In the second episode of ‘Ishq Zahe Naseeb,’ it’s a battle of good versus evil as Sameer is puppeteered by his darker alter-ego, Sameera. Zahid Ahmed has delivered his best in what could be the apogee of his career.
The first episode of ‘Ishq Zahe Naseeb’ had me longing for a deep revelation of Zahid Ahmed’s tangled and intricate character Sameer – but the last few moments simply teased me, teething at a larger revelation in the weekend’s latest development. Zahid has joined in on a softer revolution of actors who are plunging into the deep end of essaying a very different kind of men; on a more direct example, we had Imran Ashraf in ‘Ranjha Ranjha Kardi’ and Affan Waheed in ‘Do Bol’ – men who are differently abled, and men who aren’t afraid to be emotional (respectively) in the face of a very rigid society that has mocked up toxic masculinity.
In ‘Ishq Zahe Naseeb,’ Zahid Ahmed plays Sameer, a character who rightfully begs to be understood in a country that can often be all too cruel and unforgiving if you want to exist outside the binary. Sameer was given more time to unfold in the latest episode, albeit in a heart-wrenching confrontation with his step-mother; he told her he wanted to marry a girl called Zoya because he was certain she’d help him overcome his identity struggle.
Sameer’s stepmother, however, refused to take part in this abetting and warned him that he’d be ruining both her life and his – “woh bhi aisi larki jis ko tumhare bedroom tak access ho?” Zahid truly enrobed himself in all the complexities Sameer harbors and it’s both exhilarating and heartbreaking to watch. A striking moment comes when Sameer is exchanging rings with Zoya (a subdued color to satiate a dejected Sameer) and we cut to Sameera breaking the fourth wall and teasing the viewer with an eery smile.
In the closing scene, Sameera engages in some chaff while ragging Sameer about his engagement (she’s wearing the same clothes in his previous conversation with her, hinting at her being his alter ego or subconscious). She tells him to kill Zoya after he divulges how “masoom” she is. The spectrum of conflict Sameer possesses is phenomenal, and Zahid executes all internal dissension with great credibility.