“Dobara” continues to be a fan favorite with its unique storyline, talented cast and fresh presentation. Starring Bilal Abbas Khan and Hadiqa Kiani in lead roles, the supporting cast includes Sakina Samo, Usama Khan, Nabeel Zuberi, Shabbir Jan, Angeline Malik, Javed Sheikh and others. Written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Danish Nawaz, “Dobara” is about a second chance at love – for both the young Mahir and older Mehrunissa, two individuals who find solace in each other.
In episode 17, Affan (Usama Khan) and Sehar arrive back home after their honeymoon to discover the truth about Mahir (Bilal Abbas Khan) and Mehru’s (Hadiqa Kiani) marriage. In a fit of rage, Affan lashes out at everyone in the family before finally turning a gun on Mahir. Mahir convinces him that shooting him will not do any good in the long run, so Affan turns the gun on himself – and in the scuffle, shoots Mahir. There is some strong acting from both Bilal Abbas Khan and Hadiqa Kiani in this episode, particularly Hadiqa who is proving to be a natural actress each time she appears on screen, especially in emotional scenes. Bilal Abbas Khan is great as Mahir stands up for himself and tries his best to deal with a hostile situation head-on.
The star of this episode is Shabbir Jan. It’s interesting how these smaller character roles are managing to stand out in “Dobara,” first with Javed Sheikh as Ibtisam and now Shabbir Jan as Mahir’s father. With an actor like Shabbir Jan in a quality show, one can depend on him to commit to his role and give a strong performance. But his role as Mahir’s father has been a different character for him. A divorced man who has remarried, but is still deeply attached to his first wife emotionally and unable to let go of the baggage from his first marriage, he has been a terrible father to Mahir. His second wife looks like the “enemy” from the outside, but if one looks at the situation from her perspective, she must have endured a lot during the course of this marriage, always trying to live up to the woman who broke her husband’s heart. And, to make matters worse, Mahir’s father is a coward, unable to defend himself or protect his son, which means he isn’t a terrible person and he does love Mahir, but Mahir has not received the sort of love and affection from him that would have molded him into a “better” person. It’s heart wrenching to see Mahir’s father battle internally with meeting Mehru for the first time – and even accepting her as his daughter-in-law at the end – while also trying to digest the scenario that took place which landed Mahir in critical condition in the hospital. Shabbir Jan wins our hearts as this frail father who is trying to appear strong for the sake of his child while battling his own health complications.
Meanwhile, Zamin (Nabeel Zuberi) is the perfect example of an “asteen ka saanmp” (raising a snake). He has been given love and respect from Minal’s family, being treated like an ideal son-in-law and he holds that stature within the family as well. Unfortunately, he is a horribly crooked individual who appears pious and religious on the outside, but is truly rotten inside. Zamin feeds the police with information regarding the assault on Mahir while also praying for Mahir’s death and Affan’s arrest, which would clear the way for him to take over the entire family business. Zamin is a character who appeared very likable and progressive in the first two episodes, but as the show moves forward, we see how his mind works and how ugly his true persona is. Nabeel Zuberi is doing justice to his role.
This is not to say that this episode doesn’t have its share of flaws. The slow-motion scenes and flashes to each character’s face is the stuff Star Plus dramas are made of. Also, is it possible for Affan to simply hang around at the house and discuss his “escape” with his family when a man has been shot and he is the prime suspect? Suspects are taken into custody for questioning at the least, as well as being told to stay in their home so the police can make contact – what is this situation with Affan having full control over where he would like to stay? Overall, the story is moving in an interesting direction and we do have to wonder how Mahir and Mehru will handle this event after Mahir regains consciousness.