“Wehshi” is not your generic, usual, predictable story. Rather, it effectively weaves a gripping tale, showing what happens to children who are neglected and are not nurtured through their childhood. “Wehshi” stars Khushhal Khan, Komal Meer, Nadia Khan, Babar Ali and others in central roles while the screenplay has been written by Shumaila Zaidi and directed by Iqbal Hussain. Up until now, we have seen how Asif (Khushhal Khan) has been groomed into this hateful, angry, almost-mad young man who is constantly described as “wehshi” (animal or monster) by those around him, including his own mother.
In episode 18, Tahir (Komail Anam) is in a rough place as his father is severely ill. Sobia (Komal Meer) does her best to console him and keep his spirits elevated, but things grow increasingly uncomfortable for her as the pressure to marry Tahir grows. Sobia is dedicated to Asif and wants to marry him – but also wants him to make himself strong and independent enough to be her partner, while also reforming his rough, aggressive ways. Unfortunately, time is not on their side.
The Asif and Sobia love story is the best love story on television right now. Is Asif a rough character? Yes, but he’s a rough character for a reason. This is not a character who is unkind or unloving. We have seen his kindness and good behavior outside his home, his soft demeanor with friends and their families. His problems are solely with his “family unit,” the people who have mistreated him since childhood. Sobia’s entry into his life has come like a breath of fresh air and the way Khushhal Khan and Komal Meer have enacted these roles…..it’s incredible. The love Asif and Sobia have for one another is intense, passionate and obsessive – from both ends. They want to be together and this can be seen not only though the performances, but also the dialogues and the camera shots. This is how a love story should be presented. Other writers and directors should take note that, along with good actors, a show also needs to truly be invested in its romantic leads – and it’s clear that not only is the audience invested, the entire team is invested in depicting this love story in a realistic, believable way.
When you think about it, “Wehshi” is making a strong statement about the necessity of a woman being independent and being able to hold her own against a man. Muneera (Nadia Khan) has always been dependent on a man. And while her first husband was a loving, doting husband and father, Majid (Babar Ali) is neither of these things. His love for Muneera is dependent on how she cares for him and his son, Aamir. His disdain for Asif was made loud and clear since his childhood and the environment within their household has been oppressive, antagonistic and depriving for this young child who has grown up feeling unwanted….all because his mother has not had the strength or standing to stick up for a son she loves, but cannot defend due to fear of being kicked out with her son. She treats him terribly in order to protect him and herself. But who is this fair to?
Khushhal Khan has been only going from strength to strength with each role he takes on and has quickly been proving himself as Pakistani television’s next big star. He has gotten the role of a lifetime with “Wehshi” and is showcasing his talent through this character. Komal Meer is his perfect companion, an actress who has always deserved more than what she has been getting – and Sobia is such a complex, multilayered character. What a performance! At present, as viewers, we can only desperately hope the end has been altered from the novel. Shouldn’t we be able to see some hope? Or will the team choose to stay true to the novel and give out a grim, yet realistic story? Either way, the way “Wehshi” is playing out is simply beautiful and heart-wrenching – and just brilliant.