“Dil Na Umeed Tou Nahin” may not be receiving the kind of promotion shows airing on Hum TV, Geo o ARY would be receiving, but this show has managed to pull in viewers and how. This drama has fast become a “word of mouth” show, one that has been earning praise from episode 1 alone. The show has been written by Amna Mufi, directed by Kashif Nisar and stars Yumna Zaidi, Wahaj Ali, Noman Ejaz, Samiya Mumtaz, Yasra Rizvi and Noor Ul Hassan in lead roles. What’s wonderful about this story is that it moves between past and present effortlessly and in a way that is not confusing to viewers at all. Often, flashback sequences can confuse viewers, especially when dealing with the past and present constantly moving back and forth, but the way this has been written/directed/edited has made it an enjoyable (if that’s the word one would use for this story) experience.
Episode 3 moves between past and present, showing the lives of young Sumbal and young Jamshed. Sumbal (Yumna Zaidi) is seen as struggling with her existence. She’s having an existential crisis of sorts, the “star” in the crop of girls – but is this the sort of life any girl would want? While many have made peace with their reality, Sumbal is unable to wrap her head around it. She’s simply going through the motions. Savera (Yasra Rizvi) is her greatest support, a woman who has been with “Auntie” since childhood and has seen girls come and go. This is her reality, but she wants better for Sumbal – and yet, she knows that she must make peace with her life, otherwise she will lose her life. Sumbal also appears to have support in the doctor (a love interest of Savera’s?), a man who works for Auntie, but also seems to understand what these women go through. Zulfi (Omair Rana) is a ray of light in this bleak scenario, a man who appears to have a conscience and a soft spot for both Sumbal and Savera. But it’s complicated, isn’t it? Zulfi is inherently part of this “system,” a friend of Madam’s – his Auntie – and also someone who helps her. So is Zulfi really the hero Sumbal is searching for? The chemistry between Omair Rana and Yumna Zaidi is wonderful, intense and really makes the audience sit up and pay attention during their scenes together.
Young Sumbal and Little Jamshed are seen spending time together as friends, Sumbal serving as a bit of sunshine in Jamshed’s life. The innocence with which the two interact with each other and care for each other is really sweet and it will be wonderful to see that come out in later episodes as adults. Jamshed continues to be bullied and abused by his stepmother, particularly after she catches him trying to run away and stealing money. On the other end, Sumbal’s family struggles as her sister Sadia’s marriage rests on their ability to provide a dowry – which they cannot afford. At the end of the episode, when Sumbal and Zulfi are leaving the animal shelter, Wahaj Ali makes his first appearance – and it’s not hard to understand which role he is playing. It’s wonderful to see grown up Jamshed. Looking at the sideways gaze and smile he throws at Sumbal, is he aware that Sumbal is his childhood friend? We will have to wait and watch.
The story with Savera Nadeem and her daughters is the one that’s difficult to place at this point. Which role is this little girl playing? It’s an interesting story, this man with daughters constantly listening to the words of outside men, men who put restrictions on girls simply because they are girls. And what is this secret Noor Ul Hassan’s character is hiding? Savera Nadeem’s character is seen telling the girls to avoid touching his locked closet. What secrets are hidden in there? One can already connect the dots and recognize that this man may be a hypocrite, enforcing rules on his daughters because of guilty secrets in his own soul.
There aren’t enough words to praise “Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahin.” As a show, this is brilliant direction, editing, writing and acting. This is high praise for a show that still has its training wheels on and is in the story-developing phase of episodes, but the flow and socially impactful story has viewers hooked. This cannot be recommended enough.