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Film Review - Ek Hasina Thi

Chitra Parayath
02/11/2004

Ek Hasina Thi is a Saif Bet!

Saarika (Urmila Matondkar) couldn’t be happier. A gullible, naďve metro girl in Mumbai, she has hooked up with a charmer Karan (Saif Khan) who woos, wines, dines and beds her, promising blissful matrimony.

In a split second, her dreams are shattered when her life becomes a living nightmare. An overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence has her jailed under suspicion of being an underworld killer’s ladylove. Karan arranges a lawyer for Saarika, a counsel who urges her to protect Karan’s name and curiously, to plead guilty to charges of racketeering.

Anything for love, right? Saarika begins to smell a rat (after encountering a few in the jail) when she sees her life head to a total dead end. After suffering several indignities in prison, her vision, now not so blurred with love and lust, Saarika decides to take matters into her own hands.

A jailbreak and several dead bodies later Saarika wreaks revenge on the ones who had taken her for a ride, in the process taking the viewer along for the thrill.

Ek Thi Hasina, directed by Sriram Raghavan and produced by Rao Gopal Verma is an exciting debut from the director. The pace of the film is fast and the editing taut. Superior cinematography and the absence of mushy love songs add to the authenticity of the tale. The only peeve this reviewer has is in the second half of the film with Saarika’s unbelievably narrow escapes during her cross-country hunt for Karan. Despite the blood and gore, Raghavan manages to maintain the tempo of the film right through to the end. Revenge is sweetest when meted out by some the viewer has rooted for through out the film. And mercifully, there are no tearful ‘Mujhe maaf karo’ Bollywood moments here. The villain is abusive right to the very end.

Saif Khan is a revelation as Karan, never before has he appeared so confident and sure of himself. Urmila’s restraint is commendable and Seema Biswas as the cop on Saarika’s trail is brilliant, as usual. Pratima Kazmi [as the gangster operating from prison who befriends and helps Saarika] is first-rate and Aditya Shrivastav [as the lawyer] is believable.

Adding impact to this slick thriller is brilliant cinematography by C.K. Muraleedharan a great background score by Amar Mohile and top-notch sound by Dwarak Warrier With chases, shootings, underworld dealings, undying love, betrayal and a thoroughly involving plot this film promises something for everyone.



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