Mann Mayal episode 13-18 update
When a young Salahuddin (Hamza Ali Abbasi) first fell in love with Mannu (Maya Ali) he had neither the courage nor the confidence to ask for her hand in marriage. Mannu’s wealthy family and his own lack of resources seemed an impossible hill to climb. Mannu was the braver of the two, willing to fight for her love but his cowardice shattered her confidence and she married Mikaal (Gohar Rasheed).
Mannu is never happy with Mikaal, who is obsessed with partying, drugs, and most of all gambling. While Mikaal’s parents were alive, although Mannu was not happy she led a fairly stable life, but their sudden death has left her to cope with two children and husband who has no feelings for any of them. Meanwhile, Salahuddin has gained all the power and money he once lacked, and is constantly shadowing the broken Mannu in the hope that he can make up for the mistake he made all those years ago. A recent addition to this mix is the character of Jeena (Aisha Khan) who works at Salahuddin’s office. Jeena falls in love with Salahuddin and manages to insinuate herself into his personal life as a “friend” always hoping that he will eventually move on from his relationship with Mannu.
“Vo aap ki Mannu nahi hai “says the all-purpose cook and mid-level management executive, Jamal, allowing the audience to heave a sigh of relief as he gave voice to their silent cry. Even after that moment of ice cold revelation Salahuddin (Hamza Ali Abbasi) refuses to move on because for him, guilt is a stronger motivation than love. Writer Samira Fazal has given a familiar twist to this original story idea from Khalil ur Rehman Qamar; Salahuddin definitely has shades of Fazal’s previous characters, notably Ehtashamuddin of Shukk who is also motivated by remorse and the need to protect.
There was a time when reputations mattered and heroes cared enough to stay at a respectable distance. Salahuddin and Mannu are however part of the Naya Pakistan, so despite repetitive, speeches about never seeing each other again and maintaining the bounds of Mannu’s marriage they do end up in each other’s company quite a lot. While the audience is force fed the idea that their meetings are events beyond Mannu and Salahuddin’s control it is patently not true; both protagonists can choose better options and better actions. Despite the flimsy twists used to by writer Samira Fazal to maintain Mannu’s absolute innocence in all matters, this looks very much like an affair. The latest episode shows us a desperate Mannu searching for someone to take her sick child to the hospital, Salahuddin instinctively knows Mannu needs help and is standing by the door. Any normal mother of two children, living in such a palatial house would send a servant for some paracetamol or just take the child herself; Mannu as always needs a man to help.
Inconsistencies in plot and characterizations are strewn throughout Mann Mayal. Mannu is a strange helpless creature on whom motherhood has made no impression, she relies on her ex-lover more than her own family or herself. This kind of helpless female is a favourite of Pakistani audiences. She seems to have absolutely no control of her life or even the smallest sense of self preservation and, is always putting herself and her strangely silent offspring in bad situations. In 18 episodes of what is reputed to be a 25 episode serial Mannu’s character arc as Bholi larki off the year is unwavering. The writer has once again given the public the kind of personality deficient drone they adore, and she has the ratings to prove it. Maya Ali has been the saving grace of this character from the first scene, giving a strong performance especially in the first half of this serial and has made this uninspiring character at least watchable.
In a sad race to the bottom, Salahuddin’s character leaves little to be admired; a coward in the beginning and the obsessive stalker of a married, mother of two children towards the end. Despite his uneven performance Hamza Ali Abbasi’s considerable star power has also given this serial a big boost. Much was expected of Abbasi after his iconic performance in Pyarey Afzal, but for most of this serial he seemed uninterested and unfocussed. However in the last two episodes he has shown a distinct improvement, providing Salahuddin with much needed depth and intensity.
Director Haseeb Hassan has not been able to elicit the controlled performances he did in serials like Nanhi and Dayar e dil. How a veteran actress like Aisha Khan, known for her outstanding performances could overplay some of her recent scenes without the director checking her is surprising. Her character Jeena is an educated, working woman, who lives alone but acts like a love sick teenager obsessing over Justin Bieber. This alone makes it plain that the director seems to be on a different page to the writer. On an interesting side note Jeena’s scenes are often marked by discordant music, to mark her out as suspicious even though as a single woman she might be a more appropriate match for Salahuddin than the married, mother of two: Mannu. Poor Jeena, her fault does not lie in her stars but in the fact that she is a strong, sensible woman, who knows her own mind. If she watched Pakistani dramas she would know by now she just wasn’t bholi enough to get the guy. Mikaal is another one dimensional character with little nuance fashioned to facilitate Mannu and Salahuddin’s reunion Gohar Rasheed plays Mikaal with such deadpan , straight-faced villainy one can imagine him kicking children ( probably his own) as he walks down the street .
Team Mann Mayal has managed to produce a very slick product, easily digested by the masses. While there are complaints of plot loopholes and one dimensional character, this is a very popular serial. So far Mann Mayal has offered nothing new or challenging. It confirms every stereotype and comforts its audience’s prejudices making it a winning and very commercially viable combination for Hum Tv.
this review can also be seen in Dawn Images