When big stars come together for a drama, expectations skyrocket. Wahaj Ali is an actor who has steadily been growing a loyal fanbase over the past several years. When both “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” and “Tere Bin” hit Pakistani television screens at the same time, drama viewers were delighted that Wahaj Ali would be front and center for the next few months, that too with stellar co-stars like Hania Amir and Yumna Zaidi. While “Tere Bin” went on to be the biggest success of Wahaj Ali’s career, “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” is also a success in terms of TRPs. But is it memorable? Sure, but not for positive reasons. With Wahaj Ali, Hania Amir and Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz in lead roles, the show also stars Shahood Alvi, Salma Hassan, Angeline Malik, Noor Ul Hassan, Shaheen Khan, Rabya Kulsoom and others.
In the finale, Areeb (Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz) waits for Maheer (Hania Amir) to divorce Saad (Wahaj Ali), which is an absolutely illogical demand, Maheer informs him that she never planned on doing so at all. Realizing the betrayal, Areeb lashes out, even trying to get Saad arrested yet again before leaving. Of course, Areeb now comes face to face with Farah, who is now furious at being deceived by Areeb. In a ridiculous twist, Farah accuses Areeb of attempted assault and Areeb, realizing there’s no one left to believe his innocence, goes to jail while Saad and Maheer live happily ever after.
Does that summary sound ridiculous? That’s because the finale is actually ridiculous. For a show that was meant to be a love story, Maheer shared chemistry with neither Saad nor Areeb. Both love stories were forced, completely lacking in a connection between the characters, which made it hard to root for either couple. In the end, viewers only rooted for Saad, because he spent the entire show crying and being tortured simply for loving Maheer. In the end, Maheer and Saad wound up together, but….did we really care? Wahaj Ali is a phenomenal actor and he did the best he could with Saad, but did not have much to work with other than being sad. Hania Amir played the most confused female character – and her confusion has not been convincing, unfortunately. It’s not clear whether this is the fault of the writing, the chemistry, the actors not being convinced by their roles – or a mixture of all three. However, with Wahaj Ali and Hania Amir starring together, this was a missed opportunity.
Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz has played the most unlikable role in the entire show, Areeb, a man who is simply fixated on his lost love. Most times, we’ve just been yelling “Give it a rest!” at our screens. Areeb never does. The problem is that Areeb started off as a good guy burned by his own family and then, suddenly, we’re expected to believe that he’s so incredibly negative that he’s constantly plotting ways to have Saad arrested? Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz’s performance hasn’t been convincing either, unfortunately. This was not a role he could pull off.
In the end though, there are two major problems with the finale. First, there is an insane amount of focus on Farah, a character we could barely tolerate for a few scenes – here, she’s given the majority of screen space. At no point does Farah actually feel sympathy for what she did, rather, she just turns it around on Areeb and accuses him of assault. This sends such a terrible message out to viewers and honestly, Pakistani dramas need to stop writing stories with women faking stories of harassment. This is wrong. But last, who have the real culprits always been in “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha”? That’s right, the mothers. Maheer’s mother constantly steered her in the wrong direction and pushed her towards Areeb, even after marriage. Areeb’s mother plotted the entire downfall of Areeb and Maheer’s relationship, had Saad arrested, caused Maheer’s father’s stroke and simply wreaked havoc on Maheer, Saad and Areeb’s lives. Did she suffer at all? Did she pay? The answer is no. Neither of these women ever actually recognized their faults nor did they have any moment of self reflection – at least not to the level it needed to be.
All in all, “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” is a show that should’ve been great with the cast alone. While the show did manage to rake in views with both TRPs and YouTube views, “Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha” has left viewers disappointed. This is a show better forgotten and should be a lesson to the entire team – please do better next time.