When a promising new show premiers, Pakistani drama audiences tend to flock to its first episode with curiosity. However, as the episodes continue, many shows suffer due to loss of steam or being unable to meet expectations. With 7 episodes down, “Jhok Sarkar” not only continues to be a solid, gripping watch, but it’s also only getting better with each episode. Starring Farhan Saeed, Hiba Bukhari, Asif Raza Mir and others, the story has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Saife Hassan.
Arsalan (Farhan Saeed) has been tackling the many problems in Jhok Siyaal, whether it’s lack of transportation, lack of weapons, bribes and faulty ethics or even simply having physically fit officers. Unfortunately, when Arsalan is given a tip about illegal border crossing, he arrives – and winds up shooting Jeevan after he attempts to escape. Jeevan’s death leaves everyone stunned, not only Sassi (Hiba Bukhari) and her father, but also Meeral (Usman Javed) and Jahan Dad (Malik Raza). Jeevan’s death comes as a big blow to Meeral’s ego, as he has always felt untouchable. Of course, Meeral and Peeral (Asif Raza Mir) use Jeevan’s death to create problems for Arsalan, ensuring an inquiry is opened against him. On his part, Arsalan is ripped apart with guilt for his actions. While he attends Jeevan’s funeral, he comes face to face with Sassi and she lashes out, essentially calling him corrupt and a murderer. However, Arsalan is a “good cop” and while he has made a mistake, he’s bent on getting to the bottom of this case, igniting a feud with Peeral and Meeral when he insists on speaking to their man, Aslam – who has been sent away for this very purpose.
Farhan Saeed is simply wonderful as Arsalan, a natural in his role as a man who is by the book and wants the best for his area. He stands for what’s right and bows down when he is wrong and Farhan’s performance gives Arsalan just the right amount of courage and vulnerability. Of course, we cannot forget Asif Raza Mir, who is a powerhouse as Peeral. This is why Asif Raza Mir is…..Asif Raza Mir. He is a beloved actor because he commits entirely to the role and he has done exactly that as Peeral. Peeral is a monster, a man who rules his land with an iron fist. However, he also has a roving eye and has a soft spot for the women who (currently) hold his affection, as we see in his interactions with Noori. Usman Javed is also doing a great job as the wild, egocentric Meeral. Hiba Bukhari has been growing more as an actress with each role and she’s great as the principled Sassi.
There’s little to criticize about “Jhok Sarkar.” The script itself is strong with few unnecessary scenes and the direction is true to the story. The atmosphere only adds to the discomfort the audience feels while watching this narrative play out. Arsalan is the law, but in a lawless land, can the safety of a police offer be guaranteed? What will Arsalan have to endure in Jhok Siyaal and what will become of him now that he is the enemy in the eyes of Peeral and Meeral? “Jhok Sarkar” is gripping and leaves the audience wanting more at the end of each episode. This is a drama which is not only a must-watch, but is most likely the best show currently on television.