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Black Widows review: Thrills, intrigue and a dash of comedy!

Black Widows is a brave experiment in the dark humour genre

Source: SIFY

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Tuesday 22 December 2020

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Movie Title

Black Widows review: Thrills, intrigue and a dash of comedy!

Director

Birsa Dasgupta

Star Cast

Mona Singh, Shamita Shetty, Swastika Mukherjee, Sharad Kelkar, Parambrata Chatterjee, Raima Sen, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Amir Ali, Shruti Vyas, Faisal Malik and Nikhil Bhambhari

The story follows a group of women, their husbands that mysteriously die in a freak accident, and cops that dilly-dally between sympathizing with the women and suspecting them. Reminiscent of Big Little Lies, the Zee 5 series endears us to our female protagonists and we’re left wondering—‘are they going to get away with it’ throughout the series. 

In the first episode, Veera Mehrotra (Mona Singh) talks about taking shortcuts that lead to long-winding, tiring roads. Her ‘shortcut’ was blowing up a boat to kill her husband and two of his buddies. The wives of the other two men Jayati (Swastika Mukherjee) and Kavita (Shamita Shetty) were in on this plan. 

Flashbacks reveal how each of the husbands was abusive to their wives. Things get to a point when the three women decide to commit suicide, but instead, hatch a plan to get rid of their monstrous husbands. While this may sound extreme, the series makes sure we understand that these husbands deserved their fate. 

Post the deed, what the series lacks is an emotional aftermath. What happens to these women after they go through with their plan? Since they committed the crime under duress, and were not hardened criminals, it would have been natural for them to experience guilt, fear, depression etc. 

But we see the women live it up almost immediately. Suddenly, they have a cigarette in their hand and a glass of wine in the other; one of them registers on a dating site almost immediately. On a more interesting turn, Jayati emerges as an astute negotiator as she manages her step-son, her abusive husband’s murky business dealings, and helping the other two women navigate through mistakes and rash decisions. Veera and Jayati often have to handle Kavita’s flightiness (it’s improbable for a grown woman to be this dotty, uncles they are hinting at a mental issue) as she refuses to see reason or lay low after the “accident”. The goings-on truly test their friendship and brings out the best and worst in them. 

Add to that are two cops on the trail— Pankaj (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) who has the gentle disposition of a school teacher reminding you of his role in Kahaani; and the far-more grounded assistant Rinku (a fabulous Shruti Vyas). 

The series would have liked their equation to be more crackerjack and fun, but it’s usually only mildly amusing. There are instances when they talk of ‘sitting’ on clues, only to unearth a lead right under their seat. 

There is a parallel plot of a pharma company inventing a virus with the intent to make a fortune selling vaccines! Raima Sen appears as the hard-hearted boss, spouting weird generalizations about men taking impulsive decisions vis-a-vis women plotting their every move. 

Things get convoluted with too many characters, but leading to an interesting twist towards the end. 

Improbable in portions and engrossing in others, this is a non-taxing watch (directed by Birsa Dasgupta) that doesn’t demand too much of you. The thriller and comedy elements with a sprinkling of earnest performances, makes this a fairly engaging watch.

(Black Widows airs on Zee5)

Sonia Chopra is a critic, columnist and screenwriter with over 15 years of experience. She tweets on @soniachopra2

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