A Delicious Biryani, Distracted By Unnecessary Condiments

Dobara, starring Bilal Abbas Khan and Hadiqa Kiani, concluded last night. The Danish Nawaz directorial was off to a good start. It had its high points and flaws, and like every other drama, was overstretched to 30 plus episodes. However, the finale, with a sweet conclusion, garnished with some intense moments between the leads, brought back viewers who may have lost interest midway.

Dobara: A Quick Round-Up

Mahir redevelops feelings for his ex-girlfriend, Narmeen, and decides to marry her. His mother, played by Angeline Malik, somehow encourages him in this decision. Mehru is aware of this development, but surprisingly doesn’t make an effort to stop him. Being a kind soul, Mehru gets the charitable hospital project initiated. She even visits Mahir’s ailing mother and assures her that her son will be visiting her regularly. In a highly dramatic end, Mahir realizes his mistakes and apologizes to Mehru.

The Uppers

Viewers expect the moon when a project is helmed by Danish Nawaz. With Dobara, he scores some major points. Firstly, he must be applauded for picking up a storyline that is far more diverse than he run-of-the-mill fares we’ve been subjected to regularly. After all, Dobara served dramatic moments and confrontations regularly that stay with you even when an episode concludes. Moreover, he deserves brownie points for investing his faith in singer-turned-actress Hadiqa Kiani, who was yet to prove herself as a classic performer.

The Downers

Dobara is yet another enterprise that became a victim of the drag fest. Once Mehru married Mahir, the writer (Sarwat Nazir) seemed to have no clue about where to head the story. This resulted in a lethargic pacing of Dobara. There were portions where one feels the writing should have been coherent.

After months of building a narrative that normalizes the stigma around the idea of the older woman – young man relationship, what was the point of plugging an eleventh-hour twist of Mahir getting attracted to Narmeen? Especially when viewers are fully invested and rooting for a happy end for Mehru and Mahir?

Class Acts

Bilal Abbas Khan proves his supremacy yet again. He conveys a lot through his expressions in his initial scenes with Zoya Nasir and later with Hadiqa Kiani. His last confrontation with Hadiqa is a testament to his acting prowess, indicating him as one of the best performers we have today. Hadiqa Kiani continues to surprise. First Raqeeb Se and now Dobara; she emotes with conviction, showing remarkable growth.

Zoya Nasir packs a punch. Sakina Samo is impactful. Usama Khan needs to work on his craft. Nabeel Zuberi is strictly okay. Veterans Naumaan Ijaz and Shabbir Jaan are first rate. Also, the OST crooned by Shuja Haider and Sehar Gul Khan sounds pleasant to the ears.

Dobara: Verdict

Dobara entertains, but in parts. We’ve seen more impactful work by Nawaz earlier. The drama would have been a clean hit, had the writing and pacing been more precise. In a nutshell, Dobara was like enjoying a plate of delicious biryani, but the condiments in it interrupted the joy to quite an extent.

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