Review Pakistani

Dhoop Ki Deewar review: Moving show with bold anti-war message

Release Date: 25 Jun 2021

Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

Written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Haseeb Hasan, the 18-episode Zee5 show features real-life couple Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir.

Sara Sher Ali (Sajal Aly) and Vishal Malhotra (Ahad Raza Mir), based in Pakistan and India, respectively, have lost their fathers in the same encounter at the India-Pakistan border in Jammu & Kashmir. But guess what? They not only become the best of friends but also start falling in love.

Initially, Sara and Vishal start off as enemies with both giving fiery interviews to the media against each other when they lose their fathers. They also indulge in a major battle on social media, fuelled by the television news channels in India and Pakistan.

However, once they start talking to each other online, they slowly realize that losing a family member in a war can be devastating for any family in any country. Slowly, their respective families, too, become friendly with each other.

Zee5’s Zindagi original Dhoop Ki Deewar depicts friendship between two of the unlikeliest families and pulls it off successfully. Generally, war films made in India or Pakistan show the other side as total villains. But Dhoop Ki Deewar takes a neutral stand. The show delivers an anti-war message without belittling soldiers from either side. In fact, it shows deep sympathy for the jawans and their families and makes them appear human instead of Indians or Pakistanis.

After the initial rush of events, Dhoop Ki Deewar does slow down for a few episodes. But it regains momentum once the friendship between Sara and Vishal begins to develop. By this time, you are also sucked into the narrative with its realistic conversations, be it with anyone, without scope for melodrama even during surprising twists. The use of hand-held cameras and limiting of the background score also adds to the realism.

The show boasts of several heartwarming moments when the mothers and grandmothers of Sara and Vishal speak to one another.

Just when you start thinking you can tell how the show will end, it goes on to a different, and surprising, level in the last few episodes. The incidents and dialogues in this phase are moving while the climax has the potential to melt even hard hearts.

The final result is achieved also because of the performances. Sajal Aly lives and breathes the character of Sara, often using only her eyes or expressions to convey her feelings. Ahad Raza Mir is believable as an Indian youngster. He shows vulnerability as well as inner strength.

Manzar Sehbai, Samina Ahmed and Savera Abbas, as members of Sara’s family, and Zaib Rehman and Samia Mumtaz, from Vishal’s family, also leave no scope for complaints.

Dhoop Ki Deewar also has a theme song, ‘Judaaiyan Kyun’, written by Bilal Saeed and sung by him and Meher Tahir, that elevates the narrative, especially during the final episodes.

It would have been a challenge for the makers to show one half of the story based in an Indian household in Amritsar since the entire cast is Pakistani. Yet, they make Vishal’s family believable.

In some places, however, the research falters. Vishal’s family members are always shown uttering words like ‘mereko’, ‘tereko’ and ‘tu’, the kind of lingo used widely in places like Mumbai. In northern India, speakers are generally more correct and use ‘mujhe’ and ‘tujhe’. Many also address those younger to them as ‘aap’ or, at the most, ‘tum.’ Also, the Dalit angle for one of the characters was not required. 

All in all, Dhoop Ki Deewar has a lot working for it while it boldly delivers a message of peace.

Zee5 is now streaming the web-series Dhoop Ki Deewar.


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