“Dobara” is being praised by Pakistani drama viewers for its talented cast, along with its unique subject, which sets it apart from the rest. Starring Bilal Abbas Khan, Hadiqa Kiani, Javed Sheikh, Nauman Ejaz, Sakina Samo, Usama Khan, Nabeel Zuberi, Zoya Nasir, Sabeena Syed and others, the story has been written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Danish Nawaz. In the first two episodes, viewers are introduced to Mehru, a newly widowed woman with grown children, and Mahir, a troubled young man with a complicated family background.
In episode 3, we can see Mehru’s (Hadiqa Kiani) greatest “villain” in her life is her sister-in-law (Sakina Samo). Phupo has her sights on Hidaayat’s (Nauman Ejaz) company and finances, hoping to lay claim to a large share of the wealth. Unfortunately for her, Mehru is her greatest threat, as Hidaayat has put everything in her name. Mehru will not allow her to manage the company, choosing to give the upper hand to Zameer (Nabeel Zuberi), her son-in-law. So it now seems as though Phupo is doing her best to label Mehru as unstable at every turn, despite the fact that Mehru is more opinionated and clear-minded than she has been in years.
Mehru may have been under Hidaayat’s thumb, but underneath, she has always been a confident, independent-minded woman – as she was as a young girl. Post Hidaayat’s death, Mehru has simply stepped back into her old shoes and back into her old mindset, happily playing soccer with young children, shopping, eating ice cream. And what’s most important to note is that she does not allow anyone to boss her around or put her down. She has been through enough of that with Hidaayat and she is now taking ownership of her life. Her relationship with her daughter, Minal, is the most beautiful relationship. Minal also admired her parents, but there’s a happiness on her face when she sees her mother happy, complimenting her clothes, taking her shopping, eating ice cream, just these simple mother-daughter moments make the audience love Minal. But will she remain this way as Mehru begins to dig further into her wants and desires? Or will Phupo brainwash her against Mehru the same way she is slowly doing with Affan (Usama Khan)?
We also see Mahir (Bilal Abbas Khan) under pressure to find a job and encourage his parents to visit Narmeen’s (Zoya Nasir) home to formally propose. Mahir’s outspoken nature is one of the many reasons he’s unable to get a job, but adding to his troubles is the fact that his divorced parents would both need to come to his aid. It’s genuinely tragic to see how little faith Mahir has in his own parents, asking them for this favor in a way a distant relative may ask for one – and it’s not without reason. It’s visible in the way Mahir’s stepfather (and stepmother) treats him that he has spent most of his childhood and adult life being mistreated and neglected. Still, it’s a happy moment for him when both parents agree to visit Narmeen’s home. But with Mahir’s sights set on his stepmother’s gold bracelet, will his thieving ways ruin this happiness?
The performances in “Dobara” are simply the icing on the cake of an already intriguing, well-written show. Hadiqa Kiani as Mehru is a natural, slipping into the role of a widowed woman ready to shed her past and move forward in life with ease. It’s hard to believe this is only Hadiqa’s second role and as viewers, we can all wonder why she waited so long to act – while also recognizing that roles of interest may not have been on the horizon until now. Regardless, she is a welcome addition to the (acting) industry. Of course, Bilal Abbas Khan is a gem of an actor, always reliable and always giving his best to the role he has been given. However, with Mahir, there’s a certain depth that is unlike any of his other roles. Mahir is outwardly a “problem child,” a young man who lies, appears to be lazy and steals. However, there’s so much more to him due to his life experiences and really, all he wants is love and attention. This isn’t an easy role to play, but Bilal Abbas Khan lends Mahir a vulnerability that wouldn’t be easy for an unaccomplished actor.
“Dobara” is simply a masterpiece at present, though it’s too early to assess how the show will shape up in later episodes. Still, based on the first three episodes, this is a must-watch. Things are only going to get more exciting with Mahir and Mehru meeting in episode 4!