“Jhok Sarkar” is best described as an “earthy” drama, a show that stays true to its setting and transports the audience into this world of lawlessness where the reigns are firmly in the control of one family. Starring Farhan Saeed, Hiba Bukhari, Asif Raza Mir and others, the story has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Saife Hassan. What sets “Jhok Sarkar” apart is its old-school feel, almost reminding the audience of PTV time dramas – though with higher production values.
In episode 11, Arsalan (Farhan Saeed) continues to work towards change. While there’s a good share of crooked cops in Jhok Siyal, Arsalan and Ramzan (Saad Azhar) represent those policemen who are true to their duty and the people they’ve sworn to protect. After finding Aslam’s dead body, the two men are now determined to get to the bottom of his murder – though they have a good suspicion as to who is involved. Saad Azhar is incredibly likable as Ramzan, a good and decent man struggling to stick to his principles in a ruthless area.
Farhan Saeed and Hiba Bukhari have great chemistry as Arsalan and Sassi. It’s wonderful to see how their relationship is growing naturally. Despite Arsalan’s involvement in Jeevan’s death, Sassi and her father recognize that the death was not actually Arsalan’s fault and, as always, Peeral and Meeral were behind it. In Arsalan, Sassi has found a confidant and she tells him the truth about Shaukat, asking him to help her find him. Unfortunately, as Arsalan begins to dig, he realizes things are not as they seem. Farhan Saeed is the heart of the show as Arsalan, a man who can see what he’s up against, but refuses to back down on his principles. This is a role which allows Farhan to showcase his talents- and he has talent. Hiba Bukhari is also a natural in this role, not only looking beautiful, but also performing well.
Usman Javed also deserves praise for his portrayal of Meeral, a man full of ego on a power trip. If he wants something, he will have it – and he does not know how to take no for an answer. In this case, what he wants is Sassi, even if she is unwilling. With how Jhok siyal is run, it will be interesting to see how Sassi escapes Meeral’s clutches. Sardari Begum (Sakina Samo) and Zulekha (Faiza Gillani) are at their wits end with Noori (Maham Shahid) and while they are enemies themselves, they band together to get rid of their common enemy. The women of the “haveli” are not kind-hearted or soft and have taken a page from Peeral and Meeral in how to solve their problems. In the case of Noori, they hatch a plot to have a snake brought in to Noori’s bedroom. Unfortunately for the ladies, Peeral arrives home just in time to see the snake in the bed. Will he save the day?
Asif Raza Mir is a brilliant actor, but his performance as Peeral is something else entirely. He commands attention and creates discomfort when he’s on screen. That’s the sign of a great negative character, one that forces the audience to pay attention while being equally repulsive. Each and every actor on this show is doing an excellent job. The writing is top notch by Hashim Nadeem – and we would expect no less. Of course, Saife Hassan is also worthy of praise, keeping the audience transfixed during each episode. “Jhok Sarkar” has been delivering strong episode after strong episode, but now with 11 episodes down, the strength of the show will lie in how the story proceeds from this point onward.