Dar Si Jati Hai Sila ~ Episode 1 Review

Dar Si Jati Hai Sila is not an easy watch and it doesn’t pretend to be one either. There is no attempt to dilute a very serious subject, no sugar-coating of a sensitive topic, and no a glitzy wrapping of a sappy romance. Nope, none of that here. Right from the get-go it is clear that this is a story that will hit a nerve. MD Productions’ newest serial Dar Si Jati Hai Sila is a story of abuse of privilege.

Abusers and abuse come in many different shapes and forms. Predators don’t just live in dark, dinghy alleyways and abuse does not only take place outside of the house. Moreover, abuse is not just sexual, it is also emotional and social and financial. Abuse can happen anywhere, even in brightly colored havelis like Noor Manzil and abusers can strike anywhere, even in the ostensibly secure environs of the chardiwari. Importantly, abusers are not always strangers. This is the takeoff point for Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar’s Sila.

An absentee husband has left Sadia financially and emotionally dependent on her in-laws. This burden of obligation has silenced her to the point where she is reduced to a non entity. Sila resents her mother’s powerlessness but ongoing sexual abuse has left her shaken to the core. Unlike her chirpy, confident cousin Zaini, a severely traumatized Sila can barely stand in the same room as her fiancé, forget about talking to him or allowing him to come close. Sadia and Sila are both victims and they realize they are being abused. But the problem lies in their inability to either report or walk away from their abusers. In a societal setup where family comes first, last and forever, how can one report a family member? How does one walk away from family?

The first episode was a very effective entry in to the world of the residents of Noor Manzil. At first glance they are a happily well-adjusted family. The older siblings wishing well for a widowed sister’s family, the absentee brother’s family well provided for, and mangni taiyyaris taking place amidst dholki practices. But a second glance reveals a different picture. There is plenty of simmering resentment and the veneer of happiness is just that – a veneer.

Hatim Joi or Joi mamu is quite the character. A middle-aged happy-go-lucky bachelor he seems  universally loved. Or is he? Zaini doesn’t seem too fond of him and Sadia looks on him with hatred and fury. But their reaction is nothing compared to Sila’s. She freezes up the minute she sees him and then starts shivering. Sila’s condition is not hidden from anybody, but gossiping about it is more fun than actually figuring out the issue. Throw into this mix a mother miffed over an accha rishta slipping through her fingers, the absentee brother unable to support his family and bari bhabhi unable to find fault in her beloved brother and it is clear why there is no interest in solving the riddle of Sila ko dar kyon lagta hai.

They who should be helping solve the riddle are the ones willfully blinded to the problem.

Why?

Because responding to the questions in Sadia and Sila’s eyes is not a simple task. Their questions require answers that call for introspection and honesty. Aur such kaun bolega? Hence Sila is about abuse of privilege – about the misuse of power in discharging one’s duties and obligations, either at the cost of others or to the advantage of those abusing.

Dar Si Jati Hai Sila boasts a solid story and some really powerful actors. In the first episode Nauman Ijaz was easily the pick of the lot, brilliant as the creepy, repulsive mamu. Saman Ansari was effective as the beleaguered Sadia  and Yumna Zaidi made a strong impression as the traumatized Sila. Sakina Samo was good as the matriarch but I found her too shrill in places. In fact, I thought the whole episode was pitched a level higher than required and was too in your face. The background music was very loud and added to the feeling of overall chaos. Kashif Nisar is a brilliant director and I am a huge fan, but this particular episode was far from his best work. Also: Why oh why is the O Rungreza set being used for this serial as well?

Finally, even as I am very much interested in the story I will have to give this one a pass for the next few weeks at the very least. Thanks to the marketing department, so much of the story has already been revealed in the teasers. Ek tau pehley hi there is déjà vu because of the set and phir ab oopar se these revealed plot twists. Why do channels do this?

Pros and cons considered this was an effective introduction to a promising new serial, one which will appeal to those who don’t shy away from dark topics and enjoy issue-based stories.

Written by SZ~

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14 replies

  1. Hey SZ
    Now that I’ve read your review things are clearer for me.I was a little confused about who’s who.Thanks!
    Yes , the set did look familiar .
    Noman eijaz looked so creepy dancing with his tongue sticking out….
    This drama reminds me of Pari . Similar story.I just hope we don’t have to wait for the last episode to get matters resolved and punish the perp.
    I’m not going to watch any teasers , no point in that.

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      • U don’t remember Pari ? In fact you told me to watch it but it was quite some time ago. It had areej , affan , sanam balochs sister , shamim hillali. ..I forget names…….

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        • Oh haaan!!! this one! I dont think I watched too much becausei t wasnt really available on yt .. i just saw now that they had uploaded the serial recently. Thanks for reminding me … I’ll bookmark and try to re-watch.

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  2. Spot on… its a difficult subject and definitely gave me chills down my spine.
    Yeah the O Rungreza set is being re-used again n again by Kashif Nisar… the set was first used in Dumpukht… and I get the deja vus in O Rungreza as well 😛

    And yes half of the story is already revealed because of trailers… it just kills the suspense.

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    • @Farah: hi there! Thanks for reading & commenting – seems like we’re on the same page 🙂
      Aha! I haven’t gone beyond the first episode of DP so didn’t know abt the set – thanks for that input. Uff! Now I’m glad I didn’t watch that one. I getvthat such huge sets must cost a ton of money and can’t be simply discarded but why use them like this ek ke baad ek.. and DP tau chalo was a diff channel yahan tau same channel and OR is still airing! Honestly why do they do this?!?
      Haina! Why reveal such major plot twists? Ab what’s the point – no suspense left 🙄

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      • Waise its always been this way with sets… I thought I’m the only who so minutely observes set details as well 😀
        I remember earlier the set used for Mera Sayeen… the huge Living room with a magnanimous 2 sided stair case… it was seen in sooo many dramas later on… uptil now.. 😛

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        • @Farah: Haha! Nooo! You’re def not alone in noticing nitty gritty. We here used to comment a lot on these things, but ab tau itne dozens ke hisab mein dramey bante hain and majority are so random that its hard to feel invested enough to notice such things .. but chalo ab you are here na tau lets re-start the close viewing 🙂

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  3. Hello SZ! Very well written review of a drama which you cannot really like or dislike. Performances were powerful, loved Saman she is such a great performer and well NI is outstanding. He has played consecutive negative roles and still manages to make each performance completely different. The repeating of the set did not bother me too much despite watching DP not too long ago. I did not even realize it was the same set until I read the comments. Sakina Samo was already on my nerves with this episode and I believe it’ll get harder to watch her scenes in the next couple of episodes.

    Also one thing I am curious about is how close to reality is this? I mean is it really that simple for a middle aged man to be hanging around all the women in the house? I mean even in joint families there are some boundaries no? And it was logical but also a bit unbelievable that this “mamoo” was living in with his sister? Is that normal? He does not go out of the house and it seems Zaini knows how he is, but is it really that oblivious to everyone else? The whole dynamic is a little hard to believe also what I don’t get is that these shohar’s go abroad and then don’t even keep in touch or visit. It seems the brothers are doing fine also paying expenses for the wife’s brother, so why could their own brother not live with them and take care of the family. This is one thing that really angers me the lack of a fathers presence in the upbringing of children. We see it over and over again in drama’s. Why do fathers only have financial obligations towards children only? They really need to come up with stories that highlight the importance of a father in the general mental upbringing of children. Men should be shown having a more active part in the household then just coming and going to work.

    The promo for the next episode was scary… Is it just me or is this drama much bolder than anything we have seen before on this topic?

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    • Hi Seher:

      Here you go .. fished out your comment. Thank you for the detailed insightful comment, enjoyed reading your take.

      Totally on point with your take on the actors. NI is absolutely brill as the creepy mamu and Sakina Samo was indeed too shrill. Saman A and Yumna were impressive.

      Re: your query, I can check with Bee Gul, but from my experience I know this kind of a story is not that far from reality. And yes, it happens quite often that an extended family member ends up living with an already big joint family. The typical thinking here is that how can he/she live alone… khaney peeney ka khayal kaun rakhey ga and also because of the advanced age they are not seen as a threat, as much as say a younger person would be, and this goes for men and women both.

      Zaini might know of him as a weird, eccentric, creep old man, but I am sure she has no clue about the extent of his depravity. I am sure because predators like this Mamu would never hit on somebody who has a strong backing, i.e her father and mother both have a firm place in the family hierarchy. By contrast, Sila has an absentee father and I have a feeling her mother does not come belong to a financially strong background. And now with her husband also gone she’s left hanging in the wind. Hence leaving her and her daughter open to exploitation of all kinds.

      I would say that this drama is very much on the topic of how a child’s upbringing is not just a mother’s responsibility. Had Sila’s dad been around mamu would’ve never dared to go anywhere near her. This is a very very important topic and I hope ppl pay attn to it, because we never think that predators can also be from among us and be living in the same house.

      Yes, it is pretty bold and upfront, but I think in order for the message to make an impact it should be shown without being diluted, but then at the same time it should come with a rating or a clear disclaimer that forewarns parents about the content, and not aired in the 8 pm slot.

      Indeed the next ep promo is disturbing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had written a really long comment…. just deleted when I logged into wordpress… so anyways this drama is creepy…not sure what they are trying to depict here, but the whole family setting seemed a bit unbelievable to me. How is it normal for sane people to have a single mother with two children and a single man who is not related to them to live under the same roof.

    I will watch this for the performances but I hope it moves on from the abuse to show how Sadia and Sila actually survive and build a normal life. Next episodes promo is creeped me out too. Is it just me or is this drama bolder than anything we have seen before?

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      • Thank you for your comments on my comments… As you said it is crucial this drama is not dragged. Hopefully it’ll end, but then again it is unclear if this is a drama people are going to love in general

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  5. Brilliant review SZ… i was late commenting on first epi so thought 2nd epi k baad will comment on both…

    Yes indeed its v.disturbing but i am intrigue to find the solution and how mother daughter cope with this.. and since its Kashif Nisar direction i am hoping some aesthetics in direction… epi 2 showed more on how joe is behind sadia and why raheel is bezaar from sila.. also we were introduced with silas father voice… filhal tou calls k through introduction hua …Saleem Sheikh is playing Sikander.. the level of trust everyone has on joe is astonishing… even to extent that sikander asks him to talk to sadia as why his wife is calling him unnecessarily n why is she pareshaan…

    One thing i liked the most in 2nd epi was how zaini has this confidence to talk with joe n how she bluntly asks him to please dont touch her or sit near her n next moment when zainis father come to fix dholak.. joe expressions changed into such frightened one.. n seems like only zainis aba doesn’t like joe with stiffness in his voice n rude behaviour.. which tells us so clearly why joe never ever thought of harassing zaini.. she has her fathers back..

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