In Diyar-e-Dil, male relationships finally get their due
Six episodes down and Diyar-e-Dil is not losing any momentum. The story, deeply-rooted in family ties captures the rift between father and son beautifully, that despite the anger and bitterness neither can forget how much they love each other.
The bond between two brothers is also portrayed as being unbreakable in both older and younger generations.
Some strong performances from its talented cast under director Haseeb Hassan’s adept guidance amalgamated with writer Farhat Ishtiaq's well-planned script make it a compelling watch.
The story so far:
Behroze Khan (Mikaal Zulfiqar), spoiled son of the incredibly wealthy Bakhtiyar Khan (Abid Ali) shocks his family by breaking off a childhood engagement to his cousin Arjumand (Hareem Farooq) so he can marry Roohina Roohi, a girl he met in college.
Against their wishes, Arjumand and Behroze’s younger brother Suhaib are then blackmailed into marriage by Bakhtiyar Khan to protect so-called family honour but in reality as a tribute to the elderly patriarch’s powerful ego.
Review: 'Diyar-e-Dil' opens with a bang and is a visual treat
Although Behroze and Roohi try to make peace with their families they are disowned and cast out, till Roohi’s brother Tajamul (Behroze Sabzwari) sees the pain and misery his sister suffers after losing her first child and allows them back into his life.
Most of these episodes have highlighted the differences between a marriage based on mutual respect and love as opposed to marriage forced on two people by society. Roohi and Behroze enjoy every moment together even in poverty and alienation while Arjumand and Suhaib live in silent misery despite basking in familial approval.
The younger couple presents a perfect image of obedience and compliance in public but can barely stand to look at each other in private. However later on Arjumand and Suhaib put aside their resentment and disgust at being forced into this situation, at the birth of their son, Wali Suhaib Khan, because they want him to live in a happy, normal family.
However, while Suhaib in particular is a sensitive person who feels deeply about the rift, Behroze comes to understand the damage caused much more slowly.
Stellar performances continue to impress
Abid Ali has always been a marvellous actor to watch but here he is magnificent as a benevolent tyrant who loves his sons deeply but demands their complete obedience.
Sanam Saeed often plays strong characters which demand the viewer’s attention but she proves her versatility by portraying this softer, more vulnerable Roohi with a lighter touch and Mikaal Zulfiqar is every inch the romantic hero and caring husband in this part of the story.
However, the real surprise of this serial has been the amazing on screen chemistry and quite frankly “star presence” of Ali Rehman Khan and Hareem Farooq, as Suhaib and Arjumand.
They manage to impress in each episode: Ali Rehman Khan uses with a controlled, passivity that only emphasizes the depth of Sohaib’s suppressed emotions and Hareem Farooq, allows Arjumand to rage and express how much she detests having to become intimate with someone she once viewed as her brother-in-law.
So far there are very few flaws worthy of being accounted for except for an overdose of background music from Durr-e-Shehwar (HUM TV) and some of that drama's special effects, which distract from Diyar-e-Dil’s own original story.
It also does retain a slightly filmi touch and some of the supposedly romantic scenes fall a little flat which leads to another intriguing argument about what makes for good screen chemistry? Is it the actors involved or is it how the director and DOP visualize and shoot a scene?
Script and direction:
The writer Farhat Ishtiaq has given us a much more nuanced story compared to her previous Mata-e-Jaan (HUM TV) and blockbuster Humsafar (HUM TV).
Each character's perspective is aired, allowing the audience to judge how pride, arrogance and anger can ruin lives even when intentions are for the best. Sohaib and Arjumand’s relationship has been refreshingly shown as awkward and difficult.
In many dramas we are shown protagonists, especially women who adapt with unnatural ease to each change of fortune. Director Haseeb Hassan has done a fabulous job of weaving this inter-generational story together combining beautiful cinematography and a fast paced, well-edited narrative to make a highly entertaining serial thus far.