“Khwaab Nagar Ki Shehzadi” is ARY’s latest offering, a show which airs Monday through Thursday. Written by Ali Moeen an Rehana Aftab, this drama has been directed by Syed Ramish Rizvi and stars Mekaal Zulfiqar, Mashal Khan, Anmol Baloch and Sajida Syed in prominent roles. Airing four days a week requires a gripping script, but does this show have what it takes to keep audiences hooked? It depends on the audience.
“Khwaab Nagar Ki Shehzadi,” in the first four episodes, introduces viewers to Meera (Mashal Khan) and Saim (Mekaal Zulfiqar), a loving upper middle-class couple who live with Saim’s mother and with their son, Hassan. Their lives are turned upside down when Sehar (Anmol Baloch) ends up living with them in an odd twist of circumstances. Shamim, Meera’s household help, finds herself in a jam after her husband, Jamil, takes a loan from some crooked people. When they are unable to pay the loan, these people demand their eldest daughter in marriage – however, she runs away and gets married to a man of her own choice, leaving the group after Sehar. Shamim leaves Sehar in Meera’s protection, against Saim and her mother-in-law’s wishes and their household finds themselves continuously under stress due to this inconvenience.
Up until this point, the storyline here isn’t particularly jolting or unlikable. Sehar bonds nicely with little Hassan, which makes for some sweet moments taking Sehar’s young age and loneliness into account. What makes the show come across as unlikable is the direction in which it seems to be heading, a direction which I personally do not care to see it head in. Saim, despite his initial anger and disdain towards Sehar, now is seen exchanging glances with her, setting his sights on her appearance and showing some interest in her beauty. Essentially, what it boils down to, is one of two options. First, will Sehar fall prey to Saim’s advances? She is a young girl who may be impressionable and that would paint Saim in a bad light. The second option comes from the brief ARY synopsis, which says it’s “the tale of an ambitious girl who could go to any lengths to achieve everything she has thought of.” This opens the doors to Sehar actively pursuing Saim and working to trap him in order to gain access into his household as his partner, achieving her dreams – by railroading Meera, the naïve woman who helped her. This second option seems more likely than anything else and it would take the story down an irritating road. Mekaal Zulfiqar, Mashal Khan and Anmol Baloch are all likable performers who have a hit-or-miss track record with signing quality shows. Will this be a hit or a miss? As of right now, it doesn’t appear to be heading down a particularly exciting road.