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Rajasthan-based Satyaveer Singh Randhawa works as a Junior Engineer with Lahkot Municipality's Public Works Department and lives a middle-class lifestyle with his wife, Nimmi, and son, Raju... See full summary »
Raj Goyal (Akshaye Khanna) is a renowed and successful attorney. At a musical party he is introduced to Sargam (Urmila Matondkar) by Ashwin Mehta (Vijayendra Ghatge). The next day Ashwin is... See full summary »
Sarika and Karan are employed in a big city called Mumbai in India. They meet, have a date, and find that they are attracted to each other. They do not know nor care of each others' backgrounds, and get married. They start to live in a small apartment. One day Karan asks Sarika to deliver a parcel for him via an Indian airline, which she does. The authorities stop her, and a search reveals that she was carrying drugs in the parcel, and she is arrested. After her arrest, Karan visits her and assures that this is all a big misunderstanding, and she will be found not guilty and let out soon. This does not happen, Sarika is found guilty, is convicted and sentenced to a long jail term. While in prison, it slowly and painfully dawns on her that she has been used, and wants to avenge this. In order to get even with Karan, she must first of all either wait for the sentence to get over or be more daring and escape, take Karan by surprise and avenge her humiliation. Which way will Sarika take?Written by
A magnificent debut by director Sriram Raghavan with stunning performances by the lead artists
From the production house of Ram Gopal Varma comes another powerful film about love, hatred, passion and revenge. "Ek Hasina Thi" is director Sriram Raghavan's debut film but you wouldn't be able to tell that after viewing this film. He puts other experienced Indian directors to shame with his debut film. He even surprasses Ram Gopal Varma at his own game.
"Ek Hasina Thi" tells a story of Sarika - a simple, working-class woman who seems to be content with her life until her chance encounter with a suave, ultra-cool individual - Karan. She falls in love with him and dreams of a future bliss, marital life. From there on, however, Sarika's world is completely turned upside down. Saying any more would ruin the premise of the film, not to mention, the experience of watching it, but I highly doubt any Bollywood film this year will make an impact on me the way "Ek Hasina Thi" did.
One of the major aspects that makes "Ek Hasina Thi" so powerful are the performances by the lead actors. Both of them, Saif and Urmila, give the performances of their careers. Saif Ali Khan, who is suddenly on a white-hot streak with films like "Dil Chahta Hai", "Darna Mana Hai", and the recent "Kal Ho Naa Ho" easily gives the finest performance of his career. Usually, in hindi films, villainous characters are shown to be mere caricatures - a snarl here, a facial contortion there, etc., but Saif Ali Khan plays Karan Rathod in such a subtle, cool, and horrifying real manner that the viewer almost sympathizes with him. If you thought he was great in "Dil Chahta Hai" and "Kal Ho Naa Ho", you will be completely unprepared for his volatile, brilliant performance here. Truly an award-worthy act. Urmila, who is getting much praise for her films in 2003, actually gives her career-best performance as well in "Ek Hasina Thi". In most of her films, Urmila tends to overact even when the character doesn't call for it. But, in "Ek Hasina Thi", Urmila goes through a wide array of emotions and does it very convincingly. Some of the prison sequences are heart-wrenching simply because of Urmila's act. Also, the initial scenes where Saif and Urmila meet are some of the best scenes in the film. They share such an intense and real chemistry. Bravo to both actors for portraying their characters so effectively.
As mentioned, director Sriram Raghavan gives the best debut film I've seen in years. Some of the camera angle, quick cuts, stylish close-ups he employs are just wonderful. There are no songs in the film, thankfully, which makes "Ek Hasina Thi" a much better viewing experience. The screenplay by Pooja Ladha Surti is solid. C.K. Muralidharan's cinematography is fantastic - probably better than any film Ram Gopal Varma has been associated with. Editing by Sanjib Datta is superb. Some of the cuts he makes are really innovative. Finally, Amar Mohile's background score is just excellent. It really suits the mood of the film. "Ek Hasina Thi" is easily Varma's finest production. In fact, "Ek Hasina Thi" is even better than Varma's own film - "Company". I look forward to seeing what Sriram Raghavan has to offer us next. "Ek Hasina Thi" is a film that should not be missed by anyone who appreciates intelligent, different, and profound cinema.
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