Nigar Johar is a name that commands respect and with “Aik Thi Nigar,” the trials and tribulations of her life are brought to the forefront. In a film running at less than two hours, the audience is introduced to Nigar and taken through her life journey. Starring Mahira Khan in the leading role, Bilal Ashraf, Sohail Sameer and Khushal Khan in prominent roles, the story has been written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Adnan Sarwar.
We are first introduced to a young Nigar, a little girl who is supported and encouraged by her father, sweetly played by Sohail Sameer, to achieve her dreams. It’s always wonderful to see men like this on-screen who push their daughters to be the best and this relationship is made sweeter by the fac that it’s a true story. As Nigar enters medical school in the army, the audience is treated to ten to fifteen minutes of ragging sequences, which are not only difficult to watch, but also raise one’s blood pressure. When will ragging be banned?
Of course, the heart and soul of Nigar Johar’s entire story is her loving, supportive partner, Johar (Bilal Ashraf), and this much is seen through the course of this telefilm. Johar was not one bit the stereotypical husband of the 70s/80s and stood by his young wife’s every decision, dream and desire. He held her hand when she lost her entire family. He put aside his own feelings during her promotion and applauded her success. He remained her support during her hardest moments, always there to offer her a shoulder to rest on. And while this is the story of Nigar Johar, it’s quite obvious that Nigar herself credits much of her life’s success to her husband and his support. Bilal Ashraf breathes life into this character, making him lovable and memorable and proving his mettle as an actor. Mahira Khan and Bilal Ashraf shared sweet chemistry in “Superstar,” but here their chemistry is at an entirely different level.
Of course, this film belongs to Mahira Khan and she proves exactly why she is one of Pakistan’s best actresses. She gives her all to this role and not only brings Nigar to life on-screen, but effectively takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster through all her highs and lows. Mahira Khan shuts down her own critics with her performances every time and this time is no less – she is absolutely brilliant. Special mention must be given to Khushal Khan, who has done a commendable job in the role of Nigar Johar’s brother. Overall, what the audience is left with at the end of this film is a very simple, but meaningful statement: Nigar Johar achieved the status of Lieutenant General despite many personal losses that would have wiped out many emotionally. The sky is the limit and we, as individuals (especially women), should keep our eye on the prize and move forward, come what may.