Mohomaya Review – Available in Hindi on MXPlayer
The opening scene of a half-naked man performing BDSM while whipping his whore and making his wife witness this activity by tieing her up in a chair and howling that ‘I am an animal’ and she should learn how to sexually gratify him itself sends a cold gust to each particle of our body and foreshadows the debauchery that will be one of the central themes of this web series.
In contrast to the dark opening scene a sharp contrast is reflected in the next scene where the typical middle-class conservative Bengali family of Aruna and Suranjan are shown to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights with their daughter Mithi and son Miki accompanied by his girlfriend Baishali.
Aruna however has a strong feeling of resentment towards Baishali and doesn’t approve of the romantic interests between her son and his girlfriend. Aruna reprimands them for burning too many firecrackers and later sobs bitterly leaning on her husband’s shoulder as her children don’t care for her the way she wants. Moreover, Mikki’s leaving of the house permanently for the pursuit of greener pastures in Canada shatters Aruna’s matriarchy as both her son’s Memo and also Mikki abandoned her.
The void in her heart is filled with the arrival of Rishi, their new paying guest whom they know as Mikki’s childhood friend. Though initially Aruna was displeased with the proposal of Rishi staying in their house gradually she became fond of him. Rishi quenched the thirst of Aruna’s motherhood that she was yearning to fulfil through her two sons who left her chasing their own dreams.
On his first day in the house while he knelt down to take blessings from Aruna’s red dyed feet and flickered his finger between her toes, making her wear the toe-rings which belonged to his late mother, complimenting that her feet looks beautiful does the trick and he impresses Aruna at the first instance.
However, Rishi’s entry into the house creates emotional unrest as it’s associated with a series of disturbing incidents such as the mysterious killing of the cat that Aruna loved, Mithi’s falling off the stairs and becoming paralyzed. All these eerie incidents create suspicions in Suranjan and Baishali mind against Rishi since his words about his identity seem to be an
the epitome of equivocation but they can’t convince Aruna because of her blind motherly love for Rishi.
The flashbacks of Rishi’s abnormal childhood accompanied by his father’s animalistic sexual encounters and the sounds of his mother’s groaning pain sends shivers down our spine. Being a child witnessing gore and lust forced him to mature rather unusually. He was a child who wanted a happy life with his parents but what he got instead was trauma. Rishi’s past haunts him rejuvenating the pain of how he always tied up his hysterical mother with a rope so that she doesn’t die by committing suicide. At such a tender age when he should be taken care of by his mother, on the contrary, he took care of his mother who only bitterly sobbed for her husband’s desertion without even caring for her little son. Maya, Rishi’s mother finally managed to die by slashing her wrists with a piece of glass thus scarring Rishi’s childhood.
Years later, when Rishi sees Aruna he searches for a mother in her and thus becomes obsessed in his quest of protecting her from those who inflict pain in her heart.
The repetitive scenes of Rishi envisioning his own mother and exchanging conversations with her seems a fragment of his imagination who yearns for the love he never got from his mother. These scenes are purely illusionary and have no basis in reality yet the way she brainwashes Rishi to conceal the truths of his bitter past and the crimes he committed(killing the cat and making Mithi fall) really makes us curious at some point to wonder whether she is Rishi’s alter-ego or is there any supernatural intervention in Rishi’s life.
In all Mohmaya is a creepy, lousy psychological thriller that will have a deep impact on your psyche making you feel numb for few minutes after you finish watching it. Every scene is well detailed with symbolism especially the expressions of the characters while they speak. At some points, it will fill your heart with disgust and at times it will make you empathize with the character of Rishi. There are many unanswered questions in the first season which will be hopefully revealed in the next season in upcoming June.
This show is reviewed by Srilekha Mitra ( @mitra__srilekha_ )
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