HUM TV always delivers with its high-end storytelling tackling important issues in society. The stories are those of empowerment and destigmatizing taboos. With ‘Dobara’ HUM TV sets out to talk about child marriage, widowhood and everything that accompanies it.
‘Dobara’ sees the return of Hadiqa Kiani after she amazed audiences in ‘Raqeeb Se’ with fan-favourite Bilal Abbas as the co-lead. Danish Nawaz from hits like ‘Sun Yaara’ and ‘Ishq Tamasha’ is in the director’s chair and Sarwar Nazeer from ‘Pardes’ and ‘Do Bol’ penning the script.
The episode starts with Mehrunisa, also known as Mehru, played by Hadiqa Kiani, newly widowed at her husband’s funeral. The scene instantly cuts to a flashback showing young Mehru getting ready for her wedding.
The show conveys so much just through a flashback and Hadiqa’s amazing performance. Mehru is not our typical widow. While everyone expects her to be the grieving widow, she sees it as her being free of the shackles. Her merely letting her hair down symbolizes her freedom after all these years.
Noman Ijaz appears briefly in two flashbacks as Mehru’s now-deceased husband Hidayatullah. We see how a very young Mehru was forcefully married off to a man over twice her age. The wedding night scene was simple yet poignant at establishing the unhealthy power dynamic in the relationship.
Hadiqa commands the screen whether it’s a subtle moment or her sobbing uncontrollably. Her performance was the most nuanced of the whole cast.
On the other end of the story, we have Mahir, played by Bilal Abbas, a carefree young man living a messy life struggling between his separated parents and their spouses. Bilal gives a fun carefree performance in the role.
However, he also adds the nuance, helped by the writing, which conveys how his life being a mess can be credited to his parents abandoning him after separation. Mahir’s love interest Mehreen, played by Zoya Nasir, is the perfect foil to Bilal’s carefree persona and the two make an adorable match.
Underwhelming Supporting Cast
While Hadiqa and Bilal as the leads completely own the show, the supporting cast overall couldn’t manage to do much. In the past Sakina Samo has given some great performances; here as Mehru’s sister-in-law she so far disappoints. The performance is too on the nose and does not go well with the subtleties portrayed by Hadiqa.
Nabeel Zuberi and Maheen Saddiqui do a fine job as Mehru’s son-in-law and daughter respectively. Meanwhile rising star Usman Khan gives a lacklustre performance in the scenes that he is given. Hoping to see him improve as his character’s story gets fleshed out more.
This was clearly Mehru’s episode with Mahir’s world also being established perfectly and Hadiqa and Bilal delivered. With the will-reading shown in the next episode as shown in the promo, the story is really about to kick off.
Some remarkable performances albeit some not so great ones and a strong message at the heart of the story, we will definitely be tuning in next week. We cannot wait to see Mehru let herself lose and her path intertwining with Mahir’s.