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Mataa-e Jaan – Episode 8

SZ . 11

I have to hand it to Mehreen Jabbar, Farhat Ishtiaq, and the rest of the Mataa-e Jaan team. This drama just keeps getting better and better. I have been raving about this serial for the past few weeks now, but I have to say his week’s episode surprised even me. Not because it was good, that was a given in my book, but because of the very intelligently done critique of those who vaunt the superiority of so-called Eastern culture. Even as Uzair blustered on about “our” Eastern values and how Ibaad had been corrupted by the “behaya” Western values in the short time he had lived in the US, ultimately it was Uzair who ended up with egg on his face. His own rant exposed him as a hypocrite, a stubborn and arrogant man, for whom his pride, his given word, his ego, reigns supreme over everything else– even the happiness of his one and only child. By refusing to even entertain the thought of listening to Ibaad, forget about consenting to his marriage with Haniya, Uzair demonstrated that even as he hid behind the rhetoric of the superiority of one culture over the other, his anger had more to do with his damaged pride than with any kind of cultural value system, Eastern or Western. Excellent job guys!

The breakfast scene, where Ibaad tries to reason with his father has to be one of the most well-directed and acted scenes in recent memory. The moments between Hajra and Ibaad were truly special. The unspoken communication, the exchanged glances between the two, while Uzair ranted, hinted at a very strong bond between the mother and son. I could not help wondering about how many similar battles had been averted before this one, just because Ibaad had let his father win – was the past now coming back to haunt him? Had he not been such a dutiful son all along, would Uzair have then expected him to toe the line unquestioningly? Moreover, the way Hajra posits herself as a silent referee in this battle of wills between the father and son hints that this is not the first time this has happened. Her silent pleas with Ibaad, her half-seated posture, ready to rise and step in if necessary, indicate that Uzair must indeed be a very hard man to live with, and she’s probably spent a lifetime trying to smoothen his rough edges. So much was said while left unsaid. Even though she had almost no dialogues here, without resorting to any melodrama Hina Bayat quietly made the scene her own. I could barely move my eyes away from her face, it told a thousand tales!

Apart from this blockbuster scene, this episode was filled with other equally well done vignettes. Yamina talking to her lawyer and Adam trying to sweet-talk Haniya kept us updated on the second track of the story. Other scenes—Mama Jaani and Haniya, while the former is in the hospital; Haniya and Ibaad, where he draws a parallel between Haniya and Uzair; the phone conversation between Ibaad to his parents; Ibaad cooking for Mama Jaani and Haniya—were all great moments. Ibaad was the uniting factor that brought the story together in this episode. He is no longer the one-dimensional cardboard character we all accused him of being. This is a man who gets as angry as the next person, he loves as deeply as anybody else; what set him apart is his compassion, his patience, and his sense of justice. That’s why he cannot help but defend his father to Haniya even though he is himself at a loss to come to terms with his father’s pigheadedness – excellent characterization by Farhat Ishtiaq and brilliantly played by Adeel Hussain. This has truly been an exceptional performance from him.

Adding to the deliciously textured drama being played out on the screen was the lack of any background music for most part of the episode. Thank you for giving us credit for being intelligent enough to figure out the high points, we do not need musical cues in every scene – silence is indeed a powerful language in and of it itself. Finally, I have to give credit once again to the magician behind the camera, Shehzad Kashmiri. Hina Bayat has never looked this gorgeous before and Adeel never as drool-worthy. Back to the drama, every eyelid flicker, every glance, every move was brilliantly captured. I don’t think this episode would have had as much impact if the camerawork had faltered. Overall, an excellent outing yet again!

Written by SZ~

Follow me on Twitter:  SZ_DramaPakistani  (@sz_dp)   

  • zka

    This was a great episode. I especially loved the Karachi bits with JS, HB and AH. They were awesome together. @SZ: you have a point there regarding Ibad always agreeing with his father and now there is a showdown because he is refusing to listen to his father. Poor Hajra who constantly has to soothe both father and son!

    However, I have to say that I still have issues with Ibad's character. For me he is still pretty much boring despite having issues with his engagement. He is supposed to be a little more interesting than what has been shown in the drama, according to people who have read the novel.

    But said and done, I am still enjoying MeJ as its story and presentation is different from the norm.

  • Ash

    first of all, thanks for delivering such a magnificent review yet again, week after week! you do such a fine job in explaining all the aspects, and characters.

    I love how all the people who were once upon a time hating on Mata e Jaan are now back and talking about how the story has finally picked up! Aren't you glad you stuck around! =)

    Finally people are getting over the chemistry and eastern/western value issues. that took about 8 episodes.

    Even though for the most part i watch it for the Yamina-Adam track, but in this episode i also enjoyed the Haniya-Ibaad scenes, even though Haniya whines way too much!

    Of course some of the best scenes took place in Karachi, where we see Javed Sheikh making all these crazy assumptions about people who live in the west.

    makes me wonder, is that how everyone in pakistan really feels about people who live in the west? someone get them a reality check please!!

    Adeel Hussain and Hina Bayat share amazing onscreen chemistry. All their scenes were so well done and they have such great understanding even though i feel she may not be able to do much for him because Javed Sheikh has an ego the size of Texas and refuses to even listen to anything not pleasing his ears.

    Why is that people in Pakistan have this whole issue of "mere khandan mai kya izzat rahe gi" Is it really that freaking serious? You will put your own son's life up for stake just because you are worried about your reputation in your khandan? that is so lame and people need to get over this whole fact. Who follows these wacked out traditions anymore anyway? As if that is the biggest worry in the world, so let me go ruin my child's life! Get Real!

    I am sure that Anoushey will be a lot more understanding, and will not just be another Sarah from Humsafar. i mean even though she doesn't have much screen time so we don't know much about her but something tells me if Ibaad tells her how she really feels she'll be more understanding then his egoistic father. No girl wants to spend the rest of her life with a guy who is in love with somebody else.

    Looking forward to see his crazy reaction about Ibaad wanting to get nikaah-ed with Haniya on such short notice!

  • hoorean

    Oh the show finally begins to catch the attention. I even found a better chemistry b/w haniya n ibbad. Looking forward to this play now. Hina bayat is looking so gorgeous in the drama and her performance is over the top. Superb acting with expressions even when she has no dialogues. Loved her the most in the episode.

  • Sadaf

    Sorry guys I still don't see it. Call me stubborn but I don't see anything but a contrived relationship between Haniya and Ibaad , and it's not the actor's fault. I feel like I'm watching a documentary about a love affair. Agreed the scenes in Pakistan and the acting was excellent but the character Ibaad is totally unbelievable, rich, upper class Pakistani boy ,brought up by servants and adoring mother cooks for Westernised girlfriend…please.Haniya's reaction to Ibaad's engagement was pathetic and unbelievable, especially considering the way her elder sister's marriage is going. These are not the reactions of normal people brought up in the West.

  • Annie

    Can I say the story has finally started? :-) It took around 7 weeks but looks like the "meaty" part is about to begin. After a long time I saw the full episode w/out laughing at the cheesy moments – thankfully there weren't any. I did cringe at Uzair's dialogue about Eastern/Western values. Seriously the guy has domineering issues. You are right SZ we saw that through Hina's character. The silent wife who whenever she tries to reason with him has been shot down. It must be tough to live with a man like that.

    Good point on how Ibaad has done everything or has been made to do everything according to Baba's wishes. The point that Haniya raised about buying the shirt brought it home. Ibaad has never done anything out of his own will except for falling in love. Very filmy and cliched along with the scene coming up in the next epi with Mamajaani on her deathbed asking Ibaad to marry Haniya. Anyways we had filmy situations in Humsafar too and we overlooked them ;-) lol

    One thing I have to give kudos to Farhat for is the confrontation scenes between Ibaad and Uzair. Ibaad showed the UTMOST amount of respect to his father even though he did not agree with him. He did not flare up and walk out the room yelling insults or slamming the door on him. We can all learn a lesson from such a character – we should respect our parents no matter how much we disagree with them and no matter how upset they are with us. It is tough to find examples of children like that who have a good head on their shoulders. Thank you Farhat for hinting at those values without making them in your face.

  • farah sadiq

    i said it before i'll say it again…..adeel hussain is a good actor & hes doing a good job in this serial. i dont know why people didnt like him at first as ibad?

    only 2 serials are worth watching these days….. durreshewar & matejaan.

  • SK

    Thanks for the great review! I enjoyed the episode a lot too…Adeel was really great! Torn between not wanting to hurt his father and keeping his promises to Haniya, he displayed such agonizing emotions..poor Aabi!! The scene on the couch between Ibaad and Haniya was very touching and I wouldn't of thought much of it if I hadn't seen some one give the story away on FB, so now I know what's gonna happen and how important that scene was…wow! Mamajanee getting sick was just pointing to one thing for me that whole episode , that she is going to tell Ibaad to marry Haniya. So then I saw the promo for the next epi, and I was like ok pretty predictable, however I didn't like how filmi it was actually! Lying on the hospital bed she says""Haniya se shadi karlo" and he has to decide in one day! Omg more fireworks to come from baba Uzair, It's set to get even more heated!

  • absolutely adored Adeel Hussain's acting! Hats off to the director , camera man and the rest of the cast…you guys are brilliant! Thank you for bringing the sunshine back in Copenhagen! :0)

  • Shaila

    I meant MASHRIKI hahahha

  • Shaila

    Hello, SZ, Thanks very much for replying to my last comment. I will surely be more active now on DP, because of your great reviews.

    I just love the Hajra, she speaks with her eyes, love the fact that she is not siding with one person, she is trying to bring both father and son to middle point. so they can talk and work it out. she trusts Ibaad's choice but she also know that it will be bad reputation for their family to broke the engagement. Why is Uzair doing this, Im pretty sure that Anoushey will understand, I mean no girl wants a guy who is clearly and madly in love with someone else, nor her parents would want this.

    Love how Aabi said k "mujhe atleast phely bata to dete, k mere liye Anoshey ko passad kia hoa hai"

    LOVE Adeel Hussain, especially in the episode

    i know some people are just gonna jump back to Haniya MASRIKI values Subject, despite of this fabulous review on other subject, because Ibaad was making breakfast for Haniya and Mama Jani, and Mama Jani didnt say anything. I just people to know or understand that when she said that she has Eastern values, she meant that she very emotional and thinks from her hear rather than Head, like something Yamina would do, she actually means to say that she is not very practical or logical. she loves from heart and there is no one who can stop her, she will only be with the man, who thinks exactly like her, someone who respects or love his family like she does. That's what they mean when they say , SHE IS VERY MASRIKI.

    Ok, Sorry Got a little carried away, ok back to this Episode.

    Yes Love the colors and cinematography, and everyone's great acting

    Best Episode Ever!!!

    I actually cried, I couldnt control myself, already knowing what would happen ahead, Uzair Uncle Aabi se gussa kyun haan :'(

    OK Bye Now!!!

  • DF

    No doubt , the drama is getting better day by day… Mehreen Jabbar is just pure jenious . And I totally agreed that now a days production is even as important as direction.

    In early days all costumes , camera work , continuity issues are director's job and producers just have to sit back and invest money..but now professional production houses really took that responsibility so that director can focus on more logical / creative aspects of drama.

    But the sad part is that despite of this , the average of good dramas is continuously decreasing. Lets hope that there should be more professional production houses in Pakistan instead of just one Moomal Productions.

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