TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode XV to XVIII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 15 to 18 (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 – With these back to back episodes, the story progressed at a brisk pace (even though there were once again way too many dramatic pauses where the character just contemplates with loud music). Certain events happen which will change the upcoming episodes exponentially.

ii – I like this shot. No further comment.

+ Low Points

i – Oh boy! Four back to back episodes of Ishq Hai? Is it my birthday?

But seriously, this was a real pain to sit through. There is only so much dramatic overtones and ridiculous melodrama that I can take in a week. Even though the story has progressed with regular pace throughout the four episodes this week, all the characters are still incredibly unlikable to the core. There is no one the audience could root for. Everyone is unlikable in their own way. Unfortunately this show is at no point of return. This all has to be endured till the end of this series. And I am definitely looking forward to that.

ii – Too many flashbacks of events that happened just in the previous scene! Does the show think our memory equals that of a goldfish? What I really dislike about this show is that it treats its audience like idiots who can’t think or react for themselves. We need to be spoonfed how to feel through repetition of dialogues, scenes and overbearing dramatic music. 

iii – The show is trying its hardest to make Shahzaib sympathetic again for the audience. He is even willing to divorce Isra for it. Sorry but nothing can wash off the actions he took that night when he kidnapped her and forced marriage upon her. There’s no coming back from that. But with these four episodes, I’ve a lot more to say in the spoiler section down under so please, keep reading!

iv – And yes, Nirma is still (by far) the worst character in the show. Frankly, I feel embarrassed for Mahenur Haider to play this role as her emotion is strictly stuck on “rudimentary annoyance”. She does nothing in the show other than whine, sulk and have anger outburst. She is treated like garbage by Shahzaib in the show and it’s just a clear indication that she has no character of her own. Awful, awful writing!

(Spoiler Alert!!! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Overall section below:)

v – So apparently, admitting to your mistake (no matter terrible the crime was) is acceptable in the world of Ishq Hai. Isra (in such dramatic fashion) rips up the legal documents of Divorce, indicating that she has forgiven him and wants to be with Shahzaib. What a terrible lesson this show is presenting to its younger viewers. Hey kids! No matter what the crime, if it is labelled under the power of “Love” then it is ultimately justified. It is shameful how shows like these present mutual consent, how a man should treat a woman. What a travesty this show is.

vi – It takes some incredible talent for the show to have so much happening but still remain unoriginal throughout its 18 episodes so far. Ishq Hai pertains to the worst of what TV dramas are known for. There is not a single ounce of originality in its writing, everything seems to be working on auto-pilot. Granted, HUM TV dramas are nowhere near perfect but at least they have decent characterizations and once in a while, you end up getting shows like Parizaad but as a viewer, this show is just insulting to the core.

+ Overall

Ishq Hai is not worth your time. Please spend it instead with your loved ones, read a book, educate yourself. But don’t watch this travesty and waste your precious time on this planet.

 Rate:  out of 5 stars 

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