Hush Hush is unconvincing, plodding, convoluted tale

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Shahana Goswami and Kritika Kamra in Amazon Prime Video’s Hush Hush. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

The story begins in an orphanage. Meera (Ayesha Jhulka) and Ishi (Juhi Chawla), two actresses making their web debuts, are both inmates—as kids, of course. The scene shifts to many years later, when Ishi is a kind of public relations expert who is not exactly a follower of scruples. She is almost killed when her three friends intervene and in the process, Saiba (Soha Ali Khan) shoots the would-be assailant dead. Ishi warns all her friends to lay off the incident and stay away. The next day, Ishi is found dead in a seeming case of suicide. But is it murder?

That is the basic ‘thrilling’ premise of Hush Hush, a series touted as an all-female series as its cast and crew are dominated by women. But like all gender-conscious projects on big screen and web (a sole noteworthy exception is the Four More Shots Please! franchise), the show goes awry on key details and therefore misses the bus, emerging as an unconvincing, plodding (each of 7 episodes is about 45 minutes long—do the math now!) and convoluted tale of fragmented relationships.

For starters, Meera appears late in the series, is even a suspect in the brouhaha over Ishi’s death, as they knew each other. She runs a center for orphaned girls, that is found to be also a sex racket. More, Ishi has left all her wealth to her.

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But how did disparate (their only common point seems to be that they are all well-off!) people like Ishi, Saiba (who used to be a journalist), Zaira (Shahana Goswami, a fashion designer), Kritika Kamra (a Punjabi hausfrau dealing with obnoxious in-laws whose son is infertile) even come together nad become close cronies?  The writers and directors do not think it is necessary to spend time on this.

Instead, they waste precious footage in needless suspense and supposed sensational findings, thanks to intrepid investigator Geeta (Karishma Tanna) and her whimsical boss, ACP Madhu (Vibha Chibber).

The males are all relegated to the sidelines, except when Saiba’s husband (Chaitannya Choudhry) protests at his wife keeping secrets from him. And then there is the unscrupulous husband of Meera (Rajesh Aggarwal), besides Dolly’s metaphorically spineless hubby (Nitish Kapoor).

A very important point: With absolutely no link to the plot, Geeta is shown as a lesbian! This must be the n-th Indian series I have watched where a gay angle is needlessly thrust into the plot, whose absence would not have made a fig of a difference! Will the female-dominated crew and the males who are also creatively involved explain this needless forcing of sexual orientation? Merely international “appeal”?

The series is salvaged by a few performances, led by Kritika Kamra as Dolly, Vibha Chibber as the top cop, and Bharti Sharma as Dolly’s mother-in-law, a woman helpless about the fact that her son can never be a father. Kritika is indeed very expressive, beginning with her eyes. The rest of the performances, sorry to state, are either average or underwhelming.

And the series is eminently underwhelming as well.

Rating: **

Amazon Prime Video presents Abundantia Entertainment’s Hush Hush  Produced by: Vikram Malhotra & Shikhaa Sharma  Directed by: Tanuja Chandra Written by: Tanuja Chandra, Kopal Naithani & Ashish Pandey      Written by: Shikhaa Sharma, Tanuja Chandra, Juhi Chaturvedi & Ashish Mehta Satrring: Juhi Chawla. Ayesha Jhulka, Kritika Kamra, Shahana Goswami, Soha Ali Khan, Karishma Tanna, Benjamin Gilani, Chaitannya Choudhry, Kavya Trehan, Vedant Chibber, Nitish Kapoor, Vanshikha Taparia, Rajesh Aggarwal, Abhishek Chauhan, Jaimini Pathak & others  

 

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