Some are terming it a remake of Waris; others feel it is a drama from PTV’s Golden Era and should have been aired back then. But they fail to realize that in the era of Churails and Saas Bahu plays, Mushk is in a league of its own. It may have an ensemble cast and gigantic plot like Waris and follows the man on the run theme like Jangloos, but it also has a romance that takes you back in the 1980s when love wasn’t professed and a darkness that is yet to be resolved. Every character has a backstory of its own and if that doesn’t intrigue you, then you should stay with Netflix, Amazon Prime and the new entrant Zee 5, because you don’t deserve to be a part of the movement that will revive the traditional TV dramas.
The plot of this episode revolves around Shayan (Osama Tahir) who is shown as madly in love with Mehek (Momal Sheikh) while the two are studying in London. On the insistence of Guddi (Urwa Hocane), Mehek explains to her why she pressurized Shayan for a Nikaah, what were the reasons that kept her alive after he disappeared and why she hasn't told anyone that the baby is hers and not Guddi's. Adam (Imran Ashraf) is shown as someone who also loves Mehek dearly but how he fits in the equation hasn't been revealed as yet. By the time the episode ends, one realizes that Shayan was captured by his uncle (Aehsun Talish) for some reason, one of them might be ensuring that he married his young daughter as per the wish of his late mother, if there was ever such a wish. Will Mehek and Shayan meet each other since he managed to break free from captivity, who was the other prisoner (Sohail Sameer) in the lock up, and why Mehek doesn’t recognize Adam’s selfless love at all … stay tuned for the next episodes!
When was the last time you saw a drama where scenes were connected and ‘fade-in fade-out’ technique wasn’t used? For modern day drama viewers, not having an establishing shot before an indoor scene or a ‘fade-out’ sequence might be criminal but the real drama viewers would be loving it. It reminds them of the old PTV plays where even a dialogue delivered by a jaywalker had some meaning; the conversation between Imran Ashraf’s Adam and the shopkeeper was so important that it would give goosebumps to the people who understood it.
It was delivered at a time when Osama Tahir’s character had escaped, thunder was announcing the impending rain and everything was about to get chaotic, if rain had its way. Also, the scene where Momal Sheikh’s character narrated the story to Urwa’s Guddi answered some of the audience’s questions, if not all. One must also mention Sohail Sameer’s getup that makes him not just unrecognizable but also presents him as an old man, when he isn’t. His mannerisms, his dialogue delivery is perfect, just like the other characters in the second episodes including Momal Sheikh, Urwa Hocane, Osama Tahir, Aehsun Talish and Imran Ashraf to name a few. One hopes the drama maintains its pace and keeps the audience involved in the next few weeks so that other producers realize that if the story and content is preferred, the audience knows how to react.
The sequences supposedly shot in England are the odd scenes out as they were neither shot in England nor in a place that resembles England. The road where Osama Tahir’s character sits during the rain, the place where the friend falls down to her death could be anywhere in Karachi, and had it not been Corona, they might have been done better. Also, his make-up might have been done to make him look unrecognizable but a little more effort would have helped in making it look real. Also, actor Raza Talish has the family resemblance and looks like the young Talish sahib (his grandfather) and Aehsun Talish (his father) who is also acting in the play. It would be highly inappropriate to see him as someone who is not from the same family as Aehsun Talish’s character since they look more or less the same.
The Verdict – Mushk is not for binge watching but serious viewing!
Not many dramas since PTV Quetta Center’s Ab Kia Hogaya in the 1980s (written by Zulqarnain Haider) has an episode ending on a surprising note; the first episode of Mushk ended with a shock and the second one with a jolt that will keep the audience intrigued. It not only has the feel of the PTV dramas from the 1980s but also highlights the society evils and the evil within the society. Despite being low budget (extremely low budget when compared with Churails), being made during Corona (England scenes had to be done in its former colony!), and penned by an inexperienced writer (this is Imran Ashraf’s second play as a writer), Mushk has emerged as a project that will be remembered for a long time.
Director Aehsun Talish excels in telling a story that is considered the death of TRPs, writer Imran Ashraf appears in fewer scenes as he wants to establish other characters, Momal Sheikh looks more like a vision than human here, Osama Tahir gets a chance to play the protagonist whereas you will fall in love and hate Urwa Hocane’s character for Guddi knows something that you don’t, making the drama all the more interesting. Move aside Saas Bahu sagas, step aside big budget web series, the Golden Era is making a comeback through Mushk!