The viewers were impatiently waiting for the first episode of Geo TV’s Meherposh featuring Danish Taimoor and Ayeza Khan. The wait finally ended on Friday, April 03, 2020, at 2000 hrs when episode 1 went on air. The drama is written by Misbah Nausheen, directed by Mazhar Moin, and produced by Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi (7th Sky Entertainment). Other than Danish Taimoor and Ayeza Khan, the drama features maestros like Sania Saeed, Rehan Sheikh, and Iffat Umer (Raheem). We have gone through episode 1 of Meherposh and critically analyzed a few instances and ingredients to reach our final conclusion. We will be covering:
- OST Review
- Banner Review
- Episode 1 Review
- Final Thoughts
Mehru (Ayeza Khan)
Janazaib aka Master Jee – Mehru’s father (Rehan Sheikh)
Nusrat – Mehru’s mother (Sania Saeed)
Shah Jahan (Danish Taimoor)
Kaneez – Shah Jahan’s mother (Humaira Bano)
Naeem – Mehru’s fiancé (Ali Abbas)
Sakina – Naeem’s mother (Ismat Zaidi)
Shakeela (Iffat Umer/Raheem)
Waqas – Shakeela’s son (Syed Arez)
Review and Analysis of Title Song OST (as played at the start of the First Episode)
The song is written, composed and sung by Sahir Ali Bagga with a touch of a Qawwali style. The song is awesome but the high nodes/tone and energetic voice of Sahir Ali Bagga explicitly conflict with the soberness of Danish Taimoor and meekness of Ayeza Khan. The slowness and calmness of the drama don’t cope up with the momentum, loudness, and intensity of the title song. Sweet and melodious singers of low tone like Nabeel Shaukat Ali, Sajjad Ali, Hadiqa Kiani, or Hina Nasrullah could have been a better choice.
The title song at the start of the drama is extremely foreshadowing. Mehru is engaged to Naeem in episode one but in the title song, we can see her dancing with Shah Jahan which tells the viewer that eventually she will be won by Shah Jahan. There are few scenes in the title song that show that Mehru and Shah Jahan will have an intense relationship. In a scene, Shah Jahan is repenting in front of Mehru (Haath Jod Kar Maafi Maang Raha Hai Bechara) and she is weeping.
These scenes also predict that Mehru will not welcome Shah Jahan’s advances while Shah Jahan will go through severe agony and put his best to win Mehru. The love stories more or less have the same cycles. The colors remain vibrant and the faces remain full of makeup. It prepares the viewers not to expect severe or ecstatic emotions in the drama.
Review and Analysis of the Drama Banner:
The main banner of the drama shows Mehru and Shah Jahan cuddled together in the background but Mehru is alone on the front. She is wearing a bridal dress of vibrant colors, carrying bridal makeup, but there is no happiness or joy on her face.
We suspect who will be with her? Who will win her? Obviously Shah Jahan, then why is she alone there? The banner seems to be rather an unsuccessful attempt to create suspense.
Review – Meherposh Episode 1
A big spacious Government house
At the very start of the first episode, we see a big and spacious government house. Later we come to know that it belongs to Mehru’s father; Jahazaib aka Master Jee. He is often called Master Jee by his wife; Nusrat which shows that he was not on a gazetted rank (Professor, Associate Professor, Lecturer, Headmaster, Principal. etc). We haven’t often seen a Master Jee enjoying such spacious and big government lodgings. Is Mehru’s father still serving or he is retired? What is or was his rank? We were unable to find the answer to all these questions in Episode 1.
The upcoming marriage
The drama starts with Nusrat sewing wedding dress and discussing Mehndi songs with her daughters. The indication of the wedding dress at the very first scene foreshadows that the main subject of the drama will be matrimonial practices. Nusrat follows the traditional practice of Pakistani families where all the family members, especially the mother, start preparing for the wedding of the children, especially the girls, months, even years earlier. The aunts, cousins, and uncles are always there to help the family with wedding preparations. But unfortunately, Jahanzaib and Nusrat are seen alone preparing for the wedding. Don’t they have any relatives? Doesn’t Mehru have aunts, uncles or cousins? Later we come to know that the dates for her marriage have not been fixed yet.
The technological shift
Jahanzaib says that after few days only three people will be left in this house. Jahanzaib, Nusrat and Mehru get emotional and surprisingly Mehru’s younger sister; Ayat does not miss the opportunity to capture these moments on her phone which looks a bit weird as all the family is in despair and extremely emotional.
Pakistani parents often get emotional when the wedding of the daughters gets closer but this doesn’t happen at all. A third person could be that much emotionless but Ayat was supposed to be part of this collective grief. Surprisingly she is vigilant enough to take her mobile phone and take pictures of Mehru with Master Jee and Nusrat and then become part of this angst. Does it show our superficial behavior towards emotions? Does it communicate the message that we have become that much dependent on technology that we can’t celebrate or mourn without it? Will she share these pictures on Facebook or Insta? Who knows?
Another proposal for Mehru
Shakeela comes to the house with a marriage proposal for his son Waqas. However, Nusrat and Jahanzaib excuse her and reveal that Shakeela’s Bhabhi (Sakeena) has taken Mehru’s hand for her son Naeem (Furniture Wala). Back at home, Shakeela mourns the missed opportunity as she was eyeing Mehru’s money who earns over forty thousand a month. She altercates with her bhabhi (Sakina) and curses her own son and deceased husband. The characters like Shakeela are present in almost all the dramas. No extraordinary dialogues or acts from Shakeela were delivered.
The Protagonist – Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan is introduced by Ayat who seems to be interested in him. Now, what really is going on in this drama? Shah Jahan’s first entry on the screen is on a bike with his three loafer friends. A macho man on a bike with ever-present loafer friends, who consider him their leader, makes Shah Jahan a typical character of romantic stories with generic personality traits.
Shah Jahan brings a gas cylinder to Mehru’s home and she asks her to bring yogurt and it must be “sweet”. When he looks at Mehru, his eyes speak his heart. Master Jee appears naïve to the extent of blindness. What is going on in his house under his nose? What are Shah Jahan’s intentions? Master Jee doesn’t give a damn.
Injustice with the title “Shah Jahan”
Shah Jahan was a glorified Mughal emperor but this Shah Jahan is found refilling the gas cylinder of Mehru, bringing yogurt for her, etc. Seriously? Are we watching a love story or a farce?
The poor Master Jee
This drama has also done injustice to the title Master Jee. Master Jee’s are usually health and physique conscious. They are lean and have good command on rhetoric but this Master Jee is super fat and speaks super slow. Other than obesity, Master Jee seems to be a normal person without any ailment or disability then why does he seek help from Shah Jahan for minor domestic chores?
Mehru’s sister sneaking on Shah Jahan
Ayat is spotted sneaking on Shah Jahan. Her interest in Shah Jahan is confirmed in that scene. But what actually is going on there? The triangle, no, not the triangle, the square of love is made at the very start (Shah Jahan, Mehru, Naeem, Ayat). If her interest is substantial for Shah Jahan, then why isn’t she given any appearance in the title song or the banner?
A lot of egg crates, three gas cylinders, and a giant frying pan are shown in Mehru’s kitchen. It raises suspicion whether they are egg suppliers or food suppliers, or crazy about eating eggs and frying chips? Nusrat hints towards an order of the food. They could be in the food supply business but nothing is made clear.
The interaction of the Protagonists
Mehru sets off for office and walks in the middle of the street. The sides of the street are dry and the water is in the middle then why she is walking in the middle?
We know that Shah Jahan and Mehru know each other but when Shah Jahan passes by on Bike and splashes water on Mehru, the background music and slow-motion effect hint that it is the first interaction of the protagonists. They are not seeing each other for the first time as we have seen Shah Jahan supplying gas cylinder to Mehru’s home and Mehru asking him to bring “sweet” yogurt. Then what purpose does this pseudo heroic cum romantic scene serve? The only purpose might be that it foreshadows the defamation to the chastity and piousness of Mehru by Shah Jahan as he just did now.
The loafer friends
Like always, Shah Jahan’s friends hit the spot on the right timing. One of his friends says “Aaj setting ho gai mere khayal main”. So Shah Jahan is striving for “setting” with Mehru and his friends know this. These all are typical ingredients of outdated love stories. Shah Jahan, however, reveals that her marriage date is going to be fixed and wishes her eternal happiness.
The lone mother
Shah Jahan’s mother is a single parent who complains about her loneliness and Shah Jahan’s careless attitude. Shah Jahan takes all of this lightly. Again it is the main ingredient of typical love stories; a careless and vagabond yet a good looking man. Shah Jahan tells his mother that he is indebted to Master Jee for his countless favors during the time when they were left helpless by everyone. Is Shah Jahan serving Master Jee and his family to repay his debts or to make some “setting” with his savior’s daughter?
Mehru’s fiancé spots Mehru with Shah Jahan
Naeem and his mother spot Mehru with Jahanzaib while they were shopping. Shah Jahan was collecting Mehru’s shopping bags and Mehru was sitting at a distance. What was so bad about it? Again no twist or novelty is even tried Why was Naeem giving that much grave facial expressions? It might be due to the fact that he wanted an ideal wife with no prior affair as he hinted in his previous scene.
Mehru’s eyebrows look strange and disproportioned most of the time. She is often spotted wearing party makeup. Her facial expressions lack a stint of reality, especially when she tries to act like a teenager maiden. She seems struggling to fit in the role.
Ayeza Khan seems to be over-aged for this role. Her personality doesn’t match the character’s demand. Her attempts to express her love for her father like juveniles ruin everything. Danish Taimoor’s gentlemanliness and soberness remain in stark contrast with Shah Jahan’s image of a hardcore loafer. Rehan Sheikh’s obesity, halting, and mild dialogue delivery and fluency disorder turn out to be pinching and irritating.
Besides, Zainab Shabbir, Sania Saeed, Iffat Rahim, Humaira Bano, and Syed Arez have done justice to their roles but still, they remain unable to make the drama captivating and fascinating as was promoted.
The sequence of events remains unsynchronized. There is dissonance in plot development. The same outdated and generic components of a love story are presented without any considerable effort to bring novelty and uniqueness. There isn’t anything in episode one that could hook the viewer’s attention and interest. The viewers’ expectation to see something new went vain. Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi have disappointed their lovers miserably this time.
You are appreciated to share your opinions and reactions to this drama.