Nine episodes of the highly anticipated and publicized serial leaves one dissatisfied but not enough to stop watching
We have been following Mann Mayal regularly and we’ll credit that to the Maya Ali and Hamza Ali Abbasi pairing that had every fan across the country flocking to TV screens as a moth does to flames. Nine episodes into the story, one has to admit that some things are as perplexing and twisted as Hamza Ali Abbasi’s Facebook updates.
To update the uninitiated, the play began with Mannu (Maya Ali) being a pretty and boisterous little girl from a fairly well-off and conservative family. Mannu is best friends with Bia whose brother Sallu, (Hamza Ali Abbasi), is the good looking and brooding bloke who tutors them both and ends up catching Mannu’s eye. They fall in love by the end of the first episode and Mannu turns out to be the man in the relationship as she pursues him and fights her family for him while he quietly sulks in inferiority of not being good enough for her. By good he implies rich. After unnecessarily dragging this out for a couple of episodes, Mannu is married off to Mikail, who wants to marry her despite her apparent obsession with Sallu.
Mikail turns out to be quite the loser who parties, drinks and gambles all night and sleeps all day. He has married to please his parents and couldn’t care less for Mannu. Sallu moves to Karachi for his first job and stays with his best friend and employer Iffty (Vasay Chaudhry) whose wife is a tyrant. She mistreats everyone including her bed-ridden father in law, who Sallu takes a liking and camaraderie to. Sallu stays on – despite incessant verbal abuse and degradation – to take care of Uncle. And because he has nowhere else to go.
Mann Mayal’s pace has been slow from Episode One but the story was promising. However, there are some things that we can’t get over…
1. Mannu is someone who has trouble deceiving her parents-in-law when Mikail asks her to behave whichever way makes them happy and yet she has no problem deceiving her own parents and hiding her true feelings from them.
2. Right after she is married, Mannu calls her mother and shares (while sobbing) that she’d die if she had to continue living like this (in a strange environment with a stranger for a husband) and her mother does absolutely nothing about it. Life continues as usual. What sort of mother does Mannu have?
3. Sallu never has money, despite having a job. If his first month of work and first salary still hasn’t come in then how is Sara Baji, Mannu’s separated cousin, heavily pregnant when Mannu visits her. In fact, how is Sara Baji pregnant in the first place as she has been separated from her husband for several months? All this happens in a simultaneous time frame which makes the timeline somewhat warped.
We’re now eagerly anticipating the fourth major player in the serial – Ayesha Khan – because maybe she’ll speed things along and spice them up a bit!