“Prem Gali” airs its finale episode, bringing the much-loved show to an end. 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. This is a show that told a meaningful story while maintaining a light-hearted feel, allowing Pakistani drama viewers to enjoy their Monday nights without brain-drain entertainment. But how did the finale fare?
Quite honestly, the finale comes across as underwhelming. This has been a show with wonderful characters and actors, each character deserving an extensive amount of screen time aside from the male and female leads. However, with several stories still waiting to be wrapped up, it’s Hamza and Joya who receive the most amount of screen time in the finale – and this doesn’t sit well. 50% of the finale is “fluff,” filler scenes that are either nonsensical or scenes that further dig Joya into a hole of being unlikable.
In the finale, we see Joya (Sohai Ali Abro) continue to fight with Rahat (Shamim Hilaly) over her behavior and fight with Hamza (Farhan Saeed). Joya’s problems with Hamza are beyond irrelevant and petty and Rahat is well-aware of this, attempting to knock some sense into her granddaughter. Unfortunately, Rahat suffers a heart-attack during the fight and is rushed to the hospital by Hamza and Shireen (Saba Hameed). While Joya is initially worried, Dada Ji (Qavi Khan) reassures her, telling her Rahat is playing a prank in order to reunite Hamza and Joya. Hearing this, Joya begins acting indifferent and unaffected – which is ridiculous, because even if Rahat were faking it, would Joya really want her grandmother to think that is how little she cares for her? Joya remains unaffected by both Rahat and Hamza’s illness until Haatim (Waseem Abbas) verifies it’s not a prank. But by this time, Joya has managed to hurt everyone from Rahat, Shireen, Mussarat and Hamza. Joya proves herself to be a spoiled brat by the end, lacking all sense, and quite honestly, the general viewer is left thinking “Joya doesn’t even deserve Hamza.”
There are some great moments in the finale, particularly the scene between Rahat and Joya in the hospital when Rahat imparts some wisdom to her granddaughter, begging her not to make the same mistakes her elders have made. However, there are many things to pick on as well. As previously mentioned, we watch Joya for most of the episode and there’s even a scene towards the end where Joya is searching for Hamza to make up with him, bumping into every neighbor along the way, who inform her that Hamza loves her. Was this necessary? Farhan Saeed and Sohai Ali Abro have been wonderful, especially Farhan Saeed who has been an absolute natural throughout the show. But couldn’t this time have been better served focusing on Joya’s relationship with her father? Javed Sheikh is wasted, Manzoor never receiving the kind of screen time one would’ve hoped to see. The relationship with Manzoor and Joya is an important angle, one that could have made a real statement. There are girls and boys who grow up without one parent under the same roof and a hostile attitude does not always have to be the end result. This is a flaw with the show, neglecting such a promising track. Also, Mussarat (Uzma Hassan) and Luqman (Abdullah Farhatullah) deserved more attention. Their characters are so endearing, even the smallest moments make one smile – like Mussarat washing Luqman’s scooter. It’s wonderful then to see the show end on this pair with a lighthearted wedding moment that makes one laugh.
Overall, “Prem Gali” is a show that will be horribly missed. Whether it be Dada Ji, Haatim and Luqman’s antics, Joya and Hamza’s love story, Shireen and Mussarat’s banter, Rahat’s melodrama or even the neighborly gossip, this is family (and “mohalla”) that we’ve learned to love over the past several months and it will be hard to let go. “Prem Gali” managed to impart some wisdom and social messages throughout its run, even bringing viewers to tears in emotional scenes – and yet, the “feel” of the show has always remained light-hearted, the writing never bogging its audience down. Credit for this not only goes to the cast for their wonderful performances, but also the writer-director team. Faiza Iftikhar and Qasim Ali Mureed won our hearts as a duo with “Aangan” and they have done it yet again with “Prem Gali,” giving us yet another show which will be remembered long after it’s over.