Monday, August 15, 2022

Ms. Marvel Ep 4: Did Karachi get the representation it deserved?

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Directed by ace director and producer Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the 4th episode of Ms. Marvel is no less than a treat for Pakistanis, and especially for Karachiites.

Kamala visits her Nani (Samina Ahmed) in Karachi along with her mother, meets cousins, explores Karachi, and gets to see her great grandmother, Ayesha (Mehwish Hayat), and her great grandfather, Hasan, whose character is played by the very handsome, Fawad Khan. She makes new friends, including Farhan Akhtar, rides in a Qingqi (Chin-chi), and eats biryani from a shopper at the beach.

As soon as she gets off from the airport with Nani and her mother to their ancestral home, a bunch of landmarks close to Karachiites’ hearts take over the screens and attention with Talal Qureshi and Naseebo Lal’s ‘Aag’, doing the rest.

Related: Pakistani music gets massive recognition in Ms. Marvel Ep 4

How mesmerizing is it, to watch the places you often see, feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? From Char Minaar Chawrangi and Hotel Metropol, the fourth episode of Ms. Marvel also features Teen Talwar, Beach View Park Chawrangi, and the picturesque, Frere Hall.

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On the next day, after the family lunch at some ‘boat club’, Kamala tags along with her cousins to the old city area of Karachi and glimpses of Zaibunnisa Street, Abdullah Haroon Road, Empress Market, Garden, and Burns Road, do the talking.

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Amid the usual hustle and bustle of the market, Kamala is gazed upon by some random aunties, approached by a Kurti-seller, and lastly, a polaroid photographer takes a photo of her and tries selling it to her for a whopping Rs. 1500, just because she looked like an overseas Pakistani.

Ms. Marvel

But does it stop here? No! She agrees on giving him the amount for the directions to the railway station and here it is again; the Karachi way of telling people directions! The photographer literally asks her to take a left, then another left, and another left, then a little right from the donkey cart. Familiar, right?

Ms. Marvel

Also, the scene depicting Kamala and her new friend Karim sitting at the beach around a bonfire eating biryani straight out of a plastic shopper, with the boys jamming Sajjad Ali’s ‘Babiya‘, makes it a true Karachi hangout.

Ms. Marvel

Lastly, the fight and chase scene of the episode has the protagonist fleeing in a legit Qingqi (Chin-chi) with her newfound friends, including Farhan Akhtar, while the antagonist (Nimra Bucha) chases them in a Rickshaw. Moreover, the antagonist’s accomplice also snatches away a truck embellished with traditional truck art, making the entire episode speak volumes about Karachi.

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How did you like Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s representation of Karachi in Ms. Marvel? How do you think will the series unfold? Have your say in the comments’ section below.

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