“Dobara” continues to make waves as a progressive, well-written show with strong performances. Focusing on a widow and her attempts to move on with life after a stifling marriage, “Dobara” stars Hadiqa Kiani and Bilal Abbas Khan in lead roles. Directed by Danish Nawaz and written by Sarwat Nazir, this Pakistani drama has been winning the audience over with its shaded characters who are neither black nor white, each with their own backstory and reasons for their behavior.
With Affan’s (Usama Khan) wedding to Sehar (Sabeena Syed) taking place this week, the drama has already begun in the house. Post-marriage, Affan is dancing to Sehar’s tunes as she convinces him to take a long, extended honeymoon and informs Phupo (Sakina Samo) and Ibtisam (Javed Sheikh) that they should be gone once they get back. This is telling of Sehar’s influence on Affan, as he has always been so close to Phupo, and how she will utilize that power towards wreaking havoc on Mehrunissa’s (Hadiqa Kiani) life.
Once again, it’s Ibtisam (Javed Sheikh) who emerges hero in this episode. It’s funny how Mehrunissa and Mahir (Bilal Abbas Khan) are the leads of the show – and both doing a fabulous job – and yet, the side-characters are also so well-written that they manage to steal the viewer’s heart. In this case, it’s Ibtisam who is the voice of reason, a man who doesn’t care about societal norms and what the world thinks. After being robbed at gunpoint and winding up in the hospital, ironically saved by Mahir, he overhears a conversation between Mehru and Mahir. It’s then that he realizes the importance of love and encourages Mehru to follow her heart. Ibtisam isn’t just any suitor for Mehru, rather he has proven himself to be a true friend. It’s Ibtisam who meets Mahir and then arranges Mehru and Mahir’s wedding, serving as their witness. Javed Sheikh has been absolutely wonderful as Ibtisam and we can only hope this isn’t the last we see of this genuine, kind-hearted character.
With Zamin (Nabeel Zuberi) already staunchly against Mahir and Mahir now hearing from other co-workers about Zameen’s nefarious deeds with Mehru’s business, it’s clear that Mahir will be a thorn in Zamin’s side….an instant enemy. And one has to pause and wonder – is this why Mehru has been in such a rush to marry? If there’s any complaint, it’s that Mehru’s desperation and rush to get married has not been well-explained at all. While Mahir’s desire to marry her makes more sense as he’s lonely, struggling to make ends meet and cut off from family, what are her reasons? Is it that she senses Zamin is utilizing her business for his own personal gain? Does she seek to keep her finances and business out of the hands of her children, knowing their partners are greedy? Yes, sure, she is lonely, but this can’t be enough of a reason to jump into a marriage without putting much thought into it. Some more emphasis on her reasoning would have been nice, however it’s possible that her thoughts are purposely withheld from us for a reason. As always, Hadiqa Kiani and Bilal Abbas Khan shine in each and every scene they are in, along with Sakina Samo. These characters are making a profound impact. It’s also wonderful watching Maheen Siddiqui as the ever-so-supportive Minal, the daughter Mehru really deserves. Episode 13 of “Dobara” is an action-packed, eventful episode with a lot going for it, continuing its run as a must-watch Pakistani drama.