“Aik Thi Laila” is a new Pakistani drama directed by Yasir Hussain. The treatment of “Aik Thi Laila” is more along the lines of a mini-series than a television drama and the drama only has five episodes total. Starring Iqra Aziz, Faysal Qureshi, Hassan Ahmed, Saad Khan, Nayyar Aijaz, Gul E Rana, Saad Khan and others, the story has been written by Faiza Iftikhar. After the first episode, is “AIk Thi Laila” worth watching? Does it meet expectations? While the first episode takes a slow start, the answer is yes!
Episode one opens with the police, headed by Yasir Hussain, conducting an inquiry as to a missing girl’s whereabouts. While speaking to her parents, played effectively and comically by Nayyar Aijaz and Gul E Rana, they begin to learn a bit about the area’s “Laila.” We encounter the first suspect in a Pukhtun played by Saad Khan. He arrives in the city to earn for his own marriage – but falls for Laila’s flirtatious ways and winds up in a relationship with her. While questioning this character, the police are lead to suspect number two – Laila’s ex-fiancé, her cousin.
What’s beautiful about the presentation is that while “Laila” is essentially the main character, we do not see a glimpse of Iqra Aziz until we hear Laila’s story from Majnu number one’s (played by Saad, character name is unclear) eyes. Their love story is told through the beautiful song “Pyaar Ho Gaya,” which has oddly been cut out of the YouTube version of the show (but can be viewed on YouTube separately). Saad Khan is such a natural actor and the earnestness with which he plays this simple, innocent Pukhtun character is quite endearing – and feels like a genuine portrayal rather than a caricature. His chemistry with Iqra Aziz is surprisingly very sweet and they share great chemistry working with one another.
At this juncture, a lot isn’t known about Laila or her disappearance, but with the entry of Majnu number 2, her cousin, the police view appears to shift from “missing girl” to “girl who has run away with a boy.” Laila’s character has now come into question and it’ll be interesting to see how the story will play out from here on – especially with two more candidates for Majnu in the pipeline. Iqra Aziz is beautiful in this natural, down-to-earth look and is visually coming across as every bit the flirtatious town sweetheart she is portraying. While the story has only just begun to take off with episode one, it’s a great set-up for what’s coming and definitely leaves the audience wanting more. This one is a winner so far.