TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode IX & X (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 9 & 10 (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 – The storyline moves at a brisk pace. If you’re into heavy melodrama, there’s never a dull moment in any of the episodes. 

+ Low Points

(Warning! Spoilers ahead! If you would like to avoid them, please skip to the Overall section):

i – Episode 9 was at least 10 to 15 minutes of slow motion with absolutely no real content. Do we really need half of the episode’s runtime with ridiculous slow motion despair scenes that are overtly prolonged and make no contribution to the storyline?

ii – One of the most baffling tropes of soap operas is the lack of a single sentence explanation that would solve most misunderstandings. In Episode 9, when Isra returns back home, her father rejects her because Isra dishonored herself. All she had to say in return was: “No, I was kidnapped and forcefully married to this lunatic besides me!”. But of course, she kept quiet as emotional raag music blasted over their heads so this debacle of a show keeps going for another 20 odd episodes.

iii – Now the two episodes try to justify ‘psycho’ Shahzaib’s kidnapping and forceful marriage by making it seem he was just impulsive with “Love”. Is he supposed to be the antagonist of the show? Only then does this justification make any sense. Shameful writing.  

iv – Speaking of glorifying terrible character decisions, Isra’s brother decides to shoot his sister and Shahzaib in cold blood. We live in a country where honor killings are rampant in villages. I could not help but shake my head in disbelief as to how this show is now exploiting real life tragedies. If you want to make a mediocre melodrama, please go right ahead but stop exploiting real life tragedies into your storyline if you cannot respectfully explore them!

v – The acting throughout episodes 9 and 10 were below average. Especially Danish Taimoor as Shahzaib who cannot emote properly even if his life depended on it. Either the cast lacks the talent or proper direction from Aabis Raza as each episode runs on “auto-pilot” with single note emotions on display. It’s also disheartening to see a brilliant actress like Saba Faisal who is just there to recite a few lines and collect her paycheck. 

+ Overall

At first, Ishq Hai was just laughably bad but now, it’s just painful to continue watching! 

 Rate: 0.5 out of 5 stars

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