“Shehnai” started off with a bang, a complete entertainer with a cute story and a solid cast. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, the story has been headed on a path of doom with its story taking a nonsensical turn. Written by Radain Shah and directed by Ahmed Bhatti, “Shehnai” has a stellar star cast including Affan Waheed, Ramsha Khan, Javed Sheikh, Nida Mumtaz, Saleem Mairaj, Salma Hassan, Zainab Qayyum, Behroze Sabzwari, Shehryar Zaidi, Javeria Abbasi and many others.
“Shehnai,” at episode 23, is what one would call a promising effort that has been wasted. This is an excellent ensemble cast that has been wasted in a story that lacks logic completely. Isn’t the purpose of this show to depict an arranged marriage where two individuals find themselves drawn together despite their previous interest in others? While the premise remained in tact while Meerab (Affan Waheed) bounced between his feelings for Bakht (Ramsha Khan) and Sameera, it has completely lost its essence since the return of Hunain. There hasn’t been any reason for Bakht to turn against Meerab to begin with, as Meerab never promised to marry her or that he loved her – he was always bound to Sameera. So when Meerab became aware of Sameera’s crooked ways, Bakht’s anger towards him came off as completely illogical and unwarranted.
Now Bakht is conducting a full relationship with Hunain (Hammad Shoaib) in the midst of her marriage with Meerab. And she continues to act as though Meerab is the bad guy. Now yes, if this story had played out into a “Jab We Met” sort of scenario with Bakht planning to marry Hunain and falling for Meerab instead, this would have been more interesting. But Bakht is actually being very rude and ill-mannered towards Meerab who has been doing everything to help her from day one. Viewers are not given even one romantic scene between Meerab and Bakht. There are no indicators of any affection between the two. If anything, Meerab is senselessly interested in marrying rude-girl Bakht while she insults him at every turn. Now Hunain has hired men to rob Bakht’s home – could this man sink any lower and could Bakht be any more blind? In reality, would a Meerab ever be able to forgive a Bakht for this kind of behavior? Would a woman be able to forgive this? Would anyone?
This isn’t a love story. It’s nonsense. And what’s unfortunate about it is that Affan Waheed and Ramsha Khan share such great chemistry, you want to root for their characters – but the way they’ve been written is awful. Bakht is a dim-wit and Meerab is tripping over himself to “save” a woman who wants to destroy herself. The side actors like Saleem Mairaj, Zainab Qayyum, Nida Mumtaz etc. are all doing a great job, but are these roles worthy of their talent? The answer is no. The writers are really going to have to do something quick to salvage this show – and that includes extending episodes, because without a build-up of some kind of bond or relationship between Meerab and Bakht and some kind of repenting on Bakht’s part, this show will join the ranks of shows that need to be erased from memory.