“Aakhir Kab Tak” is a show about heroes – heroes in the form of men and women alike, characters who wade through terrible life circumstances and move towards the light. This is a show with heavy themes, but puts the focus on optimism rather than the murkiness of society. As far as empowering shows go, “Aakhir Kab Tak” is a breath of fresh air. Starring Ushna Shah, Srha Asghar, Javeria Abbasi, Shahood Alvi, Adeel Hussain, Haroon Shahid, Gul E Rana and others, “Aakhir Kab Tak” has been written by Radain Shah and directed by Syed Ali Raza Usama.
The bonding between Safia, Noor and Fajar with Ehteshaam (Shahood Alvi) is the backbone of episode 18, their sequences elevating the emotional quotient of the show. Safia has never had the opportunity to have a loyal, protective husband to confide in, so it’s ironic that now, in his bedridden state, she finally finds that connection and bond with him. Ehteshaam has always put more emphasis on being a good son and brother, neglecting his wife and daughters in the process, but now, unable to escape them, he finally recognizes their value and the abuse he has put the three of them through. Fajar (Srha Asghar) also shares a beautiful moment with Ehteshaam, finally receiving the love of her father, acceptance at a time when one would least expect it. What one takes away from this scene is simply how much Fajar needed that protective hand to push her forward in life. Like Safia, Fajar has always been the sort who needs love and acceptance to find herself – and now with both her mother and father behind her, she is finally coming out of her shell and feelings of fear. The importance of a supportive family unit is so important and, up until now, neither Noor nor Fajar have had this – and Safia has never had the strength to be supportive. It’s Javeria Abbasi and Shahood Alvi who steal the show this week, once again, as their family is now, finally, connected. Unfortunately, Ehteshaam falls ill and winds up in the hospital with high blood pressure and bed sores, worrying the women.
Ushna Shah’s Noor continues to be the perfect, strong woman in this show. She is a character who has middle-class ideals and values and her heart even pinches seeing her family members behind bars, regardless of how severe their crimes against her family. She still has those values instilled in her – and yet, she is a woman who will fight and do what it takes not only to protect her family, but also provide for them. She has heard taunts about being a girl her entire life, but now, as an adult, she is proving everyone wrong – including her parents -, showing that it’s a woman who is running the family business and, once again, making it successful.
The thing with “Aakhir Kab Tak” is that it’s telling a very intense story, but without that intense treatment. While we see in this episode that Noor has discovered Nasir’s (Adeel Hussain) manipulations at her workplace, causing her to doubt her own potential and abilities. But unlike the heroines we’re so used to watching, she doesn’t jump down Nasir’s throat or kick and scream. Rather, in the promo for the next episode, we see Noor having a balanced discussion with him, seeking answers for his actions – like a logical human being. This is why “Aakhir Kab Tak” is so refreshingly different. These characters may be in dire circumstances, but their humanity is there, making it easy to not only sympathize with them, but also relate to them on a level. Ushna Shah, Javeria Abbasi and Srha Asghar continue to steal the show with Shahood Alvi adding to the performative power. The downside of “Aakhir Kab Tak” lately has been the focus on Fajar’s vamp-like mother-in-law, which comes across as ridiculous, as she was initially a very kind character. It’s understandable that anyone would be upset with the lies covering up Fajar’s mental health, but for his mother to be this vindictive towards a woman that her son is happy with…….this is an aspect of the show that has become grating. Now it’s time for Saim (Haroon Shahid) to step up and take charge once again, defending his wife – but what will he do when Zafar (Azfar Rehman) makes his eventual return?