Usually every Pakistani drama suffers when it reaches the ‘intermission’ period and Mushk is no different. After keeping the audience glued to their seats for thirteen straight weeks, the fourteenth and fifteenth episodes were the slowest of them all. However, it was left to Adam to play the savior both on-screen and off it, and he does a marvelous job by literally ‘killing’ it with his ‘action’ in the sixteenth episode. The drama is still on tricky grounds where one wrong step could mean destruction, and one right step can make it an evergreen project. Let’s see where Mushk ends up, destroyed or preserved; the coming weeks and fulfilling the expectations of the audience will decide that!
With Roshni (Seher Khan) stuck in a brothel, sold by her lover Saqib (Raza Talish) so that he can take revenge on her father (Hasan Ahmed), it’s all in the hands of Adam (Imran Ashraf). Not only does he leave everything aside including his own engagement to Mehek (Momal Sheikh), he uses all his contacts to find out Roshni’s location and reaches the place posing as a client. When he finds out that Roshni is a prisoner in the place, he decides to take matters into his own hand and escapes, but not before being captured for a brief period. Due to his absence from the scene, everyone in the village – except Guddi (Urwa) – gets worried about him, and the news of their return calms down the situation. On the other hand, Shayan (Osama Tahir) is all set to marry his kid cousin, so that he can save his sister’s marriage even if it means destroying his own.
The last three episodes belong to three ladies – Seher Khan, Momal Sheikh, and Urwa Hocane. While the newcomer is doing a fabulous job and looks ethereal, Momal makes Mehek her own with her powerful performance. Her character carries herself in an elegant manner despite doing everything that would hurt her grandfather (Manzoor Qureshi). The scene where she informs Zuleikha about Roshni’s whereabouts and the two hug each other makes the audience want to believe that goodness still exists in the world. One must mention the fact that while every other actress comes in and goes out as if performing in patches, Zara Tareen manages to stay in it with her hatred for all. Be it beating her invalid husband after reading the letter or getting irritated on not being given preference by Dr Rana, she manages to steal her scenes even when the rest of the episode was slow.
A lot can be said of Urwa Hocane’s performance who as Guddi has so far been living a carefree life until the last episode where she was shown angry, for the first time. She broke a glass not because she was scared but because she saw what others can’t; it was she who prompted Roshni to run away and with Adam bringing her back, fingers might point towards her. Her scenes with restricted-to-bed Hassan Ahmed have been done intelligently, keeping it both simple and interesting at the same time. Hasan Ahmed gets more scenes in the last three weeks, and the audience is waiting for his character to surprise all by standing on his own feet and taking control of his life. Those scenes were somehow part of the OST when they should have been kept out, but with the drama moving towards a conclusion, people are becoming anxious as to what he will do when he recovers. As for Imran Ashraf, he has excelled both as a writer and an actor again, the impact of his dialogues will be around for quite some time, such was the intensity with which they were penned. However, he should have put his foot down when the drama was being unnecessarily extended!
On one hand HUM TV and MD Productions censor suicidal acts and the mention of a brothel in voice over, but as soon as the drama enters the said place, they stay there for two whole episodes. Not only did it bore the audience who was following Mushk because of its extraordinary pace but also left a bad taste in their mouth. Be it the idiotic matter of picture on the wall (how could Ruby Aunty give birth to THAT person!) or the escape-capture-escape of Imran Ashraf and Seher Khan’s characters, it was too yawn-inducing by standards set by Mushk itself. It would have been better had the team not sidetracked and kept Adam’s heroic personality intact with an escape in the first attempt, reducing the drama duration to acceptable levels instead of hurting the play with illogical captivity.
Also, the scenes where Saqib and Zulekha wake up suddenly from their sleep could have been tighter, just like the first scene in which Osama Tahir’s Shayan calls out Mehek’s name in the first episode. Zara Tareen was limited to just crying in two whole episodes when she should have been out there doing something; wasn’t she the person who gave money to Saqib to stay away from her daughter. Where did that strong woman retreat when it was most needed? The patchy narrative makes you wonder if the play was directed by Aehsun Talish in patches because at some places it seems things are perfect and moving too fast, while it is imperfect and too slow in other places.
The Verdict – Mushk continues to go strong despite unnecessary delays!
Two super slow episodes can undo all the good work done by the team, and Mushk falls into the same trap. However, an excellent sixteenth episode saves the day, laced with action, suspense, tragedy, and even romance. With the drama entering its seventeenth week soon, a lot of questions arise in the audience’s mind and they would be hoping for a quick answer. Will Roshni be accepted by her family despite running away on the eve of her marriage, who will end up with Mehek, what will happen to Guddi who is living dangerously, and will Zuleikha ever find out why Dr. Rana is behaving differently? Where will Mushk go from here, and how it will end for most of the characters that deserve a happy ending, stay tuned to the drama in the coming weeks!