What draws one into the world of Alif is the long standing question: the love for God versus the love for man. And what brings Alif to life is obviously the people bringing the story to life.
Hamza Ali Abbasi looks terrific as Qalb e Momin, a man torn between two worlds; Hamza has said this is a character close to his heart and he does appear to be playing himself. Sajal Aly doesn’t have to say a word, which she doesn’t in the one-minute teaser, because her eyes and her body language give all the expression that Momina Sultan, her character needs to deliver. Pakistan does not have a better actor than this very young, very talented girl. Is she a dancer, who Qalb e Momin falls in love with, only to be torn by the morality and allowance for dance in religion? It’s questioned, perhaps by the character of Taha Abdul Ala, played by Ahsan Khan, possibly a Turk and a whirling dervish. Ahsan looks every bit the part, making this casting perfect.
Alif appears to be a story divided by two worlds and united by love; it is being projected as the most unexpected romance of the year. Hamza and Sajal, even in a few brief scenes, make that connection essential for chemistry between a couple; they make it easy to forget Ahad and Naimal. Shot partly in Turkey, elevating the production value, one is ecstatic to watch a drama serial that takes one beyond two households and the squabbling, familial characters that live within them.
And how can one not mention the gravitas of the legendary Manzar Sehbai, larger than life as Abdul Ala, who seems to be unlocking the secrets of life for Qalb e Momin?
Alif, undoubtedly the most anticipated drama serials of the season if not the year, is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Haseeb Hassan, both names that one does not take lightly. Produced by Sana Shahnawaz and Samina Humayun, Alif will air on GEO TV and while the exact date has not yet been announced, there is high hope that it is around the corner.