With Meesha Shafi and Umair Jaswal in pivotal roles, complemented by a stellar ensemble cast, Mor Mahal is set in the subcontinent and curiously merges fact with fiction. The series is anopulent, high budgetproduction that boasts of grandeur, desire and a
curiously inviting world. Meticulous detail has been given to this production with a specific focuson design elements.
Merging ideas that date back to eons ago and drawing influence and inspiration from the Mughal period as well as Greek, Egyptian and Turkish civilizations, Mor Mahal is a magnum opus that will challenge stereotypical television while entertaining viewers with palace intrigue.
There is FarrukhZaad (played byMeesha Shafi whoreturns to television after over half a decade), the Nawab’s possessive first wife, femme fatale and mother to his only son. A symbol of beauty, seduction and glamour, her constant power play against Sarwat forms the crux of Mor Mahal.
Television in Pakistan is rarely unpredictable. If you’re not hooked to the news or cricket, it’s television serials that draw attention. And yet, television often plays home to a slew of drama serials that promote regressive ideas. In between worthy contenders are shows that pretend to be realistic but really are just detached from reality.
Though this feat won’t change overnight, the birth of Geo TV’s Mor Mahal will, hopefully, take the conversation to a different, slightly progressive dimension as well as satisfy our desire of a fantastical dream world that is engaging, entertaining and ultimately mysterious.
Traditional narratives will take a backseat this year as Mor Mahal gears up for release in the third week of March. Conceptualized by Imran Aslam almost 11 years ago, written by Sarmad Sehbai, directed by Sarmad Khoosat and produced for GEO TV by Baber Javed, Mor Mahal certainly commands attention.
At the heart of this story lies the character of Nawab Asif Jahan (essayed by Umair Jaswal), the ruler of the fictional state of Jahaan Abad whose life is as intricate as a web and revolves around the lives of the powerful women who reside in his harem and inhabit his universe.
Mor Mahal is inhabited by eunuchs, chambermaids, lady guards, soldiers, courtesans, singers, dancers, sages, healers, fortune tellers, animals, oracles and ghosts.
Behind the majestic surface lies a world where jealousy, longing, murder and desire for power is nurtured. The women of the harem are aided and fortified by a throng of kaneezes and eunuchs as they collude through diabolical means to manipulate the Raj.
Embodying matriarchal power is Sarwat Jehan who is the domineering queen and mother of the Nawab.
- With an all-star castthat includes Umair Jaswal, Meesha Shafi, Hina Bayat, Sania Saeed, Ali Saleem and many more, the show is, according to its director Sarmad Khoosat, “a story of fiercely resilient, powerful women” and is an epic fantasy journey like no other.