“Pyar Deewangi Hai” came with the tagline “When love is snatched away,” leaving the audience to believe this would be an intense story of obsession and potential stalking. Unfortunately, over the months, we’ve realized the tagline meant something entirely different – and it hasn’t been a necessarily positive viewing experience. Starring Neelam Munir, Sami Khan, Shuja Asad, Saba Faisal, Javed Sheikh, Gul E Rana and others, the story has been written by Misbah Ali Syed and directed by Aabis Raza.
“Pyar Deewangi Hai” started off well, showing the love story between Mateen (Shuja Asad) and Rabi (Neelam Muneer). Their fresh pairing and sweet acting made this a pair to root for while Dawood (Sami Khan) played third wheel in this triangle. Initially, it seemed as though Dawood would destroy Rabi’s life intentionally and appeared to be a stalker – which would have been a fascinating role. Alas, nothing of the sort ever transpired and the story took an absolutely bizarre turn. While Mateen and Rabi did get married, Mateen’s insane (color obsessed) mother Naseem, played by Gul E Rana, vowed to never let Rabi remain married to Mateen……because she is light-skinned. This did highlight a strange obsession with color and inferiority complex in Naseem, but that complex never truly clicked in a believable way, mostly due to Gul E Rana’s offensive face makeup. Why did the makeup artist do this to her instead of casting a dark-skinned woman?
From episode 21 – 26, we see Rabi in jail while the family tends to ridiculous, unimportant story arcs which are of absolutely no interest. Sami Khan finally gets screen time as Dawood works hard towards Rabi’s release. In episode 27, Rabi is finally released, now expecting Mateen’s child, while she is looked at with contempt from almost everyone but her mother and father-in-law. With Rabi’s return to Mateen’s home after being kicked out by her brother, the zulm and abuse continues at the hands of her cruel mother-in-law, who now has more ammunition against her than simply being light-skinned…..she’s her son’s murderer! From turning off the fan to literally stabbing Rabi’s hand with a knife to pouring hot oil on Rabi’s feet, these episodes are miserable to watch, particularly knowing Rabi is expecting and is still under the delusion that her husband is alive.
In the end, in the finale, Rabi’s name is finally cleared, the circumstances under which Mateen died are revealed, Naseem’s wrong-doings are exposed by her own words after being left homeless, family-less and without anyone to care and Dawood marries Rabi. Quite honestly, there’s a lot of negative to discuss here, the first being how pitifully this show has dragged. Was there ever any need for “Pyar Deewangi Hai” to have 29 episodes? This is a show that could have ended at episode 20 easily and it might have even been a decent show without all the dragging. Second, the way in which Mateen is murdered is absolutely tragic and really does make the audience feel anger towards Rabi – the exact opposite of what we should feel. Third, this has been a waste of Sami Khan who is such a fabulous actor, but had little to do (despite making Dawood a sweet character to watch). There are just so many critiques of this show. But let’s move to positives.
First, the OST is absolutely wonderful, a true highlight with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s vocals. Second, the introduction of Shuja Asad as Mateen. Shuja Asad may be a newcomer, but he has performed the role of Mateen like an experienced (talented) actor. We can hope to see much more of him in the future! Third, I would also like to say that, despite everything, Neelam Muneer’s performance has been pretty great. From Rabi’s initial innocence and sweet demeanor to the way she is slowly driven mad and then her crime of passion in her compromised mental state, it has all been performed in a way that is believable. Now does it make Rabi particularly likable? Not necessarily, but we can certainly see how the actions of others pushed her into that mental state to commit a crime (intentional or not, it’s still her fault). Adding to this, during the course of the show, the friendship between Sarah and Dawood has been another high point. It is wonderful to see a trusting, supportive relationship depicted as confidants on-screen…and nothing else. The innocence and purity of this relationship was preserved throughout the show and has been nice to watch. In the end, Rabi is a shell of the human being she used to be, destroyed by the mind-games and still haunted by Mateen’s memory, unable to shake what has happened. And of course, this is a positive, as it’s realistic and the manner in which the show ends is quite heart wrenching. There have been positives in this drama, it’s just a shame that the positives do not outweigh the negatives or manage to erase the fact that the show did not really drive home any clear point or leave the audience feeling particularly satisfied. One is only left wishing “Pyar Deewangi Hai” delivered an intense love story of obsession the way it was advertised.