“Pehli Si Mohabbat” is a drama that was advertised as an intense love story – and if anything, the show has certainly delivered on this point. A story of two young lovers separated by family adversity and societal constraints, the emotional blows within this story have kept the audience coming back for more. Starring Sheheryar Munawar and Maya Ali in lead roles, they are supported by a stellar cast including Uzma Hassan, Saba Faisal, Paras Masroor, Hassan Shehryar Yasin, Saleem Mairaj, Shabbir Jan and many others. Written by Faiza Iftikhar and directed by Anjum Shahzad, “Pehli Si Mohabbat” has taken a grim turn after Zainab’s death.
In episode 29, Aslam (Sheheryar Munawar) and Rakshi (Maya Ali) have a falling out when Aslam lashes out at Rakshi, blaming her for Zainab’s death. He is so heartbroken by his sister’s death that he declares that he hates Rakshi and hates himself for continuing to love her after everything she has done. While it’s tragic to watch this, one cannot blame Aslam for his feelings. Had Rakshi been outspoken and defended her love for Aslam, this situation would not have happened – and blame for this also has to be placed on Nargis (Rabia Butt), who has become an odd sort of character…..strong and vocal on one end, but completely submissive and following societal rules the another, forcing Rakshi to do the same. In episode 29, we simply see tears from all ends – but who are we supposed to feel sorry for, other than Aslam? This is not about the performances – everyone from Saleem Mairaj to Hassan Shehryar Yasin do an impeccable job of acting and the viewer really does connect with their grief. But what purpose does their grief serve at this point? Zainab is dead and Rakshi is an infuriating character, so what is left to root for?
It’s Sheheryar Munawar who has arrived as the surprise package in “Pehli Si Mohabbat.” Playing the lovesick Aslam, Sheheryar has put his heart and soul into this character and has emerged as the star performer. If “Pehli Si Mohabbat” still manages to pull in viewers and hold interest, it’s due to Aslam and Sheheryar’s performance. Unfortunately, “Pehli Si Mohabbat” is simply getting too drawn out now and at a point where the story should be wrapping up, the resentment and anger continues to build, leaving little room for hope for the audience. When shows carry on for this long, the audience tends to lose interest – and that’s exactly what’s happening.