Khalil’s character was the third reason why we watched Manahil Aur Khalil
Light azure eyes, rosy complexion, blondish… No, this is not a matrimonial ad desiring a chand si dulhan having the above attributes. These desirable characteristics belong to dare I say the Turkish Muslim Brad Pitt, Khalil Tuglu/Halil Tuglu the leading character of Manahil aur Khalil/Menekse Ile Halil played superbly by one of Turkish top soap stars Kivanc Tatlitug.
In the initial episodes Khalil is shown to be working in a café in Berlin along side Manahil with whom he has gradually fallen in love. However, before he can propose to his sweetheart she is forcibly married off to Mustafa, her brother Kadir’s friend since he is ready to pay a hefty bride price. She runs away immediately after her wedding and lands in Khalil’s house. They both then escape to Istanbul where during the course of the drama we discover that Khalil is actually the scion of a tycoon Bosnian Turkish businessman who had died when Khalil was very young. His mother then takes over her husband’s business and marries her ex-boyfriend Mehmet Atish. He and his mother are in an accident in which Khalil survives and Khalil thinks his mother has died in the accident. He cannot remain in Istanbul because he thinks his step-father Mehmet Atish is out to get him. We are also introduced to his fiancée Zainab, a sexy lawyer who is either decked in a hot red number or silk dresses with hemlines just above her bronzed legs. She too has an axe to grind against Mehmet Atish as she feels her father, an accountant in Khalil’s mother’s company, has been murdered by Mehmet. As the drama unfolds the viewers not only get to see the complicated life of Manahil but also Khalil who is caught in a complex tangle between his fiancée and his sweetheart. Despite their problems both stand by each other and this is what makes Manahil aur Halil a hardcore passionate drama where we are rooting for both of them especially during their difficult times.
I have to mention Kivanc Tatlitug’s effortlessness in doing the romantic scenes, whether it is gently grazing Manahil with his fingertips in their patisserie in Berlin, or him softly pecking her wounded hand or winking at her when she is down. And how can I forget to mention his playing the mouth organ especially when he is trying to soothe Manahil when she is strained out or depressed. One didn’t realize until watching Manahil aur Khalil that the mouth organ could be so sensual.
These romantic scenes are quite unlike the cringe-worthy ones done in most of our plays where often I have noticed that even the simple act of holding hands is as if they are holding a diseased hand and they can’t wait to fling it away! Our actors are unconvincing and look uncomfortable doing such scenes.
But Khalil is not always sweet-natured and romantic. No sirree he also gets in a rage whether it is Zainab digging into his past, Mustafa attacking Manahil, Mehmet Atish attempting to be too close to him it is then he erupts like a volcano and goes on such a rage-fest that it would put Alec Baldwin to shame.