“Daraar” is nothing short of a hit Pakistani drama, raking in over one million views within hours of the episode’s upload on YouTube. Starring Syed Jibran, Momal Sheikh, Amar Khan, Behroze Sabzwari and Shaheen Khan, the story has been written by Misbah Nosheen and directed by Shehrazade Sheikh. “Daraar” hasn’t necessarily been a masterpiece or a show worthy of constant praise, but “Daraar” has been a thoroughly entertaining watch and despite its melodramatic story, it has been slowly sneaking in meaningful moments, strong performances and messaging.
In episode 36, Sajjal’s (Momal Sheikh) truth is out and Hamid (Behroze Sabzwari) and Naushaba (Shaheen Khan) are now aware of Sajjal’s affair with Shaheer (Syed Jibran). This scene truly shows how Sajjal is destroying her own life, her reputation and her dignity with her choices. Her parents are thoroughly disgusted with her, Naushaba’s blind love for her daughter finally crashing. Behroze Sabzwari’s performance in this scene is brilliant as the horror Hamid feels as the reality of the situation dawns on him and is projected on Behroze’s face. Hamid has a heart attack, which ultimately leads to his death. Of course, this leaves Sajjal disowned and thrown out of the family.
While the heart attack is an expected cliché that leaves us frustrated every time, there are a few things that shine with this storytelling. First, Naushaba has shed her “Evil Chachi” demeanor much earlier than expected, her sense of logic and humanity prevailing much before her daughter’s downward spiral began. Naushaba is now Irha’s (Amar Khan) rock and protector. Second, Irha is a strong female character. She has been through a lot, but not once did she sit idle and allow herself to be run over like a victim. She is standing up for herself and distancing herself from a toxic marriage and the betrayal of her cousin.
Third, Sajjal is not a black character. Throughout, we’ve seen how Shaheer has manipulated the situation to work in his favor, luring Sajjal in. Sajjal is now blind in his love and believes Shaheer’s love will shield her from the world. She is selfish – but she isn’t entirely emotionless. This isn’t a narcissist, this is just a selfish young girl who has been manipulated. Sajjal now feels deep loss, realizing her character is being perceived poorly and, to make matters worse, she has lost her father and her family. This will be a hard lesson for Sajjal when Shaheer does, eventually, abandon her. Amar Khan and Syed Jibran’s performances are, as always, the highlight of the show, but Behroze Sabzwari and Shaheen Khan deserve a special mention this week as well. “Daraar” is one of those shows that the audience eagerly anticipates each week – and fortunately hasn’t (yet) entered the senseless dragging phase…..and hopefully refrains from doing so.