On the onset, there isn’t anything strikingly different about “Mushkil.” Starring Saboor Aly, Zainab Shabbir and Khushhal Khan in lead roles, the story gives off a feeling of déjà vu, seemingly similar to Saboor Aly’s past project “Gul O Gulzar,” but with Saboor in the “good” role this time around. Written by Adeel Razzaq and directed by Marina Khan, “Mushkil” follows the lives of two friends pitted against one another when life throws a curveball into their lives.
In episode one, we are introduced to Hareem (Zainab Shabbir), who is from a conservative background, but dreams big. She is reminiscent of Saba Qamar’s role in “Maat,” barring the sister angle. This is a young girl who has her eyes set on the prize, a dream that will pull her out of her circumstances, and that prize is Faraz (Khushhal Khan). While Faraz is her classmate, he does not show any interest in her and acknowledges her to his friends as his stalker. Hareem believes this is the best way to be noticed, but Faraz is visibly irritated by her.
On the other hand, Sameen (Saboor Aly) is from a good family and is the stereotypical goody two shoes who preaches of high morality and nags Hareem against pursuing Faraz when he isn’t interested in her. While Sameen is right, at some point this kind of character can become really annoying – and she does. What makes it worse is that Hareem poisons Sameen’s mind against her own fiancé, Arif (Kashif Hussain), for being a small-minded village boy. Arif seems like a harmless character, though very conservative, but Hareem’s words have caused the desired effect and Sameen is seen analyzing him from a distance.
The two girls have a fight after Sameen interferes in a moment between Faraz and Hareem, which leads to the girls cutting off temporarily. During this time, Hareem’s father has her engaged within a day, leaving Hareem desperate to find a way to marry Faraz. But how does one marry a man who has no interest? In a strange twist of fate, it seems Faraz may have interest in Sameen. Will this be the point that turns a friend into an enemy?
The story is headed in a direction that’s predictable enough, but also interesting enough to keep viewers intrigued. Saboor Aly is a dependable performer and Khushhal Khan is an actor who has been proving himself with each show he has appeared in, quickly becoming a fan favorite. Zainab Shabbir has also been working on her craft, so the cast alone is reason enough to watch. Airing multiple times a week, “Mushkil” appears to be a fast-paced show that will be a sure-fire hit.