There is always a perveived sense of something fishy about the upmarket Delhi, Gurgaon and NCR inhabitants. Atleast for the filmmakers who choose them as the drivers of their plots.Beneath the glitz, affluence and the excessively used F-word , there lies heaps of bitter truths, heinous hypocrisies, deadly deceptions and clumsy twists. These vices naturally become weapons for the acclaimed director Tanuja Chandra who dabbles in them with a plot around 4 friends living in a posh society of La Opulenza - Ishi, Zaira, Saiba and Dolly, played by Juhi Chawla, Shahana Goswami, Soha Ali Khan and Kritika Kamra respectively
An anniversary party at one of their bungalows turns into a horrific nightmare when they inadvertently become partners in a crime. A murder in self- defense, followed by a suicide. But the gunshot has louder after effect as they try to escape and hide the dark secrets. Things go awry when it poses danger to them and their families. They must find a solution to this and unravel the mystery.
Chandra and her co-directors Ashish Pandey and Kopal Naithani masterfully build a troubling world of chaos enshrouded by intrigue. Each of the characters embody fractured souls. There is an overwhelming sense of pain, agony and discomfort that dwells underneath the facade of trendy outfits and expletives( dialogues ny Juhi Chaturvedi).The slow paced narrative navigates the quandary of Ishi, the hotshot PR consultant, who takes an extreme step, Dolly who is agonized by her mother in law for not taking their family's legacy forward , Zaira, the suave costume designer syeugglimg to balance her work life and love life, and Saiba, the journo who risks her life in the quest for the truth. The screenplay by Ashish Mehta stages the explosive arguments between the friends impressively.
While exploring their woes, Chandra also falls into the trap of clichés. The lesbian angle given to one of the key characters, a troubled housewife( played by the terrific Ayesha Jhulka) who resorts to masochism and the saas-bahu disagreements attribute to the downside to this dense and tedius 7-episode series, co-written by Shikha Sharma, Mehta and Chaturvedi.
Further there is no shift in it's constantly grim tonality.Chandra tightly keeps the sinister schemes under wraps long until she introduces Ishi's business ally, the wicked Vinayak Sethi( a confident and earnest Gaurav Dwivedi here) ,leading to the ghastly reveal, albeit clumsily. Season 2 will be eagerly awaited.
Marking her debut in OTT, Juhi Chawla is wonderfully restrained and there is a sublime radiance she imbued Ishi with. Soha and Kritika are perennially resentful and weary, while Shahana renders a spirited and uninhibited performance. I also liked the fiery determinism laced in Geeta's character, played with gusto by Karishma Tanna.The male brigade, comprising the respective husbands of Saira and Dolly, lacks the force here, succumbing to the stereotypes of a typical MCP material.
I go with 3 stars out of 5 for Hush Hush. Produced by Abundantia Entertainment, it is streaming on Amazon Prime Video from 22nd September 2022.
Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes.
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