Directed By: Badar Mehmood
Written By: Zanjabeel Asim Shah
Produced By: Big Bang Entertainment
Schedule: Every Monday at 8:00 PM on ARY Digital
Mein review IMDb: Rating: 7.5/10
Having decided to explore the world of “Mein,” a drama that has captivated a vast audience, my expectations were mixed but hopeful. Zanjabeel Asim Shah, known for her engaging scripts, has often provided viewers with captivating stories, especially in the initial stages of her dramas. Given this track record, I was optimistic about the first few episodes, even though I was skeptical about the drama’s ability to maintain this momentum throughout its run.
Overcoming Initial Skepticism Initially, my enthusiasm to watch “Mein” was dampened by promotional materials that seemed to suggest a reprisal of a character type Ayeza Khan has portrayed before, notably in “Tau Dil Ka Kya Hua.” Despite these reservations, my curiosity won over, leading me to join the multitude of viewers tuning in each week.
Reflecting on the Episodes Aired So Far Having committed to the series and watched all the episodes released to date, I find myself somewhat disillusioned. “Mein” has not lived up to the engaging start I had hoped for, based on the writer’s previous works. In this reflection, I aim to delve into the critical elements of the drama, focusing on its most prominent aspects without dissecting the storyline in meticulous detail.
Embarking on a Journey Filled with Drama and Emotion As “Mein” unfolded on our screens, it became evident that the show was aiming to capture our attention right from the start. The creators seemed to have strategically crafted the opening episodes, incorporating elements designed to leave the audience in a state of awe and anticipation. However, it’s worth noting that the approach taken was not entirely novel.
Noticing Familiar Shades and Drawing Comparisons The drama’s initial thematic choices, especially the portrayal of a public divorce, bore an uncanny resemblance to the distinctive narrative style of Khalil ur Rehman Qamar. This parallel to “Tau Dil Ka Kya Hua” emerged as the first significant letdown, casting a shadow on the show’s originality. It left me contemplating whether “Mein” would manage to carve out a unique space for itself and establish a distinct narrative voice amidst the echoes of familiarity.
Setting the Stage for Drama and Conflict “Mein” sets out to narrate the tumultuous journey of two headstrong individuals, their paths intertwining amidst the tumult of unrequited love, familial pressures, and societal expectations. The writers swiftly moved to lay down the groundwork for this intricate plot, meticulously highlighting the contrasting personas of Mubashra and Zaid, and accentuating the stark class disparities that play a crucial role in the unfolding drama.
Scrutinizing the Execution and Production Quality However, the execution of numerous scenes throughout the initial episodes left room for improvement and invoked critical evaluation of the drama’s overall production values and directorial choices. A glaring issue was the inconsistency in delivering the emotional weight and visual appeal of key moments. While certain scenes were ripe with potential for deep emotional impact, they often fell short, hampered by awkward framing, abrupt transitions, or subpar lighting choices. This inconsistency broke the narrative’s flow and diluted the emotional depth, leaving viewers yearning for a more immersive and visually engaging storytelling experience.
Ayeza Khan: The Pillar of “Mein” In “Mein,” it becomes unmistakably clear that Ayeza Khan is the focal point, driving the narrative forward. However, this brings up a crucial query: have both Ayeza Khan’s portrayal and the character development done by the writer truly captured the essence of Mubashra’s character? Until now, the audience has predominantly witnessed Mubashra’s overpowering self-centeredness, presenting a character that, unfortunately, seems somewhat simplistic and lacking the nuanced layers that would make her truly captivating.
Drawing Parallels with Past Characters This situation echoes Sarah Khan’s role in “Sabaat,” where a similar shortfall in character depth left the audience craving a more complex and multifaceted portrayal. Despite being given ample screen time and attention in “Mein,” I find myself struggling to form a significant connection with Mubashra. She defies the typical categorization of a narcissist due to her overtly straightforward nature. Instead of portraying the subtle characteristics typically associated with narcissism, she comes across bluntly as an excessively pampered individual in dire need of guidance and discipline. Moreover, her self-centered traits remain disappointingly underexplored, leaving the audience wanting more.
Exploring the Inner World of Mubashra Comparatively, Miraal’s character in “Sabaat” also leaves much to be desired in terms of internal struggles, conflicts, and the revelation of her thoughts and feelings. This lack of insight into Mubashra’s internal world contributes to a recurring issue in Pakistani dramas, where central characters lack the emotional complexity and depth needed to make them more engaging and relatable to the audience. While Miraal in “Sabaat” managed to establish a somewhat emotional connection with her father, Mubashra’s relationship with her father in “Mein” is devoid of any genuine substance. This glaring absence of humanity within her character makes her onscreen presence increasingly difficult to tolerate. It raises a critical question: Why does “Mein” continue to captivate such a large audience despite its central character’s evident lack of depth and relatability?
Ayeza Khan as Mubashra – What’s Lacking?
The ongoing discussions around Ayeza Khan’s fit for the role in “Mein” highlight some serious concerns. Ayeza’s portrayal of Mubashra, a privileged and pampered character, has visibly demanded a lot of her in terms of appearance. However, the character’s superficial development has failed to fully utilize Ayeza’s acting talents. There have been moments where Ayeza’s discomfort in her outfits became evident, overshadowing her performance.
Although her efforts to visually embody the character are commendable, it sometimes feels like the focus on fashion aesthetics is overpowering the story. The character needs a balance of visual appeal and depth to make a lasting impact on the audience. Unfortunately, despite Ayeza’s hard work, her character lacks the compelling presence required for the role.
Zaid and Ayra’s Feeble Love Story
The narrative also introduces us to Zaid, a character designed to be likable but whose execution falls short of making a memorable impact. His relationships with other characters, particularly Ayera, needed more development to highlight his positive traits.
Zaid and Ayera’s romance is central to the story but lacks the emotional depth to make their relationship believable and engaging. Similarly, the pair’s on-screen chemistry is less than convincing, weakening the audience’s connection to their journey. Ayera’s character meant to be empowering, is instead presented in a plain and uninspiring manner.
Weak Supporting Characters
The supporting cast of “Mein” adds to the show’s challenges, lacking in complexity and failing to grab the audience’s attention. Even the presence of veteran actors like Usman Peerzada and Shahzad Nawaz has not been able to lift the supporting characters out of their stereotypical molds. This, in turn, negatively affects the overall viewing experience.
“Mein” struggles to captivate its audience due to its underdeveloped characters, superficial relationships, and reliance on stereotypes. The production values and overall execution do not help, with an evident bias in the quality of scenes focusing on Mubashra’s character. The drama seems to prioritize visual appeal over substance, leading to a disjointed and unsatisfying viewing experience. Despite its popularity, “Mein” risks becoming yet another drama that earns high ratings while offering little in terms of meaningful content. Only time will tell if it manages to rise above these challenges in the upcoming weeks.