“Dobara” has won over audiences with its portrayal of a young man and an older woman in a relationship and, later, getting married. Starring Hadiqa Kiani and Bilal Abbas Khan in lead roles, the show has managed to make viewers laugh and cry with its effective storytelling. Written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Danish Nawaz, “Dobara” has been telling a progressive story, but unfortunately has hit a roadblock of sorts this week.
In episode 19, the highlight of the episode is the bonding between Mehru (Hadiqa Kiani) and Mahir’s father (Shabbir Jan). Shabbir Jan is doing a wonderful job playing this character, a man who has wronged his son, but also understands his son. While Mehru does her best to convince her father-in-law of the sincerity of her relationship with Mahir (Bilal Abbas Khan), his father continues to struggle inwardly with his conscience and wonders what Mahir’s intentions are. His fears are proven correct when he overhears Mahir’s conversation with his friend, discussing his plan to take over Mehru’s business and use her for financial gain. This is the most disappointing part of the show, but we will come back to that later. At this point, it’s Shabbir Jan and Hadiqa Kiani’s moments that shine, particularly in the end when she encourages him to visit her family doctor, setting up the appointment for him herself. She is proving to be the ideal daughter-in-law, though she recognizes she’s not the ideal choice. It’s this connection between the two that has become the highlight of the last two episodes. Ironically, this pure, innocent connection will go on to create trouble for Mahir’s father when his wife hears about it from another source, believing he’s having an affair.
Coming back to Mahir, what’s disappointing about this is the statement it makes regarding an older woman finding romance. The very thing that made this show feel progressive is now pigeon holing it into much of “the same.” When the show began, audiences could foresee Mehru and Mahir compromising to come together – and then later finding love with one another after marriage. Mahir is a complicated guy, but he has always been kind-hearted. To see Mahir marry Mehru for money honestly and Mehru accept Mahir for companionship was acceptable – but to see Mahir literally manipulating Mehru and her children to create his “space” and deceive her just does not sit well. How does one come back from such a ruthless manipulation? Of course, we can recognize Mahir’s circumstances – and so does his father -, but it does not excuse his behavior for a moment. At his point, Affan (Usama Khan) and Minaal (Maheen Siddiqui) are absolutely correct in their opinion of Mahir and Mehru’s marriage. They see Mahir for exactly what he is…..and that’s unfortunate.
Of course, this isn’t writing off the show. “Dobara” has strong content even with a “slower” episode. Still, we have to hold on to hope that Mahir will recognize his mistakes sooner than later, because his lies will not win over Mehru – or the audience – for much longer.