A journey from Humsafar to Mata-e-Jaan
By Fatima Manzoor Ellahi
The title must have said it all; yes I am going to talk about Farhat Ishtiaq’s 2 most popular novels Humsafar and Mata-e-Jaan. One made unbeatable records where as 2nd failed to even make it in the top 5 shows.
I actually wanted to write this comparison long before when Mata-e-Jaan hit the screen but that must have been too early to evaluate any show. So I gave it time to prove itself, to make its place and to grab the due attention it deserved.
Few days back I saw people discussing the same topic so I guess it’s the right time to come up with this feature.
Humsafar received unprecedented success, not only within Pakistan but also abroad. Actually it won’t be wrong to say that this one serial took Pakistani drama to international level. Where audiences have once again become familiar with Pakistani television industry and Pakistani television stars. Before Mata-e-Jaan started, we saw the same excitement for this show. Probably that’s because it was coming from the same novelist so expectations were high but what are the reasons Mata-e-Jaan failed to impress, despite of having all required ingredients the show is considered to be below average.
Let’s have a look at the reasons responsible for this in broader spectrum.
Both of these shows offered refreshing cast, a lead pair which we have never seen on screen earlier, if so then what’s the reason that while Fawad and Mahira’s pair got such acclaim, Sarwat and Adeel’s pair on the other hand got disappointing remarks.
We have a list of some commendable actors like Nauman Ejaz, Talat Hussain, Bushara Ansari, Waseem Abbas, Sameena peerzada and Nadia Jamil who look natural onscreen, they don’t need any director to perform. They can fit into any role they play, they can breathe life in any serial with their presence alone, but then we have few other actors who are called Director’s actors. I would add Mahira and Fawad into that list of actors. It was Sarmad who took the best out of them. It was he who made their chemistry worth watching on screen. So I would give him cent percent credit. He made this new pair workable but in Mata-e-Jaan’s case Mehreen failed to deliver. If Adeel and Sarwat didn’t bring that magic I won’t consider it their fault, rather it’s actually director’s flaw who didn’t even work hard to get the best out of them. She got satisfied even with lesser effort so she didn’t demand extra from her actors. I feel casting was really poor in Mata-e-Jaan and if we would have got some other actors in lead role this serial perhaps could have been a hit, the story certainly had the potential for it.
Both of the shows presented love stories. Where Humsafar dealt with a girl who struggled to prove herself in front of her in-laws, Mata-e-Jaan more or less offered the same shades in Haaniya ( lead girl). In both the shows we met girls who had self esteem and strong characters, who believed in their own ideologies, who loved their relations to their fullest. Both stories are family oriented where the male lead comes across as strong, independent but is still a mama’s boy. In both shows marriage took place in a rush.
I would like to mention one thing that both of these novels were already big hits even before their adaptation into serials then how come Mata-e-Jaan didn’t charm people the same way Humsafar did.
I am not in a position to comment on the technical issues, I would simply call it an execution failure. Where Humsafar was a remarkable adaptation, Mata-e-Jaan didn’t even attract those viewers who were having their 1st encounter with this story. I haven’t read the novel but when I heard about its adaptation I preferred to watch the serial 1st. If I am hell disappointed then how can someone who has actually read the novel before watching it on screen be satisfied with it. I feel characters have failed to bring out the magic that readers experienced while reading the novel.
A director is the captain of a ship who can make any serial a hit or a miss. Sarmad has not just entered into this field of direction, we can’t call him new but his prior work is not remembered by masses whereas Mehreen Jabbar is an acclaimed director who doesn’t need any introduction. She is the one who has given us “Ram Chand Pakistani” a critically acclaimed movie, so her caliber is already known.
Humsafar’s overwhelming response even surprised the team. They didn’t even expect such acclaim and I guess it’s always easy to deliver the best when someone expects less. In Mata-e-Jaan’s case expectation level was sky high, as I mentioned earlier it was Farhat Ishtiaq’s write-up so people associated their hopes with this serial. But at the end it was a huge disappointment. The background score of both serials is remarkable but again QB won the battle. The supporting cast has a good mix of new and old faces but something is missing in Mata-e-Jaan and what is that? I really wanna know your take.
I would windup by saying “Humsafar say humnawai to rahi baqi mager mata-e-jaan jaan na ban paya”.