R E V I E W – S E R I E S
Mohomaya, a Hoichoi Original Series, created by Missing Screw production was released on the OTT platform on 26 March this year. Directed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee, this series is a brainchild of Sahana Dutta. From story, screenplay, lyrics, creative direction to production, Sahana was present throughout the 5 episodes of the first season. Unfortunately, in contrast with the previous Sahana-Swastika collaboration in Tasher Ghawr, Mohomaya is an epic fail.
A backstory to justify the emergence of the antagonist, attempted murders, a dash of soft porn, and a psychopath assailant – Mohomaya had all the necessary components of a formulaic thriller apt for an online platform, but it failed to click the way it should have. Even though veteran actors like Swastika Mukherjee and Ananya Chatterjee tried their best to rescue the audiences from the disturbingly quirky storyline, the screenplay was barely spontaneous and the overly dramatic representation managed to drill the final nail in the coffin.
From the trailer, Mohomaya appeared as though an account of a boy conflicted between lust and longing for motherly affection, but that was scarcely the case. The subtle hint of the Oedipus complex deemed unreasonable after a few episodes as his obsession was confined to keeping his suicidal mother alive at all costs.
The opening scene contained young Rishi Hajra or Papan (as his mother called him), witnessing his father forcing his mother to observe his vulgar sexual tendencies, copulation and learn from them. This is the maximum sugar-coating I am capable of doing as I don’t have any word in my vocabulary apart from ‘ludicrous’ to express the emotions this scene generated. As the story unfolded, it was evident that the shock received from this incident contributed to turning Papan into a psychopath.
Rishi (played by Bipul Patra), a childhood friend of Aruna’s (played by Swastika) youngest son Miki (played by Arunava Dey), arrived at their house as a paying guest. Soon after his arrival, a series of unfortunate events transpired that made Miki’s father Suranjan (played by Sujan Mukherjee) suspicious of Rishi.
Rishi was in fact, the culprit behind those incidents, however, there was no proof. Suranjan’s accusations only created a rift between him and Aruna, which enabled Rishi to become close to her. Aruna resembled Rishi’s late mother Maya (played by Ananya) and the resemblance forced Rishi to take heinous actions as he had a traumatising childhood revolving around his mother and his father’s actions.
The only laudable factor of the story so far is that it focused on the necessity of a healthy childhood for kids. Children like Rishi, who had grown up with a horrific past, tend to become psychologically challenged in future. Rishi knew his conversation with his mother was an illusion, still he was unable to snap out of it. His illusions made him a repetitive offender who is guilty of multiple crimes since his childhood.
Aruna was an embodiment of a typical Bangali mother; tender yet possessive. And Maya had the mentality of a common housewife of this subcontinent, whose life is centred around her husband. Though she was abused by him, his absence in her life led her to die of suicide. The concept itself is quite unsettling, but it is what it is.
Whether Rishi’s arrival was a coincidence or pre-planned, the transition from his childhood to adulthood, questionable scenes concerning Rishi and his mother in their house – there are endless loopholes in the plot. But I have to give it a pass hoping that the next season will be able to fill the gaps. Yes, another season of this series is coming within a few months.
The sound effect was another big let-down for me. I was constantly at the edge of my seat; not because of the storyline, but to control the volume. Pretty much every scene was accompanied by background music, which was utterly unnecessary for many of them. However, the selector(s) of the songs and the singers deserve a round of applause for effectively elevating the ambience.
The cinematography by Tuban deserves my commendation as I found the scenes visually soothing, gratifying yet simultaneously thrilling. The colour red was deliberately featured throughout the scenes, a notion to reinstate that the content is indeed a psychological thriller; and the visual effects complimented the cinematography satisfactorily.
Furthermore, the entire cast managed to execute their characters flawlessly. Swastika and Ananya were certainly the stars of this series, nevertheless, their appearance couldn’t overshadow newcomer Bipul Patra’s radiance. But that was all Mohomaya delivered – an actor with potential; nothing substantial, not any opportunity for intellectual discourse.
All in all, if you are a devoted generic thriller or psychological thriller lover like me with abundant time and a high tolerance for farcical tales, you can add this series to your watchlist. Everyone else, please go, get a life.
Sharika Sabha is tired of convincing people that Economics doesn’t teach you how to make money. She loves human babies, books, and submitting assignments a few minutes before the deadline. She can be reached at [email protected]