Romance is a genre Pakistani viewers tend to be starved for and while one could argue that every Pakistani drama is a romance, it’s simply not the same as a solid, old-fashioned romance. This is what “Ishq Murshid” promises to be, a love story with drama, deception and angst. Starring Bilal Abbas Khan, Durr E Fishan Saleem, Noor Ul Hassan, Salma Hassan, Omair Rana, Shabbir Jan, Srha Asghar and others, the story has been written by Abdul Khaliq Khan and directed by Farooq Rind.
In episode 4 of “Ishq Murshid,” Shahmeer (Bilal Abbas Khan) continues his descent into Shibra’s (Durr, E Fishan Salem) world as Fazal Baksh, working as a junior clerk in Salman’s (Noor UI Hassan) office in order to get closer to Shibra. These office scenes are hilarious with Fazal Baksh befriending and bribing his co-workers, making every attempt to find an “in” to Salman’s home. The humor with which Bilal Abbas Khan performs these scenes is excellent, only made better by Noor UI Hassan’s reactions to his lines along with the supporting actors. Fazal Baksh does gain entry into Salman’s home and winds up playing savior when Safia (Salma Hassan) falls ill in his presence and he rushes her to the hospital. This results in a particularly adorable scene between Shibra and “Fazal Baksh” as she recognizes him from Maliha’s wedding. The entire way this romance has been written is the thing sweet love stories are made of and while the story does require a suspension of reality (how is Shahmeer this good at playing Fazal Baksh?), the way the story has been presented and written is endearing enough for us to simply not mind.
Stepping back into reality, Shahmeer has also decided to uphold a promise to his mother by keeping her political party going. He promises Dawood (Omair Rana) that he will carry the torch forward. Despite their issues, particularly with Dawood’s remarriage, the relationship between Dawood and Shahmeer appears to be one of genuine love and care. It’s always a joy to see Omair Rana and Bilal Abbas Khan perform together and while Omair Rana played an “evil” father in their last project together (Pyar Ke Sadqay), we hope this relationship remains genuine this time around. To fulfill his promise to his father and mother, Shahmeer essentially “kidnaps” Faraaz (Awais Salman) and other political sons at a part in order to send a message to their fathers, warding them off from sabotaging his party.
Shahmir and Fazal Baksh are two entirely different personas of the same character. “Ishq Murshid,” at present, is a presentation of Bilal Abbas Khan’s talent. He seamlessly moves between both characters, convincingly playing both personas – though both characters are the same person. His knack for comedy and ease with intensity prove why he has such a strong fan following. Noor Ul Hassan and Salma Hassan are also excellent as Shiba’s parents, their affectionate bickering appearing natural. Durr E Fishan Salem is naturally pretty but hasn’t been given much scope to perform as yet, but she’s convincing as Shibra – and likable. Overall, “Ishg Murshid” is a thoroughly enjoyable show so far, a show that leaves the viewer with a smile on their face and transports us into a world of youthful romance.