Introducing my new series, Blast From The Past, where we will remember some older films.
I have had a list titled “Films I Should See At Some Point” for some years now. These are films that I heard people talk about and recommend at some point. And I have the intention of seeing them but it takes me a while to get around to them. The list has included films like Omkara, Socha Na Tha, Ek Hasina Thi, Rangeela, Sholay. Thankfully, I have crossed a few off the list, one of them being Ek Hasina Thi.
Ek Hasina Thi is a 2004 Ram Gopal Varma thriller starring Saif Ali Khan and Urmila Matondkar.
Sarika (Urmila) is a beautiful woman who works at a travel agency in Mumbai and lives alone. She is wooed by Karan (Saif), a businessman, who seems to be coming to her aid in difficult times. Although Sarika is careful and distant at first, she soon falls in love with Karan and starts dating him. One day, Karan asks Sarika to expect a guest, a friend of his who is arriving to Mumbai to catch a flight. The strange man arrives and leaves his suitcase at Sarika’s place in order to run an errand. Sarika is shocked to discover on the news that the man was a criminal and was killed by police. A phone call arrives from Karan in which he tells her to get rid of his suitcase and make sure not to mention Karan’s name to the police. Things quickly get out of hand when police catch Sarika red-handed with the suitcase and arrest her. What follows is Sarika’s realization of Karan’s betrayal, her efforts to get out of jail and how she will revenge him.
This film has Urmila Matondkar written all over it. What an actress! She is just superb. I am not too familiar with Urmila’s films. I’ve only seen her in a few other ones before Ek Hasina Thi. But she completely bowled me over with her performance in this film. Not only is her appearance so perfect for this role, but her dialogue delivery and reactions are also very natural. She was completely in character, living it, rather than acting it.
Urmila was angelic-like throughout the film with beautiful innocent looks. She left no doubt in the mind of the audience just how naive and good hearted this character is. As impressive as Urmila was as the naive beauty, as impressive she was when she transforms into a strong willed woman who is living for revenge. Saif Ali Khan also suited his role very well and was convincing as the cunning player who doesn’t mind destroying an innocent woman’s life. The director Sriram Raghavan also did a fine job.
I enjoyed the film thoroughly. It was definitely very exciting. The only point I am confused about is why Karan wanted to get Sarika involved in the first place? Was it so essential for his “friend” to leave his stuff at her house? Did Karan woo her just for that single benefit? It certainly seemed like Karan had planned and tricked Sarika from the very beginning. It was obvious that he was never into her. Did he go after her because he realized very quickly how easy it would be to deceive her? I guess so. After Sarika went to jail, everything Karan did from that point on made sense. It was just the parts before that didn’t really make sense to me in an afterthought.
If you have never seen this film, I highly recommend it. Aside from the fact that the story is very good, Urmila is reason enough to see this film. I actually feel sad now that she isn’t really doing films anymore. She is an excellent actress. We don’t come across many powerful female performers these days. And seeing Urmila’s performance in this film makes me wonder if we have overrated today’s actresses like Vidya and Kangana. They are not necessarily better performers than Urmila.