With the launch itself, “Meri Shehzadi,” which was initially titled “Meri Shehzadi Diana,” made no qualms about being a Pakistani adaptation of the Princess Diana story. Throughout its run, it has successfully “localized” the story, allowing Pakistanis to not only relate to the lead character in a Pakistani avatar, but also see the correlation between Dania and Princess Diana in regards to their lives and struggles. And yet, on a level, we hoped that Dania would see a happier outcome and maybe – just maybe – the writers would find it in their hearts to give Dania the happy ending Princess Diana was unable to have. Starring Urwa Hocane, Atiqa Odho, Ali Rehman Khan, Manzoor Qureshi and Farhan Saeed, “Meri Shehzadi” also starred Qavi Khan before he fell ill and passed away. The story has been beautifully written by Zanjabeel Asim Shah and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed.
In the finale, Shehroze (Ali Rehman Khan) and Shahana (Atiqa Odho) concoct the perfect plan. In exchange for Dania’s (Urwa Hocane) freedom from Shehroze, they demand that Dania drop all charges against them in court, creating a level ground and leaving all bitterness behind. For Dania, this seems like the best way out and a great way to begin her new life with Dr. Hasan (Farhan Saeed). At this point, even the public has come around and recognized that Dania has a right to happiness and once again supports her decision to break away from politics. The stage is set for Dania’s happy ending and yet, do we dare breathe a sigh of relief? Of course not, because Shahana has always been forward-thinking and makes the ultimate final move. With all cases and charges dropped and Shahana and Shehroze’s images publicly cleared, Shahana has Dania and Hasan killed in a car crash, staged to look like an “accident.” With this move, Shahana and Shehroze are set to further their political careers while Sanaullah (Manzoor Qureshi/Qavi Khan) is left to nurse his wounds, regretting his decisions to trust his own family.
There’s something hauntingly poetic about the finale of “Meri Shehzadi” that leaves the audience feeling content and yet, also heartbroken. This is how we expected the finale to play out, isn’t it? Yet that slight glimmer of hope remained, the hope that Dania and Shehroze could come to a peaceful understanding while Dania simply moved on with her life, Hasan and her children. That being said, this is the nature of politics, the way corruption works and a depiction of the cruelty in a world we cannot truly understand. The performances are praise-worthy, particularly that of Atiqa Odho and Urwa Hocane, both who have played their parts well. Atiqa Odho has been brilliant as Shahana, a woman out to preserve her legacy and status by any means necessary. Urwa Hocane has proved, once again, that she is an underrated actress and has put her heart and soul into Dania. Ali Rehman Khan’s character, Shehroze, has not been a likable character. And yet, Ali’s performance is outstanding as Shehroze is this controlled, manipulated Mama’s boy who has never had a true thought of his own – and it’s not easy to play such a character. Of course, Qavi Khan, who has the genuine soul of the show, has given such a memorable performance and Manzoor Khan has done his best to maintain that quality of a performance. Last, but not least, Farhan Saeed stepped in to provide that breath of fresh air in an otherwise heavy show and successfully made us smile through that performance. “Meri Shehzadi” has been well-written and beautifully directed, telling a story that offered something different to Pakistani drama audiences. This is one drama that will genuinely be missed.