Mannat Murad right from the word go was designed as a commercial mass entertainer. The initial promos hinted at a run-of-the-mill premise highlighting the typical problems and conflict of egos of a desi household. But what matters is the treatment and how it is presented to the viewers, making the enterprise stand out. Bankrolled by 7th Sky Production well known for fueling their projects with lavish budgets, the drama serial started on a good note but came down crashing with a series of insane situations and abrupt characterisations.
The Helpless Hero
Mannat Murad is a big ticket for Talha Chahour who hasn’t proved himself as a classic performer. In his previous outings, Talha is mostly seen playing the middle-class guy, his first solo project Mannat Murad is no different. He performs well but his character lacks substance big time. He comes across as the helpless guy who is so afraid of her mother that he fails to defend his lady love on various occasions. His chemistry with Iqra is half-baked and lacks fizz. One doesn’t feel invested and route for the two to unite despite the bizarre acts by Raisa Sultana.
Half Hearted Comeback
Iqra Aziz chose a relatively safe and convenient comeback project. Mannat Murad comes across as a cakewalk for her — just walk onto the set, wear lavish apparel, get hair and makeup done, and ready to roll.
On one hand, she comes across as a strong independent woman who reports workplace harassment and puts the culprits to punishment. On the contrary, she feels helpless when Murad doesn’t take a stand for her. She looks like a million bucks, but so far she hasn’t got the opportunity to display her stellar acting chops.
That is not what we expect from an actress who has mesmerised viewers with spell-binding performances in dramas like Ranjha Ranjha Kardi and Suno Chanda. Yes, actors route for both commercial and critical acclaim, but the character has to have some kind of an arch.
Supporting Act Overshadow The Protagonist
Last seen in Kuch Ankahi, Irsa Ghazal shifts gears and showcases her diversity to the fullest. As the loud, Punjabi, dominating mother Raisa Sultana, she out rightly owns the enterprise. She gets maximum screen time and diverts viewers’ attention who are willing to focus on the protagonist.
On several occasions, her act gets a bit OTT, but she fills up the screen with her presence. Undoubtedly Irsa is the hook of Mannat Murad, but can the makers rely on a supporting character for its entire runtime?
The Un-Impressive Sub Plots
Let’s keep the central characters aside and discuss the subplots. Unfortunately, they too are unimpressive. Murad’s elder sister Nudrat (Faiza Gillani) is looking out to cash the Chaudhry label to fool Murad and fetch money to run their household. The mandatory unmarried and aged sister Fazeelat (Minza Waqas) is also there. It’s surprising to see an actor of huge potential Ali Safina being wasted.
Mannat’s sister-in-law Sabiha (Uzma Hassan) is a progressive woman, instead of protecting Mannat, she is supporting her to marry in a greedy family. Some of the sequences were extremely nonsensical and tested our patience big time like the entire rishta sequence in episode 3. The scene where Razia Sultana returns the dowry and demands loads of gold for her family etc. Not for a second do they realize that the two families are poles apart and what will be the future of Manant and Murad?
Will Mannat Murad Bounce Back?
One after the other the drama serial opens a new Pandora’s box for viewers to deal with. The promo of episode 14 laid a new foundation for another façade of haq mehar. Will Mannat Murad manage to sustain on a wafer-thin plot or will it further slide downhill?