Mujhay Jeenay Doh ~ Episode 2 Review

Following an interesting opening, this second episode came as a big disappointment. Gone was the fluid pace, the intelligent framing of issues and the use of metaphors, and in its stead was a stalled narrative and in-your-face story telling.

Reproductive health and pre natal care are among the important issues addressed in Mujhay Jeenay Doh. As Yasmin, Nadia Jamil plays the local health-worker who tries her level best to create awareness among the woman in her village, but patriarchy often comes in her way. Bushra’s recent death is one of those tragedies that could’ve been easily averted had the men in her family paid heed to Yasmin’s warnings. Now, Naseeb misses his wife terribly, but there is little he can do to bring her back. It is in this situation that his father-in-law egged on by Murad, his wastrel of a son, advises Naseeb to re-marry. And that too to his own 8/10 year old daughter, Saira.

This in a nutshell is all that happened in this latest episode. Where the previous episode had made brilliant use of the motif of Saira’s doll’s wedding to frame the central issue of child marriages, today’s installment had more of a sledgehammer like approach. There was way too much dependence on intercut scenes which did nothing to move the story along or add another layer to the text, other than drag out scenes far longer than necessary. Case in point: Naseeb’s conversation with his father-in-law which seemed to go on forever thanks to the insertion of Saira’s scene in between. Also, Naseeb’s reminiscing about his wife also seemed overdone after a point, more so when the same dialogues had been used at least twice already last week.

This week the spotlight was trained squarely on Naseeb’s grief and case being built for his marriage to Saira. Emphasis on this one track meant that all other strands were short shrifted. Yasmeen was kind of around but nothing “new” happened with her. Last episode had introduced us to Shaheena, Yasmin’s pregnant sister who feels compelled to compromise with her abusive husband because of her children. That this couple has financial difficulties was already shown last week and this episode offered more of the same, with Murad continuing to push Mamdu to ask for his wife’s share of her father’s property.

Murad, the man with money on his mind all the time, is not just causing trouble in Mamdu and Shaheena’s marriage, he is also responsible for suggesting the [mis]match between Saira and Naseeb. Given his precarious financial situation and the way his mind works, I am pretty sure he is using this new rishta to ensure the continued flow of funds from Naseeb’s house to his grubby hands. That so many of these child marriages are used to seal unofficial/unsaid/underhanded economic transactions is something I hope will be made explicit in episodes to come.

And speaking of my expectations from this serial, I hope that the team will not indulge in maudlin melodrama to stretch out the story and focus on getting their message across iresponsibly. By definition alone an issue-based drama has to be different than a regular serial with a stereotypical hero and heroine and their romance and milna aur bicharna and their rona dhona. And going by this understanding, this second episode was a disappointment. Hopefully next week’s is a better one.

Did you guys watch the second episode of Mujhay Jeenay Do? Kaisa laga?

Written by SZ~

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10 replies

  1. @SZ. Yes, I too was disappointed. Particularly that opening guddi baaraat was such a great beginning.

    I started watching this for NJ and of course GR (who I loved in ‘Goya’) so will hang on for a few episodes and see how it develops.

    JR

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    • Haina!!! Uff shukar! I thought I was the only one disappointed with this clunky ep. GR was fab in Goya, his breakthrough in a way, but since then the (questionable) success of MannMayal and ensuing stardom seems to have affected his performance. Idk, I am finding him trying to hard, too much “acting” going on here ..
      @RK: I don’t know if you’ve watched this latest ep, but would be interested in reading what you thought, particularly with all that focus on a grieving Naseeb.

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    • Me too!! On an aside, one more issue based serial coming our way – Akhri Station, written by Amna Mufti, directed by Sarmad Khoosat and starring Sanam Saeed, Nimra Bucha and a host of other actors .. this one is sponsored by Kashf Foundation and deals with mental health and other issues related to women..

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  2. So I was actually kind of bored by this episode. It all felt a bit tacked on and predictable, and it was honestly a chore to sit through. Maybe I’ve just had it with issue-based plots? I don’t know, but it didn’t do anything for me.

    I genuinely wanted to like this show for Nadia Jamil’s sake, for Gohar Rasheed’s sake. But neither is really given anything of significance to do, and they’re certainly not stretching as actors.

    Sigh.

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    • @RK: I don’t think the serial being issue-based is a problem its the fact that its unimaginatively done which is the problem. This was just a bad episode, issue-based or not. Hardly an movement, hardly anything. Bored and a chore to watch is exactly right.

      Im gonna try and watch this for a couple more weeks, but then might have it give it a pass …many other better things to watch!

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  3. Very boring and dragged episode.. nothing happened literally.. it’s too early to say but i feel my interest level might go down.. Naseeb ke dukhre per dukh kam ghusa zyada araha tha.. it was so annoying seeing whole episode dedicated to him.. chalo adhi epi bhi theel but yar dont torture like this..

    agreed with JR.. Gohar was too good in Goya and after that i started following his dramas 🙈but here he looks nothing like that.. that raw touch is missing but anway NJ is amazing.. and so are other actors.. tou lets hope next one is better

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    • Rehmat: Haina!! Gohar is good, but not good enough to dedicate an entire ep to his mourning. The new girl Sabeen Syed is pretty enough to look at but she’s no actor. The first ep she was passable but is episode ne saarey pol khol diye and I was reminded of her bad outing in YKS, where btw she is making a re-entry… What a baara masaley ki chaat that serial is .., and if all the other stuff was not enough now shukk ka angle is being introduced…

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  4. @SZ and DRNRs friends,
    Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Humsafar are on Netflix.
    I also found some Pakistani movies. I remember you had told me about Josh and Dukhtar some time ago, SZ, and I loved them.
    Anyways…thought some of you might be interested in good quality, commercial-free viewing.

    Until soon
    JR

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    • @JR: The serial Sadqay Tumhare and films Waar, Ho Mann Jahan, Janaan, Wrong No. are on Netflix as well. Also a whole bunch of PK movies have also been officially released on YT, in HD prints. Check out Dobara Phir Se, Actor -in- Law, Karachi Se Lahore, Lahore Se Agay.

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