As Yeh Dil Mera ended, it was interesting to note the episode was trending both in Pakistan and India

This is in some part due to Farhat Ishtiaq’s profile as a popular writer but even more because both leads: Ahad Raza Mir (but especially) Sajal Aly have an international fan following. So despite the missing scenes, many continuity issues and repetitive sequences that were forced into the show to fill the gaps, Yeh Dil Mera still managed to grab an audience right until the end.

The serial ended with both of the most obvious villains killing themselves. Adnan Siddiqui was fantastic as the smooth, remorseless villain whose only weakness was his daughter but his end seemed hurried and unsatisfying.

His obsessively servile henchman, Ali Baksh also died without saying much, in yet another missed opportunity to use a talent like Paras Masroor.

The ending seemed abrupt and rushed, failing to even mention the murder of Mir Farook’s second wife, Sara. There was not even enough time to allow father and daughter a conversation, no discussion between Ana and Farhana Khala who had just discovered her sister’s body and her callous murder at Mir Farook’s hands.

The plot's execution left a lot to be desired

Much as the optimists and romantics among us wish, not every story can have a happy ending; the psychological trauma that both main protagonists suffered was not something that could be resolved immediately.

The intimate flashbacks of Aman and Ana’s relationship were bitter sweet reminders of the love they could have had but if more time had been spent on scenes of their actual reality, the episode would have been better. Social media and perhaps most of the audience is splitting into “Team Aman” or “Team Ana” but this open ending was the more believable approach.

There is however a part of me that wishes less time had been spent on episodes looking for proof of Agha Jan’s innocence and more on the reveal and maybe a reconciliation might have looked possible in time.

Ana has suffered multiple losses, the resurfacing of the memory of her mother’s murder at her father and Ali Baksh’s hands, Aman’s hellbent pursuit of revenge, Bua Ji’s constant lies and then her father’s death. Yet she doesn’t visit her psychiatrist or a counsellor.

She has been under regular treatment for years so it would have been a reasonable move. Instead she becomes strangely calm after her breakdown and turns her entire wrath on Aman while ignoring Bua Ji’s role in covering up her mother’s murder.

Bua Ji was very much part of Mir Farook Zaman’s little gang and the charade that was Ana’s life till the very end yet she is almost immediately forgiven? Then there is the disappearance of Farhana Khala who cannot find the time to share her shattered niece’s grief and loss.

Aman was wrong to seek revenge especially by using Ana to get to Mir Farook but he was also very much a victim. He lost his entire family and was abused and bullied as a child yet instead of helping each other to heal, Ana turns on him.

It shouldn’t be a surprise; Ana is very young and not a very strong personality, her growth as an adult had long been stunted by her father’s constant coddling and protection. The fact that Aman is still willing to wait and persevere is a testament to his maturity as a character.

They say the majority of success is simply showing up and its obvious from this serial who did and who did not. According to an interview given by director Ahsan Talish, the whole team of Yeh Dil Mera had other projects and were not always available when the others were. The actress playing Bua ji was a professional and turned up regularly to the set so we see her on screen a lot.

The missing scenes, the empty feeling in some episodes are witness to the lack of time and investment not just from the director and producer but also the actors involved. For fans of this drama, the past three or four weeks have been a disappointment.

There was so much potential in this story which rose above the usual stereotypes of competing sisters, divorce, marriage, remarriage, victimised women, second marriage and affairs that make up the majority of the viewing schedule.

It is obvious that the writer put a lot of effort into planning this story out to be a classic Hitchcock like thriller with a wonderful mix of tension, romance and suspicion to end with a bang and a big reveal.

Unfortunately, the missing scenes deflated much of that. While no one can assign blame, as a fan, I feel disrespected and I am sure many in the audience do too. It's an old truism that fame and fortune are fleeting but what does stand the test of time is professionalism and a commitment to get the job done no matter what the circumstances.

This whole situation is symptomatic of Pakistani dramas at the moment. Despite the international reach, Pakistani dramas have achieved, the entertainment industry refuses to take the step up to a more streamlined system with better quality controls and standards of practice.

What worked

If that was the bad and perhaps the ugly, let us also remember the good. What made this serial such a craze was the exceptional chemistry between the two leads and their well-acknowledged abilities to act. Putting the flaws to one side the last 10 or so episodes had us enthralled with Ahad Raza Mir’s performance as he gave life to each layer of Aman’s complicated personality.

The majority of this serial leans on him for its strength but the last two episodes were Sajal Aly’s. Distraught, broken and angry, even if we do not like Ana’s rejection of Aman we can understand what she has been through.

Instead of seeking revenge Aman should have sought justice is a good message but it could have been delivered with a lot more clarity. Both Ana and Aman put their focus on charity work, healing by helping others instead of indulging their anger and frustration.

This is one of the most positive things to come out of this finale but for a show that initially raised awareness about treatment for mental issues, it was disappointing not to see that route taken.

The majority of this show has been a pleasure to watch but the last few episodes have left us lamenting for what could have been.

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