Thursday, April 09, 2020 16:05 IST
Cast: Anuja Sathe, Chinmay Mandlekar, Ankit Mohan, Rajendra Shisatkar, Abhijeet Chavan, Resham and Santosh Juvekar.
Director: Sachin Darekar
Sachin Darekar directorial debut on the digital platform 'Ek Begum Thi ' winds past the relics of the golden age of the Mumbai underworld genre. It is a vengeful woman who turns temptress from a housewife to take revenge for her husband and child's murder. This MX player original series has a total of 14 episodes.
The story is based on the underground lifestyle of Mumbai in the 1980s, where 2 local goons want to rule the city. Nana and Zaheer are the two opponents and often get involved in gang wars, Nana and his gang, is controlled by Maqsood Bhai, one of the biggest dons in the contemporary underworld who sits in Dubai.
The series starts with Sapna (Anuja Sathe) in seductress mode and rewinds to when she was Ashraf, the homebound wife of the local goon Zaheer (Ankit Mohan). Then Zaheer is killed by Maqsood's Mumbai pointman Nana and a crooked police inspector Tawde for daring to go his own way. Ashraf's attempt to file a case and resolve the matters in a legitimate way for her husband fails badly and this is when she decides that she will pick off Nana and his men all by herself and eventually make her way to Maqsood.
Sachin Darekar is indeed a good storyteller, but undoubtedly a very slow one. Introducing songs is not a bad idea, but maintaining their length and number should have been taken into consideration. The cinematographer brings some liveliness to the proceedings with the colour palette in bringing alive the nightlife vibe of the city. The detailing in the setting is one of the show's major assets and the screenplay of the show prove that they have a refined understanding of the modus operandi of the Underworld.
Anuja Sathe gets a dream role as she perfectly played the role of a vengeful woman turning from a loving housewife to a bold, brave gangster she has done an exceptional job. She is superb in the sequences exploring her sensuality and less efficient in segments that pushes her limits as a performer.
Chinmay Mandlekar, if not the final stretch where his character takes the equation with the protagonist ahead, is composed in his portrayal of a soft cop. Rajendra Shisatkar, Abhijeet Chavan are excellent in their performances as their body language and intriguing dialogue delivery has done a great job. Ankit Mohan, Resham, Santosh Juvekar are just okay in their brief acts, while Ajay Gehi is a bit disappointing with his portrayal of a Dubai-based don.
The music of the series has some originality through an impactful score would have given it an edge probably. The background score has maintained the essence of 80's feel.
Overall, Ek Thi Begum is an average watch specially for the crime web series lovers. The series is beautifully designed that makes you get an emotional attachment with the Lady Don but the plot of the web series is both fantastic and familiar as it is predictable and is stretched a lot.