“Churails” translating to ‘witches’, is a Pakistani web-series released on 11th August 2020. The series reveals the underlying stench of patriarchy in society through the lives of four women who are ‘witches’ in the eyes of others because of their unique stories. This drama-thriller was written by Asim Abbasi and speaks millions about the culture, colourfulness and filth in the city of Karachi, portraying the wide spectrum of sexuality through LGBTQ characters and also the casual misogyny happening around, making it one of the first mainstream representation of queer people.
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Available On: You can watch it on ZEE5
Sarwat Gilani as Sara Khan
Mehar Bano as Zubaida
Nimra Bucha as Batool Jan
Yasra Rizvi as Jugnu Chaudhry
The story revolves around four women protagonists who are shunned by society for being different in their respective lives. Sara (Sarwat Gilani), an aspiring lawyer who had to give up her career to play the role of a wife, Jugnu (Yasra Rizvi), an upper-class, modern wedding planner, Zubaida (Mehar Bano), a boxer viewed as a misfit in society and Batool (Nimra Bucha), who had to overcome marital rape and abuse who killed her husband to save her daughter. The plot begins as these women’s lives get entangled to revenge their cheating husbands and misogynistic men under the pretext of a burkha store ‘ Halal designs’. The story of four Churails, investigating and unraveling the dirty games of powerful men with a strong signature punchline ‘Mard ko dard hoga’.
The episode of churail series starts with an amazing analogy made between women and mannequins, dolled up for the benefit of the onlookers. The analogies are not just said but depicted as scenes, like the shot where the so-called perfect society women are seen preying on the flesh of the character ‘Batool’ like a herd of ruthless animals in the first episode. The struggle of the four women is well-established in the first episode ‘Wafa’ which lays a strong foundation for this series. Sara’s controlling husband who tries to cage her from her career, Jugnu’s troublesome marriage ending her career, Zubaida’s secret boxing life hidden from her narrow-minded family and Batool being stamped as the evil in the community. Batool ends up working as a house-help for Jugnu and their lives get entwined when Sara finds her husband cheating on her and Batool saves Zubaida from her abusive father. They meet up at Jugnu’s house and share their common rage thus the beginning of a secret investigating agency called ‘Churails’ with no differences between them but a common goal. ‘Wafa’ is so impactful that the viewers find it compelling to watch the rest of the show. With colourful burkhas as their superhero robe, they set out to fight sexism and patriarchy.