Sajal Aly and Hamza Ali Abbasi-starrer, the much awaited drama serial Alif went on-air on Geo Entertainment last weekend.
One must acknowledge that the episode did justice to the hype surrounding the project that triggered even more frenzy with the launch of its teasers earlier this month.
Twitter was flooded with rave reviews after the first episode aired, with most people praising Sajal Aly’s effortless performance.
Sajal Aly stars as a struggling actress, Momina Sultan, while Hamza Ali Abbasi plays the role of Qalb e Momin, who is a successful filmmaker.
Alif opens with Momin’s childhood (child artist Pehlaaj Hassan plays junior Momin). He lives with his mother Husn e Jahan, essayed by Kubra Khan, while his father abandoned them more than a year ago. Momin often sees his father Taha, played by Ahsan Khan, in his dreams while his mother pens a letter to her husband every night and keeps it safe. Momin grows up to become a leading filmmaker who doesn’t repeat his heroines while actresses are desperate to work in his films.
Momina, on the other hand, lives with her parents and a younger brother who urgently needs a kidney transplant. She needs money for his dialysis but she doesn’t get opportunities to earn enough of it and blames herself whenever anything goes wrong. Somehow she gets a call to audition for Momin’s next film but ends up having an argument with him after calling him “cheap”.
Another opportunity lost leaves her even more miserable and she regrets what she did with Qalb e Momin. It is not stardom that she desires, unlike her parents but money to save the life of her ailing brother.
Sajal is a natural when it comes to acting and this becomes evident when you see her onscreen; she is neither too subtle nor over dramatic and makes sure to keep it real. Her expressions, the tone of her voice as well as her dialogue delivery is commendable as Momina. The first episode of Alif certainly belonged to her.
Viewers particularly loved the scene where Momina and Qalb e Momin meet each other for the first time and have a face-off. Hamza also won hearts as the arrogant and self-obsessed Momin, who doesn’t really care about others’ feelings; he enjoys his position that gives him the power to dominate. Certainly, he fits the character well and viewers are admiring him as much as they did in Pyarey Afzal.
If we take a look at initial public reviews that the drama has received thus far – on various social media platforms – they seem excited to watch Sajal and Hamza together onscreen. A major chunk of the audience feels the drama is worth watching and it has been a while they loved a drama so much. It comes across as a breath of fresh air amidst cliched storylines that have been seen on the small screen lately.
Written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Haseeb Hasan, Alif is produced by Samina Humayun Saeed, Sana Shahnawaz and Sh. Amjad Rasheed under the banner of Motion Content Group and Epic Entertainment.
The promo of episode two suggests we will be introduced to Manzar Sehbai, who essays the role of Momin’s grandfather Abdul Ala and is a calligrapher. Apparently, Husn e Jahan thinks that her husband is with his father after he left her but Abdul Ala visits them and tells them he hasn’t seen Taha for six years. Whether he has died or gone missing, we will find out in the coming weeks.
Besides, Momina still needs to find a way to gather the money required for her brother’s dialysis. Given her present circumstances, whether she makes an attempt to apologize to Momin to get a role or goes on to do something else, this Saturday night will determine when the second episode of the drama goes on-air.