Actors today are willing to take risks and embrace characters that showcase their versatility. Jhok Sarkar is Farhan Saeed’s first outing in the cop universe. With popular names like Hashim Nadeem as the writer and Safie Hassan as the director at the helm, did Saeed manage to do justice to the tailor-made role of Arsalan? Let’s find out.
The Lukewarm Proceedings
The first thing that needs inspection is the premise. We have seen such narratives a zillion times before but one does expect the treatment to be different in the presence of a prolific writer like Nadeem. The narrative opens well but gets mediocre and highly predictable toward the climax. Farhan’s earnest act is the only highlight in this otherwise routine story, with dialogues and performances that don’t bring the feel of freshness. The directions by Hassan were shaky this time. The finale sequence is shot half-heartedly with weak choreographed action.
The Unwanted Love Story
The initial episodes featured a track where Arsalan and Lubna — played by Mahenur Haider — parted ways due to class differences. This equation would have been digestible if an officer was in a relationship and was entirely focused on his work. ASP Arsalan’s track with Sassi — played by Hiba Bukhari — was planted unnecessarily just to check the box of a romantic angle. Their screen presence lacked fizz and did nothing to take the narrative forward. These scenes deviated the focus into the main action.
The Loose Ends
There were many questions left unanswered. Lubna’s comeback was a surprise but nothing substantial happened. Throughout, there wasn’t any valid reason why Peeral married Noorie (Mamya Shajaffar). How did wicked Sardari Begum (Sakina Samo) out of the blue become an angel, helping Noorie to punish the culprits? Also, the impact of the cop universe was hampered by domestic issues of Peeral’s (Asif Raza Mir) spouses ganging up against Noorie.
Mamya Shajaffar was the highlight of Jhok Sarkar. She was more visible in the initial episodes but later on, her screen time was chopped off. Despite of that, she ate up Bukhari with her electrifying screen presence and acting prowess. She got to mouth some of the best lines, she embodied the accent and body language of a village girl to perfection.
Summing it up, watching Jhok Sarkar was like a firecracker that didn’t fully explode into the wholesome entertainment zone. If all of the above was taken care of this one had the potential to be a clean hit.