“Ishq E Laa” arrived with much excitement. Sajal Aly and Yumna Zaidi in one show as the two female leads was enough to bring in viewership, along with Azaan Sami Khan making his acting debut. Written by Qaisra Hayat and directed by Amin Iqbal, the show took off on a positive note, impressing viewers with the first few episodes. Unfortunately, the last several weeks have seen a lack in interest from all corners and one has to wonder…..why? How did a show with such potential fall flat? After watching episode 18, here are the points where “Ishq E Laa” has failed.
1) A miscast male lead
Unfortunately, while Azaan Sami Khan is one of our best music composers and has an incredible gift in the musical arts, acting is simply not his forte. Of course, this is also his first role, which leads the audience to wonder what Momina Duraid was thinking when she wrote this show for him. This is something Azaan Sami Khan has stated himself, so it must be true, but why? This is such a heavy role for a newcomer and honestly, had a more seasoned actor played Azlan, the show may have had a stronger impact. This is not to say that Azaan Sami Khan can’t ever grow into a good actor – but this role demanded a stronger actor.
2) An unlikable female lead
Sure, Shanaya (Sajal Aly) was essentially the ideal woman, a highly likable, sweet character with depth, but Azka (Yumna Zaidi) is not well-written at all. Azka has little about her that is likable, honestly speaking and it’s difficult to pin down exactly what’s wrong with the character. Her reactions to situations have always been “off,” even if we look at her reaction to Sultan and Shanaya’s deaths respectively. This doesn’t appear to be a fault within Yumna Zaidi’s acting, rather it’s just the way the character “is”…..and that’s the problem.
3) Poorly written, poorly delivered dialogues
Ahmed Taha Ghani plays Zain, Azka’s classmate, and through this episode (and the previous one), we are growing to see what a “good” guy he is. And honestly, Zain is a good guy. Unfortunately, the dialogues Ahmed Taha Ghani has been given and the interactions between Zain and Azka are just awkward. What should come across as a sweet, cute blooming relationship comes across as forced and uncomfortable. Why does Zain find Azka so simple and different within two days of meeting her? Why is Azka suddenly so friendly with Zain when she has always been so uncomfortable with male attention? The “clicking” between these two characters does not come across as natural, though the actors look sweet enough together. Also, why does Zain insist on commenting on Azka’s dress sense for so long?
4) An overly confident villain
Ansab Haroon’s son was responsible for Sultan’s death and Shanaya’s death occurred as a result of the cover-up. And despite it all, this young man is still seen telling his father that he knows he will save him if he ever messes up. What does this man plan on doing that he will continue to need saving? This isn’t a Mir Hadi (Khaani) who is off his rails – this is just a spoiled brat who drives around at night and runs people over by accident. Why is he so difficult to control? There isn’t anything about him that is scary other than the performer’s weak acting skills.
Again, it really is tragic that a story of this caliber hasn’t been able to make its mark. The story really is a good one and, had it been handled well, it could have been a meaningful, strong show with a good message. Unfortunately, it’s simply a disappointment that has gone downhill post Shanaya’s death.