“Prem Gali” is a breezy show that puts a smile on the viewer’s face. Despite dealing with heavy topics such as divorce and death, there’s an uplifting feel to the way the show presents itself. Faiza Iftikhar has done a wonderful job creating likable characters and they have been brought to life under the direction of Qasim Ali Mureed.
In episode 4, Hamza’s family desperately wants to arrange his marriage, but Haseena (Farah Shah) turns them down in helping the men find a proposal, stating that no self-respecting woman would want three fathers-in-law. Hamza’s father (Waseem Abbas) lightly makes a comment about the supernatural and this passes along from Haseena onwards like a game of Chinese whisper. Soon enough, the entire neighborhood is talking about the “Churail” that set her sights upon Hamza’s great-grandfather and has cursed their entire family. The men and women in the village now fear Hamza’s (Farhan Saeed) wrath and have begun to spread stories about a creature on their terrace as well. This track is humorous and all too realistic, depicting the way in which gossip tends to travel and turn into an entirely different piece of information.
Joya (Sohai Ali Abro) and Rahat (Shamim Hilaly) discuss Shireen’s (Saba Hameed) past. Rahat tells Joya that her mother hasn’t always been like this, but looking at her mother, she developed a fear of failed relationships. Deciding that Rahat’s marriage failed due to a meek personality, Shireen developed a hard shell, but realized that if a man wants to leave, he will leave regardless. Joya is hesitant by nature as well, due to the bad luck with marriages in her family, but finds herself being drawn to Hamza against her better judgement. Joya also has a desire to escape her mother’s restrictions, despite loving and respecting her. This is seen when Shireen insists on sleeping in Joya’s room and then, later, walking Joya to school, which prevents Joya from meeting Hamza. Fari (Anoushay Abbasi) unintentionally clears up the misunderstandings between Hamza and Joya, paving the path once again for their budding romance. The two plot on how to meet on the terrace, but Shireen proves to be a problem once again. It’s a great parallel to see how Joya and Hamza’s families both carry different stigmas – while Joya’s family is (negatively) seen as a family of divorcees, Hamza’s family is seen as a cursed family where wives are destined to pass away, technically making the two a perfect match.
Farhan Saeed and Sohai Ali Abro’s chemistry as Hamza and Joya continues to be the highlight of the show, though there are many other positives. The way their relationship is progressing is realistic and doesn’t come across as forced at all. Both characters are innocent and naïve, making their old-fashioned romance seem all the more endearing, a throw-back to the times before cell phones and texting despite being set in present-day. The ensemble cast is a real plus for this show, bringing the sense of community and neighborhood living to life with realistic characters. There are several cute scenes, particularly the one between Shireen and Tau when he expresses his desire to perform Hajj, a scene which makes the audience soften towards an otherwise “tough” character. Saba Hameed, Uzma Hassan and Shamim Hilaly are all great performers and their banter flows freely, making it seem as though they’re really family.
The upcoming episode seems to show that Fari and Hamza’s Chacha will be caught together, though it’s not clear for what reason – but what is clear is that it will be the cause of controversy. Episode 4 wasn’t particularly action-packed, but this is the sort of show one watches while relaxing to clear their mind. It’s been written really well so far and hopefully will continue along this (unproblematic) path.