Mr. Khan’s Review on Aik Hai Nigar (2021)

A review on Pakistani telefilm Drama, Aik Hai Nigar (2021). The ARY Digital telefilm is directed by Adnan Sarwar and starring Mahira Khan as the famous Lt General Nighar Johar. The telefilm also stars Bilal Ashraf, Khushal Khan and Sohail Samee. 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Adnan Sarwar
  • Written by Umera Ahmed
  • Edited by Rizwan AQ
  • DOP by Omar Daraz
  • Music Composed by Abbas Ali Khan
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Mahira Khan

+ Note

Aik Hai Nigar is a biopic on Pakistan’s first and only female lieutenant general of the Pakistan Army. She has been a part of Pakistan Army Medical Corps and has been serving as a surgeon general. 

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Nigar
  2. Bilal Ashraf as Johar Ali Khan
  3. Khushhal Khan as Shahid
  4. Sohail Sameer
  5. Sara
  6. Iman Shahid

+ Plot

Nigar Johar is a girl who aspires to be big. She wants to become Pakistan Army’s first ever female lieutenant general. Even though she has to face hardships of misogyny and personal despair, Nigar is determined to achieve her goal in life. Along the journey, she meets her life partner Johar Ali Khan who encourages her to pursue her career goal and make history in the nation of Pakistan.

+ High Points

i – Mahira Khan and Bilal Ashraf have good on screen chemistry with one another. Even though there were one too many private life scenes in the telefilm, they complimented each other’s performances very well.

ii – It is also admirable that (judging from the personal photos at the end), the costume designer, make up artist and casting director tried to emulate Nigar’s real life family and friends to the best of their abilities. 

 + Low Points

i – Aik Hai Nigar has unfortunately nothing to offer. It is a dry, insipid take on the life of Nigar Johar; a woman who surely had many hardships to face throughout her career. Sadly none of it is depicted on screen. The telefilm rather focuses much more on her personal hardships which (quite frankly) never proved to be engaging television. It is a baffling decision from the writer Umera Ahmed to ignore the most exciting part of her professional career but rather focus on timid aspects of her personal life. The film failed to educated its audience on her on field accomplishments in a male dominated field of armed forces. What an unfortunate wasted opportunity this telefilm turned out to be!

ii – Speaking of writing, this is probably one of Umera Ahmed’s laziest attempts at penning down a script. Aik Hai Nigar is an incredibly superficial take on the life of Nigar Johar. From cliched, bland dialogues to lack of any flow to the narrative; Aik Hai Nigar is an astoundingly forgettable experience.

iii – Sadly, Mahira Khan does not possess the grittiness required to play the role of a female Lieutenant General. She clearly seemed like an actress playing the role in a movie rather than an actress completely embellished and morphed into Nigar Johar on screen. Whether it was lack of proper rehearsals or understanding her role, Mahira Khan is entirely unconvincing in her lead role.

iv – The makeup has to be one of the worst aspects of the telefilm. From the year 1987 till present day, Mahira Khan as Nigar Johar never grew older. Her skin complexion, her hair, every physical aspect remained of a young mid 30 year old. A personal note to the production team of the telefilm; suspension of disbelief will only take you so far, at least attempt at making her age through makeup! This is just not acceptable in such a star studded cast production!

v – After watching the telefilm, I honestly have no idea what I got out of this. For being a biopic of Pakistan Army’s first ever female lieutenant general, I learned nothing as to what hardships one had to do to accomplish such a massive feat. There were some throwaway one off scenes like “But sir, she’s a woman!” to which they replied “So what? She is very capable!”. And that is how misogyny in the Pakistani Army was resolved. Wish it was that easy.

vi – While watching the telefilm, it quickly became evident the film was not really that interested in portraying Nigar’s professional life but focused heavily on her personal life. Numerous scenes were solely devoted to her romance with her husband, the personal tragedy she had to face and a real attempt to mold Nigar’s life into a stereotypical Pakistani drama. And that seemed entirely unfair to the dedication and hardwork that Nigar had to put in order to achieve her goal. And even with her scenes with the husband, it seemed incredibly superficial and perfect, as if they never had an argument or even a disagreement over a decision. Johar Ali Khan is in fact the flawless husband. The perfect atmosphere just seemed detrimental to the authenticity of the story.

A good biopic always keeps a steady balance between the professional and personal aspects of the character’s life. Aik Hai Nigar unfortunately just straight out ignored to even attempt to understand her professional career.

+ Overall

Aik Hai Nigar is a lazy attempt to capture the life of Pakistan Army’s first female Lieutenant General on screen. It’s misguided, insipid and by the end of it, will seem like an entirely forgettable experience.

Rate: out of 5 stars

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