“Aakhir Kab Tak” is one of the more promising new shows that premiered post-Eid. While the show appeared to have a dark theme, the storyline of rape, blackmail and the desperation of the victim to keep the act hidden is a situation straight out of the newspapers. This is an important story to tell and will hopefully highlight exactly why keeping silent is the wrong course of action. “Aakhir Kab Tak” has been written by Radain Shah and directed by Syed Ali Raza Usama. This is a drama with a stellar star cast, including talents like Ushna Shah, Adeel Hussain, Srha Asghar, Azfar Rehman, Haroon Shahid, Javeria Abbasi, Shahood Alvi, Gul E Rana and many others.
In episode 3, both girls are determined to find a different future for themselves, one that doesn’t revolve around marriage, scarred by the abusive relationship between their parents (Shahood Alvi and Javeria Abbasi). Fajar (Srha Asghar) and Noor (Ushna Shah) begin to take tuitions in order to pass their exams. This requires a lot of convincing power on Noor’s end, begging their father, who does not technically see any need for the girls to study. Still, he gives permission – and it’s here that Fajar’s miseries begin almost immediately. Professor Zafar recruits his current victim, Bushra, to help him lure Fajar into his trip – a trap which he sets by making Fajar feel good about herself, giving her a much-needed ego boost. Srha Asghar is wonderful in this role, one which isn’t easy to enact.
Azfar Rehman’s Professor Zafar is a terrifying character and Azfar Rehman deserves credit for how well he is playing this role. It’s early on, but Professor Zafar has already given viewers the chills with how perfectly the process of grooming, molding and preying on young girls has been shown. Professor Zafar “chooses” Fajar for a very specific reason: She is quiet, timid, isolated and has a low opinion of herself. She is an individual who he can sweet-talk, gain her confidence and then begin his disgusting game of rape and blackmail. The story moves very quickly, surprisingly so, and Zafar quickly gains Fajar’s trust (using Bushra as a vessel) and, just as quickly, attacks her, leaving her in shambles.
The character of Bushra is a very tricky one, because she herself is also a “good girl.” She is the “Fajar” of three months ago, a girl who has been used, threatened and blackmailed for months and is now ready to crown the next victim and move on with her own life. And yet, can she be considered “good” considering she acts on Zafar’s orders and sets up Fajar to be attacked? It’s most troubling seeing Fajar on the ground, crying, while Bushra begs Zafar to now please delete her videos. Both Fajar and Bushra are victims and while Fajar’s victimhood is much more pure and innocent in this moment, one has to stop and take pause to think about how Bushra has ended up in this position herself, treading the same path Fajar is only just beginning to walk on.
Noor is a wonderful character and Ushna Shah is playing her so well. Noor is a confidant, a supportive sister and one who encourages Fajar. Unfortunately, she does not realize that, despite all her smarts, she is also assisting in pushing Fajar into Zafar’s trap. How will Noor react when she finds out what her sister has been through? Meanwhile, the family politics at home continue with Daadi (Gul E Rana) trying to marry Fajar off and the rest of the family trying to save Basam and Noor’s engagement, despite Noor’s disdain towards Basam. This storyline will continue as the family paints Noor out to be “badtameez” when, in fact, she is simply defending herself. Overall, episode 3 paints a tragic picture, a storyline unfolding that will have long-lasting effects. The performances and storyline make this show a worthwhile one.