One of the most popular Bengali web series, Hello, is in its second season. And, things are way more thrilling and dramatic than one could imagine. The story revolves around a vortex of love, betrayal, and mystery in the lives of Anonyo, his wife Nandita, and Nina with whom Anonyo has an extramarital affair. As the story proceeds, the mystery around Nina, her past, her intentions, and her association with Nandita gets deeper. Meanwhile, we learn more and more about Anonyo and Nandita, and their families. But, the thing that feels satisfying about the series is Niandita’s growth, as she learns to stand up for herself.
Hello Web Series Review: The Tale of a Woman who Learns to Fight
Hello’s first impression is that it has a melodramatic presentation that matches the habit of every Bangali TV soap viewer. However, as you dig deeper, you’ll realise that it’s a drama alright; but it’s no Bengali soap. It’s the drama of every other family. The barir bou is demeaned for her inability to control, babysit, and rear her adulterous, violent, bratty husband. Nandita faces the same from her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Unfortunately, the ghorowa bou, has never had a job; nor does she have someone to rely on. She has nowhere to goin order to leave behind the toxic environment or false accusations. She has no means to fight for her children’s custody.
As the story unfolds, it presents big questions about Nina (and a mysterious well-wisher of Nandita). Who is trying to reach Nandita and tell her about her husband’s affair? Who is framing Nandita and making it seem like she is having an affair? In the face of false accusations, Nandita doesn’t defend herself or make an effort to prove the truth. Instead, she asks why it’s a sin if she is having an affair, while the same crime is excusable for her husband. Nandita does not take the responsibility of producing a character certificate, because her husband remains unapologetic and unabashed about his infidelity.
Nandita is an educated, beautiful, talented, street-smart woman who, in her thoughts, is progressive. But, her situation confines her within everything she wants to fight. Like any woman without a support system and stuck in a dysfunctional marriage, she struggles with the dichotomy of her own desires – to be free or to give her marriage another chance. Eventually, she fights back in her own way. There’s a reason for everything she does, from protecting her husband to staying quiet instead of shooting out an insult in situations where viewers will scream insults inside their heads.
Season 1 of Hello is all about Nandita going through one shock after the other which move her to tears repeatedly; she fears the consequences before putting up a fight. But in the middle of all this, she never lets go of her urge to question everything, and her ability to think. In season 2, Nandita is no more the intelligent damsel trapped in distress. She comes off stronger, as she handles every situation with far greater dignity. But throughout the two seasons, her empathy and sense of responsibility make her strong. There’s always unpredicatibility and a quiet rebellion.
Hello is undoubtedly a never-seen-before Bengali web series, with many shades of grey. The other leading female of the series, Nina, might seem like the centre and source of all troubles; but, even her histrionic stalking and lying stems from what she thinks to be love. What seems like an unlikely love makes you wonder the extent to which someone can go for a person’s attention. The destruction of a relationship that seems like the doing of an outsider makes you question the foundation and stability of the relationship.
From same-sex relationship to women standing up against toxic masculinity and their gatekeepers – Hello on Hoichoi brings many taboos to the palms of Bangali viewers. And above all, it brings us the story of Nandita, a woman to learns to fight – for her rights, for what seems right.