Once again, Dil Na Umeed To Nahin will rip your guts out and throw it on the platter and make you look at it. This is how gutting and heartwrenching this recent episode was. Amna Mufti juxtaposed the evil and the failure of society in upper as well as lower class when there are nefarious interests involved: on one hand there is Allah Rakhi at the verge of being sold by her unassuming but financially downtrodden father and on the other hand there is Sumbul, who watches her friend’s corpse arrive because a lunatic tortured her to death. The big houses and the fancy clothes can’t take away from the fact that when women are used as collateral in a business such as this, the reality is ugly, ugly, ugly.
The best thing Dil Na Umeed To Nahi does is that it strips away all the beauty, glamour and fetishization of the flesh trade business that has been whitewashed far too much by the industry (a large chunk of this blame goes to Bollywood that has shown gorgeous romances set in the backdrop of women who were in this ugly business).
Another myth that Dil Na Umeed To Nahi busts is that every mother will be kind and loving and will always take care of their offspring. Mothers, when they are evil and psychopathic, throw their children to the wolves in many more ways than one. When they are abusive and unable to give love to their children, they automatically make their children more vulnerable than they already are.
Kashif Nisar builds the tension in every scene in his classic style where he allows the story and the actors to speak and guide the flow instead of inundating them with a soundtrack or peripheral idiocies. Amna Mufti’s authentic dialogue just guts and rips through the illusions we may have for rural life and for the flesh trade business.
Yumna Zaidi will make you cry. What a phenomenal, unbelievably talented girl who will make your heart constrict in sadness as she moves from the mundane to the tragic. Yumna is as flawless as she is graceful & acutely conscious of the role she is in. She dives into it, falls into it, becomes it. Simply loved her in this episode and wanted to reach through the screen and give her one tight hug.
Yasra Rizvi as Savera is the painfully realistic friend. She helps calm Savera down and her pragmatism also helps you realize just how bad things are for women in these conditions. Yasra is flawless as always. She always manages to grip the screen, whether it’s Jugnoo from Churails, Saira from Dunk or Savera from DNUTN. Naveed Shehzad, Adnan Shah Tipu, Nadia Afghan, Samiya Mumtaz and Noor ul Hasan Rizvi all are phenomenal as well.
Dil Na Umeed To Nahi is a drama you cannot and must not miss. It is a drama you should push yourself to watch especially when it wants to throw you out of this little cocoon of complacency you’ve built around yourself where you think all of these girls in this business are somehow ‘better’ off than perhaps if they were in any other industry. Or if you thought all of them dance on their balconies in beautiful tawdry finery and sing songs of their beloved. There is no beloved. There is only chaos and pain and a cacophony of evil and manipulative individuals who only see these poor women as commodities.
The concept of consent or free will is an idea that just does not exist in these situations. It is about time we stopped fetishizing this or justifying this business in popular culture, academics or otherwise.