Hum TV’s latest offering comes in the form of “Mohabbatein Chahatain.” The drama stars Junaid Khan, Hira Mani, Armeena Rana Khan and Tipu Shareef in lead roles. Directed by Ali Hassan and written by Samira Fazal, the show brings back the Junaid Khan-Hira Mani pairing fresh off the success of “Kashf.” It is also a (welcome) comeback of sorts for Armeena Rana Khan, who has been missing from the Pakistani drama scene for a while. Does the first episode impress? Let’s discuss!
In episode one, viewers are introduced to Faraaz (Junaid Khan) and Sneha (Hira Mani), a happily married middle-class couple with a child. They have a happy home and their relationship is the envy of several people around them, but Faraaz desires a lifestyle where they don’t have to worry about money. On the flip side, Faraaz’s best friend Kamil (Tipu Shareef) is married to Tara (Armeena Rana Khan) and the two have a hostile marriage made worse by Tara’s uncaring, potentially unstable behavior (this is not clear yet). Tara is suspicious and accuses Kamil of cheating (this is also not clear), but seems to be devoid of empathy herself, sitting in a restaurant eating cake after Faraaz’s accident. As the episode comes to its end, Kamil and Tara have an ugly fight at Faraaz and Sneha’s anniversary party after Tara announces her pregnancy. Kamil, fed up of Tara’s lies, believes that she is lying once again and divorces her as the party attendees watch on in shock.
The show does highlight this idea of “the grass is greener on the other side.” The friendship between Faraaz and Kamil seems like a genuine one, one where the two men know and understand each other well. They are seen confiding in each other, but about different problems. While Kamil is fed up of his wife’s unloving, suspicious, maddening behavior, but has all the money one could need, Faraaz has a solid, trusting, loving marriage, but wishes he could do more for his family financially. ‘
The real highlight of the show is the relationship shown between Sneha and Faraaz, one that feels genuine from the moment this couple appears on screen. Junaid Khan and Hira Mani are energetic, natural and endearing in these roles. But is their happiness going to be in jeopardy sooner than later? After watching their sweet relationship, one simply isn’t ready for the show to head down that road. It seems set to happen though with Armeena Rana Khan’s Tara, a woman who is oozes negativity and one wonders how Sneha could even be friends with her. The storyline here does not look particularly unique and gives off the feel of “I’ve seen this before.” The story seems headed down one of two paths – either Sneha will get suckered into a bet of sorts with Tara regarding the stability of her marriage (“testing” Faraaz) or Tara will go down the revenge route to destroy Sneha and Faraaz’s marriage for speaking against her relationship with Kamil. It’s always nice to see Armeena Rana Khan on screen and it’s been a particularly long break this time around, but Armeena as Tara isn’t particularly impressive in this first episode – hopefully her character shows more promise as the drama proceeds, because it’s clear that she’s not a particularly balanced character and one welcomes different depictions on-screen. It never seems right to criticize a story or show too deeply after just the first episode and the performances from the lead pair are very promising, so this is a show that falls into the “let’s wait and see” category regarding how it plays out.