ARY Digital has a new slate of shows geared to begin this week with “Pyar Deewangi Hai” kicking things off. 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. The theme of the show appears to be different, though little information is actually given about the storyline. ARY describes the show as a love story between Rabi (Neelam Munir) and Mateen (Shuja Asad) with the tagline “when love is snatched away.”
In episode one, we are introduced to Rabi, a young girl who is besotted with her cousin, Mateen. He is her Phupo’s son, who is played by Gul E Rana, but the families do not get along. There is a questionable use of brownface in order to make Gul E Rana fit the part, which does not sit well. Has “Parizaad” set an unfortunate precedent at a time when we should be moving away from such depictions? That aside, the brownface does fit into the storyline, though one wonders why they wouldn’t just hire a dark-skinned actress? Phupo is very much self-conscious regarding her skin color and this insecurity has manifested into something much more severe – hatred towards Rabi, who is not only beautiful, but also light-skinned. Unfortunately, Mateen does not appear to be a strong enough character to combat his mother’s ill-intentions as she not only visits Rabi’s house to break off the engagement, but also gives her mother the letters Rabi has written. These moments are horribly melodramatic as Phupo reads aloud one “shameless” line written by Rabi where she asks Mateen to convince his mother to get them married quickly or she will die. This is a girl writing a letter to her fiancé, so hearing Rabi declared shameless by all around, including her own family, is a little over-the-top. Neelam Munir is always a natural actress and gives a good performance. Shuja Asad is impressive as a first-timer and makes his mark.
Of course, the highlight of the episode – and potentially the entire show – is Dawood, played by Sami Khan. There isn’t anything spectacular about the character at face value and we know little about him other than the fact that he’s a relative of Rabi’s and works as a professor. But this is a subtle performance (so far) where we can see something stirring within Dawood each time he sees Rabi with Mateen. There also appears to be a stalking element here as Dawood makes the decision to ride the train, let down when he realizes Rabi isn’t there. Sami Khan has always been a stellar actor when he takes roles that challenge him and Dawood promises to be something worthy of adding to his resume (hopefully).
Overall, “Pyar Deewangi Hai” has a decent first episode that has just enough intrigue to hook the audience to come back for a second episode, the stand-out star being Sami Khan. Hopefully, as the stry continues to progress, we will see more layers added to Dawood and the story will play out in a believable, interesting way. Will Dawood be a driving force in creating distance between Mateen and Rabi?