Unending continuity issues, missing scenes and repetitive dialogues slow down this otherwise well-plotted story.
Unending continuity issues, missing scenes and repetitive dialogues slow down this otherwise well-plotted story.

After running 29 episodes, Yeh Dil Mera is heading towards a potentially violent conclusion no one can predict.

Even though at least four episodes have been spent on the search for evidence, Noor ul Ain aka Ana (Sajal Aly) is still in the dark about the tragedy of her past.

Her suppressed memories keep surfacing as nightmares but she is unable to connect them to the father she loves or the mother she lost.

Read: Yeh Dil Mera has all the trappings of a gothic romance

Her relationship with Amanullah (Ahad Raza Mir) is based on a lie. He is the sole survivor of the murder of his parents and baby sister, and has lived a life of extreme loss and trauma, spending the better part of it planning revenge.

Beaten, abused and neglected, at some point the helpless little boy decided that he would bring the powerful man who killed his family to account.

Mir Farooq Zaman (Adnan Siddiqui) is an expert at leading a double life and has covered his tracks and affairs for many years. There is only one chink in his armour, his precious daughter, Noor ul Ain who lives in blissful well-guarded ignorance of her father’s darker side.

Murder, mystery and miscommunications

In Amanullah, writer Farhat Ishtiaq has given us a classic literary hero. He fights everyday with the demons that haunt him, knowing that any resolution he achieves will ultimately cause Ana, the woman he loves, a lot of pain.

He hides his feelings well and pretends to be trustworthy. Cultivating the image of a successful businessman, he forges a relationship with Ghauri uncle (Farhan Aly Agha) and uses his credibility to forge an introduction to Ana and her father.

He then begins to carefully construct the game of showering an insecure Ana with attention, captivating the naive woman’s heart till she refuses to let him go.

It is obvious that his conscience is in crisis, as he breaks off his engagement to Ana and runs away to England for 20 days, trying to find a way out of the plan he had successfully set in motion. Now, their trips to Darya Bagh show that he is even more afraid to hurt Ana the way he had been.

Despite all his rage, he is willing to give everything up when he sees how much this might damage her. Ana isn’t just the woman he loves, she is also the sole link to the comforts of a safer, happier past, and the only person who could possibly understand his uniquely damaged history.

In Amanullah, writer Farhat Ishtiaq has given us a classic literary hero. He fights everyday with the demons that haunt him, knowing that any resolution he achieves will ultimately cause Ana, the woman he loves, a lot of pain.

Ruthless manipulator, taunting adversary, loving husband, and vulnerable man on the edge of breaking into a million little pieces, Ahad Raza Mir plays the role flawlessly, overshadowing all his other performances to date by bringing this multi-faceted characterisation to life.

The only jarring note is his Canadian accent which, given his character’s foreign education, is a handy excuse to ignore easily.

Sajal’s role had a lot of potential and showed growth in the first 20 episodes as the protected young girl became a compassionate woman. However, Aman’s revelations about her father send her scurrying back into her shell and she reverts to wide-eyed ingénue, belying any maturity she might have gained.

Her circular confrontations with Aman seem like fillers, as the repetitive dialogues and petulant silences do not let the story move forward. For the last few episodes the young couple has been in Darya Bagh to disprove Aman’s allegations.

However, apart from tearful accusations, Ana has made little effort to understand him. Any clarification would require her to stop sulking and ask questions, yet she seems to be turning into the typical unthinking prisoner of circumstance trope that is too often written for women in Pakistani dramas.

Just like Aman, she too is damaged. Afraid of enclosed spaces and being judged as abnormal or mentally unstable because of her recurring nightmares. her fragile psyche stubbornly clings to the mirage of a happy family that her father has built around her, subconsciously protecting her from the brutal truth.

Yeh Dil Mera began on a promising note as a romantic thriller, avoiding the usual cliches of household melodramas which haunt most shows on air. While for the most part it has delivered, that missing 20 percent keeps pulling what should have been one of the best dramas of the season.

The show's lack of finesse is noticeable

Unending continuity issues where characters change clothes from one room to the next, missing scenes which make the story line seem abrupt, and repetitive dialogues slow down this otherwise well-plotted story.

Director Ahson Talish has gone on record to say continuity is not his responsibility, and that the serial didn’t get the attention it deserved because both him and the main leads had other projects to finish.

He was busy with Suno Chanda, Ahad Raza Mir with Ehd-e-Wafa and Sajal Aly was completing Alif, leaving Yeh Dil Mera pushed on the back burner.

However, one particularly awkward scene shows Ana's aunt, Farhana looking through what is supposed to be a 20-year-old diary, but is all too obviously a blank notebook. Surely that didn’t require continuity but just some attention to detail?

Yeh Dil Mera began on a promising note as a romantic thriller, avoiding the usual cliches of household melodramas which haunt most shows on air. While for the most part it has delivered, that missing 20 percent keeps pulling what should have been one of the best dramas of the season.

Putting aside his abdication of responsibility towards this project, it is quite clear that he has not taken the time to make up for those lapses at the editing table.

Perhaps producer Momina Duraid should also be asked why she is allowing her brand and HUM TV’s reputation both in and outside of Pakistan, to be tarnished this way?

Despite enjoying the majority of this drama, I am left wondering how much better the serial would have been in the hands of a competent director such as Yasir Nawaz, Ehtashamuddin or Saife Hassan who know how to create and control a gripping narrative from the simplest script.

There are the badly miscast actors in important roles, who stick out like sore thumbs in front of seasoned professionals. Farhana is supposedly a Pakistani settled in America, but her puzzling wardrobe and garish makeup combined with a lack of acting skills, make her scenes hard to watch.

Similarly, Zarnish Khan as Aman’s mother and the actor playing Ubaidullah (Adnan Tariq Qureshi), take some credibility away from the story.

Thankfully this is balanced out by Adnan Siddiqui’s excellent portrayal of controlled menace as Mir Farooq Zaman. Rabia Butt and Mira Sethi take their roles seriously and make a good showing.

Furthermore, even though Paras Masroor doesn’t have much to do as Mir Farooq’s henchman, his talent was refreshing to see.

At least it's different

Despite this neglect, Yeh Dil Mera keeps its audience growing. Maybe because the writer has set out an interesting mystery with a well-planned reveal (which at this point should have been in intense thriller mode).

Where Ahson Talish did take pity on the audience and deign to make his presence felt, the drama made for compelling viewing. Mir and Aly’s recent wedding combined with their natural chemistry and on-screen charm, have also helped spike interest in the show.

While Sajal seems to be taking the back seat in the show, Adnan Siddiqui and Ahad Raza Mir in particular carry all the momentum on their very able shoulders.

Despite the flaws, Yeh Dil Mera is an entertaining watch and refreshing change from the usual line up of weeping women that make up the majority of this season’s drama schedule.

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