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It was one of the movies that eluded me for a long time until I stumbled upon it on veoh.com. I wasted no time in initiating the download of the available copy online. This movie was one of the underrated movies that I literally had no idea about what it was all about. But I knew that it was a revenge story by the Urmila and Saif had a negative role in that. Those times Urmila was the muse of all Ram Gopal Varma's productions (ironically her last outing with Ram Gopal Varma's Factory) and Saif was in RGV's camp before he hit a big time with the Yashraj films. This happened to be the debut of Sriram Raghavan, a well known scriptwriter in Bollywood, who later had received much critical acclaim through "Johnny Gaddar". Despite all the credentials, "Ek Hasina Thi" didn't hit the bull's eye. But having seen its dark trailers, knowing that it was the debut of Sriram Raghavan, I wanted to see "Ek Hasina Thi" desperately but I didn't come across not even a single DVD in all the stores I had visited in past few years.

After I watched "Ek Hasina Thi", was my waiting justified? Partially yes and no. Why "Yes"? The way the movie opened and flowed further were amazing despite having a huge influence of Ram Gopal Varma in terms of crisp dialogues, fluidity in the camera and shots, broodiness and ofcourse Urmila Matondkar. The scenes where Saif wooes Urmila and till he lays her on bed were worth mentionable (that 5 question play was novel). The movie had decent performances by Saif Ali Khan and Urmila. Saif glides easily through the role of a smooth talking bastard whereas "EHT" had Urmila's one of the best acting - still you realise that she is 'acting' not a so natural performance like Madhuri / Vidya Balan. The scenes that were depicted initially to show the vulnerability of the characters were contrasted in the later showing the marked changes in the psyche of the characters. E.g - Urmila's fear towards the rats and Saif's first night spent in Urmila's flat.

Why "No"? The first half is almost a straight rip-off from the Sydney Sheldon's novel "If Tomorrow Comes..", where the heroine is a simple girl conned into the web of deceits and made to dig her own grave by wholeheartedly accepting to the judiciary system a mistake which she hadn't ever committed. The following scenes where she is toughened is also the few pages from the same book - a lesbian inmate who tortures the protagonist, a powerful female goon who takes our protagonist under her wings- EHT offers nothing new for the people who had read "If Tomorrow comes..". Being an Indian version that came bit ahead of its times, 'Ek Hasina Thi' avoided the lesbian rape scene from the novel. Second problem is the second half where the story abruptly shifts to the Saif Ali Khan's perspective and you feel like watching a different movie altogether. The big blunder of the screenplay is the re-entry of Urmila's character into the life of Saif Ali Khan again and how her ulterior motives dawns to him. The logic has a big hole which can even let a dinossaur to pass through.

'Ek Hasina Thi' still can be remembered for reasons being the debut of Sriram Raghavan and for the fact that humungously talented Seema Biswas was grossly wasted in the role of a cop. Camera by C.K Muralidharan gives shaky feeling and the wierd angles / points of focus set the ambience suitable for a thriller. Music by Amar Mohile didn't disturb the flow whereas the screenplay Pooja Ladha Surti leaves you wanting for a better fare.

Coming to "If Tomorrow comes.." I won't say it is one of the best of Sydney Sheldon. Like this movie, "If Tomorrow comes.." is also better in the first half only. It was about Tracey Whitney, who was conned to a long term jail sentence, and turns to a skilled robber and the novel was about few episode (mis)adventures of her robberies. This novel had all the ingredients to make a Bollywood / Kollywood fare - a simple girl turned robber, whose wit is matched by the hero, an another robber - her professional rival and revenge of few men who messed her life. Somebody would have made this novel as movie with some modifications in the past, which I am not sure about it.

{oshits} readers for this post on "Ek Hasina Thi"