Web Series: The Married Woman
The Married Woman Cast: Ridhi Dogra, Monica Dogra, Suhaas Ahuja, Imaad Shah
The Married Woman Director: Sahir Raza
Streaming On: AltBalaji/ZEE5
The theme of the bored Indian housewife, either being neglected by her husband or losing the spark in her marriage or falling out of love, has been attempted a couple of times before in Bollywood (instead of the commonplace cheating husband), with
Astitva (2000), Muder (2004) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) being the most notable films among them. For the first time, the theme is being explored — at least with depth and empathy — in a web series. So, does The Married Woman, produced by Ekta Kapoor and Samar Khan, and starring Ridhi Dogra, Monica Dogra, Suhaas Ahuja and Imaad Shah make the cut as one of the more memorable entries in this theme? Well, not entirely, but that's not to say that the show doesn't have its plus points or engaging factors. So, are you excited about what to watch this week or what to watch this weekend and wondering whether The Married Woman is worth your time? Scroll down for my full The Married Woman review...
What's it about
Aastha (Ridhi Dogra) doesn't feel the love or attention any more from her husband, Hemant (Suhaas Ahuja), and to make matters worse, her routine existence coupled with the causal patriarchy of her home has begun suffocating her. In this scenario, she finds that missing spark with her new colleague, Eijaz (Imaad Shah) at the college she teaches, but after he doesn't reciprocate her feelings, circumstances ensue such that she and Eijaz's wife, Piplika (Monica Dogra), grow close to each other.
Check out the The Married Woman trailer here... VIDEO
It's the acting from each and every cast member that really elevates The Married Woman several notches above what its plot, screenplay and direction merit. If Monica Dogra is a combination of depth and sensuality, then Ridhi Dogra seamlessly conveys her emotions as someone who's hesitant to express her desires, yet unwilling to suppress them any longer. The supporting cast, too, is in fine form with Suhaas Ahuja and Imaad Shah as the patriarchal and liberated men respectively, both products of their environments, being the standouts. Technically, the production design is top notch as is John Wilmor's camerawork while creatively, the dialogues make an impact on more than a few instances.
The Married Woman is old wine, packaged in a new bottle, that wouldn't have been aromatic or delectable enough to sip again had it not been for the performances as we've seen this exact same story done better before. Plus, the series takes too long to make its point, and, at times, it doesn't even seem to have one (based on the initial four episodes I watched at an advanced screening). However, what sticks out like a couple of sore thumbs are, firstly, the inorganic way in which Aastha suddenly transcends from liking to deeply loving Eijaz, and secondly, feeling attracted towards Piplika later on despite her character never having been established as one with bisexual traits. Among other nagging points are Aastha breaking the fourth wall for no reason and the shoddy editing.
Watch The Married Woman for its ensemble acting and savour some of the well-conceived dialogues, which give this old wine a taste delectable enough to make you want to consume it. I'm going with 3.5 out of 5 stars, of which 1 star is purely for how producer Ekta Kapoor never succumbs to any sort of pressure, big or small, no matter from where it comes, and keeps dishing out such unapologetically bold, provocative content that'll make a thinking individual actually think.
3.5 out of 5
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