Ek Hasina Thi (film)
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|Ek Hasina Thi|
|Directed by||Sriram Raghavan|
|Produced by||Ram Gopal Varma|
R. R. Venkat
|Written by||Sriram Raghavan|
Pooja Ladha Surti
Saif Ali Khan
|Music by||Amar Mohile|
|Edited by||Sanjib Datta|
|Distributed by||R. R. Movie Makers|
|Box office||₹68.80 million|
Ek Hasina Thi (English: There Was A Beautiful Woman) is a 2004 Indian neo-noir thriller film directed by Sriram Raghavan, produced by Ram Gopal Varma, and starring Urmila Matondkar and Saif Ali Khan in the lead roles. The screenplay was by Sriram Raghavan and Pooja Ladha Surti. The film borrows elements from the Sidney Sheldon story If Tomorrow Comes. In her review, critic Ronjita Kulkarni says that it's "loosely based" on Double Jeopardy, while "the film also adapts a scene from The Bone Collector." The film was premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival.
Karan is a rich, suave businessman. But he can also be very possessive of Sarika. His temper can flare at the slightest pretext. After Karan involves Sarika in looking after a suitcase full of illegal firearms belonging to his friend, a hitman, she is arrested for having links with the underworld and is remanded to judicial custody. Karan claims innocence to her and sends her a defence attorney to fight her case. The attorney advises her to confess the crime, arguing that there is no proof exonerating her.
After being convinced that the judge will give her a light sentence and might even set her free for co-operation, Sarika complies. But, the judge sentences her to seven years hard labour without parole. Sarika then realises that Karan is an associate to the underworld and that he had her framed to keep police eyes away from him. This realisation is soon followed by the death of her father, the ongoing ordeal of prison life and hatred towards Karan. She beats up an abusive inmate Gomati who constantly bullies her. An elder inmate Pramila (Pratima Kazmi), who has contacts outside the prison, decides to help her. Sarika undergoes a complete change of appearance.
Sarika changes from inside and outside which begins with her getting rid of her fear of rats. ACP Malti Vaidya (Seema Biswas) sets out to find Sarika after she escapes from prison. Sarika first confronts Mathur, killing him after learning Karan's whereabouts. She is angered to see Karan enjoying his life with a new girl. With the news of Mathur's mysterious death, Karan becomes a suspect. Karan soon learns that Sarika has escaped but is not able to put two and two together. Sarika learns that Karan is working for a businessman (Abhay Bhargava) who has many illegal operations under his garb.
After she kills the businessman's brother, Karan gets trapped as he was the last man to see the person alive. Karan is shocked at the development but chalks it to the work of rival gang. Meanwhile, Sarika pretends to run into him. She pretends to have sympathy for him. Seeing that she still has not seen through his game, Karan decides to play with her for some time. Karan confronts a man whom he suspects to be a traitor, but he believes that somebody else could have sneaked in after Karan went out. Before the man can say anything, Karan kills him, too.
Sarika is amused as Karan gets entangled in a cat-and-mouse game. She steals money from Karan's boss, for which Karan is again made a patsy. However, Karan soon realises the plot. After he confronts and assaults her, she shocks him by telling him that she has burnt the money. Karan takes her to his boss and makes her confess at gunpoint. But she feigns ignorance and claims that Karan made her say so. As Karan is attacked by his boss's goons, he breaks into a fight. Just then, the ACP enters with the police.
In a shootout, the ACP succeeds in killing Karan's boss. The gang is either killed or apprehended. While the ACP herself gets shot, Karan succeeds in escaping. His success is short-lived: suddenly, Sarika emerges from his back and holds him at gunpoint and makes him drive to a secluded spot. After knocking him out, she chains him in a cavern infested with rats. As Karan regains consciousness, Sarika tells him how she used to be scared of rats and she chose this spot because she wanted him to go through the pain and suffering that she went through while she was in prison. Karan is baffled at her talk, but she leaves him in the cavern, with light from a flashlight pointing towards him.
Karan screams, but nobody hears as he is in a secluded place. Soon the flashlight goes out and Karan loses strength. The rats attack and kill him brutally (shown by dimming of lights and screams). Karan dies a long and painful death. With her mission of exacting revenge from Karan accomplished, Sarika eventually surrenders to the police, turning in the bag of money that she stole from Karan's boss to the ACP. The film ends showing Sarika looking at inmates in a prison and leaves as if she finds her life's purpose.
- Urmila Matondkar as Sarika Vartak
- Saif Ali Khan as Karan Singh Rathod
- Seema Biswas as ACP Malti Vaidya
- Aditya Srivastava as Advocate Kamlesh Mathur
- Pratima Kazmi as Prisoner Pramila
- Kavita Kaushik as Karan's Girlfriend in Delhi
- Zakir Hussain as Sanjiv Nanda
- Seema Adhikari as Dolly
- Rajendra Sethi as Sarika's Neighbour
- Gopal K Singh as Abhijeet
- Madan Joshi
- Murali Sharma as Lawyer
- Ravi Kale as S.I.
- Abhay Bhargav as Karan's boss
- Rasika Joshi as Prisoner Gomati
The film's soundtrack and background score was composed by Amar Mohile. There are two songs that play mainly in the narrative. The first song 'Neend Na Aaye' that plays at the beginning of the film has been sung by Pandit Jasraj. The Title song 'Ek Hasina Thi' plays in the second half of the movie.
- The film was released without much of publicity and marketing but eventually went on to do good business at the box office. The film grossed 10 crores lifetime on the budget of 4 crores.
- The rats that were used to kill Saif Ali Khan's character in the end were animatronic rats. This was revealed by the Director Sriram Raghavan in a special video Interview.
- Urmila Matondkar received high praise for her role of a merciless avenger and went on to win nominations at all major film award events. Ek Hasina Thi is considered one of her finest performances in her career.
- Saif Ali Khan was not sure about doing the project and especially portraying such a cunning and ruthless character. But the makers convinced him and he ultimately signed the film. He received a lot of appreciation for his performance
- "Ek Hasina Thi – Movie – Box Office India". boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- Rangan, Baradwaj (22 January 2004). "Review: Ek Hasina Thi / Bhoot". Baradwaj Rangan. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- Ronjita Kulkarni (15 January 2004), "Who's better: Urmila or Saif?", Rediff. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- David (16 June 2006). "The Films of Ram Gopal Varma – An Overview". Cinema Strikes Back. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.