Dillagi Episode 20
The story so far:
Dillagi revolves around two very stubborn and determined individuals, Mohid (Humayoon Saeed) and Anmol (Mehwish Hayat). Mohid is a well to do business man and property dealer who falls in love with Anmol because he admires her honesty and courage. Anmol however is not at all interested in marrying a man whom she sees as a controlling, criminal type forcing his way into her life. When Anmol’s fiancé Farid does not turn up for their wedding she decides to take revenge by marrying Mohid just to see if she can teach him a lesson , while Mohid believes that the power of his love will eventually melt Anmol’s heart. While planning her husband’s downfall she unwittingly makes friends with his sister Sabiha, who is also a victim of her mother’s stubbornness and overweening pride. For the most part Mohid is a “real man”, who resists most of the weak traits favored by typical “drama husbands” by not only trusting his wife but supporting her in every way but in the end it seems he too can only stretch so far. Confronted with what looks like evidence of his reluctant wife’s infidelity, he asks her to explain why she was at a hospital visiting a Gynecologist. Anmol is so incensed by his question that she refuses to defend herself or plead her innocence.
Twenty episodes ago Dillagi introduced audiences to one of the most intriguing female protagonists in years. In a sea of two dimensional bholi larkiyan and suffering saints, Anmol from Dillagi was a breath of fresh air. From the moment she forced the hero to say “Qabool hai”, she was happily plotting her own divorce with a cool, determination that irritated audiences from London to Lahore. Comments sections about this drama were full of shocked viewers declaring her character overbearing and unbelievable, but on the flipside there were those for whom she was a guilty pleasure, a quiet revenge for all the humiliations every on screen “good” girl has had to put up with before the hero or sasural “understood” her worth. Each time she ignored her mother in law, Zulekha’s ( Saba Hamid) little digs at her tarbeeyat or upbringing, each time she refused to be emotionally black mailed by her own family, but most of all; each time she refused to be disarmed by the massive charm offensive put on by her husband Mohid, it was a small victory.
By episode 20 though, Anmol the stereotype slayer, finally surrendered to the simmering attraction for the husband she had had been fighting for so long, only to be slapped back into the role of victim. In a desperate attempt to keep Anmol from revealing the source of their disagreement to full public scrutiny, Mohid strikes his hysterical wife into silence. With a strong writer like Faiza Iftikhar, a skilled director like Nadeem Baig and a star cast including Humayoon Saeed, Mehwish Hayat and Saba Hamid, it’s no surprise that Dillagi is one of the best dramas on air. However, despite some great performances, great production values and even better camera work, Dillagi did not make its mark on the ratings game till recently. Though the slap didn’t put Dillagi on the map, it did give a large section of the commenting public a lot of gleeful satisfaction. In a previous interview Iftikhar declared that no one would like Anmol’s character because she would be so unyielding and assertive, and it seems as if her prediction came true. We reached out to Writer Faiza Iftikhar and asked her why she included such a scene, and she explained:
“I’m not promoting violence.. Not at all.. But kisi bhi cheez ko ghalat batanay k leye pehlay wo ghalat cheez dikhani parti hai.. I don’t believe in preaching in dramas. If I want to give any message it’s always in between the lines. In the next episode you will get to know why Mohid slapped her. And Zulakha’s reaction will be a must watch . I wish every mother has the guts to be like this.. Agar maa apnay betay ko aorat ki izzat karna sikhaye gi aor bataye gi k ghaerat aor mardangi ka asal matlab kya hota hai to koi problem hi nahi rahay gi “ Top of Form
Although Anmol has been at odds with her husband Mohid, she has actually been a prime mover in helping his sister Sabiha get back to her estranged husband; she even stopped her mother in law from getting rid of Sabiha’s baby. None of this was out of love or respect for Mohid or anyone else, but because it was the right thing to do. Similarly she wants to help Farid, her ex fiancé get away because she feels Mohid is victimizing him due to her past connection with him. In each case her motivation is about principle rather than feelings, yet none of these values endeared her to audiences the way her sudden loss of face has. Is it a case of “taming the shrew”? Do audiences enjoy seeing outspoken women being humbled? Dramas such as the recent Abro and even Dayar E Dil showed women being humbled before audiences found them sympathetic. Dillagi subtly raises some very interesting questions about domestic violence and family dynamics. ? Why do families find excuses for their sons but not their son in laws? Most importantly of all does the violence end with one slap? Should a woman or for that matter man give their partner a second chance or is that a mistake, opening the door to years of abuse? One of the pivotal plot points of this drama has been the way Mohid’s mother Zulekha
Director Nadeem Baig has used the amazing onscreen chemistry between Mehwish Hayat and Humayoon Saeed to great effect, making their interactions the highlight of each episode. It’s always strange to call an actress of Saba Hamid’s caliber a “supporting” so we won’t, her character is definitely one of the leading lights and as always she is outstanding as a controlling but ultimately fair individual. Imran Ashraf provides great comic relief and fuels a lot of the misunderstandings that keep the lovers apart. Uzma Hassan and Mehwish Hayat also work well together and provide a welcome, more positive picture of the usually antagonistic Nand /Bhabi relationship.
This review also appears here in Dawn Images
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