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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Black Widows Review: Eclectic array of cast and powerful stories of three women, with a twisted plot. Best yearender series of 2020

Mona Singh, Swastika Mukherjee and Shamita Shetty play the “Black Widows” with Sharad Kelkar in a key role, and if you love mystery thrillers, you’re sure to be hooked.

Updated: December 18, 2020 6:19:02 pm
Black Widows on ZEE5 is a must-watch for fans of the thriller-dark comedy genre.

Black Widows, which premiered on ZEE5 on December 18, promises thrills, an emotional rollercoaster and lots of drama, while keeping the comic element alive. The series, the eighth official international adaptation of the Finnish show by the same name, revolves around three women who are trapped in abusive marriages and take the drastic step of blowing up their husbands with a time bomb hidden on their boat during a weekend getaway. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game with the cops as the women try to stick to their alibis and attempt to proceed with their lives.

Mona Singh, Swastika Mukherjee and Shamita Shetty(as Veera, Jayati and Kavita), play the “Black Widows” with Sharad Kelkar in a key role, and if you love mystery thrillers, you’re sure to be hooked. More a comic crime drama than a thriller, the series is funny, farcical, nonsensical, while also hitting the emotional and dramatic high notes. The show is extraordinary in its treatment of the strong women protagonists, who are in their own way smashing patriarchy to take control of their lives and celebrate freedom from domestic violence. However, since this is a mystery thriller, it’s not as easy as it sounds, with twists and turns at every corner, good cop-bad cop shenanigans as well as eye candy in the form of single dad Eddie, played by a dashing Aamir Ali, who we can’t wait to see more of.

The series starts with Veera declaring that she wants to die. Throughout the series, we see vignettes from their marriages, where Jayati suffers violent abuse, Kavita is asked to ‘entertain’ her husband’s clients and Veera is terrified as her spouse threatens to kill their daughter in a moment of anger. After the explosion, it looks like the three women are going to get away with murder, literally, but before they can enjoy their newfound freedom, the plot begins to unravel. The heat begins to build up as the police investigations reveal clues that could point in their direction. To top it all, Veera realises she and her daughter may be in grave danger.

Sharad Kelkar builds suspense with his stellar performance.

Shamita Shetty brings a vivaciousness to her role, while Mona Singh brings stability and Swastika Mukherjee puts in a worthy performance as the wronged woman who is the subject of sustained mental and physical abuse. These women don’t need men to save them as they try to bury their dark past. Sharad Kelkar as Jatin Mehrotra, Mohan Kapur as Lalit Sardesai and Vipul Roy as Nilesh Tharoor are great in their roles as men who personify toxic masculinity. Sharad Kelkar keeps up the suspense with his stellar performance as a main protagonist who is cornered from all sides and tries to take control of the narrative.

Parambrata Chatterjee is a delight to watch.

Parambrata Chatterjee is in top form as the earnest and sharp cop who misses nothing. Raima Sen as Inaaya Thakur is intriguing as she expertly navigates her character with shades of grey. The strong star cast also features Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Shruti Vyas, Faisal Malik and Nikhil Bhambhari. Black Widows is based on a format devised by Moskito and distributed by Nent Studios, UK, adapted by Radhika Anand for India. 

Black Widows is a must-watch for fans of the thriller-dark comedy genre. Directed by Birsa Dasgupta, who maintains a slick pace throughout with a keen eye on the emotional connect with the audience, the series was shot in Kolkata after restrictions on filming were lifted following the initial lockdown earlier this year.

Raima Sen is intriguing as she navigates her character with shades of grey.

The creative team features Namit Sharma as Creative Producer; Namrata G Rungta as Supervising Producer and Acropoliis Entertainment as part of the Production Design team; Costumes by Divya Gupta, Prameet Saini; Amit Gawahne as Head of Production and Prateek Ojha as Post Production Head. The credits include Future Works Studio as DI, Tushar Desai as DI Colorist, VFX by Double Barrel Communications Pvt. Ltd., besides Shaket Banerjee as Associate Director, Ananya Chatterjee as Chief Asst. Director, Meghla Dasgupta as Director’s Assistant, Associate Editor Sounak Roy, 2nd Unit Directors Abhijit Guha and Sudeshna Roy, Editor Sumit Chowdhury, DoP Shubhankar Bhar; Original Score by Aditya Pushkarna (NoizzeBoxx) and sound design by Pranam Pansare (Soundideaz).

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