‘Jaan-e-Jahan’ Finale (Review): Mahnoor and Shehram Get a Dragged Out Happily Ever After

A rich boy falls head over heels in love with a poor village girl. He is a tall, domineering landlord, she is a petite, submissive factory worker. Sparks fly when they clash. But circumstances will not let them be together. The boy overcomes many (questionable) hurdles and finally gets his girl. Together they make a small nest away from the prying eyes of the society. He is there to dry her tears, she is there to help him unburden. All is blissful until fate comes knocking. Their unconventional anti-fairytale is cut short. The girl ends up in jail and the boy in grave.

But ‘Jaan-e-Jahan’ is not their story. Tabraiz (Haris Waheed) and Gulzaib (Nawal Saeed) concede that space to Mahnoor (Ayeza Khan) and Shahram (Hamza Ali Abbasi). I had mentioned in the initial review of ‘Jaan-e-Jahan’, having watched just two episodes, that the leads of the show are not quite interesting as people. Well, the verdict stands corrected after 41 episodes. When you have ethically sound, socially conscious, morally upright hero and heroine, then all the mythicality, moody cinematography, poetic exchanges, admiring glances, fire, rain, winds, melas, bangles, and the plot contrivances to bring our holier-than-thou boy and girl together would only go this far in creating magic.

Writer Rida Bilal aimed to create a halal romance between her leads, and it’s only appropriate that two of the more conservative actors in the industry played them. Bilal successfully created the moments between Shahram and Mahnoor, but a 41-episode drama needs conflict and that’s where she falters. Another guy enters the picture. Taimoor (Immad Irfani having a blast playing the third wheel) comes in so that ‘Jaan-e-Jahan’ could be dragged for 15 more episodes. Now Mahnoor has to choose between one guy who is nice and the other who is a bit too nice. Spoiler alert: she never chooses, but is handed over like a trophy to the winner. Shehram on the other hand, after being jolted into action, thanks to Mahnoor, roams around his father’s village where his well-wishers warn of villainous plots against him. Somewhere in between, ‘Jaan-e-Jahan’ loses its spirit.

Conflict happens around our main leads; there is an abusive ex-fiance, rival politicians, wayward step-brother and a wicked step-mother. All glide and flip Mahnoor and Shahram who remain stoically stilted themselves. Since they are the wisest, more selfless people in town, their love is the same: adult, venerative, pious. This love reminds one of the Digest magazines of yore, where lovers don’t fight for their love as much as are rewarded with it for their virtuousness.

The finale of ‘Jaan-e-Jahan’ sees Kishwar (Savera Nadeem) exiting the scene with a letter only she could write. There is a hint of repentance in her words but they are still wrapped in her character’s ego we had come to love. ‘Pyare Afzal’ fans get their perfect ending albeit 10 years late. The villagers – less people, more plot devices – celebrate the union of their savior prince and princess. Diyaas burn bright, couplets connect, cosmic justice is served and the forces of nature take a nap after finishing the job. But in the hum of the joyous night, two fallen lovers bleed, the girl above the ground, and the boy, six feet under.

Written by Tooba M


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