ZEE5’s latest offering ‘Black Widows’ is an unnecessarily stretched out drama series that belittles the potential it has by pairing it with pretentious direction.
Black Widows is the story of three newly widowed women Jayati, Veera, and Kavita whose husbands Lalit, Jatin, and Neelesh respectively, are killed in an accident.
The accident however, is a plotted murder by these women who take revenge for years of humiliating treatment by their spouses.
While Jayati is a domestic violence survivor, Kavita is guilted into sleeping with other people in order to manage finances at home. Veera on the other hand, fears for her daughter’s life given her husband’s constant threats.
Tables turn when it is revealed that Jatin has survived the attack, while the women are still unaware of it. When police is roped in to solve this alleged murder, things turn dark for the people in question.
Black Widows is helmed by a versatile cast featuring Mona Singh, Sharad Kelkar, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Swastika Mukherjee, and Shamita Shetty.
Out of the lot, only Parambrata Chattopadhyay does justice to his role. All the frames that comprise him or even better just him, are engaging to watch. His presence is the only element out of the cast, that makes ‘Black Widows’ relevant.
Shamita Shetty as Kavita Tharoor gravely disappoints. Her demeanor is more like a caricature than that of an actual person involved is something like murder conspiracy. In her case, it is not the writing that is to blame. It is her sheer lack of conviction to every scene she’s in.
Mona Singh and Swastika Mukherjee play Veera and Jayati respectively. There is nothing to appreciate or criticize in this case. Their performance is subpar at best.
The usual and constant key narrative of ‘Black Widows’ is what comes to rescue it. Throughout the series, the plight of these women that led them to commit crime, is coupled with some of their hidden needs like sex, pleasure and a sense of freedom above all.
None of this is projected in a bad light, nor is it used to overshadow some loophole. ‘Black Widows’ is the story of three women trying to break free, and how the oppressed react when pushed over the edge.
It might not be the most conventional way of projecting feminism or the likes of it, but the attempt is visible.
Apart from the basic screenplay, the background music is also a fine execution. On several occasions, when nothing else seems to make sense, the background score evens it out.
As a viewer, one might wonder what genre does this series belong to. It is possibly not a murder mystery because the convicts are disclosed in the first episode itself. So no mystery there.
If it is a psychological thriller, it is possibly one of the poorest representations of it. There is not one narrative or sub-plot that tries to dig deep into the motivations of murder.
The 12-part series wastes so much time running in circles and lacks motivation to sit through. After merely five episodes, it gets boring with no end in sight.
Most characters in the show are mere caricatures. With grave topics like domestic violence, verbal and physical abuse, and pressures of marriage, comes responsibility, something ‘Black Widows’ gravely lacks.
Clearly, the show should’ve ended long before 12-half hour episodes, but sadly that doesn’t happen.
Unless you are overwhelmed by the line of cast, don’t go for ‘Black Widows’ this weekend. While it might click with some, there’s nothing here to binge or be engrossed in.