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Hush Hush review: Ayesha Jhulka's solid act lends soul to Tanuja Chandra's thriller series

Hush Hush is interesting in spots but falls short as a tight-knit thriller overall, despite having an engaging plot and a superb Ayesha Jhulka.

3/5rating
Hush Hush review: Ayesha Jhulka's solid act lends soul to Tanuja Chandra's thriller series
Ayesha Jhulka in a still from Hush Hush
  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

Last Updated: 08.59 AM, Sep 22, 2022

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Story:

Four friends find themselves falling down a rabbit hole of lies, deceit, and secrets following a perilous encounter at a party. The secrets they hold serve as a lifeline as their comfortable, privileged environment turns perilous. The four pals are attempting to maintain this lie as an intelligent cop is on their tail.

Review:

In one of the final episodes of Hush Hush, Karishma Tanna, as a cop, shares that the case will never get closure. That's what made the first impression on me of the series. Seven episodes with the premise of a nitty-gritty thriller promise a rollercoaster of twists and turns. Well, the promise stays for a while, given that the series starts with double deaths that one cannot be prepared for.

When it's an all-female star cast, the series already hits a high note, and if Tanuja Chandra is the creator, then the excitement level is out of the question. Hush Hush explores the lives of high-class women in the North India belt of the country, with a golf course and plush lawns in the backdrop. There's a farmhouse, a diamond business, everything involved, showing them among the richest ladies of society. The ladies in question are played by Soha Ali Khan (a former criminal journalist), Shahana Goswami (a couturier), and Kritika Kamra (a socialite in an unhappy marital household).

Hush Hush has a very strong premise and an exciting star cast that could have made for an amazing miniseries. However, the premise becomes the saving grace of the series rather than the actors performing in it. Not all. Ayesha Jhulka, who makes her OTT debut with the series, is given the best character arc of the lot. Her character is omnipresent in the first few episodes until she makes her appearance much later in the series.

Tanuja Chandra, the creator, created this series with many layers that show the harsh reality of high-class society life, where everything appears to be picture-perfect on the surface. Great job in creating that space amazingly, but the exploration of the same only touches the surface, and soon after, a new sub-plot is created.

As mentioned earlier, the series starts with only two deaths, so the biggest shock value is solved then and there. The whole series depends on the backstory, and it's of Juhi Chawla's character, Ishi Sanghamitra. But again, the jumping timelines don't serve any purpose for the story much in the episodes placed in the middle of the series.

Juhi Chawla in a still from Hush Hush
Juhi Chawla in a still from Hush Hush

The pace at which the series starts keeps you hooked on to the first few episodes, then the story becomes convenient to explore a lot more things that don't serve as a catalyst to the plot. Moreover, it's the performances that derail the series furthermore.

Juhi Chawla, who is also seen headlining a web series for the first time, has very little to do given her character's screen time. But, the calmness with which her character deals with stuff feels too good to be true, going by the situation she's in. 

But maybe that's how she feels in the shoes of Ishi. However, the actor on whom the whole series is based is hardly seen and becomes forgettable too until her name pops up.

On the other hand, Ayesha Jhulka is indeed the surprise element of the show, bringing in the more unexpected complexities. Her involvement, which comes to light right in the middle of the series, brings back the missing pace. And what a performer! She is indeed the best of the lot and is a treat to watch on the screen. It's even quite intriguing to watch her perform after a long time.

The other leading characters, namely Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Kamra, and Shahana Goswami, fail to create an impressive mark with their performances in the series. Blame it or not, even the dialogues seem very patchy while the delivery doesn't feel like it's hitting the right spot.

Soha, who made her OTT debut earlier with the Kaun Banegi Shikharwati series, brings that no-nonsense game along with being a family person. However, her only character quality that comes out well is her refusal to believe Ishi in any circumstance.

Whereas Kritika has many more story arcs from all sides, be it her friends or family, and she portrays them well too.

On the other hand, Shahana's character seems an extension of her role in Bombay Begums, wherein here she's the couturier with a pesky assistant who might get on your nerves in no time.

Shahana Goswami, Soha Ali Khan and Kritika Kamra in a still from Hush Hush
Shahana Goswami, Soha Ali Khan and Kritika Kamra in a still from Hush Hush

Having an ensemble cast is tough given that everyone can't be given an important character or be a catalyst. Although each character brings a different story, it only creates sub-plots and doesn't help in boosting the strong premise created.

The series also stars Karishma Tanna as a cop who is investigating the case. The actor has an inconsistent Haryanvi accent, which is too hard to ignore and might end up ringing in your ears too. However, that doesn't make her performance falter in anyway, as she does a great job as an investigating officer.

The dialogues by Juhi Chaturvedi start off uniquely, but as the show progresses, it justifies why the characters talk the way they do.

Tanuja Chandra, who has shown female characters as the strongest at a time when most of them were zeroed in as the love interests of their male co-stars, be it Sangharsh, Dushman or Zakhm (as a writer), all the films had strong female characters who have gone down in the history of Indian cinema. Unfortunately, Hush Hush is not joining that league.

The series with an abrupt ending makes way for the second season, but it doesn't end on a shock value that might leave you curious about the storyline further.

Shahana Goswami, Soha Ali Khan and Kritika Kamra in a still from Hush Hush
Shahana Goswami, Soha Ali Khan and Kritika Kamra in a still from Hush Hush

Verdict:

With an intriguing storyline and a fantastic Ayesha Jhulka, Hush Hush is entertaining in parts but fails to create an overall impact as a nitty-gritty thriller.

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