“Dil Ruba,” starring Hania Amir, Mohib Mirza, Marina Khan and many others, is a frustrating show to watch. Directed by Ali Hasan, the show has been written by Qaisra Hayat. As a viewer, what am I supposed to take away from this show? This is my honest question to the writer, director, producer, actors and everyone involved with this drama. Sometimes there are shows that aren’t trying to make a statement, they are simply trying to entertain and cash in on TRPs through depicting misery and those are shows I consider “noise.” This is not that show. There is a message trying to be made here, but after 22 episodes, shouldn’t the viewer understand clearly what that message is? There is either a problem with the writing or a problem with the direction, because there isn’t a single character on this show who is clear in his/her path, beliefs or values. Sabeeh is probably the only character that has remained consistent in his behavior and even Phupo’s anger towards Sanam is justified, but everyone else has simply lost their marbles (if they ever had any to begin with).
In episode 22, Sanam (Hania Amir) is now homeless, penniless and has no one left even for emotional support (as was made horribly clear in the first scene with that “friend” and incredibly untalented actress). Iram speaks to Sanam and tells her to come home immediately after hearing she is now divorced. While it’s nice to see the terrible twosome, Ghazala (Marina Khan) and Iram, being supportive, it’s hard to forget how they have gotten Sanam into mess after mess through their own behavior. Still, despite Arsalan and Sehrish’s ridiculous protests, Sanam finds a place back into the household. Unfortunately, Phupo and Sabeeh (Mohib Mirza) are distraught by baby Ayaan’s condition and take Ayaan away from Sanam.
Meanwhile, Khurram (Syed Jibran) has a rough day when he discovers Saad was trying to rob him and then overhears Natasha and Farhad discussing their plan. Khurram divorces Natasha on the spot and also, fortunately, was not robbed of his life’s earnings thanks to a guardian angel Uncle. This outcome is much nicer than Sanam’s, isn’t it? One could say that both Khurram and Sanam’s “punishments” were well-deserved, but were they really? Sanam’s errors have always been made out of naivety, pressure from her family or loneliness. While that’s not really an “excuse,” Sanam isn’t a villain. Khurram, however, was a villain not only in Sanam’s eyes, but even in his father’s eyes. His behavior was bad enough that his father had to take legal action barring him from complete access to his money. Still, Khurram not only gets “saved” just in time, but he also has condescending words left in him towards Sanam. Khurram is seen lamenting about his bad behavior and the fate of his marriage to Sanam, but when Arsalan arrives, he doesn’t waste a moment in telling Arsalan that Sanam was “characterless.” This statement is rich coming from Khurram.
Arsalan runs home and sets out to murder Sanam with a kitchen knife, but Sabeeh arrives with Ayaan and stops Arsalan. Regardless, a spectacle has been made of Sanam once again and the entire family wastes no time at all in pinning blame on Sanam for her behavior. For the record, is Sanam an innocent? No, she has committed her share of mistakes. But this family is insane – their son was literally charging at their daughter with a knife, intending to murder her and their biggest issue is that Sanam liked someone outside her marriage? That too, a marriage that was visibly abusive and her husband didn’t even live with her. Sanam made mistakes out of loneliness and neglect. What is Arsalan’s excuse for being a raging psychopath? What is Sehrish’s excuse for being a manipulative schemer? What is Ghazala and Iram’s excuse for always putting Sanam in a bad position? That’s right, there isn’t any excuse.
It’s difficult to praise the actors and their skills, considering this show has a number of talented performers – but when the story and characters are so one-dimensional, it’s difficult to see layers or nuances. Coming back to the writing and direction – the message is not clear. Are we supposed to recognize that all these characters are insane or are we, like this episode projects, supposed to just nod and agree with the notion that Sanam has destroyed everything single-handedly and dug her own grave? Will any other character on this show ever sit up and take responsibility for their hand in Sanam’s problems? Will Junaid’s insane ex-fiancee (Sehrish) and mother ever acknowledge their sick mentality? Will Arsalan ever understand the difference between honor and murder/flying rage? There is too much to unpack here and with the way the show is unfolding, everything seems to point to an ending where Sanam will “mend her ways” and potentially find happiness with Sabeeh. The problem is, her “ways” didn’t involve only her, so will every other character also “mend their ways”? This is honestly the only reason viewers like myself are still holding on – to see if this show manages to redeem itself or if it propagates a backward, woman-shaming thought process.