TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode III & IV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 3 & 4 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Aabis Raza and written by Rehana Aftab. Ishq Hai is an ARY Digital Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Aabis Raza
  • Written by Rehana Aftab
  • DOP by Waqas Ali
  • OST composed by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
  • Editing by Zeeshan Ali Jokhio
  • Produced by Fahad Mustafa & Dr. Ali Kazmi

+ Note

Ishq Hai is a tale of two lovers, a Shakespearean tragedy set in South Asia where the conflict between tradition and individual freedom comes into play. An age long question within our Pakistani culture; should the tradition of arranged marriage be questioned? How important is the right to choose your own life partner? The drama has a star studded cast of young and veteran actors and is an exclusive ARY Digital Production.

 + Main Cast

  1. Minal Khan as Isra
  2. Danish Taimoor as Shahzaib
  3. Hammad Farooqi as Hammad
  4. Babar Ali as Isra’s father
  5. Hammad Shoaib as Haris
  6. Saba Faisal as Nafisa
  7. Mahi Baloch as Sameera
  8. Sajjad Paul as Raza
  9. Mahenur Haider as Nimra

+ Plot

Isra and Shahzaib are the young lovers in conflict with their respective families. Their parents have already found a spouse for them. Arranged marriage has been a family tradition but against all odds, Isra and Shahzaib want to fight for their love. Will their pure love be able to conquer all?   

+ High Points

i – Drama, drama! The episodes 3 and 4 were cranked up to 11 straight away! If you’re into crazy, over the top melodrama then these two episodes will bring you much entertainment and excitement in the continuing love saga of Isra and Shahzaib.

ii – Most of the episodes take place at wedding (or similar) ceremonies so the atmosphere was well designed and constructed for the scenario. Due to budgetary reasons, most dramas have minimal wedding set designs which end up looking cheap and unrealistic but Ishq Hai really went all out with the wedding setup. 

 + Low Points

i – By episode 3 and 4, it is obvious that Ishq Hai caters to an audience who love exaggerated melodrama in their shows with minimal plot and storyline. In that respect, I can understand why people would be eager to watch this show every week. But as a reviewer, it is my job to criticize the show based on all the merits that the show possesses and unfortunately, Ishq Hai fails pretty much in all departments. Let’s start with the unrealistic setups. The epic confrontations between two families have already occurred in episode 3 and 4, in front of hundreds of guests who inadvertently became part of this situation. Even if Shahzaib forced the situation onto his parents, any self respecting family would’ve tried to at least steer the conversation in close doors but where’s the fun in that? Pretty much every major character got their dramatic dialogue delivery in order to address the obvious situation. The conflict of the show seems so forced and ludicrous. For the guests in the background, they all seemed unphased by the whole situation (as if this is a daily occurrence in the world of Ishq Hai). I have to admit, I had to chuckle a couple of times throughout these scenes as they were mostly so unapologetically dramatic and in turn, hilarious!

ii – The acting (while not terrible) is subpar by pretty much everyone in the cast. They all just commit to the bare minimum that the director Aabis Raza requires of them. It’s also a bit disheartening to see Saba Faisal, who just came off from a strong performance in Raqeeb Se (where she really got to flex her acting chops) is now back to spineless shows like this one.

iii –Ye Ishq Hai! Ye Ishq Hai!” . The chorus of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s OST will be hammering you every living second of the show. The show itself has no faith in its product so they use slow motions, close ups and over lingering Soundtrack to overcompensate. These techniques make me take the dramatic elements of the show even less seriously.

iv – The show fails in its dramatic scenes having an impact with its audience because every scene in these episodes are treated as a “vital” scene to the show with overbearing music and epic slow motions of the reactions from the cast. If every scene is treated as such within 90 minutes of the show’s time then it very quickly loses its impact on its audience. I became desensitized pretty quickly after the first one since that’s the only trick in the book the show can unfortunately throw at me to grab my attention. Ishq Hai desperately NEEDS better pacing out its exposition and dramatic scenes. Not every scene should be treated as the finale of Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.

v – For some ludicrous reason, the show decides to heavily focus on Nimra’s reactions when Shahzaib confronts his parents with Isra. Why??? The audience has hardly spent any time with her, why all of the sudden, is she the center of attention? 

vi – Sadly, none of the characters are interesting enough for the audience to care for. They are literally two dimensional cutouts of themselves whose sole purpose is to spout ridiculous (and hilarious) dramatic dialogues. The writer Rehana Aftab has done a terrible job in representing any of her characters with some sort of relatability. 

vii – Way too many scenes where our main protagonists are just pondering while the Soundtrack blares over his or her head. I wonder how they get any of their work done if that’s what they spend half of their day accomplishing.

+ Overall

Oversimplistic, over the top, cheesy plotline with comical in all the wrong places, Ishq Hai fails to be anything special from every aspect of storytelling.

 Rate: 0.75 out of 5 stars

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