For years, Pakistani drama viewers have been crying and wishing for light-hearted, comedy dramas to air periodically throughout the year rather than being fed 3 comedy series only during Ramadan. While the Ramadan format is great for the time with daily comedy being provided, is there a ban on laughing throughout the rest of the year? Fortunately, it seems our prayers have been answered with Saima Akram Chaudhry and Danish Nawaz coming together again with “Kaala Doriya,” arriving with its ensemble cast and light-hearted story. Starring Osman Khalid Butt and Sana Javed in lead roles, the drama also stars Farhan Ali Agha, Zainab Qayyum, Sohail Sameer, Nadia Afgan, Samina Ahmed, Khalid Anam, Ali Safina and others.
The story revolves around two sons (Sohail Sameer and Farhan Ali Agha) who live across the street from one another and have been at war for the past five years. Their anger has fueled their children as well, Asfand (Osman Khalid Butt) and Mahnoor (Sana Javed) mortal enemies. And while these families continue to perpetuate this animosity, it’s Asfand’s Bhabi – who is also Mahnoor’s sister – who is suffering the most, caught in between in her family and in-law’s fight. The parents of the two men are also left split, living separately, and suffering. It’s necessary to mention here that the casting is atrocious with Khalid Anam and Samina Ahmed playing the grandparents while Nadia Afgan can be seen referring to Khalid Anam, who cannot be more than 10 years her elder, as “Abba Ji.” Is there a dearth of elder actors who could have been cast in this role? Khalid Anam is a joy to watch as always, but this feels miscast.
Right away, a statement must be made that “Kaala Doriya” feels all too familiar with an all too familiar lead cast, essentially feeling like “Suno Chanda,” “Chupke Chupke” and “Hum Tum” have all been rolled together to create “Kaala Doriya.” Not only are many of the faces repeated, but even dialogues have been repeated as though there’s a “must include” checklist (“Jaisa muun waisi chapair” seeming to be at the top). The repetition is not particularly enjoyable. The “feel” of the show is also slightly over the top with the situation coming across as too extreme. Mahnoor and Asfand are simply too badtameez, with Asfand refusing to greet his grandfather and Mahnoor insulting her elder sister over a situation that took place between adults. At the end of the entire episode, the takeaway is “what did the parents do to deserve this?” A fight erupted between two sons, they forced their parents to live separately and do not even allow them to speak on the phone? What in the name of comedic “Baghban” is this? Personally, the narrative does not come across as humorous at this point, rather it feels unnecessarily cruel. However, it’s great that there’s a (hopefully) light-hearted show on air at present and it will be something to look forward to having a weekly dose of comedy. Hopefully the episodes moving forward will be more creative and less repetitive.