“Ishq Murshid” continues to be a stand-out show, a clear winner in a fairly heavy sea of competition, with its light-hearted (so far) romance. However, as the show inches on, we’re preparing ourselves for more serious drama to begin. Starring Bilal Abbas Khan, Dur E Fishan Saleem, Omair Rana, Noor Ul Hassan, Salma Hassan and others, the show has been written by Abdul Khaliq Khan and directed by Farooq Rind.
In episode 16, Shahmir (Bilal Abbas Khan) has pushed forward in his attempt to win Shibra (Dur E Fishan Saleem) over while still allowing her to believe he’s in love with someone else. And yet, while Shibra’s jealousy is spilling over, she’s also visibly aware of the lengths to which “Fazal Baksh” is going through to keep her happy, whether it’s caring for her at home or working another job simply to raise money for her donations. Suki (Hafsa Ehsan Abbasi) continues to play middle man, along with Faraaz (Awais Sulaman) in bringing Shibra and Shahmir together. The twist this week is when a proposal arrives for Shibra – and one that’s too good to refuse. What will happen when Shibra meets this potential suitor? More importantly, this proposal will push Shahmir to propose to Shibra sooner than later…..but when Shibra discovers Fazal Baksh’s reality as Shahmir, will this push her to agree to marry someone else?
What’s interesting to note is that we are now at episode 16. In Pakistani drama terms, we’re well past the halfway point – and yet, the big reveal has yet to happen, after which we’re sure there’s much more drama and emotional turmoil to come before the show can be wound up in a satisfying way. While it’s a point to appreciate that “Ishq Murshid” has really taken its time building up a relationship of “connection” between Shibra and Fazal Baksh, paving the way for a strong conflict in the future, will that leave us with a finale that is rushed through?
As far as pacing goes though, “Ishq Murshid” continues to be a joy to watch. It’s thoroughly entertaining with a love story that puts a smile on our faces. It’s rare, in this day and age, to not reach for the forward button even once in an episode, but “Ishq Murshid” accomplishes that feat, a full 36 minutes of enjoyment each week. Of course, as always, it’s a Bilal Abbas Khan show through and through. While Bilal Abbas Khan has always been a stellar actor, one who has won our hearts with each and every role, “Ishq Murshid” is the role his career – and his fans – have been waiting for, a drama which “belongs” to him and gives him the chance to shine as an actor from all corners. Whether he’s playing Shahmir or Fazal Baksh, he has given this role his all. Dur E Fishan Saleem is so endearing as Shibra, fitting perfectly into the mold of a young, naturally pretty young woman who is spirited and opinionated. Shibra feels “real” and that’s due to Dur E Fishan’s performance. Special mention must be given to the actor playing the original “Fazal Baksh.” He lights up the screen each time he appears, leaving the audience in a fit of laughter. There’s a natural comedic presence there that adds an element of fun to the proceedings, especially now that he’s clued in on Shahmir’s game. Overall, “Ishq Murshid” continues to be one of the best shows currently on Pakistani television – if not the best – and has given us something to look forward to on Sundays.