‘Kohol abyad’, a captivating new Saudi mystery-thriller
RIYADH--“Kohol abyad” is a unique Saudi drama series that aired on the OSN Yahala channel. Unlike most Saudi dramas that focus on regular social or family issues, this series sheds light on some negative social habits and behavioural trends in the country.
The relationships between characters in “Kohol abyad” are more liberal, with various nationalities, including Lebanese, Egyptian and Tunisian women, represented.
The TV series uses different methods than most Saudi productions. The engaging dialogue helps give characters a complex dimension and was an important factor in moving the story forward. The skilled visual processing of scenes also adds to the shows’ success.
The series was directed by Jordanian writer and filmmaker Mohammad Hushki. It was his second contribution to the Saudi drama scene after his well-received action series “Doon” that aired on VIU last year.
“Kohol abyad” was written by Syrian Nour Al-Hajji, who also contributed to the mystery-thriller series “Ekhterak.” Both the writer and director seemed to be well versed in this genre.
The series also brought a mix of well-known actors and actresses, headed by Turki Al-Yusuf, Shaima Sabt, Al Enood Saud, Mona Al Zadjaleya, Aziz Gharbawi, Jubran Al Jubran and Faris Al-Khalidi.
The diverse representation, which was not limited to Saudi technical staff, shows the pivotal role of Saudi drama in the Gulf alongside Kuwait.
The series revolves around Amani, played by Omani artist Mona Al Zadjaleya, who discovers that her husband Sultan (Faris Al-Khalidi) is involved with another woman. No longer wanting to live with her husband, she insists on divorcing him, sacrificing the stability of her family with her two daughters Rahaf and Bassma.
Amani leaves her husband and moves out with her two daughters to live in her brother’s house, and begins to plan her new life.
As she searches for a job, Amani looks to get hired by a company, only to discover that its chairman Jassem (Turki Al-Yusuf) is her ex.
We also meet Assir, played by Saudi actor Aziz Gharbawi. The character, who is shown as being spoiled by his mother Hessa (Shaima Sabt), becomes obsessed with Amani’s daughter Rahaf.
When Assir realizes that Rahaf does not reciprocate his feelings, he drugs her, films her and blackmails her by threatening to post the pictures and videos online.
Dismayed, Rahaf tries to commit suicide but is rescued. As Rahaf fights the threats against her, she starts dating her cousin Azzam, who tries to help her stop Assir.
Problems escalate when Jassem appoints Amani as his assistant, which makes his wife Hessa jealous, and tries to convince her drug addict son to take revenge on his father.
In the meantime, Azzam tries to get close to Assir and discovers the real reason he is relentlessly pursuing Rahaf. He tries to find the videos and pictures he is threatening her with but fails.
The story grows more complicated when Hessa attempts to mutilate Amani’s face with the help of an Egyptian girl. However, it ends up being her husband Jassem who gets chemically burned instead. The girl then escapes and hides in Hessa’s house.
The police start investigating the matter, and Hessa is a suspect.
Meanwhile, Jassim marries Amani and they travel together so he can receive the necessary treatment abroad, but he dies after altering his will to leave all his properties to his new wife.
Hessa leaves her home feeling defeated, but this does not stop her from seeking revenge on her rival, Amani. She tries to convince Asser to post the videos he has of Rahaf. Meanwhile, Marwan takes over Sultan’s company after deceiving him.
The series is full of painful events and sharp developments. Hessa’s fear of being exposed drives her to commit murder and eventually be arrested.
Sabt perfectly plays the role of a protective wife who is willing to do anything to look after her family, and expresses well the complex feelings she holds towards her husband.
Zadjaleya also performs impressively, although she lacks emotion in certain scenes.
The series also showcases many young talented Saudi actors, with Al Enood Saud excelling in the role of Rahaf, and young artist Aziz Gharbawi bringing the complex character Assir to life.