“Prem Gali” is now in the wrapping-up phase, winding up its last two episodes – which is a tragedy in itself, considering this is a show that deserves to go on for much longer considering the amount of story it has left to explore. Starring Farhan Saeed, Sohai Ali Abro, Saba Hameed, Uzma Hassan, Shamim Hilaly, Qavi Khan Waseem Abbas and others, “Prem Gali” has been written by Faiza Iftikhar and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed. We last saw the two families beginning to discuss Mussarat and Luqman’s wedding – but is Mussarat on board?
In episode 31, the second last episode, both Hamza (Farhan Saeed) and Joya (Sohai Ali Abro) are overjoyed to hear that their families are plotting Luqman (Abdullah Farhatullah) and Mussarat’s (Uzma Hassan) wedding. The meeting does not go as expected though. Joya grows jealous of the support Hamza is receiving from her family and acts out, misbehaving with her own family and hurting Rahat’s (Shamim Hilaly) feelings in the process. It’s fortunate that Haatim (Waseem Abbas) recognizes what’s going on and has a very sweet heart-to-heart with Joya, telling her to apologize to her grandmother and Shireen (Saba Hameed). Haatim is a wonderful character and Waseem Abbas plays him so well. He’s not simply a cheapskate and though these scenes are enjoyable, these more serious, meaningful scenes give this character a depth that depicts what a wise, kind-hearted soul he is.
Hamza, being the good-natured guy he is, speaks to Mussarat and tries to get to the bottom of her refusal to marry Luqman. It’s sweet to see how he supports Mussarat’s right to refuse – as does most of the family. Mussarat’s concerns are valid. She has only recently begun to be happy within herself and does not want to get pushed into a relationship where she again loses herself. Luqman seems to deeply care for Mussarat and wants to marry her, so he approaches her again, asking what he can do to make her agree. When she puts her concerns out, he tells her that he also wants to be happy and sees that happiness with her. This is really a very sweet moment between the two, but these characters deserved more screen time and a better etched-out love story that evolved over time. Uzma Hassan and Abdullah Farhatullah make the most of the screen time they are given and shine, making their scenes some of the best ones in the show.
Joya does ultimately approach Rahat to apologize, though she still continues to hold a grudge against Hamza. But Rahat sets her straight, pointing out how inappropriate her behavior has been and how she expects others to forgive her bad behavior, but does not have an iota of forgiveness in her own heart – implying how callous she has been towards Hamza, unwilling to forgive. The episode ends on a strong note with this scene.
The greatest weakness of “Prem Gali” (and quite honestly, the only weakness) is the way the episodes have been mapped out. So much time and attention has been given to this tiff between Hamza and Joya, a tiff which is nothing more than a very simple misunderstanding. And yet, despite the fact that Hamza has repeatedly tried to make up with Joya, Joya refuses to let go of her ego. Are we, as viewers, supposed to even like Joya at this point? Joya is coming across as the most irritating, unlikable character at present, because not only does she refuse to move past a small issue, but she also behaves rather rudely with her own family. Why? This character is being written into a corner. Instead of focusing so much attention on Hamza and Joya’s non-issue, it would have been a pleasure to witness more scenes focusing on Mussarat and Luqman, along with Haatim and Dada Ji and even Shireen and Manzoor. All of these characters have such strong arcs, but they have not been given sufficient attention, the team instead choosing to continue to drag on a needless Joya-Hamza fight.
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The strength of “Prem Gali” is in its dialogues and the way some sequences make one thing. While Tau comes to visit, kindly complaining about how everyone in the neighborhood has visited him to congratulate him for completing his Hajj, Rahat quietly responds that she feels jealous. As a single woman without a brother, father or husband, she wishes to go for Hajj herself but cannot. This makes one take pause and think about the life Rahat has had to endure and the unfulfilled dreams she continues to have. This has always been the strength of this show and continues to be. Shamim Hilaly steals the show in this episode, along with Uzma Hassan and Abdullah Farhatullah. Of course, the entire cast is doing a great job. With the last episode airing next week, will all the loose ends be wrapped up in a satisfying way or will it feel rushed? We will have to wait and see, but this will definitely be a show that will be missed!