Black Widows suffers from a terrible case of misandry. And I do mean terrible. This, in case you only know about misogyny because that’s the only spousal violence we are supposed to know about, is centered on hatred for menfolk. Black Widows has three despicable husbands physically and mentally torturing their wives in flashbacks that seem to be designed for sleazy sadistic satisfaction. One of the husbands is seen requesting his airheaded wife to make his boss happy, as she nods obediently. Another one pushes his wife down and burns her with a cigarette stub while a third threatens to kill their daughter.
“Sab khatam kar deta hoon,” Sharad Kelkar, in an embarrassingly, sketchy villainous role, barks at Mona Singh. If only it were that easy for us. It’s a long way from the end for viewers as we wade across one of the worst web serials of the year. Clumsily plotted with dialogues that the characters seem to have picked up from the rejected footage of Asim Abbasi’s Churails, Black Widows brings disrepute to the OTT platform. It is most evident that the theme of disgruntled wives comes from minds that have no idea of how a marriage works. Hence, the rowdy husbands are shown to be snarling while the wives cower in very fake impersonations of fear. Why would these financially empowered women take such trashy behavior from their husbands? Unless they get pleasure in being pushed around.
The series opens with the three husbands being killed in a bomb explosion on a motorboat. Thereafter in bland and brutish flashbacks we see the husbands misbehaving with their wives by rote. If the wives hadn’t killed these three men, I am sure the audience would have loved to oblige. This is a series that believes in punctuating every dialogue with three exclamation marks, one each for the three lead actresses who outdo one another in the fine art of hamming.
While Shamita Shetty’s bland expressions of bimbo-ism are not the least surprising, it is sad to see Mona and specially Swastika Mukherkee reduced to grotesque caricatures. The latter had recently played an unhappy wife in Pataal Lok to great effect. She obviously didn’t know that the real pataal lok was yet to come. Black Widows is an insult to actors like Swastika Mukherjee, Sharat Kelkar and Prambrata Chatterjee. Parambrata struggles with the role of an investigative officer who asks such existential questions as, “If only three people were to be fed why did you buy mutton for six people?” Even if you are a glutton for mutton, this series will leave you choking for breath.
As for the three heroines, they are the stupidest spouse slayers I’ve seen. After the crime there is barely room for grieving. They are on a constant high as though they have been binging on Bollywood Wives.
They leave clues after the murder (Sharad Kelkar lives, no spoiler this, why would he do the series if he were to die in the first episode?) that can be spotted from miles away. And they behave like three teen delinquents who think getting rid of their husbands makes them free to be dumber than they were before. Sorry, but Black Widows is a big black mark on the careers of all those who have participated in it. And yes, if misogyny is a crime, so is misandry. Ah-men!