Hum TV’s Monday night offering is “Dulhan,” a thriller drama of sorts, telling an interesting story of a woman caught between two men in an unusual sort of love triangle. “Dulhan” stars Sami Khan, Sumbal Iqbal, Faizan Khawaja and Mashal Khan in lead roles. The show has been written by Adeel Razzaq and directed by Adeel Siddiqui. Married to Mekaal, who does not acknowledge the marriage, and pursued relentlessly by Shahmeer, Amal is a woman who struggles to live her day to day life while trying to avoid these men and the haunting memory of her past mistakes.
Amal’s family situation continues to spiral as her sister makes one bad decision after another. After being blackmailed, she agrees to meet a boy, but realizes at the last moment that she’s being duped, returning home. Still, her mother (Nida Mumtaz) thrashes her once she arrives. If this seems to be (temporarily) working in anyone’s favor, it’s that Amal’s mother has temporarily changed her behavior towards Amal, treating her more as a confidant than an enemy. How long will this last? That’s not clear, but it won’t last for long. Amal, feeling the burden of family responsibility, has also realized she cannot cower in fear and so, when Shahmeer (Faizan Khawaja) appears in front of her again, threatening her, she finally stands up for herself. Not only is Shahmeer surprised, but so are viewers to see such a strong, confident Amal once again, no longer willing to take any nonsense from this man. Sumbal Iqbal is a star in this scene and she makes a strong impact. It also has to be said that Faizan Khawaja plays the creepy, stalker-type Shahmeer with just the right amount of intensity to make the audience – and Amal – feel uncomfortable.
Mekaal continues to spend time with Annie (Mashal Khan) to make things up to her, to make his family happy and to, essentially, keep his family business. But in his present state, concerned over his lack of feelings for Annie and what seems to be remorse for his past actions, Mekaal is unable to pacify Annie and make the kind of promises she wants to hear. While all she wants to hear is that he loves her, Mekaal tells her that he is “ready” to marry her and keep her happy. Mekaal’s feelings are as complex as his character. On one end, it seems he’s plagued by guilt over what he did to Amal – but where did this guilt come from? Is it more than guilt? Is it possible that, subconsciously, Mekaal fell in love with Amal while spending time with her? But if so, why didn’t he show any emotion or reaction after leaving Amal with Shahmeer after the wedding? Regardless, his emotions are now slowly trickling out, leaving both his mother enraged and Annie and her family distraught.
Later, after being chided by his mother, Mekaal attempts to fix things with Annie, inviting her for lunch and professing his love – while imagining Amal in her place. It’s strange how the show is trying to white-wash Mekaal for a crime he was an equal partner in – if not worse, because he actually married a woman and then abandoned her, leaving her at the mercy of another (evil intentioned man). Still, it’s becoming clear that he has strong feelings for Annie and is beginning to realize that himself.
Things are really going to pick up in the next episode when Mekaal, under some strange pretense, manages to get Amal in his house, living under one roof. But how or why this happens is unclear. Does Shahmeer begin pestering her at her place of work again? Regardless, it will be an interesting twist if it can be pulled off in a believable way. Sami Khan’s performance in this episode is fabulous. If there’s one thing Sami Khan does well (which he does everything well), it’s play complex romantic roles – and that’s exactly what the character of Mekaal provides for him as an actor. One hopes the show is written intelligently moving forward and the upcoming scenarios are believable. “Dulhan” is a show with a strong story, great actors and an interesting pace – one hopes it can keep it up!