Ek Hasina Thi
Monday – Friday, 8 pm
Rating: Two and a half stars
The much-delayed show Ek Hasina Thi that was earlier titled Daag finally went on air last week. It boasts of an impressive cast with Sanjeeda Sheikh, Simone Singh, Ayub Khan and Vatsal Seth in pivotal roles.
What is it about: Durga Thakur (Sanjeeda) wants to seek justice for a sin committed against her sister Payal. She had been raped by the rich and arrogant Shaurya Goenka (Vatsal). But thanks to his family's clout, he was given a clean cheat by the court. Unable to bear the shock, Payal lost her mental balance and is in an asylum. Two years later, Durga with her father Dayal Thakur is back in Kolkata (the scene where the crime had taken place) to seek vengeance against Shaurya.
What works: One, it is not the regular family drama. The storyline is gripping, fast-paced and slick. Two, it's nice to see a bunch of good looking actors together. Three, the setting in Kolkata, the ambience, the bungalows, the visuals etc speak of high production values. The serial, in short, is easy on the eye.
What does not work: All the characters seem to be on edge, which is annoying. Nobody seems to be what they are. More importantly, whether the serial works or not is completely dependent on the actors' performances, especially since it's not a linear story. And so far, they are falling short.
Performances: Simone who is back on the small-screen after nine years and best remembered for her role in and as Heena, is in a completely different avatar. Beautiful and sophisticated she plays the shrewd and manipulative Sakshi Goenka with elan. Her serene expression with a subtle arch of her eyebrow is enough to convey that she holds the threads of family and business. Sanjeeda, who is the protagonist looks pretty, but that's about it. We understand her character is layered, but it's not coming through in her performance. Even Vatsal who has grown from his Just Mohabbat days, lacks the edginess both in terms of looks and performance. He is the antagonist around whom the story revolves and he needs to get his act right.
Verdict: It's worth a dekko simply because of the different storyline which is loosely based on the English drama Revenge. However, as mentioned earlier, the actors need to rise to the challenge to pull it through.