“Ishq E Laa” has been a slow climb towards its story, but with each episode, it’s gaining more traction. Starring Sajal Aly, Yumna Zaidi, Azaan Sami Khan, Sohail Sameer, Uzma Hassan, Seemi Raheel and others, the story has been written by Qaisra Hayat and directed by Amin Iqbal. With life taking off for Azka (Yumna Zaidi) as she plans to head off to medical school and Azlan and Shanaya’s married life in a great phase, tragedy seemed ready to strike – and it does.
The bulk of episode 9 focuses on tragedy. In an insane moment – and yet, one that has been foreshadowed for a while – Sultan (Sohail Sameer) is killed in a hit and run accident. Ironically, the driver is none other than Ansab Haroon’s spoiled, arrogant son. This character comes across as a knockoff version of Mir Hadi from “Khaani,” so we already recognize the “type” of character he will be playing – and the role his father will play in trying to cover up his crime. The young actor himself isn’t anyone to praise at this point and his wooden performance stands out like an eye sore.
With Shanaya (Sajal Aly) helping Kanwal (Uzma Hassan) at every turn, from consoling her to filing the FIR against Ansab Haroon’s son, the honeymoon period between Shanaya and Azlan (Azaan Sami Khan) is drawing to a close much sooner than expected. With Shanaya now putting herself in the line of fire, taking on a big politician, Azlan is forced to hire extra security for her. However, while he cares, he also cares about his family’s reputation and is furious at Shanaya’s actions. It’s easy to understand Azlan as well. He is a man who lives a comfortable, cushy life and does not want to get involved in the problems of others – directly opposite of his wife, a woman who works to help others. Both Sajal Aly and Azaan Sami Khan are doing a great job in their roles. While Azaan was uncomfortable initially, he’s becoming more comfortable in front of the camera.
What’s most tragic in this episode is Sultan’s death. Sohail Sameer has performed this role in such a sincere way, his relationship with Kanwal, Azka, his daughter and his mother felt like a real bond. This family unit has been the sweetest one to watch – and now with Sultan’s death, all of that has fallen apart. It’s very difficult to watch these four women now left alone, struggling with their grief. Uzma Hassan is one of Pakistan’s finest actresses, an actress who blows the audience away each time she appears on screen – and yet, she isn’t given the credit she truly deserves. With this episode, she impresses once again, bringing the audience to tears as she bounces between her pain and trying to put on a brave face while fighting for justice for Sultan.
This is an impactful episode with its performances, but has left viewers feeling jolted. While tragedy was only bound to strike soon and I even suggested Shanaya or Sultan would be killed in upcoming episodes, this is a death that is shocking even if expected due to the way in which it happened. Abid murdering Sultan in a fight would have been more digestible than this strangely random scenario. And yet, with Shanaya’s involvement and her already existing animosity with Ansab Haroon, it does tend to make sense. Still, we can’t help but wonder how the story will play out from this point forward. Regardless, “Ishq E Laa” has been going from strength to strength in recent weeks.