Ek Thi Begum Review : A training exercise not wrong but gone long

Ek Thi Begum Review : A training exercise not wrong but gone long

MX Players EK THI BEGUM review is here. The web series is streaming on MX Player. Directed by Sachin Darekar, the web series stars Anuja Sathe in lead.

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll

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SAPNA KA INTEQAM – ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI IN CHANDNI BAR. You got the point. Yes its revenge, then why so long. Exactly, EK THI BEGUM streaming on MX Player gives the same feeling. Sachin Darekar’s mobster revenge drama takes 14 episodes to take its badla… aila hum audience ne kausa guna kiya.. (What wrong has the audience done to them). It’s not wrong but why so long.   

The Story of EK THI BEGUM

The first episode opens with Sapna (Anuja Sathe) seducing and then eliminating one of her enemy played by Santosh Juvekar . Cut to flashback, Sapna aka Ashraf (original name) the dutiful wife of local gangster Zaheer (Ankit Mohan). Zaheer is becoming a nuisance for Nana (Rajendra Shisatkar) the Mumbai point man of big boss Maqsood (Ajay Negi) settled in Dubai. In a series of incidents Nana’s brother gets killed and Zaheer becomes the culprit resulting in Nana after the blood of Zaheer. A conspiracy is cooked by Nana and corrupt inspector Tawde (Abhijit Chauhan) and Zaheer is murdered. Ashraf takes the legal route but fails. Ultimately Ashraf decides to settle the scores and heal her wounds by turning into a different avatar – a bar dancer Sapna to get rid of Nana and finally nab Maqsood.

EK THI BEGAM web series review

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It must be recalled that Vishal Bhardwaj announced a gangster drama – SAPNA DIDI that was suppose to star Deepika Padukone as Sapna (Ashraf) and Irrfan (may be the husband or the Dubai boss which is modeled on India’s most wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim). Irrfan got diagnosed with cancer and the movie got shelved.

The story/plot of Sapna Didi is dynamite. Wife of a local gangster taking the world of mobsters dominated by men. It is said that SAPNA DIDI was based on S Hussain Zaidi’s book Mafia Queens of Mumbai, which includes the story of Ashraf amongst its collection of female criminals of Mumbai. A cracker of a mainstream drama set in mid 80’s where a gangster Mehmood gets killed by Dawood Ibrahim and his wife Ashraf decides to settle scores with the most wanted by learning martial arts skills etc. A pure revenge drama. A badla saga with women angle for the twist.

Sachin Darekar’s EK THI BEGUM is also set in the mid-1980s. Its lead character is named Ashraf. She calls herself Sapna. Maqsood is modeled on Dawood Ibrahim. And there is another character modeled on gangster Arun Gawli played by Vijay Nikam.

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All the ingredients of a masala revenge pot boiler are there. The dirty world of guns, booze, women, corrupt policemen, corrupt politicians, a righteous police wala and a true journalist. Bad words come after every second frame and since it’s a web series so there seem to be a license to showcase your your bank of swear words. They are in plenty.

But Sachin Darekar seems to be on a training exercise and doesn’t exactly know how to approach this gangster drama. It starts as a movie and then decides to be a web series and goes on and on. The influence of ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI, CHANDNI BAR is evident. No harm but the excitement is missing, though the milieu is set and the actors give their best.    

Anuja Sathe is terrific. Ankit Mohan is fine. Rajendra Shisatkar is fantastic. Abhijit Chauhan leaves his mark.    Chinmay Mandlekar is wonderful. Santosh Juvekar has his moments. Vijay Nikam is good. Ajay Negi is strictly passable.

Final words

Ruled by predictability and prolonged indulgence, EK THI BEGUM is a not a completely failed attempt. It has its moments but is length and lack of urgency kills the potential and reduces it to a plain average revenge affair, provided you have a good level of patient. Remember we are in quarantine staying at home and saving life’s by staying safe.

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Critic Rating

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