What is the story about?
The story is premised about real-life events in the financial capital of India. Dagdi Cawl in the ’80s was considered the hotbed of crime. Gang wars were at its peak, and innocent civilians were being robbed of their profits in the form of extortions. The story is about Zaheer Bhatkar (Ankit Mohan), who has formed a strong network in the city of Mumbai but doesn’t want to allow a certain drugs consignment to get into the city. Raghu Mahtre, Nana Mahtre’s (Rajendra Shisatkar) younger brother, leads the operation along with his men but is stopped by Zaheer and his men in a classic rebuttal on the train. While Zaheer and Raghu are in the middle of a combat, Zaheer accidentally throws Raghu out of the train that leads to Raghu’s death. Raghu’s death angers Nana Mahtre no end and is out to seek revenge, with the help of Inspector Tawde (Abhijeet Chavhan). He contacts Maqsood (Ajay Gehi), the Don, in Dubai (also an equivalent of the famous Don Dawood) and seeks his support to kill Zaheer.
Tawde kills Zaheer in an encounter, on Nana’s request. Asraf (Anuja Sathe) is enraged and wants corrupt Tawde to kick the bucket. She takes help from Anjali Dixit (Resham) a journalist, and Zaheer’s friend’s to get to where she needs to be. That’s precisely how Asraf’s character begins to evolve.
Anuja Sathe is a phenomenal actress. A series like ‘Ek Thi Begum’ gives her the required edge, as she has exposed herself multi-dimensionally. It is interesting how she evolves from within her ‘burkha’ and displays her strength. She is a woman of character and does everything in her capacity to avenge her husband’s death. While Anuja plays this part we also observe how is chi is relatively balanced to enable the accurate evolution of her character. Ankit Mohan has had a very small part to play, but he doesn’t do any justice to the role of a goon. He is an absolute romantic and plays that part like fish in the water. But a great try Ankit! Abhijeet Chavhan has leapt straight back into the 1980s and pretty much lived the cop’s life back then. Excellent work! Barring the swearing. Ajay Gehi has displayed shades of diplomacy just as well.
I take the opportunity to applaud the production team, to replicate the 80’s pretty much as is, right from the way people spied to one another to the dialogues, and the overall infrastructure as well. The language is way too crass, and there is a perpetual repetition of swearing. This can be avoided. Director Sachin Darekar has delivered his best shot! The ensemble is fitted to the T.
Music and Other departments
As I have mentioned earlier, will not shy from mentioning the same once again, it takes a lot to re-create two decades prior to the present times. The music has gotten washed away, but in a way that is very positive, as the plot is compelling. I must add, that there are many movies that cover the gang wars of Mumbai, but there are few that involve a certain dexterity, that ‘Ek Begum Thi’ imparts.
Totally watch the series for Anuija Sathe’s acting. She can really cat a more experienced actor aside with her refined skill-set. It would be right to state that she isn’t playing a character; she is playing a role and has gotten very involved in the nuances of her character.
Certainly, a series like this involves the crude and crass language, but it can be avoided. This could have probably have opened the target audience.
Did I enjoy it?
It was a rather mundane start, but picks up after episode 4…. It further picks up after episode 6. But it is like reading a Jeffery Archer, where the first 50 pages just have to be passed!
Would I recommend it?
Yes! The content well researched, covering every aspect of the era and incident. It is based on true-life events.
Rating: 3/5 Stars