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Ms. Marvel Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Explains Why Partition Ending Is Her ‘Favorite Bit’ Of Episode 4

Warning: SPOILERS for the Ms. Marvel episode “Seeing Red” are ahead!

At the end of Ms. Marvel’s fourth episode, a.k.a. “Seeing Red,” Kamala Khan and her new ally Kareem, a.k.a. the latest Red Dagger, found themselves clashing with the Clandestines. During the fight, Najma accidentally stabbed the bangle that allows Kamala to channel her superpowers, and Iman Vellani’s character soon founds herself transported to 1947 Pakistan, right in the middle of the Partition. For director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, this powerful conclusion is her “favorite bit” of the latest Ms. Marvel episode.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy about her work on “Seeing Red,” which Disney+ subscribers can view now. When I asked her if there were any major moments from Ms. Marvel’s fourth episode that ended up being scrapped, Obaid-Chinoy, who also directed the Marvel TV show’s forthcoming fifth episode, informed me that almost everything she and her team shot for the episode made it into the final product. She then shared why she liked the ending so much with these words:

My personal favorite bit in Episode 4 was shooting Partition, which is this monumental historical movement in the world. One of the largest mass migrations the world has ever seen, but it’s never visualized. To put a superhero into that moment, you have to sort of do that with a great responsibility, and I wanted Kamala to be bearing witness to history, but I wanted her to be Kamala Khan in that moment. So that is one of my favorite bits.

For those who need a refresher, Partition refers to when British India was separated into two separate dominions, India and Pakistan. During Ms. Marvel, we’ve learned that Kamala’s grandmother Rana and her father were separated from Rana’s mother, Aisha, in the middle of Partition while the family was at the train station and getting ready to begin a new life elsewhere. That was the last time they saw Aisha (who it turns out to be one of the Clandestines), and Kamala now finds herself at that very moment in history. So it was important for Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy to make sure that this important event was done justice in the critically well-received Ms. Marvel, particularly with the way its main protagonist witnessed it.

In the final seconds of “Seeing Red” before the credits roll, viewers watch as Kamala Khan gets on top of one of the trains to get a fuller view of her surroundings. There are people as far as the eye can see in this massive train station, so I inquired with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy about how much of that scene was shot practically and how much of it was enhanced with visual effects. She responded:

The train station we shot on location, everything is on location. We had about 1,000 extras there. Visual effects worked on enhancing that a little bit, but it was shot as is, and it was a very big production. It was Week 2 of my filming, and there was a moment on set when I looked around and there were 1,000 people there, and things were moving up and down and people are throwing things and everything’s being choreographed in that manner, when she goes up and you see the scale of Partition. We wanted it to feel like 1947 and what it did, and I think we were able to accomplish that to a great degree.

But it wasn’t just the Partition aspect that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy greatly enjoyed about “Seeing Red.” During our conversation, she also brought up the moment when Kamala is eating with family during her trip to Pakistan and finds the meal incredibly spicy. In the filmmaker’s words:

And I think the other bit that I absolutely loved was when she’s trying out this food and it’s hot and she’s sweating. Almost every sort of person who travels to Pakistan has that experience, it is so universal, that we had to document it.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage on Ms. Marvel, which only has two more episodes left in this season. While it hasn’t been announced yet if there will be a Season 2, Iman Vellani is reprising Kamala Khan in The Marvels, the upcoming Marvel movie that will be released on July 28, 2023. Don’t forget to check out the other various Disney+ shows in the meantime.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.