From the production house of Red Chillies entertainment and Netflix Betaal web series a zombie horror thriller has been introduced. Betaal has been created, directed, and written by Patrick Graham who also directed horror thrillers Ghoul and Bard of Blood.
A ritual is conducted in the first episode of Betaal, when a contractor begins work on excavating a tunnel dating back to the British Empire, to make room for a highway. But standing in his way is a bunch of superstitious villagers convinced that the tunnel is cursed. Messing with it, a creepy old lady and the villagers says, would unleash an evil unlike anything they have seen before.
Smarmy contractor, played by Jitendra Joshi, under pressure for meeting deadlines and the impending visit of the chief minister, hires an elite military squad to clear the village, having paid the squad leader a bribe to convince her team that the villagers are, in fact, insurgents.
Betaal lays down happening ideas of corruption, oppression and disenfranchisement, but it goes about it in such a shoddy manner that it does a disservice to both its underrepresented subjects and the horror gene in general. The zombies in Betaal not only run, they also use artillery, strategise, jibber-jabber. They are intelligent Zombies.
The involvement of big banners Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment has given the series a plus factor, Betaal brings the horror fascination and gets well connected by bring old unknown rituals and mordern fight stragtegies against the Zombies.
It’s the sort of show where exposition about an ancient curse is delivered inside the shrine of the man responsible for having cast it. A child is inexplicably introduced into the action only to be used as a plot device later on. In certain places logics could be used such as good officer always follows orders but also uses his intelligence as well.
But what the show does not realise is that by waving off something as freaky as a character’s spontaneous makeover, it is inadvertently raising the bar for itself. Since we have been told to not pay any attention to incidents such as this, we are justified in expecting something more sinister. But Betaal is perfectly satisfied doling out jump scares you can see coming a mile away and failing to make any sort of statement on its central theme, colonialism — both foreign and homegrown.Viineet Kumar in a still from Netflix’s Betaal. ( Netflix )
Betaal could have been so much more. For a show that admittedly begins with an interesting idea. Characters are given little to do besides bark out instructions or obey them. It takes place over the course of one violent night and how the charchters shape as the night progress.
Audience will surely feel its clean , crisp and short. No driving lags or any slow nature. Right from the first shot the episodes catch its thrill and make audence hold on to there seats to watch the continution.A good horror thriller with more of a zombie effect. Poeple who like zombie thrillers especially woman will do like it.
Ending this short review of Betaal.
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Until next review see you.