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Mataa-e Jaan – Episode 6

SZ . 23

Initially having started off as a sleeper, Mataa-e Jaan came into its own last week. This latest episode confirmed that indeed the serial had shrugged off its slow beginning and found its grounding. The narrative was very well-paced and the story moved along without any hiccups. If the last episode had focused on Adam and Yamina’s track, this week it was Haniya and Ibaad’s turn to step into the limelight. And, even as the two sisters’ stories were at the center stage, the happenings at Uzair Farooq’s household in Karachi were beautifully interwoven as well. And here, I have to once again congratulate the writer, Farhat Ishtiaq, and the director, Mehreen Jabbar, for keeping all these tracks on par with each other and not letting one lag behind the other.

In contrast to the somber mood of the last episode, this week Ibaad and Haniya’s romance lit up the TV screens. Gloriously decked out in fall foliage, New York City provided a stunning backdrop to the romance blossoming between Haniya and Ibaad. Also very charming was the chemistry between Mama Jaani and Ibaad; the scene where she made him halwa poori was very sweet. In Chicago, Yamina, who has now moved back with Adam, seemed happier. I have to say I am very impressed by the very accurate portrayal of a spouse abuser, who uses his charm as a lethal weapon. Though Yamina is swayed by Adam’s persuasive charm, it is refreshing to see her still holding on to her sense of self as she keeps reminding him to return Haniya’s money. However, as the episode ended, we see that it did not take Adam very long to return to his controlling tendencies, and I’m afraid I don’t see too much happiness in Yamina’s future. Back in Karachi, Uzair Farooq is blithely planning his son’s marriage, without bothering to consult his very mature son. However, as precaps indicate we have a showdown between the father and son on the cards for next week.

So much has been said about the chemistry, or lack thereof, between the lead couple that it was actually a relief to see some hints of it sprinkled throughout this episode. For me, Adeel continues to be stellar as Aabi. Yes, it is a holier-than-thou role and has very few nuances, but he has made it his own. Sarwat Gilani is growing into her role, but still, her scenes with Adeel remain okay at best. This is really sad because the lines are all there, the ambience is there, and while at times these do suffice, there are nice moments between them –he cannot take his eyes off her when she comes to his house for dinner, or when she invites him to Kathy’s party, or when he rubs the ointment on her burnt hand – but, for me at least, there were no really memorable moments. Talking about chemistry, Junaid Khan and Sanam Saeed continue to steal the show from the main pair. Khaula Malik has breathed life into her blink and miss role as Kathy. While the other elements were all great, it was the Mehreen Jabbar and Shehzad Kashmiri combo that was the real star here. The intimacy created by the camerawork, for instance in the Adam/Yamina scenes or the Christmas party scenes, made me, as a viewer feel like I was right there. The outdoor scenes were beautifully filmed as well. Also, the lighting of the scenes, particularly the Christmas party, was stunning.

Overall, this was a great episode from the Mataa-e Jaan team. Yes, there are issues with the lead pair and some characters are flatter than others, but there is so much else going on here and the story is being narrated in such an engrossing manner that I, for one, am totally hooked now. Looking forward to more next Friday!

Written by SZ~

Follow me on Twitter: SZ_DramaPakistani (@sz_dp)

  • Shaan

    @Annie – sweets you seems to be complaining about every drama. Quit whinging and watching TV pleaseee. I am quite disgusted with reading you venting about everything you watch. Its not healthy to BE SO NEGATIVE.

  • Annie

    @Shaan – dude I am chilled :-) I just said the episode held no interest for me whatsoever to sit down and watch it for 35 minutes. We all express our opinions here without sugar-coating things. Not being negative, but there is nothing in this serial so far to make me want to watch week after week except for Sajida Syed playing a normal role and partially the Adam/Yamina track.

  • Faraz

    @ MJ : i know for a fact that you will not take our comments the other way and take this criticism positively… we just expect alot from you Mehreen…. you gave us.. dooraha malaal, Vasl, Daam

    I personally loved Daam…. it was sharp… crisp… and did not drag…to be honest you give me Daam and mataa e jaan and i will jump on to daam any day….

    from the last 2 seasons its just not clicking.. neeyat started off well… and then it went downhill…. but with mataa e jaan….dont make it 2 in a row …….

    what i personally feel is that… boy meets girl , they fall in love and then the parents pressure the guy to marry someone else.. its very outdated story… but i think there is something in store for us… may be the story changes when he gets married to someone else….. but it took 6 weeks to see that happening……..

    so if the real story starts after 6 episodes… then its a problem.. because when the good part would arrive .. there wont be enough viewers to watch it….

    i would give it more chance.. because it's MJ serial. thats the only reason why i would watch it with the hope of some "wooof!" or abay teri yeh kya howa" moments.

  • Mehreen

    Oh my god…haha…me thinks I should retire :) Lol..but yes very interesting least even if some of you think it's a snooze fest, so far it has kept you engaged in debating it with a lot of passion!

    Much to be said..can't at the moment because am on shoot so not enough time on the net…Am hoping that those of you who are not liking it will find something to sustain your interest soon. Fingers and toes crossed..otherwise there is always the next project..

    cheers, :)


  • Hina

    This drama has no depth. In Humsafar, they had the whole story with the cousin in love with guy, guy not knowing anything about it, and all. But, in Humsafar they had given the character of Sara some depth. They showed some of her inner feelings, personality, characteristics, etc. In Mata e Jaan, Anoushey is like a kiss up from what I see. They should give some more scenes for her, what kind of personality she has. She annoys me every time she comes up on scree.

    As far as the acting, it sucks. No expression, no emotion in dialogues, just nothing in short. The dialogues are romantic, but the expression and emotion has to be there in order for the chemistry to work.

    In short, agreed with Faraz. This drama isn't clicking, no matter how good the novel might be.

  • Marvi

    faraz: couldn't agree with you more, and I know the team worked hard on it and it makes me sad that its not as attention grabbing as it should be. I think our expectations were way too high with this drama and here are the reasons why:

    1)so much advertisement/hype about this drama(durre-shehwaar deserves a lot more hype than what it's getting)

    2)it came right after Humsafar, every single person is comparing it to that drama,even though its unintentional but it keeps happening. I think this drama would have gotten a bit more appreciated if it came out before humsafar.

    3) its a mehreen jabbar drama :)(enough said)

  • Faraz

    Let me state this outright… and i dont want to sugar coat anything…. this drama isnt clicking at all….. and i strongly feel that Adeel is just not right for this lead role.. pata nahi kya parchi chalai thi or may be the casting incharge is in good terms with him… but seriously the guy is just plain…..he just knows one way of acting.. no facial expressions.. no eye movement…. matlab he looks the same in every scene… upper say this look that he has is not working at all … but seriously.. he needs to brush up his acting skills before he was given such a powerful role…..i feel like i am watching the same old junaid from daam…

    i understand that its takes lots and lots of efforts as well as money to make a serial like mataa e jaan.. but i am sorry… the end product is just not clicking with the viewers.. i am just stating it from my point of view.. i am the aam janta.. the common man, who doesnt have to know how much hard work went behind the scene.. or how much efforts the team had to put to comeup with this serial… its just that thora upper neechay hogaya…

    some dramas can be good… but not every drama can be very good… lets hope that this serial goes better with time… but i dont see that happening soon….

    now people may say that its too early… but abb aur kitna time loo gay bhai…. thats the kamal of a good actor… He can take an ordinary scene . an ordinary story and make it look large.. just by his/her acting.. so agar banday ko drama impress na karey … atleast acting hi kafi hoo to hold him back….

    unfortunately with Mataa e Jaan…. we just sit and watch and hope kay abb kuch hoga.. u know kuch tou hoo… a scene that makes you wooof! or something like that… per nahi bhai.. bus chal hi rahi hai story…. aisey jaisey its just going on and on…

  • Ash

    ok wow! this has to be the most controversial discussion ever. And a drama that most people are getting bored of, is the cause of it! ….interesting

    But did you guys ever think that these same issues were brought up in other dramas we've seen in the past, but were totally ignored because there was "something" that worked in that drama and people ignored the flaws.

    Because there is no chemistry between the two leads, someone either hates Haniya or Ibaad, they are able to pick up little things whether it be the cousin wedding thing, the eastern/western value, ya joh bhi.

    But i can think of many dramas where they had these very same issues, cousins getting married, yet one of the cousins doesn't know , and its funny how its always the guy who doesn't know but the girl cousin is already picking out names for the 2 boys and 1 girl.

    You guys have to realize there is more then one track to this drama. Unfortunately the main track is not working for a lot us, but maybe the no chemistry thing was done on purpose?? Those who have read the novel may get why i am saying this, but those who haven't will just have to keep watching and see how the story unfolds.

    The other track of Adam and Yamina is a lot more interesting and they actually have great on screen chemistry – i watch it for more their track then Haniya-Ibaad snooze fest. Ibaad i can work with, hes charming, acting well and for people who think hes a dhood ka dula wah, well this episode and judging from the pre cap next episode he does have a temper. He was clearly mad at Haniya for whatever reasons and the precap for the next episode shows him totally flipping out at his dad about his surprise engagement. So people, the guy is human after all! =)

    Haniya, well she is kind of irritating, i guess i just dont like the actress playing her so everything she does irritates me. Who wears a shalwar kameez to a Xmas party, four generation in USA and shalwar kameez to Xmas party??? Sheer stupidity!

    The only bit of chemistry that made me go a LIL aww was when he was putting the burnt ointment on her hand. After that it was all a dead end all over again.

    Everything else you guys seem to be arguing about has been discussed in the past threads of Mataa E Jaan and what surprises me is how come no one thought the east/west thing was an issue before when it was brought up earlier? isn't this the same issue since the first episode? I guess she's just tryna go with the best of both worlds! :D

  • Shaan

    @ Annie, why are you so negative?? You seem to find flaws in everything. I know its fun to sit back and criticize but you somehow go overboard with NOT liking anything. Take a chill pill sweets

  • zka

    @SA, SK and TMU: I agree with all of you. Not having read the book I am curious about this "Eastern values" issue that is constantly being raised. Are all these scenes which are so contradictory, ie Haniya coming to Ibaad's apartment, their dating, Ibaad coming into her bedroom,etc… all in the book? Maybe Haniya could have been described differently instead of raising this mashriqi values business and then messing it up.

    My major problem is with Ibaad's "character". His character is putting me off, he is just sooooo boring! I wonder if he is like that in the book. Sometimes people and events need to be adapted when doing the screenplay as what works in the book does not necessarily work on tv. As for his parents and their rishta planning, hummm. I don't know anyone in Pakistan (from his kind of background especially) who would even DARE to think of doing this to their child. And then to think that their child would agree to this kind of demand. NO WAY!

    Despite these issues, this episode was an improvement in terms of Haniya and Ibaad's chemistry. Yamina and Adam's story took an interesting turn. The last scene reminded me of someone who once advised me many years ago, " Beta never sign anything without reading it, even if someone close to you asks you to sign it." I wonder what was in that document that Adam gave to Yamina.

    However, despite these issues I will continue to watch MEJ because of the way it is being presented. Also, from the promo one can see that there are going to be some interesting developments in the future. So fingers crossed…..

  • SZ

    @Tinni: If you read my reviews, I have the same issues as you all do with the chemistry of the lead pair and have said that since day one (and say it here as well). Also with you guys on the East/West binary–infact in my comments on the very first episode I was the first one to complain about this issue and had wondered what MJ's thoughts were on this, needless to say that whole conversation was turned into a discussion of about religion and eating halal and smoking. Since then too, in every review (except this one, b/c it wasn't as overt in this one) I have pointed to this problem repeatedly. Also, I am in complete agreement about the question of Aabi's secret engagement. Its ridiculous, but here's my thing – this engagement existed in the novel, but people loved the story regardless. Even in Humsafar we saw so much that was so over the top unbelievable (the engagement issue existed there as well) but we accepted it because we fell for the lead pair. Here too, if the lead pair would've worked, I'm sure we would have bought in to the whole premise.

    What works for me is the overall story – unlike Humsafar, this is not a single track story, there is so much more happening here other than the romance of the lead pair. In fact I dont watch MeJ looking for a frothy fairytale romance like that of Humsafar. For me, the Adam/Yamina track is one of the more interesting things on TV these days. Like Mora Piya (if you havent watched it, you should) this track deals with issues exclusively between a married couple and how they deal with it, without any outside interference. I also like the way the story is told, the way the different tracks are handled and interwoven. And, there's much more to come, so I'm in it for the ride :)

  • Marvi

    For some odd reason, i think haniya is doing a stellar job with her facial expressions. You can just read her eyes. Another thing I like about this drama, how there isn't too much touching involved. I think ibaad is a good actor so is haniya but there just not good with each other…

    But thats OK it happens, just kinda gotta let it go…

  • I agree with the other viewers here, why is it SZ what you are seeing in the drama we are unable to see? Is it because you have read the book maybe. I am just assuming my friend. I saw the first part of the link posted and sorry to it did not excite me to watch the rest. :(

  • Annie

    Did not care to watch this episode. Watched the scene where Haniya comes over Ibaad's apartment for dinner and it was so boring that I did not care to catch the rest of it. As everyone has said, you don't feel for the characters at all. It's almost like watching one of those chai/chocolate/biryani commercials. The girl and guy go googly eyed over each other while drinking Tapal or eating biryani, but the audience never says awwww. Wish the lead pair's on-screen chemistry was tested before taking them on *sigh*

  • SK

    Actually it does happen a lot in Pakistan so that is why dramas show it. Islam allows it and obviously you are not brothers and sisters as you have different parents. Actually pre Islamic times people used to marry their nephews, nieces etc and Islam put a stop to it. By saying that kids are retarded from a cousin marriage is a very narrow minded opinion. Retarded isn't even a correct word , seriously that is so rude. There are many kids who are born with health problems whether cousin marriages or not. If Allah our creator allows something should we not do it beacuse the western world looks down on it? I'd rather go with what my religion allows not the current opinion where what is acceptable changes every other day.

  • mazhar

    I am so tired of this cousin romances and cousin marraiges,looks like you can only find matches in your own family which I think medically is such a bad idea. I am not a Islamic scholar but I dont think in our religion you have to consider your cousins for marraige before you look outside. What the heck! in one drama (forgot the name) two brothers are married to two sisters (cousins of their husbands)and now romance is budding between ther children just Imagine it is ths same family same blood they are brothers and sisters for God sake!!!!!.imagine what their future generations will be like retarded? uh!.These drama writers and script writers keep promoting these cousin allaiances does this happen in reality in Pakistaan

  • TMU

    Adding on to SA’s comments, I am only going to say that trying to portray Haniya as a girl born and raised in America with eastern values was a very wrong move by the author, the director and the producers of the drama. The story would have been more digestible if it had only shown that Haniya is truly more westernized. The constant banging on the viewers head about Haniya containing eastern values confuses me because I fail to find all the “traditional eastern values” in her. LOL I don’t even know what eastern values are anymore! But definitely agreed, last time I checked having an official boyfriend, him eating grandmas yummy yummy cooking definitely had not entered the books yet. YES I have met many Pakistani families too that are constantly ok with having boyfriends, bringing them home, dating, but not once I have heard them claim that they are easternized!!!! That would truly be hypocritical. So constantly saying that Haniya is maghribi makes no sense to me. Let her be a westernized child! Nothing wrong with us western kids. We have our own set of values, you have your own! But stop being contradictory here! I can try to claim I am such a easternized child but I indulge in traditional western behavior, what exactly does that makes me? We always have to find a balance between these two values and have more of one, doesn’t makes anyone a better person.

    Also SA you were bang on about cousins not knowing about any of this. That was also one part I found indigestible in humsafar. It’s a pretty big thing, when its already been deiced that who your kid is going to be given too and mostly all family is informed so no one else can come for rishtas. Usually things like these never get hidden especially from the two people that are getting married to each other. And telling your son on the day of his engagement, he is getting engaged!!!!!! Please spare me the stupidity. Really? Ibaad has no friends he was going to invite to the engagement? We live in social media age where half your family exists on facebook, google+ and if there is a whiff of a wedding announcement or engagement or a new rishta occurrence, even if some family member was hiding under a rock in Antarctica, they would find out! So ibadd not finding out about any of this was then truly living on Pluto then!

  • Nadia

    Great review SZ as always! It's always the cherry on top after watching the drama.

    Gotta agree with SA and the rest about the serial. However, it's still one of the better dramas on air right now. I think I watch it more for the cinematography now than anything else!

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  • SK

    @ SA you took the words right out of my mouth. I am not going to mention chemistry, as I have done so every week . But yeah can we include Mama jaani in this whole Eastern values issue. She was the one who raised Haniya and apparently gave her these values, so seriously its ok with her that her grand daughter is dating a guy and she's also making aloo parathas for him. It's not like they are engaged yet either, and you send him up to your grand daughters bedroom, helllo!!! As for Ibaads parents, who does that anymore? They are so educated, and you are going to tell your son the day of the engagemet? Totally ridiculous! Anyways I liked the Aabi and Adeel scene when Adeel finds out and also when Haniya comes for dinner. Adeel made it more interesting with his personality. Aabi was way better too, the way he was looking at her, but I guess his character is just mellow so you cant do too much with it. Still not impressed by Haniyah, her nasally way of saying "Aabi" is really bothering me. Like everyone said though, you don't really have the urge to go back and watch a scene again, nothing very memorable!

  • Omair Ahmed

    first of all. good review SZ

    but from my side too , it is a flat serial

    i agree with you that the serial is picking up constant pace improving but as yet it is really not enough to attract masses

  • Saadia

    I second SA.

  • SA

    I for some reasons have serious issues with the drama. Yes I love MJ and I love all the beautiful cinematography BUT the story of Ibad and Haniya and both the characters are soo farfetched and contradictory that I actually want to skip all their parts.

    First of all, here is the thing: your grandma decides (in this case Ibad’s that her granddaughter and grandson will be married when they were born). Chaloo grandma to yeh kaam anjaam kar gain and no one bothers telling the boy or the girl. All of this is sometimes true and yes a HUGE issue in our society where we decide who is going to marry who when kids are born. I have seen this happen BUT here is the catch, the cousins live close by (not in other countries or cities), please it would be so ridiculous if both of them did not get a wind of this decision made my grandma. Take for example, they both attend a same wedding and everyone gossips and teases them. Yeah take some annoying paternal or maternal older cousins who know a little bit about this “decision by grandma” and watch them scare the hijibies out of the poor boy and girl. Things and decisions like these never ever stay this hidden. Furthermore the Uzair family has been shown to be educated and knowledgeable about this world. Kiya uzair kay parents nay kabhi bhi aisi lariyaan yaa problems kay baray main nahi sunna where when marriage has been decided long before between two people, someone might not agree (either the boy or girl and they have might have other preferences) and how important it is to inform both parties of these decisions and ask for consent. Waisay bhi Ibaad to zaam zaam kay pani main dhulla waa hai. ITNAAA FARMABARDAR bacha kaisay apnay maa baap ki baat talay gaa…unhay too poochnay ki bhi zaroorat nahi hai *rolls eyes*

    Second of all, Haniya, meri saari values eastern hain (whatever the heck that means these days). Ok yes boohat achi baat hai. Mubarak hoo Haniya app ko kay app ki values eastern hain, 4 episodes main yehi sunna tha, only thing is kay mujhay nahi pata tha kay eastern values main boyfriend bhi shamil hain aur un kay apartments main bhi jana shaamil hai. Please don’t get me wrong here that I am narrow minded, I also reside in North America and I hate those people that give monologues about being all Eastern and desi and blah blah, only to adopt every western pattern of behaviors (some are good but not all).

    And the cherry on top of everything, both the characters also have no chemistry whatsoever.

    If MeJ was a great novel, doesn’t mean it could have been easily translated for screen but a great effort by MJ and co but sadly it fell flat on its face.

  • Drama Buff

    Thanks for the review SZ – I don't know why but I am so not motivated to watch MeJ. I can't exactly pinpoint the reason even though Sarwat is one of my favourite actresses around. I think it is, as you said, no memorable moments. :)

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