Jurm: A drama that will have you hooked

KARACHI: Over the years, Pakistani drama watchers have resigned themselves to the fact that they will forever have to watch the same storylines played out in every drama: family politics, love triangles and a whole lot of crying. While 2023 turned out to be the year for Wahaj Ali who had managed to wow audiences with Jo Bichar Gaye and Ishq Jalebi the previous year, it seemed like the actor would also be resigned to the same plots that plagued us. That is until episode 1 and 2 of Jurm aired over the weekend.

The crime thriller aired on Geo and has been written by Shah Yasir and directed by Mehreen Jabbar. It boasts a talented cast with Wahaj Ali and Durefishan Saleem as the leads, Daniyal and Ayla, sharing the screen with the likes of Atiqa Odho, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Tooba Siddiqui and Zhalay Sarhadi. The crime thriller follows a recently married couple who have a romantic evening planned. Flashbacks reveal that Daniyal is the son of a millionaire and likes to keep to himself. He is perused by the popular, bubbly Ayla, the daughter of a single mother. The two eventually get married and the family spares no expense when it comes to grand festivities. It is the perfect fairytale. That is, until tragedy strikes.

Their romantic evening was supposed to end with Kashmiri tea from a chai dhabba from Ayla’s childhood, from before her parents split. But the couple are suddenly held up at gun point and their driver is dragged into the bushes and seemingly shot. But it’s unclear what the robbers wants. They don’t flee with any valuables and they don’t steal the car away. After a struggle ensues, Daniyal is left bloody and beaten and the robbers drive away with Ayla. Is it a mugging gone wrong? Or is there something more sinister afoot?

The drama is anything but slow burn. It takes Jurm the entire duration of episode 1 and 2 to reveal just who the culprits are and a heartbreaking tragedy. But that’s not what makes the drama so interesting. As the family and police try to peace together what actually happened, truths that never should have been are revealed. We learn that Daniyal had a very strained relationship with his parents. His father would belittle him and his mother cared more about her kitty party ladies than her son’s happiness. As the drama goes on, each character becomes even more suspicious than the other. And in the midst of the investigation is a young reporter Ashley (Maha Hasan), who manages to uncover truths that no one else knows.

In just two episodes, Jurm draws in its viewers. Family idiosyncrasies, the divide between the rich and the poor and relationship problems shown in the drama hit closer to real life than we thought was possible. The casting for the drama deserves credit. No one could have played a controlling, angry millionaire better than Muhammad Ehtashamuddin. He is constantly angry, has no room for nonsense and it is easy to believe that his emotional unavailability could have damaged his son. We cannot imagine anyone playing the emotionally fragile, dubious herbal tea drinking socialite better than Atiqa Odho.

The drama is also well written with each character having their layers being unraveled and making viewers realize that we have similar people around in our lives, leaving us to wonder if they are just as shady as the ones we see on screen. Is Daniyal as wonderful as Ayla believed him to be or is there a darker side to him courtesy of his messed up family life? And is Samina (Tooba Siddiqui) more than just an assistant with more say in personal matters than anyone realizes? Was the tragedy that struck Ayla premeditated or just a tragedy?

With episode 2 ending on a cliffhanger, we cannot wait to see what will happen in the drama next!

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