What is the story about?
Pakistani girl Sara and Indian boy Vishal are divided by grief when their fathers die in an encounter on opposing sides in Kashmir. Both Sara and Vishal indulge in various rounds of mud-slinging on social media. However, both of them forge a connection when they set aside their differences, leading them to become friends and eventually fall in love. But will this cross-border romance survive?
It's easy to think of Dhoop Ki Deewar as a wish-fulfilment fantasy of an Indo-Pak romance coming to life on an OTT platform, but this 18-episode series goes into bigger storytelling arcs than you first peg it to. Umera Ahmed is a renowned name as far as Pakistani dramas go, and she makes this show come alive with her layered writing. Social media plays a big role in this show, and Ahmed ensures social media becomes a major character, with its online xenophobia and hatemongering contributing to important crises in the show's narrative. There's also a focus on the internal journeys of Sara and Vishal as individuals fighting entrenched mindsets in their own societies. While much of the focus is on the central relationship between Sara and Vishal, the portrayal of their families is also very refreshing for the most part. I say "for the most part" because the Hindi spoken by Vishal's family can often feel jarring to the ears. The middle section of the show also feels like a drag on some occasions, but thankfully the performances make up for it. If you're a fan of Pakistani dramas, you can give this a go.
Both Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir are very good as Sara and Vishal. The rest of the cast is decent too.
Music & Other Departments
The cinematography is rich with a lot of hand-held shots, which convey the urgency of Sara and Vishal's tumultuous journey. Bilal Saeed's composition Judaiyaan Kyun is used very well, and the background score is thankfully minimal.
The strong writing and performances.
In spite of Ahmed's best attempts, the portrayal of Vishal's family feels incomplete.
Did I enjoy it?
For the most part, yes.
Do I recommend it?
You can watch this if you're a fan of strong, layered Pakistani dramas.