Jaan-e-Jahan – Is It Worth the Hype?

After tuning into Jaan-e-Jahan with great expectations initially and being impressed by the opening episodes, I actually had to lower my expectations because the story went downhill with Murad Shah’s demise. However, I tuned into Jaan-e-Jahan every week since I last reviewed it hoping that it would give me something to talk about other than everything  I had already penned down in my 6 episodes review.

Right from the start it was evident that Hamza Ali Abbasi and Ayeza Khan’s chemistry, along with the stunning cinematography, were the drama’s saving graces. Now after 26 weeks, my sentiments remain the same. After stagnating for 18 or so weeks, the plot has finally progressed.

Despite its weaknesses, the main track of Jaan-e-Jahan—the love story—remains the most relatively appealing aspect of the drama. Hamza Ali Abbasi and Ayeza Khan in particular always gave me a reason to root for them even at a time when I had completely lost interest in the drama. The chemistry between these two actors is undeniable, and I believe they have much more to offer. I would love to see them collaborate on a better project that truly allows their abilities to shine. The fact that even with such weak characterizations these actors have succeeded in maximizing their roles goes to show their strength and skills both individually and as an on-screen couple.

Shehram’s Journey

Shehram’s character has been hailed by many as the ‘good guy’ which the viewers are not used to seeing on screen. Often, whenever this character is criticized the fans argue that Pakistanis have become accustomed to watching toxic heroes and they’re finding it hard to embrace this character. As an open-minded viewer who is all for ‘good guys’ who are well-rounded, I found Shehram’s journey quite annoying for the most part. Shehram’s naivety never aligned with Murad Shah’s expectations of him. Murad, despite being a “good guy,” also possessed worldly wisdom and intelligence. If someone of Murad’s caliber placed so much trust in Shehram, it undoubtedly stemmed from reasons beyond mere moral goodness.

Even now when Shehram is well aware of everything, he is not doing ‘enough’. His leadership skills and assertive personality have been shown in some scenes but it has not been translated on screen with an intensity that would instantly convince viewers that he is indeed Murad Shah’s rightful heir. Had Shehram been a much younger man in his 20s, all of this would have made more sense.

When it comes to Mahnoor, Shehram can roar like a tiger and act accordingly too but when it comes to ‘his people’ his efforts are never emotionally charged. Enhancing this aspect of his personality with more emotional depth could have made his character much better rounded. Another weak aspect of this storyline is the individuals surrounding Shehram, particularly his support system. Serious communication barriers which were entirely illogical throughout were obvious flaws that made it really difficult for me to ‘look away’. Shehram’s father’s lawyer friend could have served as a significant mentor figure, yet this role was assigned to Mahnoor, a decision I believe was less than ideal. Mahnoor’s role as the savior has not been the best part of this love story.

It’s always disheartening watching the good characters being dumbed down for weeks, just to elicit sympathy from the audience. The fact that Shehram shows little concern for the factory and business Murad Shah dedicated his life is perhaps the most illogical aspect of the entire drama. Shehram has been ‘trying’ and ‘struggling’ for long enough now, now that he has come into his own, we need to see more ‘action’!

The heartwarming and captivating scenes featuring Shehram and Mahnoor in Jaan-e-Jahan owe much of their charm to the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Hamza and Ayeza, rather than the strength of the script itself. Shehram’s interactions and bond with his younger brother Abdul are equally as compelling as his scenes with Mahnoor. It’s a shame we don’t get to witness more of this emotional depth in Shehram’s connections with those close to him. Expanding on these relationships could have added a richer layer to the character’s development.

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