While “Prem Gali” can’t boast of being a fast-paced, action-packed sort of show, it has a “real” feel to it, one very much like ARY’s “Aangan” (not surprising, as it’s by the same writer-director team). Written by Faiza Iftikhar and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed, this is a drama with a stellar ensemble cast. Each and every actor is putting sincere effort into their role, whether it be Farhan Saeed and Sohai Ali Abro as the leads or Anoushey Abbasi and Farah Shah as the neighbors. Each and every character has managed to make an impact on the viewer so far. In the last episode, we saw that Joya was rejected for a proposal due to her family’s divorce track record. Episode 3 picks up from this point.
The opening scene of episode 3 presents exactly how restrictive Joya’s (Sohai Ali Abro) home environment really is. When Shireen (Saba Hameed), Mussarat (Uzma Hassan) and Rahat (Shamim Hilaly) discover Joya “missing,” they immediately believe she has run away from home with a potential suitor and set out to find her. They are shocked when they find her on the terrace with a kitten and viewers are left laughing. But while the scene may be humorous, it paints a grim picture of Joya’s social circle and how isolated this girl really is. It does not come as a surprise that Joya harbors childlike romantic notions, wishing to escape from her household and lifestyle.
With Hamza (Farhan Saeed) and Joya (Sohai Ali Abro) now interested in each other, the scenes between the two play out in an endearing way. While Joya is hesitant to express her feelings due to her family’s bad experiences and her own restrictions, Hamza is the expressive, forthcoming one of the duo, expressing his intention to marry Joya. The romantic angle of the show is honestly the highlight with Farhan Saeed and Sohai Ali Abro’s chemistry oozing out of each scene they share together. The simplicity and old-school romance adds to the charm with stolen glances, unspoken affection and secret rooftop meetings. During a time of social media, texts and WhatsApp exchanges, these are things the youth generally does not indulge in these days and that only enhances the appeal of the show.
While the last episode focused on Shireen, Mussarat and Rahat’s past, this episode fills the audience in on the past of Hamza’s family. Qavi Khan’s character is revealed to have lost his wife to an illness while busy in his wrestling matches, while Waseem Abbas’s character lost his wife during childbirth. Hamza’s Chacha lost his wife on his wedding night when she committed suicide out of love for another man. The three men are kind-hearted, but have been deeply affected by the tragedy in their life and moved to their new neighborhood in hopes that Hamza’s future would not be marred by their past.
After Hamza is caught outside a Milad, a scene which only highlights Hamza’s innocence, Joya believes Hamza is a flirt. With this current misunderstanding, next week’s episode will move this angle forward with Hamza trying to prove himself to Joya. Besides Farhan Saeed and Sohai Ali Abro’s chemistry, Uzma Hassan’s performance stands out as Mussarat and her constant river of tears. “Prem Gali” isn’t entirely light-hearted and has its share of heavy storylines. But overall, this is a show that has heart and soul, but manages to keep a “breezy” feel to the narrative.