Once in a while, a show comes along that manages to keep its audience laughing week after week while still telling a strong story and imparting some knowledge upon its viewers. “Prem Gali” is one such show that has its viewers smiling and laughing through each episode while leaving one thinking about unfair realities in society at the same time. Starring Farhan Saeed, Sohai Ali Abro, Saba Hameed, Uzma Hassan, Shamim Hilaly, Waseem Abbas, Qavi Khan, Anoushay Abbasi, Farah Shah, Farhat Abdullah and several others, this show has an ideal ensemble cast with an interesting yet light-hearted story to match. Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Faiza Iftikhar, the show is now picking up steam.
Joya and Hamza take a backseat in this episode, allowing the other characters their moment to shine – and shine they do. In episode 5, Luqman (Farhat Abdullah) and Fari (Anoushay Abbasi) are caught on the terrace by Shireen (Saba Hameed), who immediately puts out the sirens, alerting the entire neighborhood. Luqman and Fari are thrashed by their respective families and Dada Ji (Qavi Khan) and Haseena (Farah Shah) meet to discuss Luqman and Fari’s marriage to save both families from disgrace. Unfortunately, Luqman is still hung up on his (dead) wife and carries the guilt of her suicide, so he not only refuses to marry Fari, but saves her from disgrace by calling her his sister in front of the entire neighborhood. This scene is a sweet one, because it proves Luqman is a stand-up guy, openly coming to Fari’s defense, which impresses her – and breaks her heart. Will Luqman be able to come out of his fear of marriage and open his heart to Fari?
On the other end, Hamza (Farhan Saeed) and Joya (Sohai Ali Abro) recognize the misunderstanding was technically caused by them as both Luqman and Fari had gone to the terrace to search for Hamza and Joya. While Joya backs off slightly out of fear, Hamza only increases his pursuit. Hamza is serious about Joya, intending on sending his proposal to her house, but Joya is well-aware of her mother’s attitude and fears she’ll reject Hamza outright. Judging by the preview for episode 6, she may be right! Farhan Saeed and Sohai Ali Abro are likable together and have made Joya and Hamza root-worthy.
Qavi Khan, Waseem Abbas, Farhan Saeed and Farhat Abdullah share incredible chemistry as the all-male family unit. It’s honestly a joy to watch this group of actors in their scenes together. Qavi Khan and Waseem Abbas have some cackle-worthy moments in this episode, particularly Qavi Khan who gives hilarious expression after expression while dealing with Luqman’s potential nikkah.
As in each episode (so far), the viewer is left thinking about the ways of society in terms of a specific issue. We were forced to think about the plight of divorcees with Joya’s family in one episode, seeing the flip-side of things with Hamza’s family of “bad luck” husbands in another episode and this episode is no different. This time around, Fari makes an innocent remark to Joya about how Luqman came to her rescue and saved her dignity by standing up for her, a scene that highlights the necessity of a man’s protection in Pakistani society. Despite Joya and Fari coming from families run by strong, independent women, at the end of the day, Fari’s reputation depended on Luqman’s certificate of her good character. And while Fari is relieved to have been let off the hook, she is not pleased to have become the official “mauhallay ki behen” (the neighborhood sister). Anoushay Abbasi stands out in this episode, making her presence felt amongst many other talented actors and essentially stealing the show as Fari this time around.
“Prem Gali” continues to make its mark, standing out from other shows as one that does not bog the viewer down with grief or misery. One can only hope this drama can stay on that track. At present, “Prem Gali” is a quality show with a lot going for it including the acting, story and direction. This is a must-watch.