The problem with daily soaps on Har Pal Geo is always the same – these shows start off slightly cheesy, but with intriguing storylines. Over time, the audience is drawn in to these unique, interesting stories and mildly well-written stories. Slowly these stories get drawn out through heavy use of flashbacks and long recaps. Around episode 50, the show is comprised of 50% recaps and flashbacks. And then, around that 60-70 episode mark, something happens to completely smear dirt on the face of the “villain” of the show, who was, up until this point, still a somewhat grey character with reasons for their actions. “Rang Mahal” has now reached this point. Starring Sehar Khan, Ali Ansari, Arooba Mirza, Humayun Ashraf and Asim Mehmood in prominent roles, “Rang Mahal” has been written by Shafia Khan and directed by Zahid Mehmood.
In episodes 77 & 78, Sohail (Humayun Ashraf) is now a murderer and his entire family is aware of it. His ridiculous parents (Mohsin Gillani and Fazila Qazi) are behaving as though Rayed’s paused business deal is a more pressing matter than the fact that their son just murdered his own ex-girlfriend in cold blood. Oh, it’s no big deal! Murder? Rich people can get away with this and not even experience a slight moral dilemma over it. Only Rayed (Ali Ansari) is seen worrying over what has just transpired and ensures that Husna is given a proper burial. Still, Sohail being revealed as a two-faced man with a sinister side still isn’t enough for anyone in the household to think “Wait a minute, if Sohail and Hajra could plot the murder of this woman, what about Mahapara?” Of course not! Rayed continues to insult Mahapara and question her character.
Meanwhile, Mahapara’s (Sehar Khan) character is at its ultimate worst. She has now decided that she’s going to ruin the family by destroying them from within – by enticing Sohail into divorcing Hajra and then…..not marrying him. It’s not clear how that would “destroy” the family exactly, because Hajra would be better off without Sohail anyway. But this paints Mahapara into a rather disgusting corner, leaving the audience wondering if she’s turning herself into exactly what she has already been accused of – and if she’s becoming this type, why should we root for her? Salaar (Asim Mehmood) continues to be the angel he is, a genuine character to root for, but honestly, what does he see in Mahapara? She is rude, she is unkind, ungrateful and now, she’s even behaving questionably. He would be better off without her. But here is where Salaar behaves in a way most unlike him – he has always been incredibly protective of her and now, knowing she has just witnessed a murder, he leaves the city for work purpose when logically, this would be the worst time to leave her alone.
Anyway, where the show has really slipped is by turning Hajra (Arooba Mirza) into a full-blown villain. Up until now, we could understand Hajra to an extent. In the beginning, she was terrible, but she felt as though Mahapara was being shoved down her throat. Later, she was being mistreated by her husband, so we rooted for her as she fought against her crazy in-laws. And recently, she has seen Sohail’s madness post the birth of their daughter. In all this, the reveal of his past girlfriend kidnapping their baby only furthered audience sympathy for Hajra despite all her bad behavior (which there has been a lot of). That being said, now Hajra is an accomplice to murder. She knowingly called Sohail to Husna’s house, knowing Sohail would kill her….all because she doesn’t want to lose her marriage, a marriage that is severely unhappy. Audience sympathy remaining with Hajra to an extent has always made the show feel somewhat “real.” By turning her into a super-villain of sorts standing alongside Sohail, one thing is certain – this entire family needs to suffer, with the exception of Rayed. That being said, Rayed doesn’t deserve a reunion with Mahapara…..though honestly, is Mahapara really any kind of prize? Her character has also been ruined. It’s difficult to know where exactly the show should go to redeem itself, but this Mahapara-Sohail track needs to end as soon as possible, because it’s truly disgusting.