Show: Hush Hush
Cast: Juhi Chawla, Shahana Goswami, Kritika Kamra, Soha Ali Khan, Karishma Tanna, Ayesha Jhulka, Vibha Chibber
Directors: Tanuja Chandra, Kopal Naithani and Ashish Pandey
OTT: Amazon Prime Video
Rating: 3 Moons
The latest offering of Amazon Prime Video boasting of a stellar all-female lead star cast coupled with female directors and writers, Hush Hush falls under the predicament of could-have-been-so-much-more. The series shows the society of elite rich people in Gurugram where four friends – Juhi Chawla, Shahana Goswami, Soha Ali Khan and Kritika Kamra live and lead their lives sipping drinks, talking about their lives and shelling out the various personal demons. Hush Hush starts off spectacularly with a sense of secrecy right from the outset as the four friends get embroiled in a crime but goes off course from the fourth episode onwards. The series may remind you of HBO’s hit series Big Little Lies but unfortunately does not hold a candle to it.
Juhi Chawla plays Ishi Sanghamitra, a powerful lobbyist who is outed on national TV for corruption. Her predicament is a cause of concern for her three friends Zaira (Shahana Goswami) who is a successful fashion designer, Saiba (Soha Ali Khan) a former journalist-turned-homemaker and Dolly (Kritika Kamra), a wife-and-daughter-in-law of rich jewelry merchant family. They all live in the super-rich elite bubble of swanky cars, designer labels and snootyness but it all comes crashing down when two deaths occur in the series right at the start with the four of them at the helm. Karishma Tanna as the feisty Haryanvi cop Geeta is quick to sniff out some loopholes as the evidence does not add up after one of the deaths that she is tasked to investigate.
Co-directed by Tanuja Chandra, Kopal Naithani and Ashish Pandey, Hush Hush loses its steam half-way through. The script written by Tanuja Chandra, Juhi Chaturvedi, Ashish Mehta and Shikhaa Sharma fail to provide the how, where and how at several instances. The dialogues written by Juhi Chaturvedi also seem superficial and shallow at times. Not enough credibility is given to why Geeta has the ‘gut feeling’ that the women friends are hiding something. She is given a go-ahead by her superior played by Vibha Chibber but then again when she does it a second time, you as an audience do not get convinced, because wouldn’t the police be interested in closing the case as soon as possible instead of dillydallying. Ayesha Jhulka, on the other hand, appears out of nowhere to show Ishi’s dark and murky past.
In spite of the big names in the cast, Hush Hush biggest drawback is its dialogues, slow pace and on-the-surface performance. Except for Shahana Goswami, Kritika Kamra and somewhat Karishma Tanna, no one really stands out. You also do not relate to the supposed moral high ground that some of the protagonists take after the crime is committed. Karishma’s Haryanvi dialect does not stick around. Juhi, who has always managed to leave a lasting impression, does not give a credible performance here just an honest one. However, scenes involving Ayesha and Juhi are the only saving grace of the series. Soha manages well with the scope that she is given.
The direction of Hush Hush is not binding and does not give any credible backstory about how Ishi became such a top-notch executive from her humble beginnings. Most subplots are superficial and the loose threads never tie up at the end in a logical conclusion.
Hush Hush falters because it does not have a clear motive as to what it wants to showcase. It could have been a great thriller with the talent both in front of and behind the camera but sadly there was no payoff.
PeepingMoon.com gives Hush Hush, 3 Moons.