“Mannat Murad” is easily the show audiences are most confused about on Pakistani television right now. Do we love it for its realistic story? Do we hate it for the toxicity being projected? The greatest problem with “Mannat Murad” is presentation. The show promised light-hearted comedy and wound up being a cautionary tale of marrying men who are controlled by their immediate family and cannot think freely. And while the message itself is good, the show has failed to set the stage in a way where we not only could get on board, but also are clear as to where the show is headed and what the message is. Starring Iqra Aziz, Talha Chahour, Irsa Ghazal, Faiza Gillani, Noor Ul Hassan, Uzma Hassan, Tipu Shariff, Ali Rehman Khan, Mizna Waqas, Ali Safina and others, the story has been written by Nadia Akhtar and directed by Syed Wajahat Hussain.
In episode 31, Mannat (lara Aziz) and Murad (Talha Chahour) are prepared mentally to divorce, the two broken-hearted over how their relationship has come to an end. However, their friends step in, realizing how foolish the two are being, and lock them in a room together which forces them to talk. During this time locked in a room together, Mannat and Murad “make up.” However, this making up is not based on any meaningful discussion or breaking down any walls, rather it’s simply Murad being……well, Murad. He takes the dramatic, coward’s way out by threatening to slit his wrists so Mannat and his mother will be “happy.” Of course, his threats work and the two are now reunited…..but in secret. Now meeting like boyfriend and girlfriend behind the backs of their families, Murad has another secret up his sleeve – his marriage to Sitara is scheduled for the following week.
The current scenario is infuriating on many accounts. Mannat is purposely being written as bratty and headstrong with an ego in order to make Mannat and Murad’s marriage a “there are two sides to it” scenario. Except, unfortunately, there are not two sides to this situation – there is only one side. Mannat, regardless of how ill-mannered she is being written as in an effort to make her look negative like Murad, Murad is still at fault. Murad has not, even once, acknowledged that he was wrong for slapping Mannat. He believes they are “even,” because she slapped him back, not understanding that she slapped him in retaliation while he slapped her in front of his entire family, humiliating her when she did not do anything to deserve his anger in the first place…..forget a slap. Second, Murad is now making promises to Mannat about protecting her and living happily together, stating he’s no longer scared of anyone. All the while, his wedding is being planned to Sitara for the following week, something which he has yet to mention to Mannat and something he is too scared to put a stop to. Talha Chahour is doing a great job as Murad, because he’s playing a character we can see in our own lives. How many Murad’s exist out there? The answer is many. Iqra Aziz is great as Mannat, but we’d love to see her character given some real moments to shine as an actress now. Murad is the only villain in “Mannat Murad,” a character who is not worth Mannat’s time. He’s cowardly and dishonest. The ideal ending for “Mannat Murad” would actually be for Mannat to leave him, but unfortunately….that’s probably not what will happen.