When two superstars come together in one show, it automatically boosts interest on a different level. Ayeza Khan and Wahaj Ali are undoubtedly two of Pakistan’s biggest television stars with enormous individual fanbases. Adding to the intrigue are the visually stunning promos and a subject that appears to focus on characters suffering from poor mental health. Written by Zanjabeel Asim Shah and directed by Badar Mehmood, “Mein” also stars Azekah Daniel, Usman Peerzada, Shehzad Nawaz, Aijaz Aslam, Agha Mustafa and Sabeena Syed in prominent roles.
The first episode introduces us to Mubashira (Ayeza Khan) and Mohib (Agha Mustafa), a married couple about to celebrate their second wedding anniversary – except we can immediately ascertain that this is not a happy marriage….at least not from Mohib’s side. Mubashira is a dominant woman, a woman who wants to control everything in her life and is vocal about her feelings, likes, dislikes without any regard for who gets hurt by her words. While Mohib is the “perfect” husband in Mubashira’s eyes, a man who will sacrifice himself for her demands, Mohib visibly does not feel the same way about Mubashira. While he’s obedient at the beginning of the episode, rebellion begins to appear in his eyes and we brace ourselves for Mubashira’s world to be shattered. And yet – as an audience, we’re on Mohib’s side. Would any man – or any human being in general, regardless of gender – be able to tolerate such mistreatment day in and day out? What makes Mubashira interesting is that she’s not evil-hearted. Her intention is not to hurt others, she simply cannot look beyond herself. She openly praises Mohib for being that perfect husband for her, recognizing that she’s not easy to live with. And yet, is that acknowledgement enough?
On the other end, we’re introduced to Zaid (Wahaj Ali), who does not appear to have any visible flaws just yet. He’s well off, enjoys his luxuries and wants to live life on his own terms – but is he as difficult as Mubashira? It’s too early to tell. Zaid is involved with Aira (Azekah Daniel), a sweet middle class girl with a loving brother (Aijaz Aslam) and sister-in-law. While Zaid and Aira are planning a future together, a wrench may be thrown into this plan. Zaid and Mubashira’s fathers are close friends, played by the talented Usman Peerzada and Shehzad Nawaz, and Zaid attends Mubashira’s anniversary party……where Mohib gives Mubashira the gift of a divorce.
The first episode keeps audiences on their toes. While the episode is only an introduction episode, it provides enough intrigue and mystery to keep viewers glued to the screen, wondering how Zaid and Mubashira’s lives will become intertwined. At the same time, Azekah Daniel’s Aira is immediately likable, leaving us with a character to root for – while also recognizing that she’ll see her share of misery soon enough. Ayeza Khan is convincing as the conceited, self-absorbed Mubashira while Wahaj Ali makes his mark as Zaid. This is a high quality production with great actors and a strong first episode. Unfortunately, this writer-director team do not have a good track record of keeping the proceedings tight, notorious for taking viewers down a road of misery. Can we hope for something different this time around – or at least a convincing story and presentation?