“Prem Gali” stars Farhan Saeed, Sohai Ali Agha, Saba Hameed, Waseem Abbas, Qavi Khan, Shamim Hilaly, Uzma Hassan and many others in this show about the lives of two families in a small neighborhood. The story, which has been written by Faiza Iftikhar and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed, continues to keep viewers hooked on its sweetly realistic love story. But the show is much more than simply a love story and each character has been written with strong character traits and layers.
In episode 17, we saw that Hamza (Farhan Saeed) and Joya (Sohai Ali Abro) planned a night out for themselves in order to spend time together. Unfortunately, their livewire household does not understand the concept of privacy and turns the plan into a family night out. Frustrated, Joya and Hamza realize they will not have any alone time if they rely on their families to simply understand. The two sneak out to meet and spend the afternoon and evening together. But of course, this small desire to spend time together turns into chaos at home.
Rahat (Shamim Hilaly) means well, but she continues to cause trouble for Joya and Hamza with her interference and misunderstandings. She immediately begins jumping to conclusions, wondering where Joya has gone, with whom and why? The usually subdued Mussarat (Uzma Hassan) gets influenced by Rahat’s theories and jumps to an assumption of her own, planting the idea that Joya is expecting into both Shireen (Saba Hameed) and Rahat’s minds. Slowly this news trickles upstairs as well, leading the entire family to believe Joya is expecting. This, in turn, creates a commotion and Joya, angrily, sets the record straight. Saba Hameed stands out in a small, subtle scene where she affectionately scolds Joya for going against her advice (thinking Joya is pregnant). The way Shireen moves from slightly emotionally blackmailing to becoming the defender once again is both heart-touching and hilarious.
While the concept of the joint family system is almost “prized” in the Sub Continent, it’s nice to see the flip-side of things in “Prem Gali.” The show offers a different perspective of how, in some circumstances, this situation could be detrimental for a relationship. This is not to say that the show is against the joint family system, but keeping the personalities and mindsets of both families in mind, Joya and Hamza are in over their heads living with both families under one roof. There are several headstrong, independent, opinionated individuals coming together here and – which means there’s a tug of war of egos occurring here between the two families, each one trying to assert control and ownership over the newlyweds.
Sukhi and Shakoor represent the plight of gender nonconforming individuals in Pakistan. It’s wonderful that this is a track and it’s also great that it’s being told in a realistic way. While Hamza has wholeheartedly accepted them as his friends, it’s clear that the rest of the neighborhood is not ready to do so. And this will, hopefully, be a much needed track to show how our biases can get in the way of getting to know and supporting wonderful individuals, despite our differences.
The performances continue to elevate the show to new levels. This is the very definition of an ensemble cast and every actor pulls his/her weight and does a fabulous job. Still, all the positives aside, there is room for complaint. “Prem Gali” has come to a standstill of sorts. While yes, it’s wonderful to see stories like the obtrusive traits of the joint family system and the gender nonconforming community, there are so many stories left to explore on the show. Manzoor (Javed Sheikh) has yet to make his proper re-entry on the scene and this is a storyline that deserves time and attention, considering Manzoor and Joya’s relationship has potential to be a major plot point. Likewise, Luqman and Mussarat’s love story is one that we continue to see small glimpses of. But will this duo get proper scenes dedicated to their track? It would be unfair if either of these stories were neglected – and there are so many other prospective stories to explore. Crew of “Prem Gali,” let’s get this story moving!