Cast: Mona Singh, Sharad Kelkar, Shamita Shetty, Swastika Mukherjee, Parambrata Chattopadhyay
Director: Birsa Dasgupta
If there is something that went completely off in ZEE5’s latest web series Black Widows, it is the exaggerated performances of the entire cast. Otherwise, this mystery-drama had enough meat in its storyline to keep one engaged. Mona Singh, Shamita Shetty and Swastika Mukherjee lead the remake of this Nordic original plot, but drain out the potential with their caricature-like treatment of the respective characters.
Veera (Mona), Jayati (Swastika) and Kavita (Shamita) are three friends, all caught up in abusive marriages. They decide to turn the tide once and for all while vacationing with their husbands on a private property. Little do these women know, the secrets that their partners had buried are too dark and deep for their thin skins. They must now brave odds at every step and wade through unknown waters to survive. Admittedly, all the characters are well defined in the Hindi adaptation and Black Widows’ original concept seems laden with edge-of-the-seat moments. It is fueled further with dark humour, which too hits the mark at some points. But the series seems a bit off track since the start due to delivery of actors, which is into-the-face. Light entertainment should have complimented the mystery quotient well. Instead, the treatment becomes parody-like, giving way to boredom, and robs the tale of the what-next quotient that one starts to anticipate.
Under Birsa Dasgupta’s direction, background score and editing are high points but acting is not. This crashes the suspenseful moments at every point. The investigative part featuring Parambrata Chattopadhyay as the lead detective too suffers from the same problem. His character, at 40, is unmarried and seems a little inexperienced when it comes to women. But the way he probes the case, his cop background also seems doubtful. Meaning, no one brings authenticity to their characters and do little justice to the series in turn.
All in all, Black Widows may give deliver cheap thrills for sometime. Considering its 10-episode run, we recommend you invest time somewhere else this week.