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Hard Broken Review: Melodrama Reigns Strong in Toxic Relationships


Hard Broken Review: Releasing on September 20, 2023, on Netflix, Hard Broken (كسرة قلب ) is a Lebanese thriller mystery drama series starring Muhannad Al Hamdi, Rasha Bilal, Talal Jurdi, Douja Hijazi, Elie Mitri, Rodrigue Sleiman and others. It has been directed by Elie F Habib and consists of 6 episodes with their runtime ranging between 39-55 minutes.

Now streaming on the platform with English subtitles for international audiences, the suspenseful series is centred around a chaotic group of friends, among whom one can never feel safe. When with this clique of frenemies, it’s highly recommended that you watch your back.

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Hard Broken Series Review Contains No Spoilers

Hard Broken Review: Discussion

The series picks up its action surrounding a group of unlikely and toxic friends when a tragic murder removes one of them from the equation. With suspicions rising high, they point fingers at each other, and simultaneously an investigation helps us knock back into their shared troubled history through flashbacks. Hidden romances, betrayals and whatnot surface to the top as their perfect lives and friendship are revealed to be a sham.

Having grown up watching Hindi soaps on TV, Hard Broken gave me major deja vu feels. With revelations of harsh truths settled in the past, characters often dove back into flashbacks of their old days, and the transition for the same is captured by differentiating in the lighting of each of these timelines, with the present scene gradually dissolving into a “fade away” video transition. And so, despite the series putting on the garb of a modern storyline it assumes an olden image, but not just visually.

The plot too comes up as a stereotypical narrative revolving around even more stereotypically archaic characters, especially men. Not only do some of the main character’s dialogues (played by Muhannad Al Hamdi) trouble you for how insecurely toxic they are, they further reveal him to have been frivolously crafted as the cliche over-possessive and chauvinistic man. Adding on, unfortunately, the series doesn’t bring forth any compelling women character despite the gorgeous roster of actresses involved in this project.

Hard Broken Review Netflix

There’s a high probability that you’ll figure out who the killer is early on after merely watching the first episodes, and reading the characters’ attitudes and personalities (or even this article). Furthermore, the ongoing investigation that visually threads the individual lives of these characters together brings you no joy due to the lacking sense of riveting tension or excitement to see the mystery unfold, rather it may vex you for blissfully ignoring the obvious.

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Like I mentioned before, much like Hindi TV soaps, this too emerges as a lookalike of one and presents you with nothing original or unique regarding the way its characters are painted or how their actions come together to make way for an uninteresting and tedious mystery that is missing all the thrill and adrenaline rush. The actors further weigh in with their exaggerated reactions at times, and it only continues to numb your mind.

Even when the mystery is supposedly solved towards the end, the plot stretches out the story infuriatingly to drop some truth bombs about other characters who barely try to intrigue the viewers. And the final plot twist is served eventually as a delayed response as if to make us wait for the change of pace.

However, none of it works in the favour of the series because even though its been guided ahead as a character-driven case of deception, the characters themselves barely have anything refreshing or through-provoking to add to such a vaguely distant picture of a whodunit. And it’s more frustrating to see how the plot doesn’t even heighten the fall of their supposedly perfect friendship because it never really is established as one worth rooting for either in the first place.

Hard Broken Netflix Series: Final Thoughts

Of course if you’re a fan of either of these cast members, then you may want to catch up with their new project on Netflix, but as far as a good mystery goes, this is nowhere near to being a compelling one. You can easily find better options to raise your intrigue with stories that have better characters. Their grey morality may be better illustrated through their fatal flaws, but mere toxicity, as you can see, doesn’t always go to great lengths in terms of indicating the same.

Hard Broken is now streaming on Netflix.

Also read: Athidhi Review (2023): Stale Horror Flick is a Repetitive Dumpster Fire


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