“Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” is a Pakistani drama that has talent, glamor and is visually enticing, pulling the audience in. ARY generally does have good production values, which increases viewer desire to tune in. However, is that enough to keep those viewers interested in the long run? Written by Sidra Sehar Imran and directed by Badar Mehmood, “Mujhe Pyar Hua Tha” stars Wahaj Ali, Hania Amir, Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz, Shahood Alvi, Salma Hassan, Javed Sheikh, Angeline Malik, Noor Ul Hassan, Shaheen Khan and others in prominent roles.
In episode 10, Maheer (Hania Amir) and Saad (Wahaj Ali) are now married. Maheer is mourning the loss of her love, Areeb (Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz) while Areeb is reeling from the misery of losing his father, along with what he sees as Maheer’s betrayal. Saad and Maheer’s family, however, is happily acting as though things are normal while their children grapple with serious emotions and shock. In all honesty, there is something lacking in the writing of “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha.” This is a story where we should feel sorry for all three lead actors. Maheer and Areeb were “in love” and about to be married while Saad quietly prepared to sacrifice his love for Maheer. In a twist of fate, Maheer’s father passed away, Maheer was “jilted” on her wedding day and Saad stepped in to save the family’s honor. In such a situation, we should feel sorry for two lovers who wanted to be together and Saad, who is now stuck with a wife who doesn’t want him. Instead……we only feel sorry for Saad, who is now stuck with an ungrateful, unappreciative wife.
The stage for this show should have been set within the first few episodes with absolute focus on Maheer and Areeb’s love story, making it feel more believable, including realistic, relatable situations that allowed the audience to connect with the duo. Unfortunately, their love story has been written as a weak, haphazhard, poorly fleshed out, love-at-first sight connection that does not allow for any sympathy at all. If anything, Areeb inspires anger for laying “claim” on a woman after only seeing her once and acting so obsessive. Maheer inspires anger for still mourning over Areeb after everything his mother has put her family through. What sort of self-respecting young woman would ever want a man when his mother has literally insulted her on her wedding day? Would one ever want to walk into a family environment like this? The answer is no – and unfortunately, Maheer’s mother is to blame for brainwashing her daughter into this relationship for financial gain. Is there really anything “real” to Maheer’s love for Areeb? Falling in love is one thing, as Maheer is shown as naïve, innocent and sheltered – but to treat Saad like this, allowing him to take the fall and blame for everything through manipulation and then act as though he’s to blame for it all? Even Hania Amir’s sweet performance and beauty isn’t making Maheer very likable.
Wahaj Ali is in the prime of his career. He is an actor we can count on for quality acting and, generally, acting in quality shows with meaning. However, even dedicated actors need to sign money-earners, shows that pull in the ratings and increase their star power. While Wahaj Ali’s two current on-air shows, “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” and “Tere Bin,” aren’t the type of shows we are used to seeing him in (meaningful), they certainly are money-earners, both ranking high on TRP ratings and pulling in viewers from all over the globe. And honestly speaking, neither show has a strong storyline, great writing or fleshed out characters. In “Tere Bin,” it’s Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi who are carrying the show with their chemistry and interesting romance. However, in “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha,” it’s Wahaj Ali’s Saad alone who is a character of interest, one that the audience sympathizes and resonates with. This speaks highly of Wahaj Ali’s present star power, an actor who can pull viewers into a show that falls flat everywhere else with just his performance. Had another actor played Saad, “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” may not have been as interesting, but it’s Wahaj Ali’s performance that makes us root for Saad – and feel anger towards every other character.
Do we want Saad and Maheer together? Not necessarily – does Maheer even deserve Saad? However, as an audience, we do want to see Saad happy. Overall, “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” is a show running on Wahaj Ali’s great performance as Saad and little else – and yet, that performance makes “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” worth watching, along with its brilliant OST.