“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triump die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
As the drama Deewana ended it reminded me of these lines from Shakespeare’s magnum opus “Romeo and Juliet”. Now to a number of people this drama may appear childish and immature to run on television, but again a drama is created to take our minds to another world where one can find characters evolving, growing up in the eyes of the audience. Deewana was a fairytale since the beginning, a fairytale which dared to be different from the rest of the dramas that are currently on air. Why I choose to write about it was because it evoked my inner love for theater, art and drama which I had unfortunately compromised with given storylines we have today on screen. Deewana dared to be different, unique in its own way. It’s a cliché love story, but the execution of such idea especially in the Pakistani/Muslim culture is absolutely worth appraisal.
To give a brief overview Deewana was a story of a supernatural entity falling in love with a mere human. The story revolves around both of them, how they become friends and how they fall in love despite odds. Deewana is inspired by an Irish novel “If you could see me now” by Cecelia Ahern. The story of Deewana is just a touch of inspiration from the novel. Few of the episodes of the drama were reviewed by Miss Zahra Mirza, who is of course the best when it comes to reviewing dramas.
Though this concept sounds very different, it is the execution that matters. The best thing about this play was that how the writers managed to play around with the concept of Jinn and not going too overboard. They managed to create a fairytale, the concept of jinn is not alien in our society at least; after all whatever bad happens we blame jinn doing it. This story gives you a view point of jinn and his people and what they think about humans. Though it was all fiction, the writer did manage to play everything safe and not going too overboard with this concept.
Now audience who adhered to screen just for the sake of Deewana like me, were expecting a nice ending but here the writers reminded us that no Romeo ever united with Juliet which was also unique for such a story. Though Falak (Jinn) left everything for Mehru, yet they couldn’t unite, maybe because they were never made out of the same element i.e. earth and fire. Even when Falak sacrificed his own being and transformed himself just for Mehru, fate had something else restored for him. For me, the ending of this drama was perfect according to the theme. But as I mentioned this playground was new for the writers, plot holes did exist in Deewana, for better or worse these could be ignored as the drama has already concluded.
For a drama to excel, story, acting and direction play a very important role. I must say Shehroz Sabzwari stole the show in Deewana, he was very convincing as a jinn trying to fit in. Every actor did a commendable job in this drama even Mehru’s father who uttered just a few sentences in the whole 42 episodes. What the drama did lack however, was a good makeup artist, as I said it was a new field to play with the fantasy characters, where we had evil entities and spiritual, I just wished that the makeup artists would have brought their creative side to the audience by using their imagination in terms of makeup. The animation could’ve been better yet I am hopeful. The story was slow paced that I understand, maybe, was for the sake of TRPs extended it up to 42 episodes which was torturous by the way.
Being a fan of soaps and seasons of Hollywood I always wished we could play with our imaginations a bit more, Deewana actually made my wish a reality. It’s one of the first steps (also important to mention Sanam Saeed’s drama adapted from “The God of small things” by Arundhati Roy) and very good one. This drama was different from the rest of the lot because it took us away into the fairytale land which we all dreamt about in our childhood; it dared to bring a theatrical presence to it. Even at times it was not successful yet it tried. At least someone is bringing about a change in dramas from the same old monotonous topics of divorce, infidelity, two sisters crushing over the same guy, guy marrying twice for the sake of child, a very small misunderstanding stretched over for 20-22 weeks! Anyhow I applaud the team of Deewana for daring to be different and standing out; not playing in the safety comfort zone. This maybe an under-rated drama but it did had an element of Shakespearean tragedy to it.
P.S: I am a huge fan of classic literature, so if I make comparisons that offend you I primitively apologize.
Maria Sana Mufti