Pakistan continues to make its mark on the international circuit with Mehreen Jabbar’s Ek Jhooti Love Story that was released on Zee 5 last Friday.
Featuring the fascinating pair of Bilal Abbas Khan and Madiha Imam as the lead, it has managed to garner positive reviews from all over the world. It is not as dark as Churails or as vibrant as Enaaya, but even then it manages to capture the audiences’ attention due to many positives some of which are discussed below:
Writer Umera Ahmed is on song
Umera Ahmed knows what the audience wants and has been shaping their minds for quite some time. In Ek Jhooti Love Story, she tackles the subject of women empowerment, caters to the middle-class families and their issues as well as criticizes the parade ‘girls’ have to be accustomed to ahead of their marriages. That’s not all, she puts in elements of situational comedy alongside the relatability factor that is missing in our TV dramas. The audience would not just be able to relate to these characters but also see parts of themselves in them.
After all, we have a retiring relative in the extended family who isn’t allowed to do what he wants to do, a brother who can’t get married until his sisters are happily settled and a youngster who has to care for his family after his father’s death. For those who want to be both beautiful and rich (who doesn’t?), this web series will prove to be hilarious and the same can be said of the mothers who don’t have a stopper while talking to others. Get the drift?
In A World of Men, There Are Helpless Guys
According to our TV dramas, men are the root cause of all societal evils; however, nobody dares to talk about those guys who are helpless, hopeless, and want to have a fulfilling life, but can’t. Bilal Abbas Khan’s Sohail leads the Helpless Guys in this story where everything besides the love story is true. He owns a Computer Shop, looks after his mother and sister, is yet to pay back his debtors but wants to marry the most beautiful girl in the universe.
Furqan Qureshi’s Salahuddin is not much different as he has to act brotherly to his three sisters, bear his mother’s antics, act as the head of the family due to his father’s retirement and if he gets the time, flirt with his colleague in the office who is interested in him.
Mohammad Ahmed plays the only sane person in the house yet isn’t given respect because insanity reigns supreme in his home. The other person with brains in the family is Fawad Khan who plays his nephew and is in love with one of the daughters but can’t get the approval because he is two years younger, and works as a fruit vendor, and doesn’t have a degree. Ahmad Zeb looks perfect as Prince Charming and has everything all of the above guys would kill to have, making the story all the more interesting.
The Girl Gang Also Has Its Own Issues
Ek Jhooti Love Story tells the audience that you don’t need to rely on Saas-Bahu sagas to prosper in the world; here, the family of six (including three unmarried daughters) has issues ranging from post-retirement plans, marriage plans, pimple plans to find-out-how-the-rich-live plan. Most of these plans are from the point of view of Salma played by Madiha Imam who is the least confident person in her own house, bullied by elder sisters who love her too, bashed by a mother who has two other daughters to take care of and is loved by the men in the house, who are helpless and powerless.
The eldest daughter played by Kiran Haq is an accomplished professor yet her accomplishments are her biggest drawback; the middle one played by the extremely talented Mariam Saleem Nawaz has weight issues to counter as well as her being an ad hoc teacher while the youngest one’s number will come only after these two. If the ‘Hand Me Down’ scene doesn’t seem familiar, if the ‘Go Make Tea For Us Choti’ doesn’t look relatable, then you don’t deserve to watch good stuff.
Beo Rana Zafar plays the mother to perfection who wants the best for her daughters yet her strive for perfection is what makes them suffer. And then there is the cute Srha Asgr and cuter Hina Bayat as Sohail’s sister and mother respectively whose interaction will remind you of the ladies in your own home.
Srha’s Sobia is shown to be too shrewd for her own good, while the mother is clueless when it comes to matters other than the kitchen until steered in the right direction. Rabya Kulsoom Rehan plays the bridge between Salma (Madiha Imam) and her digital avatar Natalia (Kinza Razzak) since she is buddies with the former, and related to the latter. The dance sequence at the wedding proves they are related since their moves match each other perfectly.
Mehreen Jabbar Cleanses The Audience’s Mind With Pure Love
When she started her career as a director, Mehreen Jabbar was considered way ahead of her time. Come 2020 and she is still miles ahead of others and with her latest project gives the word ‘Web Series’ a proper meaning instead of just searching for straws to survive. There is hardly any cuss word used in the series that has no sexual sequences that are considered part and parcel of a web series in this part of the world.
In fact, she has cleansed the audience’s minds with her Ek Jhooti Love Story and has proved that even without the over-the-top gimmicks you can have a love story that might be false, but has its heart in the right place. As Captain of this ship, she not only caters to the audience’s expectations but also delivers something they would watch again and again, without feeling ‘guilty’ about it.
Perfect Casting Was Never This Perfect
When was the last time you saw a cast that gelled so perfectly that they really looked like a family; If Bilal Abbas and Srha Asgr had a common mother, it would have been Hina Bayat; if Kiran Haq had a younger sister, it would have been Madiha Imam and no one could have played the only brother to three sisters better than Furqan Qureshi
With Mohammed Ahmed and Beo Rana Zafar already impressing the audience with their chemistry and playing parents to two daughters in Cake, they were most suitable to play parents to three girls here. The extremely good-looking Ahmad Zeb and the stunning Kinza Razzak were perfect as the online avatars of the middle-class couple in love, and in an ideal world would have been made for each other. Add to that the supporting actors like the talented Rabya Kulsoom Rehan as the leading lady’s bestie and Ali Sheikh as the irritating-but-harmless professor, and you have the perfect cast ready to dazzle.