As always, Thursday is the New Friday for the OTT content that is doing the rounds. And so like last weekend which also did have a Thursday release in the form of Shiksha Mandal, the Thursday release this weekend is the new Hindi series Hush Hush which has premiered on Amazon Prime. While its trailer was definitely intriguing and teasing, there were a bunch of people who started comparing it with the English show Big Little Lies, something that I have no reference about given the fact that I haven’t watched it. So whether or whether not this show follows the same trajectory as Big Little Lies, I will not be able to tell(neither have the makers confirmed it) and so this review will be devoid of it. And with that I finished watching Hush Hush last night on Amazon Prime and here are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
Hush Hush follows the story of a bunch of women who are a witness to a murder followed by a mysterious death of one from their group. What is the mystery? The story is definitely intriguing and enough to make you curious as to what happens next. But it is the screenplay standing at 7 episodes of roughly 40 odd minutes each which doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head(and much also is attributed to the direction which I will get to in my next section).
The drama opens in an ambiguous manner with the introduction of all the main players and you can’t help but think that there is a mystery surrounding one of the characters. The clarity on what the mystery is doesn’t get clear immediately. There are discussions around it which seem fishy which makes it really intriguing to begin with. Soon a twist in the tale is followed by another unexpected twist which has your attention at the end of the first episode. Soon the investigation that unfolds does make the drama watchable given its spectacular premise although the drama never really punches above its weight.
There are further subplots which are layered and convoluted which do add to the intrigue but had it been executed better, the interest levels would have peaked further!
The more you indulge in the drama there are more surprises to be had but none of them really shock you. And that has got to do with the treatment of the drama which is subtle and cerebral. This would have worked well too but in some instances the smaller revelations are a little too flat for my liking. Having said that when the plot begins to get more clearer, the execution does get better too. The drama peeks almost three quarters into it when the grand reveal takes place regarding a character. And the social issue addressed here is pretty good and relevant. A nice little commentary is also provided on it which adds a layer of substance to the drama.
But from there on, the momentum just subsides towards the end making it a timid final act. The setup for the second season is good and I believe it will be all the more intriguing than this time around. But overall, the screenplay has its moments and is consistently watchable but it never punches above its weight.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are subtle and cerebral and make for a good amount of impact. The music blends perfectly with the drama, the BGM is subtle and never overpowers any scene. The cinematography is excellent as is the editing which makes for a crisp and sharp watch.
And this is where things get interesting. The director’s chair is shared by three individuals Tanuja Chandra, Kopal Naithani and Ashish Pandey and it did feel disjointed to me in some places. The execution was a little wobbly although there are many moments where the series does hold your attention as well. The direction is in no capacity bad but it is definitely not the best. A better execution would have elevated the drama a lot better.
The performances are really good and they do hold the show together when things begin to crumble. Gaurav Dwivedi as Vinayak, Nisha Jindal as Rekha and Gauri Saxena as Radha have their moments to shine. Jaimini Pathak was really impressing here(conceiling his identity here) in a job well done. Nitish Kapoor as Adi and Chaitannya Choudhry as Ranveer are subtle in their approach to the character who play crucial foils to the protagonist. Kavya Trehan as Meher is an interestingly layered character who definitely did hold my attention. She might be a crucial player in season 2 as well. Ayesha Jhulka as Meera had the best written character in my humble opinion which was layered and mysterious at the same time. And it was a powerful portrayal by her and one of the reasons why the drama peaks towards the end before the final act.
Juhi Chawla as Ish is wonderfully nuanced and does a great job. Karishma Tanna as Geeta looks pretty and does a fabulous job although the whole Homosexual angle was undercooked and it didn’t add anything to season 1(but it may to season 2). Kritika Kamra as Dolly is excellent and she holds her own beautifully. Soha Ali Khan as Saiba is nicely restrained and has her moments to shine. Shahana Goswami as Zaira is brilliant and extremely natural in front of the camera. I really wish to watch more of her in future as well.
Despite its flawed execution, Hush Hush is a glossy mystery with pretty good performances that can be watched once. Available on Amazon Prime.