Some shows remind us exactly why we began watching Pakistani dramas, telling stories of complex characters with shades of grey in strong human stories which assault us, as viewers, in our emotions. Umera Ahmed has always been a master of this craft and as the writer behind “Jannat Se Aagay,” Pakistani drama viewers are pulled into the world of Jannat Ali Khan, her highs, her lows, her flaws and her vulnerabilities. This show has been wonderfully directed by Haseeb Hassan, who moves us between Jannat and Tabassum’s worlds, setting the two up for a monumental collision. The stars of the show are Kubra Khan, Ramsha, Khan, Talha Chahour, and Gohar Rasheed with Shehervar Zaidi, Hina Bayat, Aina Asif, Saboor Aly, Daniya Anwar and others in prominent roles.
In episode 22, Jannat (Kubra Khan) is in a vulnerable state after her show’s ratings have sunk, leaving her position in the industry on shaky ground. Of course, the fact that her marriage to Nauman (Gohar Rasheed) is also in a bad place and the additional burden of Nauman’s restaurant business in the lurch has Jannat under an intense amount of stress. It’s in these moments that she finds herself deeply envious of Tabassum’s life, a life with a loving family and a supportive, adoring husband. While Nauman is doing his best to show his devotion to Jannat once again, Jannat is no longer the trusting woman she once was, her senses alerting her to Nauman’s continuing infidelity. One thing which must be discussed is the way these characters have been written. It’s evident that Jannat caused a lot of harm in her marriage. She neglected her husband, she neglected her children and she even allowed her snobbery to trickle into her marriage and undermine her husband and his family. Is Jannat an innocent in her marriage? No, but shouldn’t individuals have room to change and improve? Nauman, however, is proving to be truly evil. This is a man who is not only cheating on his wife with another woman and planning a second marriage, but he’s also robbing her blind. For a man who claims he only wanted his wife’s attention and love, he has no problem stealing her life’s savings and earnings, even asking for her foreign currency in order to leave her for another woman with no safety net for herself. Nauman is a true villain. Watching Kubra Khan and Gohar Rasheed is a treat though, the two sharing excellent chemistry and working well together.
Moving on to Tabassum (Ramsha Khan), she is now entering an uncomfortable phase where she is constantly playing a game – and her conscience and fear of being caught is finally kicking in. She is unable to sleep at night, fearing her lies being discovered not only by Jannat, but also by Farooq and her family. Tabassum’s behavior is believable, because how easy is it to slip into dishonesty? It’s easy to pacify one’s self, saying the person we’re taking from has more than they can handle and it won’t disrupt their life – meanwhile, the other individual is facing financial crisis because of these choices. Fortunately for Jannat, but unfortunately for Tabassum, Farooq (Talha Chahour) is on to Tabassum, courtesy his mother (Hina Bayat). She hesitantly suggests that Tabassum is stealing from Jannat, planting a seed of doubt in Farooq’s mind….and it all begins to make sense. Talha Chahour is excellent as Farooq, playing a role similar to his role in “Wabaal.” However, Farooq is well-written, a simpleton with deep emotions, his world centered around the love of his love – who he is now beginning to see for who she is. It’s Talha’s performance which makes Farooq lovable, a character who could’ve been irritating had he been played by a less than actor.
Kubra Khan is, honestly, the star of the show. When “Jannat Se Aagay” first began, Jannat seemed like a rigid, manipulative, evil sort of character. However, as the show has progressed, we’ve gotten to know Jannat’s internal thinking, her weaknesses, her desires and it’s honestly frustrating to see how everyone around her is taking advantage of her. Kubra Khan’s performance perfectly captures Jannat’s hard exterior and her soft moments behind the façade. Of course, Ramsha Khan is brilliant as well, her performance making Tabassum’s gradual change from a sincere, devoted fan to a manipulative, lying employee who will do anything for her own comfort and personal gain. It’s Ramsha’s external innocence and the simpleness with which Tabassum entered Jannat’s world which makes Tabassum such an interesting character, watching her progression to her current persona over time. These two women are doing a stellar job and have us waiting on the edge of our seats for the next episode and, despite two episodes airing a week, it’s never enough. This is a must watch!