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Mann Mayal episode 2 review

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This week’s episode of Mann Mayal was more intense but it didn’t hold my interest like last week. Although this episode was beautifully shot, each scene lit and picturized with a soft sentimental glow invoking a time of simplicity and naiveté in Mannu and Salahuddin’s lives;but somehow I didn’t feel the chemistry  .Mannu and Salahuddin’s conversations read like an old married couple whose arguments run over the same territory over and over again. While it’s all very endearing on the whole , it does seem as if the lion’s share of those scenes are carried by Maya Ali rather than Hamza Ali Abbasi , who if I didn’t know better , seems a trifle bored ?  images.jpg

So Mannu and Salahuddin finally acknowledge their feelings for each other. It takes some persuasion and pushing on both Mannu and Beeya’s part but Salahuddin realises that he must tell his parents. The episode ends on an ominous note as Salahuddin’s father forbids him to visit Mannu’s house as a tutor and next week’s promos shows the lovers meeting under the disapproving gaze of Mannu’s parents.As promised from last week’s teaser, Mannu gets to meet Mikaal (Gohar Rasheed) as a prospective rishta. Here comes the schizophrenic part, Mannu’s parents aren’t happy with the rishta because Mikaal isn’t educated at all and his mother is sooooo “modren” and Duppattah less ,yet they go to the trouble of inviting them all the way from Karachi , cooking them dinner and parading their daughter in front of them . Normal people find out important stuff like the boys level of education well before they invite someone to the house.tn_ma-1-370x208.jpg

Then of course there is Mannu who is so brainless that she thinks her conservative family is willing to see a rishta  for her undivorced Sara baji.I just wish we could dispense with the bholi larki rituals of frenetic talking laced with ditziness that we are being force fed in the name of cuteness. That whole “main tho bas logo ko buddhoo banati hoon “fell deservedly flat. If I let it go at dramatic license, I think Maya Ali and the rest of the cast carried it off well .Maya in particular was fantastic throughout this episode. I just loved how she told Salahuddin she didn’t like the way he looked or walked and then had to take it all back later. I think that may well have been the sweetest part of the whole episode. Maya has really improved since Dyar e dil , her enunciation , her expressions and timing are really working.

The only thing that doesn’t seem to be working is the connection between Mannu and Salahuddin. Yes they look cute together ,but that feeling of desperation and need that is so much a part of love is totally missing from Hamza side of the equation .Hamza Ali Abbasi style of acting sometimes reminds me of Salman Khan , where every character the star plays is a reflection of his own personality rather than written character  . Last week I was so impressed that Hamza had banished Afzal, the most likely shadow to follow him around, but this week there was slightly too much Hamza and not enough Salahuddin. Hamza has such a powerful screen presence, such a magnetic personality that his characters are almost an afterthought. There was something so sweet and vulnerable about Afzal, despite his “jump first think later” ways that despite smoking pot , gambling and getting into fights etc he seemed quite innocent . This week at least I didn’t see Salahuddin’s vulnerability; I didn’t see the fragility that should have been there. Some of the editing seemed a bit rough at the edges, plus the shooting for Mann Mayal is still going on so ……..putting my usual conspiracy theory hat ;perhaps Hamza was just bored at having to do a reshoot ? So hoping for the good stuff next week , the promo certainly looks promising .

I am not sure what to say about Gohar Rasheed. I adored him in Goya and Digest Writer, but it has been a bit downhill since then. I have watched Khilona , Paiwand , Aitrraz and another one called Jeevan Sathi and found it all a bit of a letdown especially after watching what he can do . I wasn’t exactly impressed here either but I guess umeed pay dunya zinda hai , who knows perhaps things will pick up ? I remember thinking Wali was a bit of a prig in the beginning of Dayar e dil.gohar-rasheed-with-maya-ali

Aiman Khan as Beeya is ok but I wonder at her characterization … she doesn’t seem to care much for her family’s or her brother’s wellbeing at all. I agree with Salahuddin “ Beeya tum yeh sasti romantic batein band kar do”

Talking of other serials, is it me or does everyone else see the similarities between certain scenes of other dramas and scenes in Mann Mayal. This episode Maya Ali’s pose in her blues Suite reminded of Sanam Baloch in Durr e Shehwar. The OST released today had a scene by a swimming pool which also reminded me of Humsafar, where Asher helps Khirad up from the pool. Have I just watched too many dramas? Those scenes hold such powerful sway on our imagination that it almost seems like a sacrilege to play with them like this.durre-shahwar-3

Overall an interesting episode, which if it didn’t quite light the fire the first episode did, it still kept the audience’s attention for the hour. Well done Haseeb Hassan Samira Fazal and Team Mann Mayal, hoping for that Episode 1 Magic next week. I am still mad at My father for not providing me with such a Jawan and Haseen tutor … honestly …HIYYY rey Kismet … there weren’t any hot guys playing Guitar at my college either ..Sigh what a sad life I led 😉

Sadaf Haider

 

39 Comments »

  1. Bang On !!!
    so agree with review
    There is absolutely no chemistry b/w leads. For God’s sake….the scene from 1st epi when he holds her hand,,that was so pale and boring and people were going gaga over it..calling it romantic n all… i mean like seriously???
    ..TBH i see no chemistry b/w maya hamza. there scenes r overrarted like anything,,esp hand holding one….if u actually talk about chemistry see wali fara’s confession scene, where he holds her hand and screen is on fire…! well.. never mind..Hamza Maya can never reach to OsMaya’s Level of chemistry.
    Only reason i m watching this show is Maya ali.. she suits mannu’s character and is playing her part very well.

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    • twelcome to the blog Nimra … I think it doesnt help that Hamza looks much older than Maya . Maybe they will work out the kinks in episode 3 ? becuase who knows when which episode was shot , these things are rarely in order…
      And agreed Osmaya is an altogether different level . Maya is doing a fantastic job so far … a huge improvement !!

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  2. Sadaf you wrote perhaps Hamza was just bored at having to do a reshoot ?

    I didnt get it. Do you mean there were too many retakes and he got bored?

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  3. I came here to see what others are feeling about this drama and to my surprise found that veteran Pakistani drama viewers share the same opinion as newbie me.
    I particularly like the Salman Khan reference in the review because when I watched the two episodes of Mann Mayal, I could not relate to the hype about Hamza Ali Abbasi’s acting. I confess I have not seen any of Mann Mayal’s other actors previous work except for Maya Ali in DeD.
    So, I had concluded that he must be like most super stars where people like him for other reasons and not for his acting.
    Actually, when I first started watching DeD, I only knew Sanam Saeed from ZGH and Farhat Ishtiaq’s writing in Hamsafar.
    But, in the first few episodes, I had liked Arjumand, Sohaib, Agha Jaan and the writing too. So, I decided to continue watching.
    When Wali was introduced, there was much hype and in spite of having no knowledge of his previous work, found his acting good and because of that I watched Aunn Zara and was totally hooked. I liked both Maya and Osman in that and I guess that helped in forming a good first impression. Probably if I had watched Maya only in DeD, I would have had the same impression as I have about Hamza now.
    Like any audience member, I want the drama to be successful. So, hope things change in the next few episodes and the lead actors and writing can convince me to continue to watch this serial.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the conversation Padmini and thanks for giving us your perspective . I think Salman Khan and Hamza have larger than life personalities and despite some mistakes they are known to have big hearts . That aside If you can watch a few episodes of Pyaray Afzal you will see that Hamza is a very good actor so Which might explain the general shock at this episode .. Where the general consensus is that Hamza seems disinterested . It could just be this episode , that is the problem with writing episodic reviews it limits our vision at times . It could be better, much better week ( fingers crossed) . Not every serial is pure magic like Dastan and Humsafar . Some are mostly magic like DeD . In my opinion OKB. Is a better actor because he just works at all his projects with complete humility . Maya has really improved in this serial , she is shining and it shows . I loved AunZara and have reviewed it with sheer unadulterated pleasure .
      I wonder what you thought of Sanam Saeed in DED ? I was hoping for a lot more from her than what we got .

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      • Thanks for your response Sadaf. I too think i should not form an opinion till I have seen an actor’s larger body of work. Sure, I will watch Pyare Afzal. Sanam Saeed was a little disappointing in DeD. I really liked her in ZGH. So, I thought DeD was just an anomaly in her case. I agree Maya is really good in this serial and she makes it watchable.The other thing which is bothering about Mann Mayal is the idea of romance between teacher and student. But if it happens in real world, it gets picturized on screen, Another example of a topic which makes the viewer uncomfortable would be the movie American Beauty. Kevin Spacey being such a great actor was so convincing that I went from being his huge fan after watching the movie ‘Usual suspects’ to being grossed out for a long time after watching American beauty.

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        • Kevin Spacy is indeed amazing ! I too was hoping for more nuance in her character . I also did not like the Way wali &Fara were sidelined instead of being the focus . Now in Mann Mayal the zabardasti Ka “true love story ” is annoying .. Is Mannu even ‘ in love ‘ at her age ? From the OST it looks like Mannu will be pushed into a marriage with Gohar Rasheed’s character because jaldee main yeh hee mil sakka .

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          • Yeah, it is annoying. There was a super hit South Indian (Kannada movie) in the nineties where the heroine was portrayed to be in love with an auto driver. The female actor who played this role was a 15-16 year old girl in reality. This had irked the urban middle class to no end and rightly so.

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  4. Quite a detailed review it was. Honestly the drama failed to impress me after all the hype it had created before its launch. Never been a fan of Maya Ali’s acting however she seems promising in this very show. Hamza I agree missed opportunities in this very episode his expressions were like he is suffering from a kidney pain or something. Anyhow, it’s still too early to formulate a solid view about the show so hoping for impressive plot twits as you said امید پر دنیا قائم ہے.

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    • Thanks for reading Rai , we are obsessive drama fans ! I am hoping things will pick up next week because there is precious little else to watch … Rapists on Hum tv , Greed on ARY And max loom aurtein on Geo …

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  5. Enjoying the review and the discussions.
    I’m bored of these seemingly stupid, naive, cutesy heriones…almost wishing that Maya gets her heart broken quick so that she stops chirping so much (or maybe I’m just in a bad mood?)

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    • No , you are wishing for authenticity just like the rest of us . I think these tired models of behavior are so grating on the nerves ! She is rather challaq to be a bholi Larki .. Teacher / friend Kay Bhai Kay sath affair ..

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  6. To be honest Sadaf I couldn’t find any chemistry between Hamza and Maya at all. At first i thought it’s my inner obsessive compulsive osmayan fandom speaking but after reading your review i am relieved it wasnt just me. That spark on the screen was missing altogether – i am drawing a blank and not feeling anything for them. No doubt Hamza and Maya have a great screen presence but this storyline isn’t working for me. At least not for now. IMO Maya and Gohar’s one scene seemed far more powerful than the heavy dose of supposedly romantic scenes between the leads.

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    • I agree this isn’t Osmaya , but I am not going to pass judjement just yet . Who knows what scene was filmed in what order and I am guessing chemistry etc takes time and getting comfortable , who knows it may work in another episode? What did grate on the nerves was the LAMBEY scenes between these Maya and Hamza .., I am against lambey lambey scene in the first place .

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  7. Sadaf,

    Sometimes i really feel you and I were separated at some mela somewhere. Seriously, I felt the exact same things about so many things you have mentioned in this review, I am not kidding, its freaky : -)

    I thought this episode had only one bright spot – Maya. She chewed everyone up effortlessly. You are so right- the annoying little girl act from DeD is gone and now we see a controlled,mature performer. Several of those funny lines fell flat alright but she did them superbly- if they didn’t work its because there was no underlying tension in the screenplay- writer/director to fault. And from the promos I see she is growing from strength to strength.

    I am already feeling very underwhelmed with hamza Ali Abbasi’s capability to emote, let alone bring nuances on that face. Dialogues are dead pan yaar, completely flat. He goes through the motions of talking to the love of his life or his parents about the wedding with the same enthusiasm as I have every night loading the dishwasher – chalo jaldi se ye kaam khatm ho jaye types. I guess I have to revise my three expression matrix for HAA to just one- GRIMACE. Various shades of it. It is going to be very difficult for us to root for this couple if the relationship is going to between one avuncular figure and a girl madly in love with him, no? And there is zero chemistry between Maya and HAA. Absolutely zero. And all because of HAA, and my benchmark is not the OKB- Maya/ Fawad Mahira level but the other lower level ones. While we are at the comparing business, I recall several scenes where Maya and OKB or Fawad Mahira didn’t have dialogues together but being in each other’s presence on the same frame would just ignite the screen. I understand the character is much older than Mannu but kitna old hai, really? Whats the age cut off for Civil Services exams in Pakistan- prepare karnewala kitni umar tak exam de sakta hai ?

    And dont even get me started on the not even wearing dupatta and sundry other gibes at the divorcee. And please remind me – a woman has written these lines, now? And Gohar Rasheed – i thought he was pretty good in Goya and Digest, but * Insert Zara’s friend Shehna saying Kya cheez tha woh?* here. I think I will be cautiously optimistic about the speed with which this is progressing. Remember DeD- it was super fast in the first 4-5 episodes and then derailed like how? And you finding similarities to other series, I guess thas going to be inevitable- even I am seeing those – I can imagine you must be even predicting the scenes to come. Ha ha!

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    • Lol at the mela reference !
      If you look on the main page of the blog , M M and I wrote an article earlier last year asking some of the best writers and directors i the industry to tell us how do you make something romantic. We got some fabulous answers from the masters of the game including Haissem Hussain , Mehreen Jabbar , Farhat Ishtiaq etc etc . All the writers had one consistent point to make that romance was not about grand gestures or the soaring music Hum Tv uses to control to mind control us instead of actually using some creativity,rather its about the simplest gestures and most importantly its about believing in love itself.
      One of the quotes that stuck in my mind was from Haissem Hussain who said it was about the build up and release of tension … Timing is everything . Now this is what what is missing . Instead of allowing the tension to build then and showing us the importance of their new found acknowledgement of their feelings , Salahuddin seems unmoved .. or as you said loading a dishwasher ..ha ha ha For goodness sake , last week he was a barely controlled seething , volcano and this week he is ‘well alright then , that’s sorted ” Talk about missed opportunities , he keeps grabbing the Mannu’s hands and its as casual as washing a window . I often sound like the Victorian Aunt at the party but the closed , conservative culture we have been presented with on screen doesnt allow for such physical contact, . If he is going to grab her hand it should have been a moment of deep feeling . Which brings me back to Wali holding on to Faraa’s hand … I had to have a nice , ice cold glass of water and A quiet laydown in a darkened room before I could write the review for that episode 😉
      I totally agree with you about Maya too , I was talking with MM about this and she noticed that Maya was the one bringing the energy to each conversation … hence my conclusion that Hamza was bored and or tired . Ok other actors can skate , but Hamza really has a lot of talent so why keep it hidden? I think we will see the event correction next week fingers crossed .

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      • nahi yaar, WaFa handhold was all sorts of cute, and utterly deliciously romantic and jaayaz bhi tha- they were already married, remember;-) ? But I do get your point.
        The handhold that bothered me more was the one when he actually grabbed her to take her to the haveli forcibly. ha ha ha , now DeD is the new HS for back references 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • OMG RADS your Urdu is better than mine now .. ! The context is everything …In such a closed atmosphere holding hands is a Huge deal and should have been treated accordingly #Pakistaniproblems 😉
          Thats because everyone was trying their best not doing a time pass… wake up Hamza , lets get it right next week !

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    • “I recall several scenes where Maya and OKB or Fawad Mahira didn’t have dialogues together but being in each other’s presence on the same frame would just ignite the screen.”

      You’ve taken the words straight from my mouth… Sanam Baloch/Fawad come in the same category. Literally sparks fly

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      • >>>>.literally sparks fly<<<<, I know, right? It comes effortlessly to some people. I agree – a lot has to do with the writing, the story line etc, but the x-factor is always the actors'. There should be a certain fluidity in the body language, which is clearly missing in hAA's case. As Sadaf says, we dont know what was filmed when but as an established (and much hyped) actor, these things should be turn on turn off, no?

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  8. Hamza Ali Abbassi isn’t the only person who is bored. This was BORING! Zero chemistry between the leads. I even am Ok with Maya Ali, but the writing, direction and HAA’s non-acting is just a snooze fest! Also wins for way too much copy-pasting or is it ‘inspiration’ from other dramas , non-romantic dialogues and cramming plot down our throats without any build up to anything but the next plot point. Giving up on this one….

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    • MM, oh MM…

      Are you not the one who reviewed Subh ka sitara on Drama Pakistani? OMG…that was the most kick-ass bunch of reviews I had read in a long time. I used to feel like *insert nondescript consigliere kissing Don Corleone’s hands gif *here. I am so glad someone is with me on the same boat wrt this drama. Here’s to better days.

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      • That would be me. Thanks for the appreciation! Though i really don’t think I could pass as the Godfather. =)
        Totally on board with you on the ‘loading a dishwasher’ bit. He doesn’t even have any energy. He’s mumbling his dialogues, can’t muster any interest….So why should we care?

        Let’s hope for as you say, better days!

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    • I am begining to worry about the copy pasting … there is a limit to “inspiration” I think we need som innovation …I did like some of the dialogues but they were all Maya’s …

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      • the copy paste didn’t stop just with the story/scenes..i was so disappointed to see exactly similar (editing) cuts as in DeD, the same time lapse shots of the movement of clouds and light to signify day/night were all too familiar. Its so very boring to see the same technique used to show the passage of time – agar interesting banana chahte ho toh, do it like the General sahib’s chess game at 3 pm or dinner at 7 in aunn zara- what a (clock) striking technique that was !! 🙂

        btw, Sadaf, with the window washing and dishwashing analogies going on here, HAA fangirls ke haath humaari dhulayi na ho jaaye 🙂

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        • I have already been discussing the episode with a lot of Hamza fans on twitter ..actually they were very polite and we ended up agreeing to disagree. See the point of this blog is not about like minds . It is about enjoying the discussion , finding points we missed and opening up new avenues . So if anyone disagrees they are more than welcome on this blog , infact it makes it more fun

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  9. You’re right….. This drama should be named ” Pyaray Afzal ki Dastaan pey hum Sadkay Tumharay”…, the direction of this reminds me too much of other famous dramas..,. Maybe nakal Kay leyay bhi akal chaheyay

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