When “Wehshi” began, it grabbed eyeballs of Pakistani drama viewers starving for fresh, creative content and storytelling. With its attractive lead pair, stellar performances and unique storyline, “Wehshi” was headed towards greatness. Starring Khushhal Khan, Komal Meer, Nadia Khan, Babar Ali and others, the story is based on Razia Butt’s novel, the screenplay has been written by Shumaila Zaidi and directed by Iqbal Hussain. The story of Asif, a young man starved for love after his father’s death and remarriage, the narrative captivated viewers, breaking our hearts with each episode. The love story and Asif’s progress from “wehshi” (monster) to a kinder man made for compelling viewing. Unfortunately, the show is now split up into two parts – episodes one to twenty-eight excellence and the complete failure of episodes 29 to episode 36 (the finale).
There is so much to be said about the finale of “Wehshi.” Like the rest of the story following episode 28, the finale is also aimless, directionless and…..senseless. What was the point of this story? While watching the first “season” (if we can break it up in that way), the message was clear – if a man remains without love and affection, he will turn into a monster. He is a product of his upbringing. However, receiving love can change a man and it does change Asif (Khushhal Khan). Sobia’s (Komal Meer) entry into his life not only changes him, but gives him a purpose to live, fueling his ambition to make something of himself. To say the first half of the show is brilliant would be an understatement. It has a brilliantly written story, wonderful acting from the entire cast (but particularly Khushhal Khan), a beautiful OST, a love story that warms our hearts – and a betrayal that breaks it along with Asif’s.
What does “season 1” have that “season 2” (episode 29 onwards) doesn’t have? It’s clear…..the novel as a basis. If anything, season two only sheds light on what a wonderful writer Razia Butt is and how her material built a strong foundation for the entire screenplay of “Wehshi.” Without that material, the team flounders and finds themselves grasping at straws for a good story moving forward.
A lot happens in the finale, but most of it is nonsensical. Tahir has proposed to Sobia, consistently urging her to leave Aamir and marry him instead. And yet, in the finale, Tahir is the most innocent, helpful companion, behaving as though he’s pure of heart without ulterior motives – the perfect partner for Sobia, selfless in his love and attentiveness. He’s devoted to Aamir and helping Aamir…..yeah right? It’s as though the team has conveniently forgotten Tahir’s own selfish motives – which makes the ending seem even more ludicrous.
Aamir and Asif meet with Aamir confessing his sins and apologizing to Asif for what he’s done to him – from accidentally killing their mother to unintentionally destroying Asif’s life, Aamir takes long-overdue responsibility and puts his conscience to rest……and then dies. This is yet another problem in the writing. Why would Aamir die? It’s simply a convenient way to get Aamir out of the way so we can play “Asif vs. Tahir.”
Asif, after realizing the truth about his mother and seeing Sobia again after she saves his life, becomes consumed with the idea that he and Sobia are meant to be. Why? How? It comes out of nowhere. After forming a bond with and falling for Sadaf (mind you, this entire love story feels weak and unpalatable due to the bad acting of the female lead), suddenly Sobia is his number one again. Wasn’t this story always about Asif’s need for love and affection? Sadaf has been giving him that and Asif has turned into a very stable, kind-hearted, hard-working man. What’s the need for Sobia suddenly?
Asif decides to divorce Sadaf for Sobia – without so much as having a discussion with Sobia about it first. Sobia, of course, chooses the kind and ever so dependable Tahir (who is portrayed as being so selfless in this episode, though he’s no better than Asif in his stalking and obsessive pursuit of Sobia…..while she was married). Sobia taunts Asif that he’s wanted love all his life – and now he has rejected the one person who truly loved him (Sadaf). Sadaf, on the other hand, is seen back at her own home expecting Asif’s baby. What? Why? Why is Sadaf carrying Asif’s baby important at all?
The writing after episode 28 is downright atrocious. But can it all be blamed on bad writing? What only adds to the bad writing to further spell disaster for “Wehshi” is the acting! How do we go from an incredible cast in the first part of the show to suddenly being given insufferable actors gracing our screens? From the stepchildren to Asif’s colleagues and even to Sadaf, Asif’s “true love,” Hum TV really hammers the nail into their own foot here. Through the series, solid acting has been the strength of “Wehshi,” but as the second half of the story began, the bad acting of the extras and even predominant characters (Sadaf) turned the show into an eyesore, an uncomfortable show to watch which left its fans unhappy.
It’s possible to disconnect and pretend as though “Wehshi” ended with episode 28 and block out the remaining episodes. If that were the case, “Wehshi” would have been in the top 5 best shows of 2022. Unfortunately, episodes 29 – 36 do exist and they are terrible enough to really diminish the quality of an otherwise perfect show. This is an extreme tragedy, a tragedy of a team trying to do more with an already written story…..but faltering terribly with their attempt at creativity. Khushhal Khan, Komal Meer, Nadia Khan and Babar Ali are the true stars of “Wehshi” and did an incredible job. It’s unfortunate that all their hard work went down the drain with the final 8 episodes which destroyed the heart and soul of an almost perfect show. “Wehshi” went from being an absolutely prize, a gem of a show, to being yet another lost opportunity, a show where the true message of it all is lost entirely by some sort of bizarre desire to show Asif’s life as a tragedy. This show will be remembered for Khushhal Khan’s exceptional performance.