“Dulhan” has pulled in viewers week after week with its gripping story revolving around a secret marriage to a man unwilling to admit to it. Starring Sami Khan, Sumbal Iqbal, Faizan Khawaja and Mashal Khan in lead roles, the story has been written by Adeel Razzaq and directed by Adeel Siddiqui. In the last episode, Mekaal finally realized his feelings for Amal and now struggles with what to do with this information.
Amal has finally reached her snapping point and has decided to take the reigns of her life once again. Tired of living in fear, she decides to move forward in whichever way seems logical – which, in her books, is pitting Mekaal (Sami Khan) and Shahmeer (Faizan Khawaja) against each other. Amal meets Mekaal and makes a solid statement regarding how he is continuing to live his life without any consequence while her marriage to Mekaal has affected all aspects of her life and has, essentially, left her bound to him without any dignity. Truer words have never been spoken and it’s great to see Amal remove all shreds of fear to truly give it back to those who have harmed her. It’s here that Mekaal finally confesses to being in love with Amal. Unfortunately, his declaration is followed up with an offer of buying a flat and keeping a separate house for her there – basically, keeping her as his secret wife. This is never something Amal has wanted, so she rejects the offer and leaves, leaving Mekaal disturbed as he has discovered the reason for this care towards Amal – love. This is a difficult scene, because as viewers, we are rooting for Amal and Mekaal for superficial reasons. One, they are the hero and heroine of the show and we would love a happy ending. And second, Sumbal Iqbal and Sami Khan look wonderful together and their chemistry is on fire in this episode. However, the logical part of our minds is clear that this has been a toxic relationship from the get-go, so is it really fair to Amal (or impressionable minds) to root for this duo? Doesn’t Amal deserve better? But that “better” is certainly not Shahmeer.
Meanwhile, Annie (Mashal Khan) rips into Mekaal for meeting Amal, berating him for lying to her once again. This time though, Mekaal has had enough. He fights back, telling Annie that he’s done with her and either her father give him his money or he will divorce her. Annie is left in shock and returns home, ranting about the way Mekaal has treated her. This time though, Annie’s father, who has always supported her, begins to feel that Annie’s obsessive behavior may have gone too far. While the audience is aware that Annie has every reason to be suspicious of Mekaal, his family does not see it that way. Rather, they’re now beginning to see her obsessive, possessive behavior as not only a hindrance to her marriage, but also to their family relations. Her father and mother advise her to make up with Mekaal and maintain her place in the household, something which leaves Annie horribly frustrated and unheard. While Annie may be the “villain” of the show in a way, she’s honestly not the villain. She’s a victim. She is absolutely right in her mistrust of Mekaal and her insecurities are valid. If anything, she is being gaslit, made to feel crazy over something that she has a right to be upset about. Mashal Khan is doing a wonderful job playing this role, despite some of Annie’s more unlikable qualities.
Amal agrees to marry Shahmeer, realizing he has struck a deal with her mother for money. Amal is fed up and simply over the games those around her are playing and decides to take matters into her own hands. She not only stops allowing her mother to boss her around, putting her in her place, but she also begins to dominate Shahmeer, making it clear that she’s not there to listen to his ever word. There’s a powerful dialogue between Amal and Mekaal at the end of the episode where she tells him that her mother has sold her to Shahmeer for money – but what’s new in that? Mekaal had done the same for a car. Mekaal is shocked hearing this and wants nothing more than to comfort Amal and accept her, but neither will she allow it nor can he accept her openly. Amal makes it clear that she never wants to see Mekaal again after this moment, putting an end to their relationship from her end. And yet, is it over for Mekaal? This is the point that has kept viewers on their toes from the beginning of the show until now – does Mekaal love her? Now that we finally have the answer (yes), it’s now Mekaal’s turn to fight for this relationship. But will he give Amal what he wants – respect and dignity – or will he continue trying to keep her as his wife discreetly?
Sumbal Iqbal is the star of this episode.. She carries the entire episode on her shoulders with Amal’s anger boiling over. She has gone from a scared, timid girl to a strong woman willing to face any challenge and this change is welcome! Sumbal nails it with every expression and word. Sami Khan also does a great job as Mekaal finally begins to realize the depth of his feelings and the mess his life is in. Ultimately, is either Mekaal or Shahmeer worthy of Amal? We obviously know Shahmeer isn’t, a man who is willing to marry a woman he already knows is married by buying off her mother – and that too, for less than pure motives. But Mekaal? Is the damage caused by him simply too much? That’s the question. Now we will have to wait for the answer – but one thing is for certain: the pace of “Dulhan” has picked up greatly with episode 23 and the show is now roaring to race to the finish line.