“Dobara” is one of a few Pakistani dramas currently earning rave reviews from all corners. Starring Hadiqa Kiani, Bilal Abbas Khan, Sakina Samo, Shabbir Jan, Angeline Malik, Maheen Siddiqui, Nabeel Zuberi, Usama Khan and others, the story has been written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Danish Nawaz. Telling the story of how a widow rediscovers herself and, in the process, rediscovers life and love, “Dobara” has been winning over Pakistani drama audiences.
After Affan’s (Usama Khan) reaction to Mehru (Hadiqa Kiani) and Mahir’s (Bilal Abbas Khan) friendship, one felt the upcoming few episodes would fall into a heartbreaking, tragic mode with both Mehru and Mahir lonely once again. And sure, they absolutely are seen missing one another’s company. But fortunately, the character of Ibtisam, played by Javed Sheikh, makes his entry at just the right time and manages to lighten the proceedings. Phupo’s (Sakina Samo) intends on using Ibtisam, her younger brother-in-law, to trap Mehrunissa and not only marry her, but also get control of the business. Unfortunately for Phupo, Ibtisam is not the perfect pawn for her plan, as he is as different from Mehru as one could imagine. His attempts to impress Mehru fall entirely flat, but succeed at making viewers laugh. Javed Sheikh is a natural in this role and it’s refreshing to see him in a light-hearted role with a comedic touch after a long time. Hadiqa Kiani’s reactions, as Mehru, to Ibtisam’s behavior only makes the exchange more enjoyable. And while Phupo does her best to bring Affan on board as well, Affan, Minal (Maheen Siddiqui) and Zamin (Nabeel Zuberi) are all anxiously awaiting Ibtisam’s departure, as they cannot tolerate him.
Meanwhile, Mahir is at an all-time low, left without a job once again and abandoned by his family. It’s heartbreaking to watch Mahir’s happiness at being called by his parents (Shabbir Jan and Angeline Malik) only to realize they want to meet him for their own gain, their own reputations and their concern for how Mahir’s relationship with Mehru will affect their lives and their other children. Mahir is a character that may have flaws, but he is thoroughly lovable and has been etched out in such a way that the audience can empathize with him completely. He is a young man who has been neglected his entire life, enver being given the love he craved – and even now, all he wants if one kind word, one expression of love from his parents. Unfortunately, neither are able to understand their son and his needs and, once again, the two disown him – particularly after he declares that he will marry Mehru, adding oil to the fire of their imaginations. Mahir, of course, does not actually have any plans to marry Mehru, but says this to upset his parents further. But how long will it take for this idea to actually set in? And when Mahir does decide to pursue this idea, will it be for the right reasons or will Mehru get hurt in a scheme?
“Dobara” is entirely a Bilal Abbas Khan and Hadiqa Kiani show. These two stars steal the show each week with their brilliant performances- Hadiqa as a widow finally discovering freedom and happiness, Bilal as Mahir, a neglected young man trying to figure out what happiness is. But they certainly have company this week in Sakina Samo, who wins viewers over as Phupo, an unintentionally hilarious character. Phupo is a reality, she is society and her reactions reflect those of society – and she is authentically played by Sakina Samo. Adding to that, Javed Sheikh, as earlier mentioned, is a joy to watch as Ibtisam, a character who is technically a “troublemaker,” but is too humorous for the audience to mind. “Dobara” continues to wow its audience each week and if it can maintain this strong storytelling throughout its run, this will be a classic of our times.