In an industry where 30 plus episodes for a successful serial are becoming the norm, Dil Lagi was one of those few serials that concentrated on quality rather than quantity and still managed to be a commercial success in 25.
For the last two weeks faithful viewers of Dil Lagi have been wondering if Anmol (Mehwish Hayat) and Mohid (Humayun Saeed) would actually make it to a magical, fairytale ending.
However the real magic was in the way that the same audience connected to these characters. Here were two incredibly headstrong, stubborn individuals, who set off sparks with every collision, all the ingredients required for a classic romance of pride and prejudice.
Writer Faiza Ifthikhar gave us a very different heroine to the bholi larkiyan so beloved of Pakistani audiences. Anmol is a strong, sensible young woman, who works and takes care of her family, facing every problem head on. Her hero, Mohid, was also not run-of-the-mill: he was actually impressed with a woman’s strength and self-sufficiency. Rather than being intimidated he admired Anmol’s courage and honesty: when Anmol thinks Mohid has ruined her chances of marrying someone else she decides to turn the tables on him. She forces his hand, making him marry her, so she can make his life so difficult he will divorce her by the time she is done with him. Mohid accepts the challenge with the confidence and determination that he will win her over.
This was a beautifully written family-oriented romance which kept viewers enthralled till the very last episode. Well-defined characters with motivations that were both clear and credible were the cornerstones of this thrill-a-minute plot.
Mehwish Hayat has managed to make her mark with this serial, proving once again she is a powerful actress who cannot be ignored.
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One of Faiza Iftikhar’s strongest suites is the way she depicts family relationships. The female bond is shown without the usual sazish and competition our dramas are notorious for. What differentiates heroines like Anmol, Khirad or Kashaf is the simple proposition that women can love and care for each other even if they disagree, and can refuse to stoop to petty politics or manipulations.
Director Nadeem Baig gave Dil Lagi a certain filmi touch with breathtaking visuals and eloquent cinematography that did away the need for words at times. The picturisations of Sevan Sharif and shots of Mohid on his balcony were worthy of any movie, but it was the way his camera measured the rise and fall of the characters emotions and relationships that really made this serial shine. Dil Lagi’s success lies firmly in Nadeem Baig’s expert hands for understanding the story and visualizing it from start to finish.
The entire cast did justice to the serial
The last episode was a microcosm of the high quality maintained throughout this story, showcasing fabulous performances from Saba Hamid and Mehwish Hayat. The two most important women in any man’s life are his mother and his wife and we see them fighting for Mohid’s life as he lies comatose on a hospital bed. Saba Hamid as Zulekha captured a mother’s torment as she silently watches her son through a glass window, her sad gaze encompassing all of their past. Meanwhile Mehwish Hayat’s Anmol is at the other end of the equation staring into a mirror, like a gateway into some long, empty future without him.
While Saba Hamid is no stranger to excellence, Mehwish Hayat has managed to make her mark with this serial, proving once again she is a powerful actress who cannot be ignored.
Humayun Saeed has also given a strong performance as Mohid endearing him to audiences so much, that people were making memes begging the writer and director not to kill his character off.
Many have mocked Humayun Saeed for being an ‘uncle,’ but Dil Lagi has brought him back into the public’s eye in a way Jawani Phir nahi Ani did not.
Despite Mohid’s strong-arm tactics and stalker-like behavior, Mohid is the quintessential hero; flawed but vulnerable enough for us to empathise with him. On an interesting side note, although Humayun Saeed was known as one of the industry’s most popular romantic heroes, he had lately become familiar as more of producer and gently mocked as an “uncle” figure, but Dil Lagi has brought him back into the public’s eye in a way Jawani Phir nahi Ani did not.
This is a well-planned return to his old image, which will be further cemented in Hum TV’s upcoming Bin Roye, and make the prospects for his upcoming movie Main Punjab Nahi Jaungi even more favorable.
The cast was rounded out by Uzma Hassan, Maryam Ansari and Asma Abbasi who all did justice to their roles. Imran Ashraf in particular made a great impression as Dastagir, Mohid’s ever ready sidekick, providing much of the comic relief. It was particularly moving to see Dastagir fall into a sajda after Mohid gained consciousness. The love and affection between them could never be questioned.
After an emotionally wrenching climax, where Anmol goes back to Sevan Sharif to ask if her prayer of anger and hate was stronger than Mohid’s prayer of love, team Dil Lagi gave its viewers a fun, rather unusual ending. Just as Dil Lagi began with its Dabangg heroine chasing after a purse snatcher it ends with her doing exactly the same thing only this time Mohid is by her side.
The message is clear: love is about accepting a person for who they are, and wanting to be with them despite their rough edges.