If you’ve spent a part of your teen or early 20s in Karachi, Phaatak is a series that will hit you differently. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been living close to the fault line, eking out an existence, or if you’ve lived a privileged life, wrapped in a bubble, you will see yourself, or people you’ve seen or been with as part of a narrative that lives in the dark corners of a big city.
Phaatak tackles drugs and their rapid spread in our society with stark reality, a resounding clap and clarity and without mincing words, (or images). Perhaps this is the success factor of OTT platforms like Pichkur TV – the new kid on the OTT block, that can propel unfiltered content onto our screens, stories that speak the truth and narratives that resonate with a youth embroiled in multiple quicksand scenarios from drugs to dating apps, depression, teen suicide, plagued with countless doubts and then, told to believe in God!
That is a tall order for any platform to address, but the people behind Pichkur have landed in the field with a single objective – to represent the youth, and tell their stories while providing a platform for younger writers, directors, producers and cinematographers.
What The Series Holds
Phaatak, the 5 episode series, addresses drugs and their procurement in multiple strata of society. In an under 30 minutes first episode, the show takes us through a series of events that open a window into the life of Mani – a drug dealer who finds himself entangled in a world he might have hoped to be part of, but then, maybe not!
The Cast Has Our Favorites!
Casting is top notch here and perhaps, the secret ingredient that delivers the ultimate kick in the recipe. Saleem Meraj delivers a sharply believable performance as usual. To watch him take on a role is poetry in motion and he delivers every time! Mani, aka Sarmed Aftab Jadraan crept into our consciousness in a subtle, silent manner stealing our sympathies even though we are well aware of his reprehensible actions. Sarmed has done a commendable job in Phaatak and we saw him recently in Jo Bichar Gaye as Fazal – the crafty army officer who sent shivers down your spine with one swipe of his blade.
Aamna Ilyas steps into the frame with a mysterious air and even as we appreciate the higher sensitivities that guided the narrative and us, the viewers, through intriguing twists and turns, we applaud the astuteness of the director in catching an expression, a look, a turn and picturizing it all onto sepia-toned frames that add atmosphere with a capital A to the watching experience!
Is It Worth The Watch?
So is Phaatak a 25 odd minutes break we recommend? Episode 1 titled Kachra sure seems like it! The initiative seems promising, real, very real, raw enough to grab attention, yet contrived enough to check all the boxes. Watch all 5 Episodes streaming on Pichkur TV, a free app available online.
PikchurTV is an online streaming platform from Saihaam Gulzar Khan and Maaz Alvi. They aim to change narratives by creating relatable content geared towards the youth. Pikchur TV has officially launched its app on android and IOS with an original TV show called Phataak, available for streaming in Urdu, Pushto and Punjabi. Their second web series Khoj is also set to launch in early August.