, like everything else in life!”