Kashf Foundation’s new drama serial Dil Na Umeed Tou Nahi (DNUTN) premiered last night after much hype and anticipation and the first episode delivered more than what we had expected. The drama boast of a stellar cast with a few names that usually don’t appear in mainstream television like Naveed Shahzad and Samiya Mumtaz, and that is one prime reason why people are looking forward to it. However, by the looks of it, DNUTN is going to be an amazing mix of story-driven as well as character-driven drama, backed by some of the finest performances of 2021.
DNUTN is a drama that aims to open conversations about a lot of social evils and stigmas. Grave subjects like human trafficking, child abuse, child marriages, women trafficking, teenage women used for prostitution or domestic slavery are an integral part of the story. What stands out, however, is how the writer has carefully knitted the story around all these subjects without turning it into a documentary or a sermon.
Ep 1 introduces us to different households; from underprivileged and conservative ones to an abusive home and a bordello. The story shuffles from a village, an old city to a lavish city life, depicting different issues such as demands of dowry, gaslighting women, bullying of underprivileged students by teachers and peers, abusive households, men’s inherent nature to blame female appearance and behavior for sexual assaults and treatment of women in brothels etc.
Interestingly, we aren’t not sure if some of the tracks are these character’s background stories, however, we know that Sumbul (played by Yumna Zaidi) is also known as Allah Rakhi. Now, we have to watch the drama to find out if she is actually the naive daughter of a poverty-stricken potter. The poor child who was once unintentionally cursed by her elder sister to get abducted and sold.
Noor ul Hassan’s character has three daughters, one of whom is suffering from polio. Though his wife (played brilliantly by Samiya Mumtaz) is quite subservient, it seems that her daughters will suffer more at the hands of patriarchy than the disease. The writer has barely scratched the surface as of yet but we will get to see soon how all these seemingly negligible issues — that we usually turn a blind eye to — will lead to bigger social evils.
DNUTN is definitely going to be a gripping tale which will make us uneasy in our bones. The visual treatment of the play is also quite distinctive, which is a trademark in most of Kashif Nisar’s projects. The characters look raw with flesh and soul and are far from glamourized worlds even if they are shown in a brothel. The scenes in which Jamshed’s abusive teacher and mother scolds and punishes him pierce into our soul like shards.
The cast of DNUTN is one of the highlights beside the engrossing story; everyone fits their role as if it was tailormade for them. Yumna Zaidi has left a mark with her very first appearance in the show as Sumbul and it seems there are many layers and shades to her character. Yumna and Yasra Rizvi’s on-screen camaraderie is a treat to watch. We have yet to see Naumaan Ejaz and Wahaj Ali in the drama.
Written by Amna Mufti and directed by Kashif Nisar, DNUTN airs on PTV and TV One simultaneously on Monday, garnering more viewership. The first episode is on the 24th spot in trending videos on YouTube. Watch the episode here: