MX Player’s new web series, Ek Thi Begum depicts the power and strength of an ordinary woman who proves that anything is possible if she decides to fight against her adversaries. This revenge drama is said to be based on true events and set in Mumbai during the 80s.
The plot of Ek Thi Begum is heavily inspired by a story from S Hussain Zaidi’s book Mafia Queens of Mumbai which is a collection of profiles of female criminals.
Maqsood (Ajay Gehi) an underworld don in Dubai controls the Mumbai mafia with Nana Mhatre (Rajendra Shisatkar) as his local representative. Zaheer (Ankit Mohan) who runs a rival gang becomes a problem for Maqsood who plans to eliminate him.
Zaheer on the other hand wants to quit the underworld as he’s made a promise to his wife Ashraf (Anuja Sathe).
Meanwhile, a corrupt and greedy cop Tawde (Abhijeet Chavan) in a bid to lay his hands on illegal money, plays a cruel trick which turns Ashraf’s life upside down, shattering all her dreams.
Ashraf, who is a conservative, innocent and loving wife, chooses to show her other side and vows for vengeance against those who are responsible for her plight.
Anuja Sathe portrays the lead character of Ashraf with great conviction despite many limitations. Her sensual side is given more importance rather than her struggle due to which Sathe fails to create the much needed impact.
In contrast, Abhijeet Chavan as Inspector Tawde has a well-defined character giving ample opportunity for his character to excel. With a top notch performance, he overshadows the others easily.
Out of other actors, Santosh Juvekar as Sawtya, Resham as journalist Anjali Dixit, Chinmay Mandlekar as Sub Inspector Vikram Bhosale and Rajendra Shisatkar as Nana Mhatre grab the attention with their elegant performances.
Cinematographer Sachin Gadankush and his art department team deserve a special mention for their commendable effort in recreating the 1986 Mumbai with those vintage cars, costumes and props to provide an authentic look to Ek Thi Begum.
Apart from that, nothing else really catches the eye.
Any revenge drama should have a compact screenplay and crisp editing whereas Ek Thi Begum lacks both. The whole series is like a hangover from earlier movies and shows of similar kind.
As a result there is nothing new or fresh to boast about.
Moreover, the length and pace of the web series with 14 episodes is enough to tests anyone’s patience.
Ek Thi Begum may be enjoyable for die-hard fans of revenge stories. For others, it can be watched as a last resort to kill some time. Otherwise, it can be a real test of endurance and very hard to get through.
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