Post-Eid, the trio of Ramadan shows have either ended or are in the process of ending. “Paristan” came to an end on May 2nd, wrapping up in a happy, light-hearted way. Starring Aymen Saleem, Arsalan Naseer, Saife Hassan, Javeria Saud, Azra Mansoor, Ali Safina, Naveen Waqar, Asad Siddiqui, Merub Ali, Junaid Jamshed and many others, “Paristan” has been written by Samra Bukhari and directed by Ali Hassan. While “Paristan” took off to a very strong start and had a fresh, light feel to it throughout its run, this is a show that is not without its flaws.
Unfortunately, the story rests on a wafer-thin plot that revolves around “plans” and manipulation instead of simply being honest. In the finale, Babar (Junaid Jamshed) finally realizes that all these plots and schemes are dragging out the inevitable and are also destroying Ujaala’s (Merub Ali) image in Daadi’s (Azra Mansoor) eyes unnecessarily. Had Babar, Pari, Kamaali or really any of the family members explained the situation to Daadi or even Pari’s Mamoon (Saife Hassan) early on, the plot would have come to a halt in episode 10 itself. Since the show had to drag on for 30 episodes, “Paristan” has been laden with a weak story.
In the finale, Babar tells Daadi that he loves Ujaala and Daadi, who has been an emotional blackmailer, mean-spirited, manipulative, downright evil to Pari and unconcerned with her grandson’s happiness……suddenly becomes understanding and is the matchmaker of the century, getting Mehreen (Naveen Waqar) and Aazar (Asad Siddiqui) married, Ujaala and Babar engaged, Arsam (Arsalan Naseer) and Pari (Aymen Saleem) engaged – with a very weak apology to Pari – and even buys a ring for Amaan Ullah (Mooroo) to put on Zubeidaa (Mira Sethi). What a 180…..and rather unbelievably so. Likewise, Haseena (Javeria Saud) overhears Pari complaining to herself about how no one loves her and that is all it takes for a Mumaani who has been scheming and downright cruel to Pari to suddenly shower her with love, claiming her as a daughter and blaming her “kanjoosi” for her behavior. Both Daadi and Haseena get off too easily in this show, whitewashed at the end when in reality, few would want anything to do with either lady.
Of course, the show has positives as well. First and foremost, Aymen Saleem and Ali Safina are the highlight of the show as Pari and Kamaali. Quite honestly, their friendship is refreshing to watch on-screen and it’s great to see such a sweet, platonic relationship between this duo. Aymen Saleem is the glue that holds the show together with her character, as Pari is thoroughly lovable – and Aymen is an absolute natural. Ali Safina is horribly underrated as an actor and comedy is his forte, so he is obviously a joy to watch as Kamaali, a young man with a heart of gold. Of course, the Arsalan Naseer and Aymen Saleem pairing is a treat, as always. These two share such wonderful chemistry. That being said, they deserved a better script together that would truly showcase that chemistry.
Last, the greatest strength of the show are the “young” relationships depicted. The way Pari, Ujaala, Mehreen, Aazar, Kamaali and Babar support each other and help each other through their troubles is refreshing to see in an era where sisters and cousins only spew venom. These are real relationships, the relationships that make a house feel like a home. Overall, “Paristan” has been a bit of a missed opportunity. The show has a great cast, great production values, a fresh look and feel….but faltered on the story itself, not really seeming to understand the story that needed to be told.