When “Jaan E Jahan” was launched with Ayeza Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi, expectations were soaring. Hamza Ali Abbasi’s return to television after “Alif” and post the massive success of “The Legend Of Maula Jatt,” this show also marked the reunion of the “Pyaray Afzal” pair after years. Along with the lead actors, the cast also includes Asif Raza Mir, Noor Ul Hassan, Savera Nadeem, Haris Waheed, Raza Talish, Srha Asghar, Emmad Irfani, Maryam Nafees, Nawal Saeed, Kinza Malik and Zainab Qayyum, each actor as talented as the next. Written by Rida Bilal, “Jaan E Jahan” has been directed by Qasim Ali Mureed.
In the first episode, we are introduced to Murad Shah (Asif Raza Mir), a rich man with a heart of gold. He has three sons, Shehram (Hamza Ali Abbas), Tabrez (Haris Waheed) and the youngest played by Raza Talish. His wife, Kishwar (Savera Nadeem), is his second wife and mother to Tabrez and the youngest son while Shehram is the son of Murad’s first, now deceased, wife. Shehram is his father’s right hand man, a loyal, loving, dependable man of honor and dignity. He does everything in his power to keep his father happy and ensure his respect isn’t harmed because of him. Hamza Ali Abbasi is ridiculously lovable in this role, though we know Shehram will endure a lot of hardship as the story progresses. Tabrez, on the other hand, is a chip off the old block – the block being his mother, Kishwar. Both mother and son are manipulative, arrogant and do not understand principles. While Tabrez sets his sights on a married woman (Nawal Saeed), harassing her in public, he turns against Shehram when he puts a stop to his behavior. Kishwar, on the other hand, is angry that Shehram is being given too much control in business matters. This is an age-old story we’ve seen many times in Bollywood films and Pakistani dramas, nothing necessarily new or innovative here, but it is nice seeing Savera Nadeem playing this strong, grey role.
We are also introduced to Mahnoor (Ayeza Khan), who is getting married. Her in-laws are status-conscious, money-hungry people who do not care for the feelings of her family. Rather, Mahnoor was picked by Kabir, her fiancé, simply for being the most beautiful girl in college, something which troubles Mahnoor as she wants to be loved for who she is as a person. Mahnoor’s father works for Murad, ensuring that Mahnoor and Shehram will come face-to-face soon enough. Ayeza Khan looks as beautiful as always and is playing a very sweet character this time around.
Hamza Abbasi and Ayeza Khan make an impression in this episode, Hamza Ali Abbasi in particular with his strong baritone and endearing screen presence which has been sorely missed. Asif Raza Mir and Savera Nadeem are also a treat to watch on screen. If we’re honest, “Jaan E Jahan” follows a typical ARY formula, complete with evil stepmother and half-brother, the heroine being a “bojh” on her father, heroine’s father working for hero’s father and we won’t bat an eyelash when both these fathers pass away as later episodes unfold. However, the cast is excellent with a slew of incredibly talented actors playing each role and high-quality production values that are a treat for the eyes. But are visuals and cast enough or has more work been put into the story? The final thought we’re left with is that while the first episode is predictable and tried and tested, there must be something in this script coming up for all these exceptional actors to have signed this show in particular. Time will tell!