Prem Gali took its sweet time to go on-air. Almost a year ago, it was announced that Farhan Saeed and Sohai Ali Abro will be starring in Qasim Ali Mureed directorial Prem Gali, written by Faiza Iftikhar. This isn’t the first time the writer and the director have worked together. The duo has previously worked together for the 2017 family entertainer Aangan. Hence, expectations were already high from the team. And judging by Prem Gali’s first episode, it seems like the audience is in for a treat.
The first episode introduced us to the residents of Prem Gali, a fictionalized neighborhood situated in Karachi. The first family living in one of the houses (named Talaq Manzil) in Prem Gali consisted of three divorced women Rahat Begum (Shamim Hilali), and her daughters Shireen (Saba Hameed) and Musarrat (Uzma Hassan). Shireen’s unmarried daughter Joya (Sohai Ali Abro) completes the family of four. The second family included a widow Haseena (Farah Shah) and her children Salman and Fari (Anoushay Abbasi). The third family- consisting of Dada Ji (Qavi Khan), his sons Hatim Chaudhary (Waseem Abbas) and Abdullah Farhatullah, and Hatim’s son Hamza (Farhan Saeed) – just moved into Haseena’s house, who is renting a portion of her house to them. Nargis (Faiza Gilani) was also introduced though her family wasn’t shown.
As far as first episodes go, the drama did quite good in terms of telling the viewers what to expect from the story. The drama has an ensemble cast and all of them are playing intriguing characters. There’s Shireen who is basically the man of her house. From repairing machines to running a general store, she does all the hard work. Then there’s Hamza’s chacha who hasn’t had a successful love life and spends most of his time like a ‘zakhmi aashiq’ listening to sad songs. Fari, who runs a beauty parlor in the neighborhood, is best friends with Joya, who is still studying in college. Each character comes with their own unique quirks and traits, making them all stand out in their own right.
A world well established
The first episode does a fine job in establishing the world of Prem Gali where divorcées and perpetually single men take the center stage. Considering how this show is more character-driven than having a singular social issue driving the whole plot, it was important for Prem Gali to have characters that instantly get the attention of the audience and the show does just that. Sparks fly when Joya and Hamza collide hence, giving a strong base to the future love story of these characters. Different kinds of sparks fly when Shireen and Hatim meet for the first time giving the audience a taste of the kind of hilarious confrontations that are in store for these characters. A major plus point for the drama is how it has broken away from the conventional settings of having the entire story based around just one or two houses. It was refreshing to see a drama open up to shots of a hustling bustling neighborhood in the morning where the carefully placed props and a number of extras bring life to the world before any of the main characters are introduced in it.
Prem Gali is definitely off to a strong start. Faiza Iftikhar is known for her knack of portraying characters and relationships in a hilarious yet endearing way. Qasim Ali Mureed’s skillful direction has brought to life a world that is easy to immerse into. The drama’s light-hearted tone made it a breezy watch and we hope the show continues to retain its stressfree element.