After quite some time, Hum TV presented a grand television show with the sort of cast every director/producer would dream of. Aangan, on paper, should have been 2019’s answer to Dastaan. In theory, Aangan was set to be the blockbuster hit of the year and possibly etching itself a place in Pakistani Drama history. Written by Mustafa Afridi, who also wrote the brilliant Sang-E-Mar-Mar, and directed by Mohammed Ehtashamuddin, who previously directed Sadqay Tumhare, Aangan checked all the right boxes. Add to that, the brilliant novel by the same name written by Khadija Mastoor and Aangan had the recipe for success.
Unfortunately, changes in the story, deviations from major plot points and inconsistency with episode pacing left viewers upset and frustrated. Several Twitter users wrote in to discuss their opinions on the show.
Discussing her expectations and how they panned out, Twitter user @abeerayy_19 writes:
Initially, everyone was very pumped up for Aangan owing to the power couple of Ahad and Sajal and a huge star cast. The channel had over hyped it and did another damage by not putting it on Youtube. The storyline was very confusing, one minute a character would act different and the other minute it would be different. Aaliyah and Jameel were very confusing characters. The execution of the drama was not up to the mark, the slow motion shots were weird. Chammi and Jameel’s characters were played to perfection. Jameel’s confusion and Chammi’s change was shown brilliantly. The story was okay, but the direction messed it up. In conclusion, it didn’t work as a whole for most of the audience.
Discussing the impact of the performances, @smoldevilll writes:
Expectations were a major killer. Shows should not be hyped up pre-release and how I wished that the good scenes weren’t already leaked in promos. Anyhow, storytelling was unfortunately weak however performances (Sajal, Ahad, Uzma, Ahsan, and a few of the supporting cast too) helped save the show to a certain extent only. Direction was brilliant at times and not so impressive at other times. Aangan doesn’t leave a lasting impact, however to those who didn’t watch it, they missed out on Sajal’s performance: Sheer brilliance, the best she’s delivered so far.
@SunoMili, a fan of the novel, discussed her overall feelings towards the show:
Aangan didn’t live up to my expectations at all. The story dragged and characters were ruined with a lot of focus being on things that were not part of the original story. I continued to watch because Sajal Ali was absolutely amazing as Chammi and made the show worth watching. She is the only one that brought any life to this otherwise dead show, followed by Ahad Raza Mir as Jameel. Even though Ahad was brilliant as Jameel, I felt they completely ruined his character but he did his best.
And finally, @sahadsafar felt that despite giving great performances, Sajal and Ahad were not given a quality love story.
I honestly expected Aangan to be a great period show, packed with a happening storyline that connects all the plots together and offers strong characters. To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement. As a Sajal and Ahad fan, I’m happy with their performances. Chammi is objectively the best character from the show, but Jameel’s characterization is weak. Coming to Sahad, the intent of capitalizing off the pairing is very clear, but gone wrong. It didn’t offer much to them as a pairing.
It’s hard to separate the on-screen couple from off-screen in terms of appreciating the pairing and chemistry when one knows how problematic the on-screen pairing is. It doesn’t sit right with me at all and really holds me back from enjoying their chemistry. So I had loads of expectations and in the end I came out with loads of disappointments.
Ultimately, Aangan came out as a mixed bag. While the show could not be outwardly hated and offered a grand viewing experience, the opinion of the audience overall is that the screenplay faltered. Characters were confusing, their intentions and thoughts were not made clear. While the side-plots were strong and followed the novel well, the main characters of Jameel, Chammi and Aaliyah were written poorly – rather, it should be said that their characters were altered in a way that presented all 3 characters in a poor, weaker light. What should have been a show of strength, power and progressiveness turned into something else entirely.