41 user 9 critic

Ek Hasina Thi (2004)

A woman falls for a charming and mysterious businessman. The whirlwind romance turns sour when she is framed for his underworld crimes. Now, finally out of prison she is ready for sweet revenge.


Sriram Raghavan


Sriram Raghavan, Sidney Sheldon (story by) | 1 more credit »
Top Rated Indian Movies #228 | 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Saif Ali Khan ... Karan Singh Rathod
Urmila Matondkar ... Sarika Vartak
Seema Biswas ... ACP Malti Pandya
Aditya Srivastav ... Kamlesh Mathur
Pratima Kazmi ... Pramila (as Pratima Kajmi)
Madan Joshi Madan Joshi
Zakir Hussain ... Sanjeiv Nanda
Abhay Bhargava ... (as Abhay Bhargav)
Rasika Oak Rasika Oak
Seema Adhikari Seema Adhikari ... Dolly
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sheeba Chaddha
Rasika Joshi ... Gomti the Prison Queen
Kavita Kaushik ... Karan's girlfriend who lives in Delhi
Gulfam Khan Gulfam Khan
Murari Kumar Murari Kumar ... Murari (as Murari)


Sarika and Karan are employed in a big city called Mumbai in India. They meet, have a date, and find that they are attracted to each other. They do not know nor care of each others' backgrounds, and get married. They start to live in a small apartment. One day Karan asks Sarika to deliver a parcel for him via an Indian airline, which she does. The authorities stop her, and a search reveals that she was carrying drugs in the parcel, and she is arrested. After her arrest, Karan visits her and assures that this is all a big misunderstanding, and she will be found not guilty and let out soon. This does not happen, Sarika is found guilty, is convicted and sentenced to a long jail term. While in prison, it slowly and painfully dawns on her that she has been used, and wants to avenge this. In order to get even with Karan, she must first of all either wait for the sentence to get over or be more daring and escape, take Karan by surprise and avenge her humiliation. Which way will Sarika take? Written by Calista

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | love | murder | revenge | arrest | See All (37) »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Shah Rukh Khan was offered the role of Karan but rejected the offer. See more »


When ACP Malti Vaidya is sitting in the hotel, she's shown first sucking on a long cigarette (unlit), then in the next shot, is lighting the same cigarette with a noticeably shorter and already smoked cigarette. See more »


References Karz (1980) See more »

User Reviews

"Once There Was a Beauty" - Fantastic film, fantastic Urmila!
15 July 2009 | by Peter_YoungSee all my reviews

Ek Hasina Thi is a wonderfully absorbing film. It is gritty, realistic, gripping, and it successfully adopts the style of Ram Gopal Varma's film-making. This thriller develops at a taut pace, starting as a simple romance and later gradually growing in suspense with its shocking proceedings. It is about a young independent woman, Sarika (Urmila Matondkar), who falls for a young suave man, Karan (Saif Ali Khan) who is actually not the one he appears to be. Unexpectedly, her world is turned upside down when she finds herself jailed because of him. That's how the story of her hardening begins, when, toughened by prison life, she gets determined to take revenge. The film does not have any unnecessary subplots, it avoids melodrama, it is relatively short, it has no songs, and all these elements contribute to its authenticity and suspenseful mood, also aided by its fantastic background score, brilliant dialogues, and superb cast.

Urmila Matondkar is one of the finest and most versatile actresses in India. But, in spite of having attained nationwide fame, she is still extremely underrated. It may be because she stepped into a new kind of cinema in order to satisfy her artistic hunger and show her exceptional acting abilities. In Ek Hasina Thi, Urmila stars as Sarika Vartak, but although she plays one character, she actually plays two different women. She is first a gentle and simple class-working woman who, after being deceived by a man, turns into a merciless, calculating and almost sadistic avenger. The complexity of this challenging character arc is astounding, and there is not a single false note in the way Matondkar portrays this deeply troubling transformation. She is thoroughly relatable, real and compelling, handling the toughest and most brutal moments with depth, authenticity and unsettling intensity. This is a performance to remember.

Quite obviously, the rest of the cast are here only to support Urmila, but they include a host of talented actors, all of whom do well. Saif Ali Khan is very impressive in this villainous turn. This is one of his most restrained acts, and his serious character comes as a pleasant surprise after all the comic, lighthearted and womanising characters he had played before. Seema Biswas can always be counted on to deliver a credible performance, and that's what she does as Malti. She creates a tough screen persona which is appropriately intimidating. Pratima Kazmi is superb as the powerful yet compassionate prisoner Pramila. In conclusion, Ek Hasina Thi is a great dramatic thriller, which is enjoyable, unconventional and thoroughly fascinating. The film has some disturbing moments and many moments of relief and joy. The ending is also one of the most unusual you will see in a Hindi film. One of the best Indian films of 2004.

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Release Date:

16 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ek Hasina Thi See more »


Box Office


INR80,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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