Why See Prime’s latest short Pehli Wali is a must-watch

Written by Rida Bilal, it is an "interpretation of a strong woman, co-parenting, co-existing, unconditional love and respect," according to director Sohail Javed

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: If there’s one thing that Pakistani dramas are good at is rehashing the same storyline over and over again. There is only so much of the same toxic saas-bahu fights and bitter breakups that one can tolerate. What’s missing from mainstream media is positive and wholesome relationships. And that is why we feel that Sohail Javed’s recently released short film, Pehli Wali, is a must-watch on See Prime. Written by Rida Bilal of Khudgarza fame, the short film explores an unconventional relationship between ex-spouses and leaves us to believe that these kinds of relationships can and do exist. And so here are all the reasons why we loved Pehli Wali.

The recently released short film on See Prime stars Juggan Kazim as the main lead and there is no one more relatable than she is in the movie. She’s shown to be a disgruntled mother of angst-ridden kids. Adorned in frumpy oversized shirts and untamed hair, she’s constantly struggling to juggle between kids and work commitments, and in that she mirrors what working mothers go through these days. We meant, amidst online classes and working from home. To top off all her problems she has an ex-husband, effortlessly played by Omair Rana who needs her to solve his problems. And that’s where we get an insight into the two’s relationship.

The two are a treat to watch. Kazim doesn’t hold back when it comes to throwing shade at her ex-husband and his “first world problems.” For his part, Rana’s character seems unfazed by Kazim and her snarky remarks which is understandable for two reasons. First, because she also makes self-deprecating remarks about herself which again are really relatable.

And secondly, because Rana’s character doesn’t absolve himself of fault. Instead, he continuously praises his ex-wife even when she isn’t around. Moreover, it seems as though he’s trying to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes with his new girlfriend that he made in his last relationship.

Although a very fleeting scene, we couldn’t help but want to point out how the writer and director have shown what real co-parenting is all about. Rana is late in picking up his kids and while Kazim doesn’t tell them their anger isn’t justified, she also doesn’t berate their father in front of them. Even though she had all rights to do so. That was definitely a breath of fresh air.

The very fact that Rana’s character turns to Kazim’s for help shows just how wholesome their friendship is. Just because the two aren’t married anymore doesn’t erase the fact that the two spent so many years together and so they know each other better than sometimes they even know themselves. While they also acknowledge that it took some time to get where they are, like when Kazim mentions how initially Rana would get offended when she talked about his girlfriend, they worked through those differences.

Director Sohail Javed is right when he says that the short film that recently released on See Prime is about unconditional love. Wanting to see your ex-husband happy, even if it’s not with you, is a testament to that very fact. Especially when he’s with a younger woman. But Kazim doesn’t mind that. Just as she doesn’t mind her kids spending time with the new girlfriend. It takes a strong and secure woman to be okay with these things.

Moving on, it’s not just the two ex-spouses who are praiseworthy. Rana’s new girlfriend, played by Sidra Niazi, encapsulates the virtues that Javed mentions. She praises Kazim when she feels like it and doesn’t hold back from speaking the truth about her relationship when need be. She is deterred by the awful meeting that Kazim sets out to make unbearable.

That’s not all. She also is open and communicative with Rana. She voices her fear that his ex-wife might still be in love with him and accepts what he has to say. Despite the fact that any person might feel uncomfortable with the bond the two share, she doesn’t want to remove his ex-wife from his life. She also accepts him as a person with all his flaws. The whole scene between the two lovers is heartwarming.

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