The highlight of “Paristan” has been the Aymen Saleem-Arsalan Naseer pair, a pairing which has been loved by Pakistani drama fans since their debut together in “Chupke Chupke” last year. Paristan has been written by Samra Bukhari, directed by Ali Hassan and also stars talented faces like Ali Safina, Junaid Jamshed, Merub Ali, Navin Waqar, Asad Siddiqui, Mooroo, Mira Sethi, Javeria Saud, Saife Hassan and Azra Mansoor. Unfortunately, while “Paristan” took off on a very light-hearted, endearing start, it has slowly turned into the sort of show one watches in fast-forward motion.
Up until now, we have seen how Haseena (Javeria Saud) and Daadi (Azra Mansoor) have been vying for title of “most horrible parental figure” while trying to arrange Arsam (Arsalan Naseer) and Ujala’s (Merub Ali) marriage – all without asking their own children about their feelings. While this has been tolerable up until now, Haseena has progressively been growing into a nastier woman while Daadi has outdone herself with toxicity. These two characters were never sweet or likable, but at this point, there isn’t any redemption for them either. With only four episodes left, there isn’t any way to sweeten them up and any ending that involves their happy inclusion in Arsam and Pari’s marriage will appear fake and unwarranted.
In episode 26, we see Daadi declare to Arsam that she’s arranging his marriage to Ujala – something he flat out rejects, making it clear that he has feelings for Pari (Aymen Saleem). This discussion between the two could not have been any more direct and one, as a viewer, feels proud of Arsam and the stand he takes for Pari. Arsam recognizes how illogical this entire scenario is and does not even entertin the idea. Unfortunately, Daadi has revealed herself as truly “villainous” in her old-school ideals and thoughts of how the elders of a family arrange marriages without the consent of those getting married. One could even soften and imagine she’s simply looking out for Arsam, but then Daadi visits Pari and throws out the most insulting accussations, solidifying Pari’s belief (and rightly so) that Daadi dislikes (hates) her. This moment highlights just how much negativity is filled in Daadi’s mind and honestly, if this character is offered “forgiveness” by Pari at the end…..it will be really difficult to digest – though it’s bound to happen.
On the other end, Haseena has gone to extremes to keep Babar (Junaid Jamshed) and Ujala apart, spouting anger every time she sees Ujala on the phone with Babar. It’s a wonder that Ujala has not caught on up until now. However, to make it worse, she has also been lying about Babar to her husband and instigating him against Babar. Haseena has never been likable, but this has taken her to an all-time low.
On the positive side, it’s great to see how Kamaali (Ali Safina) and his fiancée are hitting it off. If any character, other than Pari, deserves happiness, it’s Kamaali and Ali Safinan has enacted this role in a lovable way. Honestly, “Paristan” has begun to highlight just how toxic families can be. It’s not light-hearted or cute or even slightly comedic, because in reality, one would want Ujala to marry into a family and get far away from her mother – and likewise with Arsam and his Daadi. These types of controlling women do not stop at just manipulating to get their way regarding the marriage of their children – they will continue to manipulate the lives of their children as long as they are alive. While we can imagine the ending of “Paristan” will be happy and light-hearted, the writing here has taken these two matriarchal figures into an ugly direction that shows little room for redemption.