“Dulhan” has entered an exciting phase in the story over the last few episodes with the “love” quadrangle between Mekaal, Amal, Shahmeer and Annie coming to a head. Starring Sami Khan, Sumbal Iqbal, Faizan Khawaja and Mashal Khan in lead roles, “Dulhan” has been written by Adeel Razzaq and directed by Adeel Siddiqui. In the last episode, we saw Mekaal break up Shahmeer and Amal’s nikkah, finally declaring Amal as his wife. But what effect will this have on his marriage to Annie and his family life?
In episode 25, still holed up with Mekaal (Sami Khan), Amal (Sumbal Iqbal) continues to try to find a way out – though is she really? Despite all of Amal’s declarations of wanting to leave, she seems hesitant to actually walk out the door. Still, when Mekaal puts his heart in front of her and declares that he wants to leave his life and wife for her, Amal tells him not to do it for her sake, as she is no longer interested in remaining married to him. This is a beautifully heartbreaking moment as up until now, Amal has been practically begging Mekaal to accept her as his wife – and now that he wants to, it’s simply too late for Amal. Too much emotional damage has been done. However, Mekaal’s words ring true regarding Amal’s safety when she calls home and discovers Naushaba has run away with her boyfriend, taking Shahmeer’s money with her – and Shahmeer is now on the hunt for both Mekaal and Amal with a gun. It may be apologist in a way, but it is great to see Mekaal finally stepping up and giving her the protection she’s always needed, even in her home life. Sami Khan and Sumbal Iqbal’s chemistry is crackling and the two look so nice together, it’s difficult to not want to see Mekaal and Amal end up together. One can only hope they are signed for another show together soon.
Unfortunately, one character is beginning to look particularly ugly and that’s Annie (Mashal Khan). Continuing to blame Amal for all her problems, she is now pitting her brother and husband against one another, hoping for revenge through her brother. Annie has always been a slightly unstable character, but Mekaal’s gaslighting of the situation always managed to evoke sympathy for her, at least in small amounts. Given, Annie has been completely lacking in self-respect, refusing to walk away when she’s well-aware her marriage is failing and she’s not wanted. But still, many women remain in loveless marriages, so this didn’t particularly paint her in a bad light – until now. At this point, Annie has become a full-blown villain. She does not have any value for the human life or the rights of a woman – other than herself. She’s a genuinely selfish, self-absorbed character now set on getting revenge, at whatever cost. It’s a shame that Annie couldn’t have been written as a support for Amal, rather than a stereotypical villain.
However, a positive shift is occurring and this comes in the form of the adults and their reactions to the behavior of their children. On one end, Shahmeer’s parents (Sheheryar Zaidi and Annie Zaidi) are shocked, wondering what kind of monsters they have raised within this family, two men fighting over a woman like a possession and their son willing to take Mekaal’s life for it. This is a rare moment where the adults of the family are finally behaving like adults and understanding the severity of the situation. The shift has finally occurred with the men now in the line of fire, blame being placed on their shoulders.
However, the real high point of the episode is the final scene when Mekaal arrives back home to check in on his mother, Kusum (Shaheen Khan) and when she continues to blame Amal for being characterless, Mekaal confesses his crimes. Hearing the truth from her own son’s mouth, Kusum is left horrified not only at her misunderstanding of the situation, but also that she could have raised a son to be this deceptive. She screams in disbelief that her son could disrespect a woman in such a way, using her as a pawn in a bet, destroying her life for a car. Shaheen Khan performs well here, depicting the anguish any (logical) parent would feel when discovering a severe character flaw in their own offspring. For his part, Sami Khan is great, as always, as Mekaal. It’s been a battle of emotions not only within Mekaal, but also for the audience in understanding Mekaal. Now that Mekaal has realized the error of his ways, he also realizes he’s beyond redemption after being turned down by Amal, the woman he loves. He makes an ominous statement, saying he’s ready to give his life for Amal to rectify things. Does this allude to his death? Judging by the promo, Shahmeer and Mekaal will fight with one man getting shot. Will Mekaal die trying to save Amal? Or will this step be the move that will push Amal and Mekaal together? It’s not clear how “Dulhan” will end. Will it make a strong statement against characters like Mekaal and Shahmeer or will there be redemption in Mekaal’s future? Regardless of how the show ends, what is clear is that we are nearing the wind-up phase of the show – and if the last 3-4 episodes are anything to go by, the show is set to end on a high note.