TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode XXIX to XXXII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 29 to 32 (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 – One of the bare minimum character development scenes we have in this show’s entirety takes place between Nimra and Shahzaib. Thankfully this scene lets itself playout to the audience without any nonsensical editing tamperings. 

+ Low Points

i – Ishq Hai continues to devolve further into obscurity. The illogical “twist” in episode 31 felt unnecessary as the status quo was once again reached by the end of the same episode! Nimra and her sister are still the evil sisters out of Brother’s Grimm Fairytales! Why introduce this twist in the first place? Was it just to create some sympathy within Shahzaib’s heart for Nimra? But that was already in process so this clearly nullifies the whole scenario. Secondly, I can’t even begin to count how many times, within the last 6 Episodes, has Shahzaib “caught” Isra with Haris. Guys, it got old the first few times, also Isra is sincerely lacking intelligence when she resorts to trusting the sister of Nimra who physically assaulted her and openly engaged in submitting Shahzaib to her mad love.  The pendulum of the narrative keeps swinging back and forth but this show goes nowhere.

ii – The dreaded slow motions keep plaguing this show. Every scene is unnaturally prolonged by stuttering slow motion scenes which are clearly added in Post production for the episode to reach its hour runtime. Never have I ever seen a show that has absolutely no faith in its own content. Well, at least even they are self aware how utter nonsense their own product is!

iii – Apparently in the world of Ishq Hai, whenever you see your wife talking to another man, that equates to cheating on him. Whenever your wife injures her hand and a man tries to help her, that also equates to cheating on him. Shahzaib knows well enough that Haris has been stalking his wife for some time now, so Haris forcing himself upon Isra at times makes no logical sense to him? Was he dropped on his head as a child or does everyone in this show lack even basic commonsense? Why do I keep watching this nonsense?

iv – Of all the characters I wish would just “go away”, Azekah Daniel as Naina is always on top of that list. Her character is just horribly written, solely serving as a person who could “negate” everything Isra claims. She openly whines in every episode how her life is ruined because of Isra, how she is never the center of attention because of Isra but we, as an audience, know literally nothing about Naina! What is her character outside of Isra? What are her ambitions? After 32 episodes, we literally know nothing about her.

+ Overall

With four episodes each week, Ishq Hai triumphs Quantity over Quality by a mile and a half! It is one of the worst shows ever aired on Pakistani Television (and that is saying a lot!).

 Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode XXV to XXVIII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 25 to 28 (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 – Some of the scenes were well lit and visually executed. The creative team behind the camera plays well with shadows at certain dramatic moments of the show. No matter how horrendous the product is, at least the visuals are somewhat impressive.

+ Low Points

i – Ishq Hai is going nowhere. The plots are already being recycled and reframed for the audience. The two themes; ‘Misunderstanding and Jealousy’ are beyond repetitive at this point. The show lacks any substance or even a shred of creativity in its writing and execution. Episode 25 to 28 are fully devoted to Nafisa’s dastardly evil plan of creating misunderstanding between Shahzaib and Isra, hoping that they would end up with a divorce and in turn, fall into the hands of Nimra and Haris respectively. The plan is obviously ludicrous and devoid of any logic but that is apparently a running theme in the show.

ii – The newly introduced side plot of Hammad and his wife is absolutely nonsensical and irrelevant to the show. Just like the show itself, it’s a massive waste of time, prolonging the lifespan of the show when it’s obvious that Ishq Hai was dead on arrival.

iii – (One character passes a cup of Tea) Slow Motion! “YE ISHQ HAI!” (dramatic music!!). It’s utterly hilarious how inept the creative team is in bringing drama through editing! The concept of slow motion and dramatic music is abused to such an extent that no scene seems epic anymore. Not to mention the lack of proper editing as the music glitches or stops in between a scene.  

 

Two cups of Chai!? He’s definitely cheating on me with her!

iv – I guess I haven’t mentioned in weeks how terrible the performances are of the main cast of the show. I would not be at all surprised if the actors just showed up on the day of the shoot and recited their lines on set without rehearsing the scene, without even getting into the psyche of the character or the situation of that particular scene. And the fault solely lies on the shoulders of the director Aabis Raza who allows his actors to display such performances on screen.

v – The “Pillow/ Dupatta” scene from Episode 26/ 27. Its scenes like these that make me lose faith in modern Pakistani dramas. Appalling state of writing in this show!

+ Overall

Ishq Hai just devolves further and further away from what is considered “standard quality” of writing for Pak Television. It’s Trash TV at its finest!

 Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode XXIII to XXIV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 23 to 24 (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 – No high points today, folks! Episode 23 and 24 were the very worst of Ishq Hai!

+ Low Points

i – Episode 23 and 24 were essentially inconsequential to the overall narrative of the show. There was no character building or progression of the plot, just characters reacting to one another’s banter or threats.

ii – Alright, why has Isra gained a spine all of a sudden? Where was the moment where her breaking point was reached? One could say that it was the mother falling ill but she hasn’t been in the best of health ever since her husband died. Isra’s sudden shift in character is once again a prime example of how poor the writing of the show is. Things happen without reasoning. No build up or progression of Isra’s frustrations, just that the script demanded her this week to stand up on her own.

iii – Nimra still continues to be the worst character ever written in the history of Pakistan Television. Her whole personality is defined by her rage and jealousy towards Isra. She stares out of the window every now and then, contemplating why she is not with Shahzaib instead. Now she is engaging in physical cat fights with Isra. Nimra has no personality of her own other than that she is crazy about Shahzaib. What an utter embarrassment this show is for the women of Pakistan!

iv – But the second worst character of the show has to be Azekah Daniel as Naina. The biggest issue with the writing of the show is how every character in the show has absolutely no subtlety to them. And Naina is the prime example of such flat characterization. In every episode, she is ALWAYS whining and complaining how she is not the center of attention in the family. Her dialogues seem so far removed from reality that it’s difficult to even hate her as the minor antagonist of the show. Apparently every single character in the show is needy and desperate for attention!

v – Apart from Nimra and Naina, we have another needy and desperate character of the show; Hammad Shoaib as Haris who now stalks Isra and harasses her in a parked car! Sigh, what is up with these people? Do they not have their normal lives to be busy with?

+ Overall

The female representation in Ishq Hai is abhorrent and an embarrassment to the legacy of Pakistan television. It is a mockery of our culture, our values and our moral integrity.

 Rate: ZERO out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode XIX to XXII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 19 to 22 (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 only positive aspect going for this show is the development of the story after each episode. It is brisk and follows through each half an hour competently towards an inevitable conclusion to the Isra and Shahzaib love story.

+ Low Points

i – Its genuinely fascinating how Ishq Hai is incredibly content with its mediocrity. The show’s pacing is all over the place, every scene is needlessly epic and overly melodramatic. There is never any room to breathe for the characters and neither for us, the viewers. It’s a perfect example of how NOT to write a show. Ishq Hai lacks depth in its characters, none of them ever evolved in the last 22 episodes. It’s a sad state of affairs of how such a HORRENDOUS quality of a show gets a prime time slot on Television. The current state of Pakistani TV shows has rapidly declined in quality over the past decade, emulating the nonsense “Saas-Baho”, cousins Love Triangle storyline. And Ishq Hai is definitely a contributing factor to that steady decline.

ii – Episodes 19 to 22 once again focus on the continuing evil plan of Nafisa to rid Isra from the life of Shahzaib. And if that sounds like a plot of a James Bond film from the 60s, you wouldn’t be so far off! The characterizations are so much beyond the realms of reality that they are unironically campy and hilarious. The ensemble cast of the show come off as mere caricatures of their characters rather than fully fledged human beings. I’ve seen more character depth in a saturday morning cartoon than this disaster of a show! Awful, awful writing by Rehana Aftab.

iii – Whenever this show wants to create tension in a scene, they merely have to play the dreaded chorus “Ye Ishq Hai!… Ye Ishq Hai!”. Talk about lazy editing. The whole creative team of Ishq Hai is creatively bankrupt in originality. Apparently they have no faith in their actors or the written dialogue that they have to resort to this dreaded chorus every single time.

iv – In Episode 19, the cat fight between Nimra and Isra was pretty hilarious. Nimra continues to be one of the worst written characters that I’ve ever witnessed on Pakistani Television. Apart from jealousy, she lacks any sort of emotion a normal human being has. She has no life of her own other than obsessing over Shahzaib throughout the show. Her family members have no sense of self respect as they keep getting convinced by Nafisa that their daughter will marry Shahzaib in the end (no matter how many times they get humiliated by Shahzaib and Isra). The script and motivations of the characters never made any sense right from the start so why put in any effort now?

v – Why does every character in the show come off so needy and desperate for attention? First it was Nimra and now Haris who is (for some reason) so madly obsessed with Isra at this point that he is willing to stalk and threaten her. Does no one in this show have some dignity or self respect? But I suppose he still comes off better than Shahzaib who literally drugged, kidnapped and forcefully married his wife. So… pick your poison I suppose.

+ Overall

Ishq Hai is a massive waste of time, effort and money devoted to making it. It’s an insult to the legacy of Pakistani television and its writers. Avoid it like the plague!

 Rate: out of 5 stars 

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 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode XIII & XIV (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 13 & 14 (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 production crew on set does a good job in displaying emotions through soft lighting and shadows. While the Art Direction is nothing creative, it’s competent and well presented (unlike the rest of the show).

+ Low Points

i – This show is utterly meaningless. Nothing in the show makes sense, there is no rhyme or reason, characters act a certain way because the script wants them to, the core conflict of the show is illogical and baseless. Isra, just tell your mother that you were drugged and forcefully married by Shahzaib. Could you do that?

Even after 14 Episodes in, this show has not found its basis to exist. I have never seen a Pakistani drama so devoid of reasoning. This show is the epitome of how not to write a show.

ii – Apparently every secondary character is an evil mastermind. Now Raza’s fiance has decided to share her dastardly scheme of getting rid of Isra with her Mother in Law. A long term, years of emotional black mail mind you. First Hammad’s wife and now her?  Do you people have nothing better to do with your lives?

iii – Good writing in storytelling is considered when the characters react according to the scenario presented to them. In Ishq Hai, each and every character has a single note personality. Throughout the 14 Episodes, Hammad Shoaib as Haris always proclaims that he wants to marry Isra… regardless of everything that has happened up till that point! Take a hint lad, move on! Its abhorrent writing of the show gives no space for its characters to develop. Every character is stuck from where they started from. And that unfortunately is not engaging storytelling.

iv – Just a quick reminder, Mahenur Haider as Nimra is still the worst actress on the show and to be honest, it’s not entirely her fault. The script gives her nothing to do other than having a Grrr pouty face throughout each scene. In episode 14, she literally does nothing other than stare at the wedding card of her sister and say “It should’ve been me!”.  Whenever Nimra’s on screen, it’s incredibly cringeworthy.

v – With that being said, each and every one of the characters in Ishq Hai are unlikable to the highest level. Even Isra has decided to act like a lunatic. As a viewer, who am I supposed to root for?

vi – The show fills in a quarter of its runtime with prolonged “despair” scenes where the show goes in slow motion (with terrible frame rate!) and we get to admire the Visage of our actor while Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Soundtrack is blasting over our ears in desperation to make its audience feel sympathy. 

vii – In Episode 13, Saba Faisal’s microphone went ballistic with lack of Audio level control as her shouting scenes were not adjusted neither on set nor in post production. It’s another example of the creators of the show just not caring about the quality of their product.

+ Overall

With each passing episode, Ishq Hai hits a new low. It’s a prime example of Trash TV that should never be consumed by mainstream audiences.

 Rate: 0.5 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode XI & XII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 11 & 12 (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 – In Episode 12, Shahzaib has a slight bit of character development where he talks about his late father and how lenient he was towards him. Such upbringing perhaps made him feel over the years that whatever Shahzaib wants, he gets. This perhaps explains a lot about his actions but in no way, should this ever justify how a sympathetic protagonist should act (but I’ll get to that soon enough later in the review)!

ii – There are some scenes which use light to great effect to visually produce melancholia and despair on screen . The subtleties in this show are far and between but the production team should be commended for their efforts.

+ Low Points

i – Episode 11 and 12 were pretty much a dud. Nothing of significance happened during this 1 hour plus episodes. They were not even really utilized for vital character development, just repetitive melodrama between the main cast and gratuitous slow motion to prolong each episode to its television length runtime.

ii – The acting in these two episodes were mediocre at best. The veteran cast still can get away with cringe worthy dialogue but the young cast (unfortunately) cannot. And Mahenur Haider as Nimra is by far the weakest in her performance. But the fault does not solely lie on the actors as the director should find ways to hide or compensate for his actor’s shortcomings. Editing can be a perfect tool to hide weak perfromances but is sparingly used to its full effect of making the product a bit tighter. 

iii – Twelve episodes in and the Original Soundtrack by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has already run its course. It’s nonsensical that after every single dramatic dialogue, the OST starts blaring into our ears! Ishq Hai is desperate to make the audience feel emotional for its characters and overbearing music is definitely not the right approach to do so.

iv – So once again, Isra called her mother later in Episode 12 to explain the situation but instead of just saying “It’s not my fault cause I was drugged and forcefully married by a psychopath!”, she just blurts out if her mother could imagine her child committing such a heinous act. Yet again prolonging a situation which could be solved by a single line of dialogue. Utter nonsense this show is. 

v – Speaking of psychopaths, now the show is desperate to make “psycho” Shahzaib a lovable guy who only kidnapped Isra out of true love. I’m pretty sure this character is past the stage of garning any sympathy from the viewers now. 

vi – Ishq Hai has some of the worst Sound Effects I’ve ever heard. The fight scene in the show had some of the phony punch/ blow to the body sounds ever used in a TV show. Awful!

+ Overall

Bad writing, minimal character development, awful performances, Ishq Hai has nothing substantial to offer. 

 Rate: 1.0 out of 5 stars

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

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode VII & VIII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 7 & 8 (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 – When it comes to Wedding scenes, most Pakistani TV dramas do such a lackluster job in making it convincing for the audience. Ishq Hai is one of the very few dramas which make the wedding scenes really satisfying to watch as they go all out with the set design and extras.

ii – With all the bad writing and subpar performances, at least the production team does a decent job with the Camerawork, Costumes, Make Up and Set Design. At least they should be commended for their efforts behind the camera.

+ Low Points

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

i – Oh boy, this show has already fallen off the rails! Shahzaib has officially turned into a complete psychopath who abducts women who don’t want to be with him and force marriage upon them. Is this the guy we’re supposed to be rooting for? There is absolutely nothing sympathetic about him left anymore. I sincerely hope Ishq Hai doesn’t portray him as the guy we should get behind. How can anyone in their right mind condone such actions?

ii – Danish Taimoor as Shahzaib just doesn’t work. The actor does not possess the acting chops required to play the role of an obsessed lover. His “suicide” scene was complete cringe. Even though Minal Khan as Isra is still convincing in her performances, Danish (unfortunately) cannot keep up with the rest of the cast. The only emotion he can display is rage and that’s all he has shown throughout the show up till now.

iii – Sameera (the sister in law) has such a ridiculous motivation to be evil in the show. It’s quite comical to be honest. Her whole life now revolves around Isra; “Is she texting her Hero??”. Running behind her everytime just so she could give the Evil zinger and feel proud of herself afterwards. Her whole motivation to be mean to Isra is that she is hogging all the attention towards her. It’s understandable if she’s not on good terms with her but Sameera’s dialogues are just beyond absurd.

iv – EVERYONE KEEPS SHOUTING AT EACH OTHER IN THIS SHOW!! And watching two episodes back to back, it’s really tiresome. There are absolutely no quiet scenes for the viewers so they could at least have a breather in between dramatic scenes. But no, every second needs to be the main cast threatening each other. Cause that’s how normal people talk apparently.

v – Yet another scene where Nimra crying alone, starring at a distance. This is literally all she is good for in the show.

+ Overall

Eight episodes in and Ishq Hai has already jumped the shark! I don’t understand who the show wants the audience to root for anymore. Terrible writing!

 Rate: 0.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ishq Hai – Episode V & VI (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Ishq Hai – Episode 5 & 6 (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 plot thickens! The stakes are now raised as to whether Isra should defend her family’s “honour” or fight for her love. Even though Ishq Hai has numerous flaws, it is specifically good at targeting its audience and what would make this show compelling to tune in every week for it. Every earth shattering revelation folds onto the next big issue.

(Warning! Mild Spoilers! of Episode 5 & 6 up ahead. You can skip to Overall section below if you would like to avoid it):

ii – Some of the shots in Episodes 5 and 6 were interesting and complimented the narrative of the show (for example, the shattered glass table and the distorted reflection of Shahzaib on it, reflecting his destroyed happy future that he once possessed). 

 + Low Points

i – The show has been running on Auto Pilot since Episode One. And 5 & 6 are more of the same. Ishq Hai is literally recycled trash from numerous other Soap Opera clichés. Granted, nothing is original in TV shows nowadays but atleast present the same themes but with a different coat of paint. Not every scene needs overexaggerated nasty dialogue, accompanied by “Ahhhhs!” of the Raag singers and ridiculous editing zooms in and outs! As I mentioned in my previous review, if every scene is dramatic then no scene is dramatic.

ii – So the devilish plan of the ‘soon-to-be’ daughter in laws to get revenge on Shahzaib’s family for the humiliation makes no damn sense! So they would rather prefer to still marry them after the humiliation that they faced in Episode 3 at the wedding in front of thousands of people JUST SO they can have the upper hand throughout their whole lives in the Shahzaib family and take revenge on Shahzaib? This is like James Bond’s villain of the week level stupidity. I guess the family has a lot of time to spare so they all can partake in a life-long revenge plan. This is all so ridiculous but hilarious. 

iii – Isra’s sister in law Sameera might be the most ridiculous of them all. So she is envious and frustrated of Isra for ruining her post wedding plans of a honeymoon and all the attention apparently being diverted towards Isra. Why is every character so petty in this show? Sometimes problems arise and they get resolved. Why does she feel the need to hound Isra, snatching her phone, taunting her of her ex lover every single moment of her life? Oh yeah, she is EVIL! Sorry, forgot about that…

iv – None of the characters in the show are sympathetic at all. They are either petty about their problems and take revenge on others or they are too brainless to convey their reasoning. Not to mention the elders in the show just fly off the handle if you even slightly disagree with them! If Ishq Hai wants to promote respecting elders, then the elders should be shown with some common sense in them.

v – Too many scenes where people are confronting one another on the phone. Yes, in the modern world, that’s how it’s done but some things are compensated for so they look better on camera. Two adults (one with constant ear pods in his ears to show how cool he is) blabbing love cliches over the phone is hardly anything exciting to watch on screen.

vi – Speaking of Shahzaib, boy does he come off creepy in Episode Six! There’s nothing more romantic than constantly hounding your ex on the phone, then following her into a shopping mall and manhandling her in a clothing salon while the workers there watch in awe!

vii – Mahenur Haider as Nimra sadly just gives the worst performance in the show. Her acting is terrible but the whole fault doesn’t lie with her. She is practically given nothing to do throughout the two episodes than stand at the Beaded Curtain and stare into the camera.

+ Overall

Ishq Hai is hilariously awful! Everything is over exaggerated nonsense from the plot to the performances of the actors, the dramatic scenes by now are just comical to watch. And I don’t see this show improving any time soon.

Rate: 1.0 out of 5 stars