The gripping new web series Hush Hush is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Marking Juhi Chawla’s comeback, it is also 90s star Ayesha Jhulka’s return to the screens after a long time. Starring Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Kamra, Shahana Goswami and Karishma Tanna, the show combines the talents of some stellar film and television actresses we’ve missed seeing on the screen.
But, what was interesting about the show was that the strongest performances were actually delivered by the actors we are used to seeing in TV shows. Here’s why.
Kritika Kamra is excellent as the stifled daughter-in-law of a rich family
Countless Indian women are pressured by society and their in-laws to bend to their wills. Kritika Kamra’s flawless acting gave us a glimpse of the uncomfortable, suffocating nature of such relationships perfectly.
Proof that actors who started out as television stars are as talented as film stars, if not more, Kritika’s excellent performance in the show goes on to demonstrate how much good work she can do when given good material to work with. Her character’s situation is complex, and she manages to convey that complexity with nuance, without faltering or getting melodramatic in an unrealistic way.
Karishma Tanna pushes the envelope with a role few others would have dared to play
Karishma Tanna’s character’s story isn’t just about being a female cop in India, but is interwoven with a narrative about LGBTQIA+ romances, something still uncommon in Indian films, web shows, and television. She executes the role to perfection, and you don’t see her as the glamourous Karishma Tanna, but are convinced she is the character she plays.
Given what happens in the climax of the show, it is likely that the next season will explore more on Karishma’s character and the LGBTQIA+ love story in the show, as well.
This is not to say that the movie actors in the show aren’t good
Ayesha Jhulka makes quite the impact in her complex character. Intense and enigmatic, she surprisingly fits in well into the role she’s given. Soha Ali Khan is also convincing as a hot-headed journalist seeking the truth. Even though both Soha and Ayesha haven’t been seen in films lately, both of them prove their mettle through this series.
Juhi Chawla, who is known for her chirpy and sweet brand of acting, is cast in the role of a mysterious lobbyist, something one doesn’t expect to see her as. Her character Ishi is complicated and one keeps getting an eerie vibe of suspense about her. Juhi manages to pull off that enigmatic, hard-to-understand vibe well.
But, despite these good performances, one has to acknowledge the fact that the TV stars people rarely give credit to are also deserving of accolades here.
TV actors are as good as film stars, and OTT is finally giving them their due
Many TV stars, such as Hina Khan, have talked about how the entertainment industry has a hierarchy, in which TV stars are placed below movie actors on the totem pole. Why? To us, seeing the way Karishma and Kritika aced their roles proves that this hierarchy is baseless.
Clearly, OTT platforms are the way forward because they are merging television and film actors into one category — that of actors — by giving each performer meaty roles, regardless of their past work. Drashti Dhami acted with Shabana Azmi in DisneyPlus Hotstar’s The Empire. Shruti Seth and Sandhya Mridul joined Karisma Kapoor and Tillottoma Shome for ALT Balaji and ZEE5’s Mentalhood.
This is proof that for a story to be executed well, it doesn’t matter which format an actor is well-versed with. The only thing that matters is their talent, and Hush Hush has proved yet again that OTT platforms are doing justice to the talent of TV stars.
Lead image credit: Abundantia Entertainment, Amazon Prime Video