ARY Digital’s new venture and Big Bang Entertainment’s production, Mayi Ri presents a compelling narrative for the masses with a social commentary on child marriage, gender inequality, lack of women’s agency, and the importance of education in empowering individuals and fostering progress.
Having garnered more than 4 million views on its first episode in 24 hours of the release, Mayi Ri is off to a promising start.
Here is what we have to say about the first two episodes.
Mayi Ri: A drama for the masses?
Directed by Meesam Naqvi and conceptualized by Sana Fahad, Mayi Ri’s first episode delved deep into the introduction of all the characters. The drama follows the story of a joint family comprising of a mother, two brothers and their families.
The first episode did not dedicate enough screen time for the introduction of the lead characters and rather focused on the family dynamics and politics surrounding them.
Perhaps, our only recollection of the central characters from the first episode was that Annie (Aina Asif) and Fakhir (Samar Abbas) are cousins living in the same household. Annie reflects a classic 15-year-old teenager whose entire life is centred around family, her studies and recreation with her cousins. Fakhir is also portrayed to be an obedient and a kind son. However, in the drama it is indicated that he likes a girl, which might be a plot explored in the future episodes.
It is worth mentioning that the director and writer did a good job in exploring a healthy dynamic shared by Annie and Fakhir and their interactions with each other as we see them playing together and indulging in banter.
The art of dividing screen time:
Did the audience get what they were hoping to see in Mayi Ri? Well, according to the numbers and the YouTube reviews the majority of the audience are all praises for the drama. They thoroughly enjoyed the unveiling of the narrative and the family politics that followed.
The drama opened with the character of Nauman Ijaz having a heart attack and ended with the introduction of the second wife of Annie’s father. As addressed above, the first episode dedicated very limited screen time to the main characters. While we understand that the development of plot is necessary to introduce the main narrative i.e., child marriage, the audience also needs to see more of the characters and their characteristics.
We hope that Mayi Ri makers explore the social issue they are aiming to raise awareness about rather than dedicating the drama to family politics. While exploring family dynamics gives views and attract the masses, who are watching the drama, we feel it is imperative for the makers to draw a clear distinction between the social element and the rest of the plot so that the drama’s message is not diluted in an attempt to win the views game.
Mayi Ri’s attempt to initiate a dialogue on child marriage and beyond:
Mayi Ri’s concept which aims to weave a compelling narrative to initiate a dialogue on the cultural and societal norms that perpetuate child marriage seems promising. We applaud the entire team who decided to take on this challenge to bring forward a story that is relevant in our nation.
The teasers and the OST make our heart bleed by seeing what is to unwrap in the drama in the upcoming episode. The makers have not shied away from exploring the topic in depth and depicting a harsh reality that prevails in our society. Our only hope is that the drama is able to surpass our expectations and deliver this subject sensitively.
We appreciate the makers for doing an age-appropriate casting, where the characters, especially the central characters, look their age.
It was exciting to see Nauman Ijaz as part of the cast and we hope he plays an integral role in unveiling of the plot. The lead pair, played by Aina Asif and Samar Abbas also did a decent job although we need to wait for more episodes to see how they essay their roles.
The audience was pleased to see Aina Asif gracing the screen as the main character. The young star has shown great potential, especially with her memorable role in the drama Hum Tum.
Mayi Ri features a star-studded cast including Nauman Ijaz, Aina Asif, Samar Abbas, Haniya Ahmed, Maria Wasti, Saad Zameer Faridi, Sajida Syed, Paras Masroor, Amna Malik, Diya Mughal, Usman Mazhar, Faham Usman, Sameena Nazir, and Bisma Babar. Notably, Maya Khan and Hiba Ali Khan will be making their much-anticipated comebacks with this drama.
We hope that the makers do justice with the concept they want to portray and we get a gripping and engaging drama that balances between highlighting social issue and the entertainment aspect that the viewers anticipate to see in a drama.