“Jhok Sarkar” has been winning rave reviews since its premiere months ago, telling the story of good vs. evil in a lawless land. With a stellar ensemble cast including Farhan Saeed, Asif Raza Mir, Hiba Bukhari, Usman Javed, Hassan Niazi, Saad Azhar, Sakina Samo, Mahenur Haider and others, the story has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Saife Hassan. This has been an excellent journey in a story where the villains are equally as captivating as the heroes. However, in recent weeks, the story has slowed down, leaving audiences wondering how the show would wind up. Unfortunately, the finale takes viewers by surprise.
In the finale, Arsalan (Farhan Saeed) and his men have been released from their capture, but recognize that they are now Meeral (Usman Javed) and Peeral’s (Asif Raza Mir) target. Making matters worse, Meeral has now kidnapped Sassi (Hiba Bukhari) and gravely injured her father. The finale is exciting, no doubt about it, but the execution does leave a bit to be desired. First, the show has always been set up as a story of good vs. evil, one where good would eventually win – but does winning mean total decimation of both sides? From the beginning, audiences believed Noori (Maham Shahid) would be the one to avenge Shaukat’s death by not only taking down Meeral, but also being the vessel to bring down the entire family. While this does play out in some way, it’s not to the extent that we would like. There’s a great moment when Sardari Begum (Sakina Samo) develops a conscience and realizes her son and husband are not worth protecting, choosing to help Noori save the women of the town. It’s an unexpected, but meaningful moment and Sakina Samo shines. Sardari Begum has been a victim of her circumstances, always viewing the women in her household as the enemy – but she is, after all, a woman at the mercy of her own family as well. Noori does, eventually, wind up being the reason for Peeral’s downfall – but we would’ve liked to see her do it herself, being the one to fire the gun.
Jehan Dad’s (Malik Raza) heart and conscience has always come from his son, Guddu. One of the most tragic moments in an episode full of tragedy comes from Jehan Dad’s meeting with Guddu when his young son repeats all his crimes to him, unable to look at his father in the eye or even hug him after learning of his reality. It’s ultimately his son who opens Jehan Dad’s heart and forces him to join the call against Peeral and Meeral with the rest of the officers. Malik Raza has owned this role and truly made Jehan Dad an excellent character to watch.
In the end, while Arsalan prepares for his final run, targeted by Meeral, the entire police force joins hands to come to his rescue against Meeral……and unfortunately, each one of these brave heroes dies in the process. This is hard to watch, seeing these heroes meet their end in an effort to bring down criminals. Unfortunately, Sassi and Arsalan do not fare any better in their final moments, succeeding in bringing down Meeral, but losing their lives in the process.
There have been so many excellent performers in “Jhok Sarkar” from Asif Raza Mir to Farhan Saeed, Usman Javed, Hiba Bukhari, Malik Raza, Saad Azhar and many others. The cast has truly made this a show worth watching along with the strong writing and direction. What does work for the finale is how emotional it is, literally bringing out tears as we witness the loss of life and sacrifice by our police force to defend what’s right. However, is it necessary to wipe out every positive character in the process? This goes back to past shows that have been in the eye of criticism – to put forth an idea and encourage viewers to take steps, the end message should also be positive. Yes, there’s sacrifice required when defending the land, but if this is what is seen on our screens, how many parents will hold their children back from taking on such jobs? It’s something to think about. Our shows must also provide hope and optimism, not solely sacrifice and death. Overall, the team has done an exceptional job, but the finale does leave the viewer with an unsettled feeling.