Hum TV’s latest offering is “Dulhan,” starring Sumbul Iqbal, Sami Khan, Faizan Khawaja and Mashal Khan in the lead roles. The show has been directed by Adeel Razzaq, directed by Adeel Siddiqui and has been produced by Momina Duraid productions. Sami Khan generally tends to have a good track record with the shows he signs, which makes this a show to look forward to, but does “Dulhan” offer a story that is new or are we looking at the same regressive storylines we’ve grown accustomed to? Let’s discuss the first episode.
Amal (Sumbul Iqbal) lives with her father, stepmother (played by Mohammad Ahmed and Nida Mumtaz respectively) and two half-sisters. While her stepmother seems loving initially, it becomes evident throughout the course of the first episode that this woman will always put her own daughters first. Meanwhile, she butters up Amal to keep working in order to keep her own pockets full, going so far as to discourage Amal from pursuing her education, stating that her school hours cut back on her possible working hours. Amal is the ever dutiful daughter, but the wool is pulled from her eyes when her father declares his acquaintances are coming to propose for Amal – and her stepmother maneuvers that proposal down to her own daughter instead, stating Amal wants to work and study anyway. As much as I would like to say that this situation is unrealistic, it would be equivalent to pulling the wool over my own eyes. When a household becomes dependent on an income, whether it belongs to a daughter, son or parent, it becomes difficult to manage without that income. And in this situation, Amal is a stepchild in a household where the mother she sees as her own does not put her first and essentially sees her as a “cash cow.”
Amal meets Mikaal (Sami Khan), a man who is her “admirer.” He is less of an admirer and more of a stalker. It’s unclear whether Mikaal is supposed to be romantic with his gestures, but his behavior is questionable – following Amal, sitting with her, drawing her portrait, following her to her workplace and randomly telling her about his ex-girlfriend’s betrayal. Whether his behavior figures into the show later on or not, the character seems like one that is not an entirely positive one. And yet, with Amal’s terrible stepmother and even worse stepsister, the viewer finds themselves hoping Amal finds a solid enough proposal to leave that house as soon as possible. Unfortunately at the end of the episode, Mikaal’s proposal is rejected by Amal’s stepmother, but her father encourages Amal to get married and leave this family behind.
Sumbul Iqbal is a beautiful actress and does tend to sign roles that are different. However, in this episode she is very unexpressive, keeping a confused, almost deadpan expression throughout. One can only hope that improves through the course of the show and doesn’t continue throughout the show (as we saw with Ramsha Khan in Thora Sa Haq). It’s easy to sympathize with Amal and hope for her to have a positive future, because she seems to be a kind-hearted, good girl without being a doormat. She is hardworking, holding down a job and studying at the same time to better her own future. It will be interesting to see how Sami Khan and Faizan Khawaja come into her life and how her world is affected because of it. It’s not quite clear where the story is headed at this point, but Mikaal seems persistent to marry Amal in the promo for the next episode, so we will have to wait and watch. So far, while “Dulhan” isn’t off to a riveting start, it’s captivating enough to bring viewers back for another episode.