There are some shows which promise a journey through the lives of its characters and it’s that journey which makes the show enjoyable to watch. In the case of “Neem,” it’s clear that Ashhad and Zymal, played by Ameer Gilani and Mawra Hussain, are the endgame couple – and yet, at the present time, they could not be further apart, not only physically, but also mentally. While Zymal is married to Shazil, Ashhad is off exploring his future in the USA. How their lives will change and how they will come together is an aspect of the story to look forward to – and in episode 8, we begin to see shades of change in Zymal’s life. Along with Mawra Hussain and Ameer Gilani, “Neem” also stars Arsalan Naseer, Syed Jibran, Manzar Sehbai and Shamyl Khan. The story has been written by Kashif Anwar and directed by Shahzad Kashmiri.
In episode 8, Zymal’s (Mawra Hussain) life turns upside down when she discovers she will never be able to conceive. For Shazil (Arsalan Naseer), it has always been important for him to be a father, something he has been looking forward to. While he is initially supportive, his attitude changes completely when a second doctor confirms Zymal’s condition. Both grieving in silence, Zymal suggests adoption, but is taken back not only by Shazil’s reaction, but also by his taunt, stating that it’s not a problem with “them” not being able to have children, it’s a problem with her not being able to have a child. In a moment when Zymal is at her lowest and is doing her best to remain positive, hearing these words from her partner is an ultimate blow. This is not only a blow to her morale, but also to the marriage itself. It speaks of life itself and its ability to change in the blink of an eye to see that Zymal and Shazil were a happily married couple supporting one another through life and suddenly, in just one moment, it has all changed.
In the USA, Ashhad (Ameer Gilani) has proved himself a hardworking soul, working two jobs to support himself and pay back his loans. However, now that his visa requires him to leave, he’s thinking about his next move, which could possibly involve a “paper marriage.” Ashhad seems hesitant at first, but it’s possible that Faysal (Rana Majid Khan) will convince him. Ashhad has discovered a confidence in his time away from home that he did not have before, making him a stronger man and Ameer Gilani is such a confident, natural actor that his performance makes Ahhad all the more lovable. Rana Majid Khan is also doing a great job as Faysal, an equally likable character.
Of course, Karamat (Syed Jibran) is continuing to work on the forgery of the land papers, attempting to get the land back that his father gave away. Karamat has taken a backseat at present, but Syed Jibran is doing a great job. With episode 8, “Neem” has really found its footing and is beginning to feel like a well-etched show. Up until now, particularly in the last 3-4 episodes, the preaching nature of the show was coming across as too strong. While the message of charity and giving back to one’s community is appreciated, the treatment of the subject and how it is presented shouldn’t feel as though the audience is being nagged – and this is how it was beginning to feel. Fortunately, the narrative greatly picks up with episode 8 and seems to be headed in a strong, if not sad, direction. Mawra Hussain is the star of the show as Zymal, a usually positive young woman, struggles with her emotions. Mawra is a wonderful actress and proves this more with each role. Ameer Gilani is also natural in his portrayal of Ashhad. “Neem” is slowly picking up pace and it will be exciting to see how Zymal’s life changes from this point onward. “Neem” is definitely one of the stronger shows currently on air and is a great watch.