It goes without saying that Nadia Jamil has proven herself to be one of the most versatile actresses of Pakistan. She is quite selective when it comes to the kind of work she does and that is exactly why she doesn’t appear in dramas as often as we would like.
Apart from being an excellent performer, Nadia also happens to be an activist who is quite vocal when it comes to raising her voice about social issues and she is particularly expressive about protecting children.
The Behadd star last appeared in 2017’s Mujhe Jeene Do, and now she is back with Damsa a hard-hitting play based on a hot button topic: Child trafficking. Even though the shoot of the drama commenced last year in November, it went on air last night. The television serial has an almost film-like quality to it and is directed by Najaf Bilgrami and written by Khaani famed Asma Nabeel.
Damsa starts on a rather happy note. Areeja (Nadia Jamil) lives with her husband Musa (Shahood Alvi), their two children, Damsa (Emaan Sheikh) and Rahim (Falak Naeem) and her mother-in-law Rehana (Gul-e-Rana). Musa is a manager at a restaurant while Areeja is a senior nurse.
The drama sheds some notable stereotypes, as it may seem like Rehana is a typical ‘saas’ of our dramas but she does have a soft spot for Areeja. Areeja, on the other hand, is nothing like the typical ‘bahu’ of our dramas and she treats Rehana like her own mother. This is one spirited woman who loves her family to bits!
Towards the end of the episode, their world is turned upside down when it is shown that Damsa is kidnapped by a bunch of goons in a high-roof when she is returning from her school. This happens in front of Areeja and she is an inconsolable emotional wreck for being unable to help her daughter.
Other characters of the drama
We were introduced to a lot of other characters in the drama such as Ayesha Gul as Sophia, the irritable sister of Musa; Talat Hussain as Sohail, the owner of the restaurant Musa works in and Momal Sheikh as the only daughter of Sohail who has just come out of an abusive marriage and is struggling to come to terms with reality.
Khalid Malik and Saleem Mairaj, who are yet to make an appearance, also star in pivotal roles in the drama.
What we thought of it
As far as first episodes go, Damsa’s was quite enthralling. The makers pulled no stops in telling the viewers that this drama is like no other and is not going to be for the faint-hearted. The performances here are spectacular — Nadia Jamil will bowl you over in her comeback role, whereas Shahood Alvi is quite good as well as her husband. Nadia’s histrionics shined especially in the sequence showing her emotional breakdown following Damsa’s kidnapping. However, personally, the scene-stealer for me was Momal Sheikh. Even though she appeared in two scenes only but her grief-stricken act was enough to leave an impact.
The rest of the drama will likely follow the journey of Areeja as she is going to stop at nothing until she gets her daughter back. It will also be interesting to follow the arc of Momal Sheikh’s character as she is likely to interact with Shahood Alvi’s Musa at some point. Will they be ending up in a love triangle?
Another interesting angle is of Shahood’s sister, who is pressing him for a second marriage. Will he give in to the pressure? Most importantly, will Areeja’s struggle and battered emotional state affect her relationship with her husband? Will the emotional strain lead to a break up in the perfect bond she shares with him? How will Musa react to Areeja’s quest to find Damsa? The drama seems to be building a complex web of relationships that we will surely be following!
One thing is for sure: Damsa is a drama serial that will break many stereotypes. The relationships shown here break the usual conventions — and unlike the man in her household, it is Areeja who will likely pursue Damsa. She will not settle at being the udaas aurat. More importantly, unlike the usual television serials, the pacing here is quite fast and the drama ventures into its meaty material head-on right in the first episode. With its hard-hitting dialogues and firebrand performances, this is one serial to watch out for.
Stay tuned to Galaxy Lollywood for the latest on Damsa and a lot more.