Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on The Legend of Maula Jatt (2022)

A review on Pakistani feature length film, The Legend of Maula Jatt (2022). The feature length epic is written and directed by Bilal Lashari. The film is an adaptation of a 1979 Punjabi cult classic ‘Maula Jatt’ starring the legendary Sultan Rahi. The film stars Fawad Khan as the protagonist with Hamza Ali Abbasi, Humaima Malik, Faris Shafi and Mahira Khan. The Legend of Maula Jatt is produced by Encyclomedia, Lashari Films and is distributed by AAA Motion Pictures, Geo Films and Mandiwala Entertainment.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Bilal Lashari
  • Written by Nasir Adeeb and Bilal Lashari
  • Cinematography by Bilal Lashari
  • Edited by Bilal Lashari
  • Music by Sarmad Ghafoor
  • Produced by Ammara Hikmat and Asad Jamil Khan 
  • Production by Encyclomedia and Lashari Films

+ Note

The development of a new adaptation of the Punjabi cult classic started around 2013 by the director Bilal Lashari and later on, Ammara Hikmat and Asad Jamil Khan came onboard as producers for the film.  In an effort to make the film grasped firmly into the roots of the original, Nasir Adeeb (the screenwriter of the original) was hired to co-write the script. With a hefty budget of PKR 45 crore, the adaptation was initially supposed to be released around 2018/19 but due to various copyright lawsuits and the pandemic, was pushed further back. The film was finally released on 13th October 2022 and quickly became the highest grossing Pakistani film of all time.

 + Main Cast

  1. Fawad Khan as Maula Jatt
  2. Rehan Fareed Hiraj as Young Maula
  3. Hamza Ali Abbasi as Noori Natt
  4. Mahira Khan as Mukhoo Jattni
  5. Humaima Malik as Daaro Nattni
  6. Gohar Rasheed as Maakha Natt
  7. Faris Shafi as Mooda
  8. Shafqat Cheema as Jeeva Natt
  9. Saima Baloch as Rajjo
  10. Nayyer Ejaz as Jagoo Natt
  11. Ali Azmat as Gogi

+ Plot

Born out of a tragic past, Maula Jatt grows up to take revenge against the Noori Natt clan and fights for the justice of his people.

+ High Points

i – So I just would like to get this out of the way, The Legend of Maula Jatt exceeded my expectations. Not only did Bilal Lashari create an engaging, three hour long Punjabi epic with fast paced action and breathtaking visuals but it also did not forget its humble roots of our low budget Punjabi cinema. From the interesting cast of characters to the final epic battle between Maula Jatt and Noori Natt, the film will undoubtedly keep you entertained throughout its runtime. Bilal Lashari and his crew have done a marvelous job in bringing Maula Jatt to mainstream pop culture without desecrating its source material. The film rapidly became the highest grossing Pakistani film of all time and with its continuous legal troubles behind the scenes, it was well worth the wait.

ii – Bilal Lashari is undoubtedly the genius behind the film. With just his second directorial film, Lashari is also credited as the writer, cinematographer and editor of the film. This is truly a herculean effort from the filmmaker who was hellbent on bringing Maula Jatt to the big screen once again and should rightfully be applauded for all his hard work. Since it was a singular vision in a lot of aspects, it is difficult for me to distinguish each individual aspect apart. The masterful cinematography truly complimented the emotional turmoil of the character, accompanied by numerous match cut edits, making the transition brilliant from one scene to the next. The Legend of Maula Jatt could truly be Bilal Lashari’s magnum opus.

 iii – The best decision that Bilal Lashrai ever made was that he recruited Nasir Adeeb to co-write the script with him. Adeeb served as the screenwriter of  the original Maula Jatt (1979) and dialogues have been written with uttermost perfection for each and every character. Never did any set of dialogue felt out of place or unnecessary to the story but in fact, some comedic ones also left me chuckling under my breath. Apart from Lashari, Nasir Adeeb has had a major role to play in the success of this film.

 iv – As far as the performances go, I have no complaints. The theatrical, exaggerated performance of each actor complimented the essence of the source material with its core. It is one of the few instances where the film required exaggerated expressions and played quite well in creating a unique world of love, murder and vengeance. Fawad Khan, Maria Khan, Gohar Rasheed; everyone played their roles brilliantly.  But all in all, it was Hamza Ali Abbasi’s Noori Natt who stole the show for me. His tragic past, deranged concept of justice and unfiltered violence made him such a unique figure in the history of Pakistani cinema. 

 

v – Some audience members might have been turned off by the gratuitous violence in the film but it is an essential part of the saga. Bilal Lashrai smarty utilized such horrific imagery in order to heighten the atmosphere of the film. Maula Jatt grows up in a world of injustice and he is not afraid to use his Ghandasa in order to fight for his people. Frankly, I would have been very disappointed if they didn’t abrasively use violence in the film.

 vi – Thankfully, the film is devoid of any song and dance numbers… except for this one instance.The ‘Chann Pichay’ was a wonderful melody that was strategically placed right in the middle of the film. It was as some might say “The calm before the storm”.

 vii – The music by Sarmad Ghafoor and sound mixing did a stupendous job in bringing Maula Jatt to life. From the galloping of the horses to the verbal defiance of Maula Jatt, each scene was made engaging through its wonderful music composition and brilliant sound mixing.

viii – Now this is how you pay an homage to the source material! None of the famous dialogues of Noori Natt or Maula Jatt were misused or felt out of place in order to nudge the viewers into loving the film. All the callbacks of scenes, dialogues and violence were appropriately used to pay homage but at the end, have an identity of its own.

+ Low Points

i – The three hour runtime was never an issue for me but lack of quieter scenes unfortunately were. By the end of the film, the gratuitous violent imagery did become tad overbearing and one would imagine a couple of more character building scenes here and there might have helped the film in the long run. Such as… 

ii – Mahira Khan as Mukhoo Jattni. Her character sadly feels shortchanged as she never developed beyond the characteristic that she loves Maula more than anything. Great but what is Mukhoo herself as a person? A few more scenes could have been utilized in developing her character, her back story, what role does she play in the story apart from being our main protagonist’s love interest.

iii – This is of course, a nitpick from my side but Fawad Khan is too handsome to play the role of Maula Jatt. His performance in the role was great but visually, his movie star looks hindered my attention towards believing in him as the vengeful protagonist. Before the original 1979 film, Sultan Rahi was never perceived as a star. He always played the role of an extra in numerous films, mainly because he looked like any other person you would meet on the street. Similarly, Maula Jatt represents the common man, anyone of us can take the mantle of him. Fawad Khan’s visual appearance never went beyond ‘a movie star playing a character on screen’

+ Overall

Brilliant storytelling, great performances and direction, The Legend of Maula Jatt might just be one of the best Pakistani films ever made.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode XVII (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 17 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah. Meri Shehzadi is a story of a girl with a tragic past but is destined to become Royalty. Can she handle the responsibilities that come with it? Meri Shehzadi is an MD Productions and HUM TV Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed
  • Written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah
  • Produced by Momina Duraid 
  • Production by MD Productions

+ Note

The story of Meri Shehzadi is inspired by the real life story of the late Princess Diana from the United Kingdom. The show explores the expectations that corrupts the innocent and discourages empathy towards the common man.

 + Main Cast

  1. Urwa Hocane as Dania
  2. Ali Rehman as Shehroz
  3. Sabeen Farooq as Bisma
  4. Muazzam Ali Khan
  5. Sonia Mishal
  6. Najiba Faiz
  7. Atiqa Odho
  8. Shabbir Jan
  9. Nauman Maqsood
  10. Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana
  11. Shamim Hilaly as Dania’s Nani

+ Plot

Raised by her loving Grandparents, Dania is born in a royal family who is destined for greatness in life. After meeting her future husband and entering the political monarchy of Pakistan, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i –  Even with all its flaws, Meri Shehzadi always has at least one scene per episode which combines all the best elements of the show. And for episode 17, it was the confrontation between Shehroz and his mother in the garden. The tension and frustration on Shehroz’s face was quite evident as he contemplated the future scenario where he will have to officially announce his relationship with Cam to the general public. What follows is the talk that his mother gives him through her life long experience working as a politician. “Allow your loved one to die and you will finally be free of having anyone close to you again”. This is the sort of mentality I could expect from her character and plays a perfect role in morphing and corrupting Shehroz’s way of thinking. 

ii – Unlike Dania, Cam’s character has always been on point. Bringing up the son on her own, she is desperate for Shehroz’s love and attention, and wants him all for herself. Dania will always be a major threat to her because to the general public, Dania will always be Shehroz’s one and only wife. Cam’s treatment by the family as an imposter is taking a toll on her mind and Cam finally want to break the shackles and achieve the goal of finally being Shehroz’s one and only love.

+ Low Points

i – Its very disappointing to see Meri Shehzadi doubledown on the narrative path towards a more “family melodrama” approach and less focused towards the “political aspect” of the plot. We now get to see Dania and Cam constantly fight one another for the affection of Shehroz and quite frankly, it’s very demeaning to the women of the show. By this point, Dania should be moving on with her life and focusing on her political career instead. Shehroz has made it very clear that he will never love her the way he does Cam so it all makes Dania seem desperate for attention. Wasn’t the real life Princess Diana also stuck in a loveless marriage? But she made something of her career as a philanthropist and a public figure instead. And so should Dania.  

ii – Oh, the dialogue! “Please do not go to the event because I fear if you see Dania there, you will instantly fall in love with her!”. This is clearly how people do not talk in real life.

iii – Dania has been very poorly presented in the show. She pretends to be strong but cannot stand to leave her husband’s side. It has been proven time and time again that Shehroz’s approval is all that she needs to make her feel special and I feel it is a total disservice to how the show wants to portray Dania to the viewers. She should be smart enough to let go of this loveless marriage and pursue helping those in need.

+ Overall

Decent but tad disappointing that the show continues to focus on the family melodrama and Dania refuses to mature as a character.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode XVI (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 16 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah. Meri Shehzadi is a story of a girl with a tragic past but is destined to become Royalty. Can she handle the responsibilities that come with it? Meri Shehzadi is an MD Productions and HUM TV Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed
  • Written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah
  • Produced by Momina Duraid 
  • Production by MD Productions

+ Note

The story of Meri Shehzadi is inspired by the real life story of the late Princess Diana from the United Kingdom. The show explores the expectations that corrupts the innocent and discourages empathy towards the common man.

 + Main Cast

  1. Urwa Hocane as Dania
  2. Ali Rehman as Shehroz
  3. Sabeen Farooq as Bisma
  4. Muazzam Ali Khan
  5. Sonia Mishal
  6. Najiba Faiz
  7. Atiqa Odho
  8. Shabbir Jan
  9. Nauman Maqsood
  10. Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana
  11. Shamim Hilaly as Dania’s Nani

+ Plot

Raised by her loving Grandparents, Dania is born in a royal family who is destined for greatness in life. After meeting her future husband and entering the political monarchy of Pakistan, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – Episode 16 brings in a closure for Dania as to which direction she should like to move; fighting injustice towards her in the Shehroz household or furthering her career as a politician? The chairman of the party personally calls Dania, strongly advising her to return back to her family and not throw away her potential political career in the process. I am glad that the show has brought in a new perspective to the plot which deviates away from the usual ‘Saas/ Bahu’ politics at home. Dania should have aspirations beyond being a good wife/ mother, she should be smart enough to understand that quarreling with her In-Laws the whole time will ultimately spell the end of her.  

ii – I like minor details in the show like the Photo session scene. It brings a sense of realism to the world of Dania and how her life is divided between the public image and the tortured personal life behind the curtain. 

+ Low Points

i – Meri Shehzadi is becoming incredibly repetitive with the tug of war between Dania and her mother in law. Every episode contains at least two scenes where they both hit off at one another without adding anything new to the plot of the show. I believe it is high time that the show should move on from this plot point and Dania should focus now more on her career as a politician.

ii – I sincerely do not understand what the motive of the Shehroz family was to publicly defame Dania by accusing her of having an affair. By publicly humiliating her, they are inadvertently denying the trust of the people. And how is the chairman of the party allowing all of this without interference of any kind? 

iii – Although some characters like the Mother in Law have had hints of sustainable emotional torture behind the facade (as she admitted once that her husband also in fact betrayed her trust), the rest of the cast is still incredibly devoid of any real characterization. The father, the stepmother and other supporting characters bring nothing substantial to the table. They either defend or plot revenge against Dania. Everything revolves around her. They have no ideas or aspirations of their own. The lack of in depth characterization has clearly made the show repetitive and centered solely towards the internal family conflict rather than playing along the political life of the family as well.

+ Overall

Meri Shehzadi definitely has the potential to be unique with its storyline if it manages to create a good balance between the political and the social drama.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Last Episode (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Last Episode (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – So Fraud has finally wrapped up. All the loose ends neatly tied together, all the pieces of the puzzle in place. The women of Fraud finally have their sweet revenge over their ex-fraudulent husband, Tabriz (or Sharjeel or whatever he wanted to call himself these days). All is well. Honestly, all the positives I had from the show were fairly long gone by the end of it. Each episode tried to prolong the life of the show, squeezing and stretching each storyline to their limits. The conclusion that we all waited for finally came but was unfortunately dead on arrival due to the number of months that led to the finale.

But here lies a massive positive from me for Fraud; the show had a fantastic premise. The first several weeks of the show had some impeccable writing and a unique, eerie atmosphere. The movie set/ blurred reality sequence will forever be one the most brilliant scenes ever written for Pakistani television. The main cast had some fantastic scenes to display their wide range of performances, particularly Mehmood Aslam and Adnan Samad Khan. Regardless of how late the final curtain was pulled, Fraud will always be remembered to have a unique, uncharted storyline that addressed real life incidents that unfortunately occur on a semi-daily basis in Pakistan. And just for that, Fraud was well and truly ahead of the shows produced at the time in Pakistan.

ii – The earlier episodes of Fraud would not have been great, if it were not for its main cast of characters. Although reluctant at first, I did finally warm up to Tabriaz’s character once they started focusing on his back story, further developing the reasoning behind his heinous actions. Nael was yet another character I felt could have easily been a stand in as the main protagonist of the show. The rejection and the ultimate revenge he pulled off against Nisar sahib was a memorable episode for me and the scenes of it lingered on in my head weeks after the episode first aired on television.

+ Low Points

i –  Well, now that all the good stuff is out of the way, it’s time to address the bad. The (well and truly) bad of the show. Fraud should not have ever been 35 episodes long! According to the content of the script, it should have lasted no more than 15 episodes but given the reasoning of making the show financially viable, it went on and on, dragging each storyline to its bitter end. After the 30th episode, the show reached a point of no return. All the good will the show created from its earlier episodes was long gone and most of the viewers like myself betrayed for all the time that we invested into it. Ending before its time but on a high note is infinitely more praiseworthy than tedious, long stretches of any beloved show.

ii – There were some major inconsistencies throughout the show’s lifespan. Why did all the bad luck happen to knock on Nisar sahib’s doorstep? Why did Maya not immediately contact the police or her parents once she found out that Tabriaz had adopted yet another alias? How did the murder of Maila’s husband play any role in the story of Fraud? The list could endlessly go on but I digress. 

iii – Shaan is truly one of the worst written characters that I have ever come across on Pak TV. Each week, he whined and complained how his wife betrayed him and took his frustration out on people around him. Throughout the show’s lifespan, Shaan acted like a perpetual man child who complained to the world when things didn’t go his way. Writing 101; if you want a character to be liked by the audience, you should deliver hints of sympathetic character traits and even though Fraud tried, it failed miserably. But all of this might possibly have been avoided if Mikaal Zulfiqar’s performance made up for the shortcomings of the writing. Unfortunately it did not.

iv –  Characters acted dumb and elusive because the script required it. Nisar sahib and his family were constantly made a fool of time and time again till it became highly unrealistic and phony. Nael betrayed and embarrassed the family on the highest stage imaginable but still, he was not only forgiven by the end but managed to marry the younger sister instead!? Poor Shaan was blinded (by his own stupidity I suppose) that he could not look past the facade of his step mother and sister’s ulterior motives. Maya did not meet her sister in law’s husband Tabriaz till several episodes later. So is the show trying to tell us that Maya saw no pictures, no wedding videos of her sister-in-law?? All of this was Fraud’s writing was at its worst.

+ Overall

Judging from its fantastic premise, Fraud brought such high promises with itself but ended on a complete whimper. From one of the most creative shows on television to a show that most of its viewers likely stopped watching halfway through. A truly valuable lesson why TV shows should have tightly written scripts and always end on a high note.

Overall Series Rating: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode XV (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 15 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah. Meri Shehzadi is a story of a girl with a tragic past but is destined to become Royalty. Can she handle the responsibilities that come with it? Meri Shehzadi is an MD Productions and HUM TV Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed
  • Written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah
  • Produced by Momina Duraid 
  • Production by MD Productions

+ Note

The story of Meri Shehzadi is inspired by the real life story of the late Princess Diana from the United Kingdom. The show explores the expectations that corrupts the innocent and discourages empathy towards the common man.

 + Main Cast

  1. Urwa Hocane as Dania
  2. Ali Rehman as Shehroz
  3. Sabeen Farooq as Bisma
  4. Muazzam Ali Khan
  5. Sonia Mishal
  6. Najiba Faiz
  7. Atiqa Odho
  8. Shabbir Jan
  9. Nauman Maqsood
  10. Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana
  11. Shamim Hilaly as Dania’s Nani

+ Plot

Raised by her loving Grandparents, Dania is born in a royal family who is destined for greatness in life. After meeting her future husband and entering the political monarchy of Pakistan, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – Even though it’s a very selfish move, I like that Shehroz has a certain level of allegiance to Cam, his first and only love. The marriage with Dania was and will always remain a political tool for him. This adds such a unique layer of intrigue in the characterization of Shehroz.

ii – It is appreciated that Nana jaan is finally aware of the emotional tricks of manipulation that Shehroz possesses and chose to support his granddaughter in this situation. In many Pakistani shows, characters act dumb and oblivious when the script requires them to be but Nana jaan has proven to be written with some realistic intelligence.

+ Low Points

i – Episode 15 is an unfortunate mess in terms of plot direction and consistencies. From exploring political nepotism in Pakistan, the show has decided to head once again into the tried and tested waters of family melodrama. Since Shehroz has refused to divorce his first wife, Dania has decided to separate from her husband which of course, has led to the question of the custody of the children. For a short period of time, Meri Shehzadi was swimming in uncharted waters, taking thematic risks and trying something new. Dania was learning her ways of playing the political game but the show (for some unexplained reason) decided to concentrate once again on Dania’s woes with her husband and in-laws. And none of it can qualify as engaging television.

ii – It is HIGHLY unlikely that a political party would deliberately wash their dirty laundry in public. There is no logical reason why Shehroz’s family would smear their daughter in law’s name to the press. Technically, Shehroz and Dania are still married and even though Dania has never held office, she was nominated and has publicly represented her party. There is no way that the party would willingly question the credibility of their own family to the public. 

iii – Fifteen episodes in and Urwa Hocane as Dania still feels like a miscast. Her performance is not up to the mark of what is required from the script. Instead of innocent and pure hearted, she largely sounds confused and slow. Whether Dania is happy, sad or depressed, the tone of her voice remains the same and I cannot solely put the blame on Urwa but also the director Qasim Ali Mureed for not getting the desired emotions from his cast of actors.

+ Overall

It is quite disappointing to see Meri Shehzadi going down the old route of family melodrama rather than an exploration of nepotism and corruption in Pakistani politics.

Rate:out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode XIV (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 14 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah. Meri Shehzadi is a story of a girl with a tragic past but is destined to become Royalty. Can she handle the responsibilities that come with it? Meri Shehzadi is an MD Productions and HUM TV Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed
  • Written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah
  • Produced by Momina Duraid 
  • Production by MD Productions

+ Note

The story of Meri Shehzadi is inspired by the real life story of the late Princess Diana from the United Kingdom. The show explores the expectations that corrupts the innocent and discourages empathy towards the common man.

 + Main Cast

  1. Urwa Hocane as Dania
  2. Ali Rehman as Shehroz
  3. Sabeen Farooq as Bisma
  4. Muazzam Ali Khan
  5. Sonia Mishal
  6. Najiba Faiz
  7. Atiqa Odho
  8. Shabbir Jan
  9. Nauman Maqsood
  10. Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana
  11. Shamim Hilaly as Dania’s Nani

+ Plot

Raised by her loving Grandparents, Dania is born in a royal family who is destined for greatness in life. After meeting her future husband and entering the political monarchy of Pakistan, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – Episode 14 indulges yet again into the relationship dynamics of the Shehroz political family. Through new leaked photos on the social media, Dania comes to terms with her husband’s backdoor shenanigans with his secret first wife, Cam. Personally, I preferred the direction that Meri Shehzadi was going for when it started focusing on the rise of Dania as a politician but since last week, the show has reverted back to its family dynamics. Having said all that, Dania’s abrasive reaction towards Shehroz was completely justified and I am glad the writer has given her more courage to stand up to all this internal bullying within the family. Even though most of the history behind Shehroz and Cam is out of her control, Dania can always make decisions on her own personal happiness and it’s great to see her take control of her own life. 

ii – The talk that was held between the Chairman of the party, Shehroz and his mother was fantastic. The snappy dialogue exchange and the harsh life lessons that Shehroz had to face were the most entertaining part of this episode. In the life of a politician, all that matters at the end of the day is the image that you have projected of yourself to the general public. And in Shehroz’s case, his skeletons in the closet have come to haunt him time and time again. His love, his addiction towards a non-political life has led him to act against his best judgment. 

iii – I really enjoy the relationship that Shehroz and Cam have. In the most destructive of ways, it is utterly genuine and built upon true love. With all his flaws, Shehroz is madly in love with Cam and try as she might, Dania can never replace her. I truly wish that Cam had a more prominent role in the show as their relationship is proving to be one of the best aspects of the show.

+ Low Points

i – I just cannot get behind Urwa Hocane’s portrayal as Dania. Her performance seems utterly lost at times as her naivety gets tangled with her cluelessness of each and every situation at hand. Her acting does not do justice to the character and feels like a miscast time and time again. 

ii – Some of the family drama in Meri Shehzadi has become incredibly repetitive. The mother in law scolds Dania, Dania retorts. Her step mother complains, the father defends Dania. Rinse and repeat. The show really needs to move past all this as none of this enhances the plotline of the show but rather, drags it further down to mediocrity. 

+ Overall

An entertaining episode but by focusing solely on the family melodrama, Meri Shehzadi limits itself from being original.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode XIII (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 13 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah. Meri Shehzadi is a story of a girl with a tragic past but is destined to become Royalty. Can she handle the responsibilities that come with it? Meri Shehzadi is an MD Productions and HUM TV Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed
  • Written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah
  • Produced by Momina Duraid 
  • Production by MD Productions

+ Note

The story of Meri Shehzadi is inspired by the real life story of the late Princess Diana from the United Kingdom. The show explores the expectations that corrupts the innocent and discourages empathy towards the common man.

 + Main Cast

  1. Urwa Hocane as Dania
  2. Ali Rehman as Shehroz
  3. Sabeen Farooq as Bisma
  4. Muazzam Ali Khan
  5. Sonia Mishal
  6. Najiba Faiz
  7. Atiqa Odho
  8. Shabbir Jan
  9. Nauman Maqsood
  10. Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana
  11. Shamim Hilaly as Dania’s Nani

+ Plot

Raised by her loving Grandparents, Dania is born in a royal family who is destined for greatness in life. After meeting her future husband and entering the political monarchy of Pakistan, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – After 13 episodes, we finally get to witness Dania standing up for herself against the patriarchy of the Shehroz family. And even though the episode devoted a bit too much time on this plot point, it was still fun to see each individual of the chaotic family reacting differently to this “unheard of” situation.

ii – The dinner table scene was undoubtedly the highlight of the show. The performances, the family dynamics, everything played to perfection. It just goes to show that Meri Shehzadi works the finest when the actors just work off one another, creating drama and tension just by their performances.

iii – With each passing episode, the vitality of Ali Rehman’s performance becomes more and more apparent. His character Shehroz is undeniably my favorite character of the show and credit needs to be given to the writing as well as Ali Rehman’s portrayal of him onscreen. 

+ Low Points

i – A decent but not a great episode unfortunately. With Episode 13, Meri Shehzadi has diverted back to family melodrama and unengaging power struggle within the house. Personally I do not have anything against family politics but it seems like the show relies heavily on this plot point to make itself seem attractive to its audience. The new developments of previous weeks need time to develop. Let the general public first get used to Dania winning her people over. The biggest issue with Meri Shehzadi is that the premise itself is an exciting one but the logistics of reaching those twists and turns do not seem earned by the writing of the show.

ii – Speaking of logistics of the show, I still do not understand why Dania was forcefully brought into the family business in the first place. And if Dania is being portrayed as the “Mother Teresa” for the people, isn’t it beneficial for the party just to go along with it? Dania creates the clean facade for the party, hiding the rotting corpse of their evil deeds; it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Why is Daina being discouraged from her philanthropy act? 

+ Overall

Meri Shehzadi works best with its family dynamics and really needs to move beyond it if they would like to separate themselves from the rest of the Pakistani TV shows.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode XI & XII (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 11 & 12 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah. Meri Shehzadi is a story of a girl with a tragic past but is destined to become Royalty. Can she handle the responsibilities that come with it? Meri Shehzadi is an MD Productions and HUM TV Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed
  • Written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah
  • Produced by Momina Duraid 
  • Production by MD Productions

+ Note

The story of Meri Shehzadi is inspired by the real life story of the late Princess Diana from the United Kingdom. The show explores the expectations that corrupts the innocent and discourages empathy towards the common man.

 + Main Cast

  1. Urwa Hocane as Dania
  2. Ali Rehman as Shehroz
  3. Sabeen Farooq as Bisma
  4. Muazzam Ali Khan
  5. Sonia Mishal
  6. Najiba Faiz
  7. Atiqa Odho
  8. Shabbir Jan
  9. Nauman Maqsood
  10. Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana
  11. Shamim Hilaly as Dania’s Nani

+ Plot

Raised by her loving Grandparents, Dania is born in a royal family who is destined for greatness in life. After meeting her future husband and entering the political monarchy of Pakistan, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – There have been some major developments in the plot for Meri Shehzadi since the past two episodes. Episode 11 and 12 have brought some very exciting prospects for the future and longevity of this show. Dania has invertedly made some major strides into the family politics and is working alongside her mother in law who has been successfully nominated as the new Chief Minister. But Dania in a rude awakening? Such questions are left for the upcoming episodes to explore and as a viewer, I am glad that Meri Shehzadi has moved beyond the “Saas/ Bahoo/ Second wife” drama into something more substantial and spells a breath of fresh air into the show.   

ii – Although the performances have not been exceptional by any stretch of the imagination, the entire main cast do their part well enough to bring a sense of urgency to the plot of the show. They act envious, excited, devious in very exaggerated ways but somehow, this all plays well with the political melodrama of the show. Does it all make sense? No but it does make for exciting television.

iii – Shehroz might be the most complex and intriguing character of the show. His past, his motivations and his incompetence brings a lot of depth to his role. In an interesting twist, Shehroz is somewhat a victim of his own destiny. He is forced to live up to his father’s shoes, not allowed who to love, whom to marry and now, needs to play a second fiddle to his wife’s new found success. A pitiful character indeed. 

+ Low Points

i – There are some major, logical inconsistencies with the new plot development that damper the legitimacy of the show, namely the trust that the party (for whatever reason) developed onto Dania. And this is not just to make the face of their party “clean” after the recent scandal involving Shehroz and his second wife, they really want to give her a position as the Human Rights minister. Why? This process was never really explained by the show. Just the fact that the higher ups of the party have really developed a trust in Dania. A proper explanation was in order but nothing was really provided by the show.

ii – Even though the plot has taken a positive turn, the dialogues of the show have not. The characters speak ridiculous, unrealistic nonsense to one another and always end up taking one out of the world that the show is trying to build. The dialogues never felt realistic in any sense of the word and only convey incredibly superficial emotions that make the show lack in quality writing. And it is a pity since the show has such an interesting premise to bounce off on. 

+ Overall

Meri Shehzadi continues on with its engaging storyline with interesting plot twists and cliffhangers. But the dialogues of the show are in dire straits of quality writing. 

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XXX (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 30 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – At least throughout this whole ordeal, the core character of Tabriaz has always remained the same. Due to his troubled childhood, he can’t distinguish between hatching a scheme and earning something out of trust/ goodwill. One could almost pity his character as he has nothing really left going for him. Just broken bonds and lack of a coherent future.

+ Low Points

i – A disappointing episode to say the least. With the steady decline in quality for the show, it could not even capitalize on last week’s major cliffhanger. Tabriaz has yet again found another ingenious plan to gather the funds for his father’s life threatening operation and at the same time, get back at Maya. Even though it is evidently clear that the show should be ending by now, the writers have doubled down on their storyline and are going to continue beating a dead horse.  

ii – Recycling storylines within the same show! What a novel idea. Due to the well-being of Maila and recovering from her haunting past, Nael has now decided to ask for the other sister’s hand in marriage. And as expected, Nisar sahib is convinced that to be a great idea. Fraud does not have anything original to offer anymore. All the creative storytelling was utilized in the first 10 episodes and the show was never the same thereafter. 

iii –  Speaking of gullible characters, Shaan’s mother is now ready to give Tabriaz another chance to clear himself (and keep her wealth snatching secret in return). Now he has been somewhat welcomed back into the family. Apparently common sense has no place in the world of Fraud.

+ Overall

Just when you thought that the story of Fraud is finally coming to a close, it finds new ways to keep beating a dead horse.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode X (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 10 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah. Meri Shehzadi is a story of a girl with a tragic past but is destined to become Royalty. Can she handle the responsibilities that come with it? Meri Shehzadi is an MD Productions and HUM TV Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed
  • Written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah
  • Produced by Momina Duraid 
  • Production by MD Productions

+ Note

The story of Meri Shehzadi is inspired by the real life story of the late Princess Diana from the United Kingdom. The show explores the expectations that corrupts the innocent and discourages empathy towards the common man.

 + Main Cast

  1. Urwa Hocane as Dania
  2. Ali Rehman as Shehroz
  3. Sabeen Farooq as Bisma
  4. Muazzam Ali Khan
  5. Sonia Mishal
  6. Najiba Faiz
  7. Atiqa Odho
  8. Shabbir Jan
  9. Nauman Maqsood
  10. Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana
  11. Shamim Hilaly as Dania’s Nani

+ Plot

Raised by her loving Grandparents, Dania is born in a royal family who is destined for greatness in life. After meeting her future husband and entering the political monarchy of Pakistan, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – The episode started off slow and overly melodramatic but with time, the plot got more engaging and ended on a high note. The scandalous storyline of Shehroz has dire consequences on the family and his political career. The rumors have spread so wide amongst the general public that some shocking decisions need to be made namely Shehrorz out of the contention for a Chief Minister nomination. Episode 10 was clearly divided into two parts; the first dealt with Dania and her ‘betrayal’ towards her grandfather. The other dealt with Shehroz’s political career in jeopardy. Overall, it was an engaging hour of television.

ii – I did particularly enjoy the mental breakdown of Shehroz as his heartbreak went beyond love and career. It was also a great insight from the show how important Cam has been to Shehroz and perhaps, the love that he possesses for her can never be comparable to Dania’s. Dania is an anomaly in all this. She will always remain the ‘outsider’ as she has only served as a pawn in the political game of Shehroz and his family. The next few episodes will be fairly interesting considering the party has now decided to take a different stance as to who will serve as the ‘face’ of their political future.

+ Low Points

i – An intriguing episode all around but the lack of depth in some vital performances was very evident throughout its runtime. Some scenes had fantastic writing but the performances by the main actors such as Urwa Hocane or Ali Rehman did not feel powerful enough to elevate the scenes to even greater levels of success. The dialogue delivery was a tad bit monotone or not in the same tone as was the requirement of the scene.

ii – The writing scenes of Dania’s Nana feel somewhat flat and unnecessary. Personally I do not feel that his inner thoughts contribute much to the overall plot of Meri Shehzadi. I do believe that internal monologues of Dania on the other hand, could provide a whole lot more to the narrative of the show. 

+ Overall

Since the past couple of episodes, Meri Shehzadi has been consistently engaging and an intense hour of political melodrama.

Rate: out of 5 stars