The narrative in “Jhok Sarkar” has consistently been focused on the government versus lawlessness. The haveli and the Peer family have wielded power over the villagers for so long, the villagers have been born into this culture of being subservient. They do not know any better – and yet, there are many that recognize the injustice of it all. It’s with Arsalan’s (Farhan Saeed) arrival though that the blindfold has been removed from the eyes of many. Starring Farhan Saeed, Hiba Bukhari, Asif Raza Mir and others, the story has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Saife Hassan.
In episode 15, Iqbal is Meeral’s latest victim, one in a long line, which shows how sloppy Meeral (Usman Javed) has gotten in his attempts to cover up his crimes. While he may think he’s getting away with murder, it’s quickly catching up to him. The introduction of the “tracker” is an interesting one and shows how forensic work is done in these smaller areas through the use of an outdated concept. Here, however, the tracker proves efficient as he finds an earring, which leads directly to Meeral’s right-hand man, Mukhtar. At this time, Meeral and Peeral (Asif Raza Mir) have high-ranking political guests visiting and, to their embarrassment, Arsalan and his team arrive to make arrests right in time to interrupt their political guest’s speech. In an exciting, unexpected twist of fate, Arsalan comes face-to-face with Lubna, his ex-fiancée, who is now wife to this politician.
Up until now, it’s been rather up-in-the-air as to how the story would continue to play out, but with Lubna’s arrival, there appears to be a silver lining in sight. Will Lubna be a source of help to Arsalan or will she side with her hosts with their backwards ways? We’re aware of Lubna’s thought-process and while she had different desires for her standard of living, she always admired Arsalan and his principles. It’ll be interesting to see how this story plays out – and whether Lubna’s arrival will affect Sassi (Hiba Bukhari) and her progressing love story with Arsalan. Speaking of which, we missed Sassi and Arsalan’s interactions horribly this week.
Jahan Dad, played by Malik Raza, is such a joy to watch on-screen with a dangerous, yet humorous character. Jahan Dad is corrupt, he’s a traitor and he relays information against Arsalan to those in the “haveli” – and yet, he’s a human being at heart. He worries for his future and watching him in a panic over getting caught, we can feel the stress and anxiety he is going through in these moments.
The star performers this week are Asif Raza Mir and Farhan Saeed. Farhan Saeed does not get enough credit for the flawless performance he’s giving as Arsalan. This is not your run-of-the-mill character and sure, while he’s a pure-hearted hero, he’s also complex and his straight forward nature gets him into trouble. We’re loving his character and his performance – and even his look. Asif Raza Mir is just brilliant as Peeral. He’s obsessive over his “women,” he’s controlling and he’s deadly. This is a man who can make friends with those in powerful positions with a smile and laugh, but can murder those in his own backyard just as easily – and Asif Raza Mir has brought him to life with his strong performance. This entire ensemble cast is wonderful, from Hiba Bukhari, Usman Javed, Malik Raza, Saad Azhar, Sakina Samo and so forth. “Jhok Sarkar” is one of those rare shows which leaves the audience spellbound throughout its 36 minute run, wanting more each week. This is a riveting, underrated show.