Saba Qamar and Nauman Ejaz are industry stalwarts, always giving their best to the roles they take on. It’s no wonder then that once the promos of “Mr. and Mrs. Shameem” were revealed, buzz immediately began amidst Pakistani drama audiences. Unfortunately, as has been the case for the past few Pakistani Zee5 originals, those within Pakistan have been unable to watch these originals due to the Zee5 ban in the country, leaving many wondering “What’s the point of creating shows when the base audience is unable to watch them?” While it’s a valid point, these originals, including “Churails,” “Ek Jhooti Love story,” “Dhoop Ki Deewar,” and “Qaatil Haseenaon Ke Naam” have been quality content with high production values and intriguing storylines. “Mr. and Mrs. Shameem” is no less. Written by Saji Gul and directed by Kashif Nisar, the show also stars Gul E Rana, Uzma Hassan, Faiza Gillani, Haseeb Khan, Saqib Sameer, Agha Mustafa Hassan and others.
Overall Story Summary With Mild Spoilers
In the first three episodes, we are introduced to Umaina (Saba Qamar) – Umi – and her best friend Shameem (Nauman Ejaz). Umi is a free spirit, a girl who doesn’t shy away from making the first move on the object of her affection, Bilal (Agha Mustafa Hassan), and actively pursues a relationship despite societal and cultural norms. Unfortunately, Bilal is the wrong guy – strong, tall and handsome, along with a generous dash of aggression, lack of respect for women and physically abusive. It doesn’t take long for Bilal to throw Umi aside, particularly when he realizes she’s pregnant. Left in a lurch, Umi is left without anyone to turn to – except Shameem.
Shameem is a man who has never been seen as “a man.” He is empathetic, kind-hearted and what many would call “effeminate.” The idea of his marriage is something that even his own family scoffs at, but Shameem genuinely loves and cares for Umi. He comes to her aid in her time of need, serving as her protector.
In the first episode, it’s Nauman Ejaz who steals the show as Shameem – and honestly, Shameem is the heart and soul of the show. Whether it’s caring for his sisters, Humaira (Uzma Hassan), Rukhsana (Faiza Gillani), and Wajiha (Aamna Malick), keeping his brothers-in-law in check or caring for Umi, he does justice to his role as a protector within his family – despite their view of him. Nauman Ejaz is a flawless actor. This is not new information or a revelation, rather it’s simply pointing out the fact that Nauman Ejaz always does complete justice to whatever role he takes on and reminds us that he’s one of Pakistan’s best.
Saba Qamar’s Umi is a less lovable character. In the first episode, Saba’s performance does come across as “too much” with Umi’s free-spiritedness – too loud, too happy, maybe unnaturally so. And yet, once episode two hits and Saba has the chance to strike those emotional chords, we are reminded why she is such a beloved actress. As an audience, we cry for Umi, recognizing how much she is now enduring due to one bad choice….and yet, find ourselves angry with her once again each time she insults Shameem. She is a very complicated character, one who has many internal struggles, and this is a challenge as an actor – one that Saba Qamar is handling very well.
The supporting cast is wonderful as always, particularly Gul E Rana in these first three episodes. She shines in a moment at the end of episode three as she shows her unconditional love for Shameem. With such a stellar cast, they are sure to all have their moment to shine in episodes to come.
“Mr. and Mrs. Shameem” is not without its share of flaws. The show is not fast-paced and in the first three episodes, there’s the use of music during long stretches that feels unnecessary. The flashback sequences also arrive without warning and do not necessarily add to the narrative. Still, overall, this is a wonderful product at this point. Kashif Nisar’s direction is beautiful, as is Saji Gul’s story. With much more to unfold, great things are expected from “Mr. and Mrs. Shameem.” All 20 episodes are available for streaming on the Zee5 platform.