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 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 9 (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 – Meri Shehzadi portrays politics to perfection. Not only on a regional level but also within the walls of the Shehroz family. Throughout the first half of the episode, Shehroz tried his level best to convince Dania’s grandfather of his innocence. The lies portrayed by the media and the horrid, estranged wife of his; they are all in cahoots just to betray Shehroz’s confidence towards his voters. Nobody ever comes out of political life unscathed and Sheroz also has to play the ‘game’ of lies and manipulation of the innocent in order to stay in power. And by the end of the episode, Dania’s Nana learns that lesson the hard way.

ii – And with that, Episode 9 was categorically dedicated to Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana. We, as an audience, went along with his journey of being lied to, manipulated in front of the global media and then finally coming across self realization of why the corrupt always abuse the blind. It was tragic for Dania’s grandfather to finally realize that by constant lies and misdemeanors, Dania has in fact become one of them. The innocent grandchild of his has perhaps been forever engulfed in the world of eternal politics and high class stature. 

+ Low Points

i – Dania is essentially the contrast of Shehroz. Unlike her husband, Dania wants to see the good in others and can never exploit them for her own personal gain. Unfortunately that portrayal of character seems incredibly muddled if one judges based on the conversation they had in the car. So as the story goes, Dania secretly caught her college friend taking cash out of her purse. In order to not make her feel guilty or uncomfortable with this act, Dania purposely let the act occur as planned because she did not want to make anyone feel bad about themselves and their flaws should always be hidden “behind a curtain”. And… this story makes no sense. What lesson did her friend learn from this? Absolutely nothing. She was committing a crime and never got caught for it so her friend learned absolutely nothing from all this and probably will try to do so again. And most likely will get caught by someone who would not be as kind as Dania is!

From my understanding, Meri Shehzadi wants to portray Dania as an open hearted person who wants to see the best in others. Nothing wrong with that but there is a fine line between being a people’s person and being naive. According to the story, Dania could have interrupted her friend during the act, given her the money and told her that next time if she ever needs extra money, all she has to do is ask. That would have been a perfect lesson for her friend; honesty is indeed the best approach.

ii – Almost every episode has too many internal monologues and other time wasting techniques just to lengthen the life of the show. There are also a couple scenes which are generally very identical in their content and dialogues. 

+ Overall

In the past few weeks, Meri Shehzadi has improved its content and pacing. Let’s hope this trend continues.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 8 (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 – Although Episode 8 was limited in its diversity regarding storytelling, it was still an entertaining hour of television. A new bombshell has presented itself into the lives of the Sheroz political family as Cam finally decided to reveal her secret marriage with Sheroz to the public. The rest of the episode then deals with the consequences of this act and it’s perfectly understandable why the episode did not want to introduce a separate subplot in the middle of the episode. The focus and attention was rightfully on this new development. It was a big moment for the show and I am glad that the creative team let it breathe a bit or let the characters of the show sink into the moment with the audience.

ii – It is intriguing to see how the “mother” of the Sheroz family is the actual puppet master behind the scenes. Sheroz might be the face in front of the press but it is actually his mother that dictates the terms behind the facade. This characterization brings a lot of depth not just to the plot but one of the main protagonists of the show; Sheroz himself. Such scenes shed a glimpse of light into Sheroz’s upbringing, his character and the curse that he has to live with. He is unwillingly trapped in this political game of power and dominance. Sheroz has no choice but to comply and with that, mistreat innocent bystanders like Dania and Cam.

+ Low Points

i – Even when I praise the potential behind Meri Shehzadi’s storytelling, the lack of better writing is still very noticeable. Poor dialogues spoken by ridiculously paper thin characters who feel more caricaturesque with each passing episode. Bad, evil characters speak ill of everyone around them while good ones are angels without visible wings. The show needs better writing to accommodate an arguably interesting storyline but unfortunately, the writing is a major letdown.

ii – So eight episodes in and already two characters have passed away. Was that really necessary? Such actions in script are usually taken in order to get an emotional reaction from its audience but here it’s not the case because we just didn’t get to really know them. I can understand Sheroz’s father passing away in terms of storytelling but the passing away of the grandmother has made no difference to the plot whatsoever. 

+ Overall

Meri Shehzadi needs better writing to accommodate an arguably interesting storyline.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 7 (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 – When it comes to building up a character, I appreciate the show’s depiction of Dania’s father. As he sat next to his ex Mother in Law at her deathbed, he finally admitted that the memories of his late first wife haunted him which ultimately made him make a clean break with everything associated with her. Although the name of his late wife was hardly ever present on his lips, the memory of her will forever live strong within him. Sometimes, the show has portrayed Dania’s father as a soulless monster who exploits his daughter for political gain but one can truly see that he is somewhat forced into all this. It is sadly the nature of politics.

+ Low Points

i – The death scene of Dania’s grandmother was handled with much maturity… till it wasn’t. As the scene went on, it indulged further and further into overdramatic and frankly speaking, pretty insulting methods of getting a reaction from the viewer. It glorified the final moments of a person’s life with nonsensical overacting and terrible writing. Anyone who has witnessed a person on their deathbed would realize the absurdity of the scene and how the show milked every possible moment to get the viewer’s sympathy while at the same time, so far removed from reality.

ii – The scene involving Cam and her mother in law was ridiculous to say the least. The whole exchange of insults back and forth was just a great example of how bad the writing of Meri Shezadi is at times. This show likes to present its characters with such less depth that it’s almost a parody at this point. The Mother in Law is just there to play the part of an antagonist; every word she speaks oozes of malice and spite. She calls her son an idiot because he loves someone and does not utilize them as pawns for their political agenda. Yes, such people do exist but it is important to also make your antagonist feel real. Regardless of their outlook towards the world and society, they also have certain personalities hidden behind their facade. The antagonists in Meri Shehzadi feel incomplete and cartoonish in their depiction. And this brings the quality of the show down.

+ Overall

Overly dramatic with exploitative agendas, Meri Shehzadi desperately needs a new path of storytelling to make it interesting enough to tune in every week.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 6 (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 – It’s fascinating how Sheroz is literally toying with both of his life partners and playing them against each other. For Cam, Dania is the culprit; the fraudulent wife who is only there as a public display for the press. On the other hand, Cam is the devil incarnate for Dania who is solely there to keep Sheroz’s affections away from her. There are some negative implications attached to this storyline but I have to admit, the psychological catfight does make for some engaging onscreen drama.

ii – I like the way the show has fleshed out Sheroz’s character. With the last couple of episodes, he has shown a lot of depth and emotions behind his actions. At times, he comes off as cold and unsympathetic but on the other, he kneels next to you and makes you emotionally comfortable with his sweet talk. And in both instances, you never can figure out which is the genuine Sheroz. Is he really trapped and forced to lead his political family or he just likes emotionally abusing people around him? It’s a great source of argument and that is what good writing should do.

+ Low Points

i – This show makes its two female protagonists weak in spirit. At least for Cam, it is understandable since she does not live in Pakistan and her marriage has been kept secret from the world but it’s disappointing to see Dania run after the double faced Sheroz like that. I hope that Dania grows out of this soon as all of this drama makes her look very gullible and a tad bit pitiful. And she should be neither of those. Dania should be above Sheroz’s lies and misdemeanors and live her life the way she imagines it. 

ii – A perplexing decision by the show to have two back to back episodes with the exact same premise; the tale of two wives. Could we at least have a ‘B story’ accompanying all this? With Sheroz’s background, there could be numerous side stories like political intrigue, power struggle and family drama; why is the show forcing us to just focus on the tension between the two wives? I hope we get to see a more diverse storyline in the next coming episodes as this could get old real fast.

iii – The “evil” characters of Meri Shezadi are really daunting and not in a good way. As I mentioned in my previous reviews, they all lack any sort of depth in their writing and are just portrayed as evil for the sake of it. At least Sheroz has been depicted a bit desperate and frustrated at times, the rest of the characters do not seem realistic in the slightest bit. 

+ Overall

A bit of a repetition from the previous week but Meri Shezadi has some strong redeeming factors to its unoriginal storyline.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 5 (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 – Most of the Episode revolved around Sheroz and his secret first wife Cam. While not the most engaging of episodes, it did explore the complexities of being married to a man of a higher stature. Sonia Mishal did a wonderful job in playing the neglected wife who is always casted in the shadows away from the public eye. The scenes between the two devolve from the blame game to career ending threats. Although not perfect, I do appreciate how the show managed to play along this storyline with a certain sense of maturity.

ii – While the whole episode was dominated by the Cam storyline, it never felt lethargic in its pacing and was accompanied by some engaging dialogues and good performances all around. Ali Rehman and Sonia Mishal had good chemistry and played well off one another. I really wouldn’t mind if Cam makes a return in some future episodes.

+ Low Points

i – Dania was a mere spectator in her own show. That was arguably the biggest flaw of this episode. Why is the show not from Dania’s perspective? That could be a very interesting way to engage the audience through the eyes of a newly wedded “princess” of the Sheroz family. Throughout the episode, Dania is left perplexed and feeling sorry for herself. “Why is she here? Does my husband love her more?”. There was little to no attention given to Dania and how this political world of lies and deception plays an effect on her. There is so much potential in this storyline but very little is being utilized in the end.

ii – The post production effects of the ‘video chat’ scene were truly awful. The “video” seemed obviously shoved into the cellphone frame in editing and it looks as fake as it should. Was it so hard to have a video call between the two characters? Regardless of the video quality, it would have looked much more authentic than this! And also, who holds a phone in a landscape position to video chat with someone?

iii – It seems like Meri Shehzadi is laying way too thick on the “Princess Diana” references. There are constant conversations on how she will become the new “Princess/ Shehzadi” and he should have been running the “kingdom”. It all sounded so ridiculous because no politician talks like that.

+ Overall

Even with the lack of our main protagonist, the episode was engaging enough for its entire runtime.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 4 (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 – Four episodes in and the show already seems incredibly repetitive. But with that said, it was good to see Dania finally realize that it is the life that she has to deal with now. After constantly being threatened and insulted by her In-Laws, Dania finally realized that in order to maintain her individuality, she has to play the game. This means that she will have to behave as a royalty should and for the time being, leave her old past self behind.

ii – The death scene of Sheroz’s father was well executed. With the use of music, visuals and lack of dialogue; the scene was very effective and memorable. A great reminder to all the other Pakistani shows that less is always more.

+ Low Points

i – The episode felt very repetitive and not easy to sit through. The whole theme of the episode was if Dania would be allowed to meet her grandparents or forever be imprisoned by her in-laws. The writing was not clever enough to pull this episode off as each scene went far too long with characters portrayed as real life caricatures of themselves. It is unfortunate that Meri Shehzadi is going for the obvious, low hanging fruits with no real character studies or believability behind it. The in-laws are evil for the sake of being evil, there is no depth or justification behind it. A great villain is only a memorable one when you could understand (or relate) to their thought process.

ii – The depth that the characters in Meri Shehzadi have is no thicker than a cardboard box. Their primal instincts have divided them into the good/ evil categories. As a viewer, you are blatantly forced by the show to like and dislike the characters they want you to. Obviously, we are supposed to sympathize with Dania and her journey into the life of a “princess” but at least leave some scenes for viewers to interpret for themselves and not spoon feed us who we are supposed to love or hate. 

iii – Amongst all of the characters that are living in the Sheroz political family, there should be at least one character that could sympathize with Dania. This would be the perfect window to opportunity for Dania to not completely lose herself in this environment. On the other hand, this also creates diversity in the story and someone that the audience could root for. So far, that has not been the case for Meri Shehzadi. Apparently everyone in the family is evil whose main concern is solely the political stature of the family. Also, the reasoning behind Dania (of all women out there) being chosen as the one to produce offspring of the Shehroz family is still not convincing enough for me.

+ Overall

Episode 4 felt very repetitive at times including dialogues and scenes which really made this into a mediocre experience of television.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode II & III (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 2 & 3 (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 – Episodes 2 and 3 brought a new era in Dania’s life and with that, comes misery. Dania is now forcefully thrusted upon the life of Politics and backstabbing. Her ‘wide-eyed’ vision of the world and humanity does not work with Sheroz’s family and their household. Meri Shehzadi is a study of a young woman who has to now live a ‘fish out of water’ life which means for her to shed all of her empathetic attitude and mold into whatever Sheroz’s family wants her to become. It’s a simple story but so far, has been effective to say the least. And both episodes have had an incredibly natural progression with the plot of the show. 

ii – Urwa Hocane as Dania might have been the perfect role for her as her physical appearance certainly conveys the naive, tenderheartedness just from her visage. For Dania to be trapped inside the palace of lies and mistrust is a great visual representation of the show. Accompanied by the cool yet dastardly performance from Ali Rehman as Shehroz brings a lot of possible opportunities for friction and melodrama between the two opposite sides of the coin.

iii – I do have to admit, the role of Grandparents play a vital supporting role for Dania in the show. Where there is dark, there shall also be a contrast of light on the other end of the crossroad. Qavi Khan and Shamim Hilaly provide quite possibly the best performances of the show. It may not seem much but they play a pivotal role for our main protagonist, making valuable sense as to why Dania is such a kind hearted person in the first place. Nobody was born this way, it is her upbringing that makes all the difference in the world.

+ Low Points

i – Meri Shehzadi needs subtlety to elevate the show’s quality of writing and unfortunately, that has not been the case. The show is strictly divided into ‘Good guys’ and ‘Bad Guys’; Dania’s grandparents: Good, Sheroz’s family: Evil. And that is just not good writing. Admittedly, the first episode seemed somewhat promising in providing complexity in these characters. For example, Dania’s father still has kindness hidden behind that political exterior of his which creates great intrigue for the viewer to keep watching the show, hoping that one day, he will redeem himself for the sake of his daughter. Episodes 2 and 3 unfortunately went into the opposite route; Shehroz’s family provides no subtlety in their performances as we are supposed to hate them because they are very mean to our protagonist. Let’s make the antagonists a bit more grounded and realistic and I hope the show can rectify this problem in the next coming weeks.

ii – There is obviously a fine line between empathetic, kindhearted and naive. And judging from the two episodes, Dania comes more off as delusional than anything. Her ‘pure heart’ makes her spend thousands of rupees on the poor, the troubled. Her Grandpa did not have change so she decided to give the big rupee bill instead. It’s crystal clear what the show is going for but it makes Dania look too naive instead as she does not understand how the real world works. Dania should visit the slums, look out for the unfortunate ones but should not come off as naive towards the ills of humanity. The viewer needs to feel proud and sympathetic towards Dania, not pity her that she is getting ripped off by someone’s ‘needy’ act.

iii – But there is another problem with Dania’s story. It is her background. So the story goes that Dania is all of a sudden, being forced to live a life of a royalty and a celebrity which is great but the problem is that Dania comes from a very wealthy family herself. Look at her Grandparent’s house, the clothes she wears and so on; there is no massive contrast between the environment she was in before to where she is now. Yes, being a wife of a politician goes a long way but visually for us, her previous background plays a spoil sport in this scenario. But I guess that cannot be changed now but a genuine problem I feel with the show’s premise.

+ Overall

Not a bad outing but the cliches of Good versus Evil need to be avoided in order to make the show standout from the rest.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 1 (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 first episode of Meri Shehzadi is well written and a near perfect way to introduce the viewers to the world of Dania. The episode was smoothly paced, with each tibit of information communicated to the viewers with finesse and never did the exposition become overbearing. The credit should be given to Zanjbeel Asim Shah for her sharp writing and perhaps a perfect platform for this show to build upon.

ii – The performances from the main cast was one of the key elements for this first episode’s success. Urwa Hocane is arguably perfect casting to play the role of a wide eyed, innocent Dania who is suddenly forced into the world of politics and family drama mind games. Urwa’s dialogue delivery was gentle but never timid. She excellently displayed her character visually through her body language without going into long, unnecessary expositions. The rest of the cast was also exceptional in their respective supporting roles. Qavi Khan and Shamim Hilaly are also picture perfect casting as the Grandparents who brought up Dania and kept her away from the dirty politics of the family business. Ali Rehman as Shehroz was also a great choice as he is much better in playing the role of smarmy, devious life partner. For me, Ali Rehman was born to play the role of an antagonist and hopefully, this is the direction Meri Shehzadi will also follow.

iii – It should also be mentioned that showing Dania’s father in a bit of a sympathetic light was a marvelous choice by the writer of the show. How often do we see evil parents who abandoned their child to live their own selfish life. Yes, he is a flawed character but like Dania, he also suffered from the loss of his wife and had to learn to live again.

iv – The locations (particularly the bungalows) have a slight pre-partition look to them and it played a superb role in creating the atmosphere to the show. I also liked the wardrobe design for Dania as they conveyed her simplicity without dressing her up in a bland bedroom curtain. Its safe to say that the team behind the camera has done a good job in setting up the world in which Dania will have to survive.

+ Low Points

i – Even though I like the premise of the show, it does feel that Dania lacks any sort of motivations in life. Throughout the episode, we didn’t really get to understand the psyche behind Dania. Her personality was well communicated by the show but the characterization lacks inspirations or personal impulses. Apart from being a Princess, the real life Diana did humanitarian work on the side. Will our Dania also have similar motivations in life? Hard to say just from a single episode but the characters feel a bit too bland for my taste and lack qualities one expects from a well rounded character.

ii – Some people are evil for the sake of being evil. And that was part of the writing that I was not a particular fan of. With exception to Dania’s father, the rest of the family played cartoonish antics towards Dania and felt really flat in execution. It felt forced and unnecessary. There are good and evil people in this world but both also should share some human traits that could justify their emotions.

+ Overall

An episode with sharp writing and good performances, Meri Shehzadi will intrigue its viewers enough to follow Dania’s journey into the world of mischief and uncertainty.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Maat (2011)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Maat (2011). The 25 Episode limited TV series is directed by Amna Nawaz Khan and is produced by Momina Duraid. Maat was broadcasted on HUM TV Pakistan.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Amna Nawaz Khan
  • Written by Umera Ahmad
  • DOP by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Edited by Husnain
  • OST Theme composed by Farrukh Abid and Shoaib Farrukh
  • Produced by Momina Duraid

+ Note

Maat (adapted from the book of the same name) is written by the prolific Pakistani Urdu writer Umera Ahmad who is well renowned in the Pakistani Literature as well as Drama Industry as one of the most talented writers in Pakistan. The show is an exploration of themes such as moral defeat and victory in the eyes of our society. How far should one be selfish or selfless in order to survive in this world? Umera’s key strength in her writing has always been indulging in close family affairs and how differences in lifestyles can destroy the loved ones around you.

After its original broadcast on HUM TV, Maat instantly gained its popularity amongst its fanbase and was aired once again in 2013. This also led to the show being dubbed in Pashto for Hum Pashto 1 and drew numerous fans outside the country’s borders (such as India, Iran and Turkey). At the Lux Style Awards, Maat bagged Best Television Actress for Saba Qamar, Best Director, Best Writer and Best Television Serial awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Aamina Sheikh as Aiman
  2. Saba Qamar as Saman
  3. Adnan Siddiqui as Faisal
  4. Noor Hassan Rizvi as Hadeed
  5. Shamim Hilaly as Faisal’s mother
  6. Rabia Noreen as Afia
  7. Asad Malik as Aazar
  8. Samina Ahmad as servant
  9. Maheen Rizvi as Shaila
  10. Sadia Ghaffar as Munazzah

+ Plot

Two sisters; Aiman (Aamina Sheikh) and Saman (Saba Qamar) have vastly different visions of a perfect life. Aiman dreams of a modest, honest life whereas Saman dreams of a luxurious life with no consequences. Ideals clash when Faisal (Adnan Siddiqui)  proposes to marry his long time love Saman but her perfect Husband might not have a clear face so long as he can fulfill every material need that she desires in Life.

+ High Points

i – This is by now no secret that I am a massive fan of Umera Ahmed and her writing. She is undoubtedly miles ahead from many other drama writers in the Pakistani TV Industry. And Maat is no exception. Every episode is written with intricate precision and attention. With depth and understanding, each character feels a real and integral part of the story. Throughout its 25 Episodes, the show never felt staggered or prolonged (which is a rarity in modern Pak Television!). Each episode had a purpose to exist and that is perhaps one of the biggest compliments I could possibly give to a episodic soap opera. 

ii – Even though Maat is (yet again) a story of love triangle on the surface level, the plot goes much deeper than that. The show is an exploration of selfness vs selfishness (similar to Umera Ahmed’s previous work Daam (2010) but interestingly enough, the role of Aamina Sheikh reversed). It’s obvious that the sympathies lie solely on Aiman but she herself is not flawless in her woes. She fails to understand where the limits lie when it comes to personal sacrifice. Saman (on the other hand) fails to understand why the world doesn’t revolve according to her needs. She has no issues in manipulating people in order to get her way. The concept of ‘philanthropy’ is all alien to her. 

What I really admire about the storyline is all characters (whether good or bad) have flaws within them. The victim nor the oppressor can remain blameless throughout the show. It’s a balanced style of Umera’s writing which I truly applaud about her work. But with that being said, I think a lot of credit also should go to Amna Nawaz Khan’s superb direction. Her meticulous direction of her cast of characters and the scenes that they were part of really brought a lot of life into the show.

iii – The performances are great all around but it’s mostly the main cast of Aamina Sheikh, Saba Qamar and Adnan Siddiqui that shine throughout the show. The audience naturally tunes in for them to take the center stage and they never fail to deliver. But surprisingly, as the show progressed, Saba Qamar quickly captured the limelight of the show and most of the later episodes were solely through her perspective. And that I felt was very refreshing to view the events from the “Antagonist’s” point of view.

iv – The supporting cast of Shamim Hilaly, Rabia Noreen and others also contributed a lot to the show’s strength in its performances. Apart from the servant actors sounding a bit stiff, the main supporting cast was excellent throughout its 25 episodes. The scenes between Shamim and Rabia were also great to watch as their onscreen chemistry really had me believe that they are in fact sisters long after the cameras have stopped recording for the day.

v – The setting, locations and backdrop was all brilliantly realized for the show. The living condition differences between lower social classes and upper social classes were very apparent and added much needed depth and diversity to the moving images of the show.

vi – Apart from the brilliant OST by Muhammad Ali, most of the music was fantastic throughout the show. The integration of flute with melancholic piano really brought a sense of pain and regret onto the small screen. The music never felt overbearing but only ended up enhancing your viewing experience.

vii –  The conclusion to the show was outstanding and fit right in the tone and narrative of the show. Most TV dramas fall into the trap of a great setup but a terrible payback at the end but the writer of Maat knew in which direction she was taking the show and how this particular story would end. The conclusion of any show always makes or breaks it but fortunately, Maat had a very satisfying conclusion to the show.

 + Low Points

i – The production was serviceable to say the least. Shehzad Kashmiri’s camerawork was subpar and lacked any sort of creativity in its visuals. Shows like Raqeeb Se (2021) are a prime example how inventive framing and camerawork can really contribute to the overall aesthetic of the show.

(Warning! Spoilers Ahead! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Overall section):

ii – One major problem that left me perplexed was the shift of perspective from Aiman to Saman. Why? Why could not both have been the audience’s window into the world of Maat? Since the two sisters have polar opposite understanding of the world, this unique dual perspective would have worked seamlessly into the narrative but for some reason, Umera’s script solely focused on Saman’s view mostly throughout the show. A bit more balanced screentime between the two sisters would worked better for the show.

iii – Although Saba Qamar’s performance was great, she had a certain tick in her performance that whenever she said something in a condescending tone, she shook her head on the side at the end of each sentence. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be a tick that Saba invented for her character or if it was the director’s suggestion but became a bit distracting as episodes went on. 

iv – There were times when the audience might lose their empathy towards Aiman because she is gratuitously more generous than anyone ever should be. It’s hard to sympathize but only pity someone’s lack of intelligence if it’s already written on the wall that caving into Saman’s stubbornness and Faisal’s self-destructive desires will lead to nothing good in life. Perhaps it can be noted as a flaw of Aiman but these were the times when I momentarily lost sympathy for Aiman for being so naive and clueless.

v – The “elderly” make up in the last two episodes was laughable. It looked ridiculous considering the white hair but perfect “wrinkless” skin. A random guy called Aiman ‘old lady’ just took me completely out of the scene. Stage plays have better makeup than this!

vi – The last few episodes have a bit too many inner monologues from Aiman. I think that dragged the episodes a bit and could’ve been avoided. The visuals were enough for the audience to understand what was happening without the show spelling it out for them.

+ Overall

Maat is such an entertaining watch. The characters are interesting and the plot progression is excellent throughout its 25 episodes. One of the best shows to come out of the last decade.

 Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars