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LEILA – BARD OF BLOOD - GHOUL – BETAAL – ANJAAN Rural Myths at Netflix (Short Review Notes by Bobby Sing)
31 May, 2020 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / 2020 Releases

The Indian division of Netflix – the world’s online content leader hasn’t really delivered in the Indian web-series section of its repertoire that includes their original as well bought or acquired Indian series. So expecting some great series coming up soon, here are the short review notes on the 5 Indian web-series released by Netflix.
 
LEILA
(2019 / 6 Episodes)
Adapted or based on Prayaag Akbar’s Indian dystopian novel with the same title set in the future, this strongly portrays what might be happening in the coming decades with its own share of honest interpretations and exaggerations. Revolving around a women searching for her missing daughter, it boldly projects the religious fundamentalists taking over the reign and the society being divided in a way that was not even seen in the history mistreating the women and the underprivileged.  In short, it has its merits in its shocking presentations (especially related with WATER) and technicalities as art-direction and more, but also goes over the top at times following a completely different ideology that might not suit many due to the obvious reasons.
 
So whether you will like or criticize, it will all depend upon which side of the viewpoint you personally are ….. whether the Left or the right. So the choice is all yours, but it certainly deserves to be seen as it does make you think about ‘the present’ that will eventually shape the future and its consequences.

Rating : 3 / 5 
Directed by Deepal Mehta, Shanker Raman and Pawan Kumar
Starring : Huma Qureshi, Siddharth, Rahul Khanna, Sanjay Suri, Arif Zakaria, Aakash Khurana and more. 
 
BARD OF BLOOD
(2019 / 7 Episodes) 
An Indian spy thriller based on the novel with the same title written by Bilal Siddiqui, it gives you the story of a former spy who is once again sent on a mission to Balochistan as he knows the region well having a personal history. But despite having an interesting premise, fine sup-plots, lavish budget, big canvas and enough scope of nationalism, the series turns out to be really disappointing both because of its direction, execution as well as performances. So this must be left out of your watch list as there is a lot better to see online in this specific genre.
 
Rating : 1.5 / 5 
Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta
Starring : Emraan Hashmi, Kirti Kulhari, Vineet Kumar Singh, Jaideep Ahlawat, Sophita and more.
 
GHOUL
(2018 / 3 Episodes)
A horror mini-web series, this again is a story set in India in a dystopian future (like LEILA) based on an Arabic folklore of a monster Ghoul. It talks about the times when fascism rules and the complete focus is upon the interrogation of a trained terrorist in a secret official camp, where some scary, supernatural events start happening with the people involved. The series can easily be called an unusual one remaining far away from the conventional horror and thus is bound to receive mixed responses from the audiences. 
However the good thing is that it can still be easily tried as it’s just a three episode series and doesn’t take long to finish even if you are not able to appreciate it. In short, the intense performances, a unique kind of concept and all ‘Hat-Ke’ elements remain the only key merits of GHOUL, especially for the horror fans.

Rating : 2 / 5
Written and Directed by Patrick Graham
Starring : Radhika Apte, Manav Kaul, S.M. Zaheer, Ratnabali Bhattacharjee and more.
 
BETAAL 
(2020 / 4 Episodes)
Shattering all the expectations raised by its title and for being an Indian zombie horror series, this is one of the biggest disappointment from both the makers as well as Netflix approving such confusing and badly conceived content for their Indian viewership. It begins on an interesting note with innocent tribals clashing with the officers on duty willing to blast a tunnel, but then turns into a serious waste of time and effort later as the zombies come in. It eventually becomes even poorer than GHOUL (also directed by Patrick Graham) post the first episode and one cannot even appreciate the technical aspects of the attempt due to such poor content. So if you can still try GHOUL, this is strictly not recommended and should be essentially skipped.

Rating : 1 / 5
Written and Directed by Patrick Graham / Co-directed by Nikhil Mahajan
Starring : Vineel Kumar Singh, Aahana Kumra, Suchitra Pillai, Ankur Vikal and more.

ANJAAN Rural Myths
(2018 / 15 Episodes) 
Thankfully the best of five series mentioned here, though this has a mix of great, fine and average episodes earlier aired on a TV channel, ANJAAN Rural Myths is still recommended as you can always watch the next episode if one particular one doesn’t look like something great or interesting.
 
Set in the rural regions of India, this is truly an Indian series that presents everything in the Indian context revolving around folklores, old tales, superstitions and rural myths followed since decades in the villages and our interiors. Many of these tales are highly engrossing and scary too presented with a haunting background score, added natural sounds, animal howls and more. Moreover the range covers a large part of the country sharing tales from Jammu Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and more.

To be straight, this is exactly that sort of stuff for which Indian horror is famous and ‘Ramsay brothers’ kind of cinema is largely seen by the fans of this exciting genre. However don’t expect some exceptional VFX from the series comparing it to the international ventures. In short, this is purely Indian horror made in the famous and likable Indian style that deserves to be seen.

(Please note that this is about ANJAAN Rural Myths because there is another series under the same key title as ANJAAN Special Crimes Unit, which is an entirely different one.)

Rating : 3.5 / 5
Directed by Eklavya Sakpal
Starring : Parag Chadha, Rajsingh Verma, Avishek Lama and more in its various episodes.
 
Cheers!
Bobby Sing

Tags : LEILA – BARD OF BLOOD - GHOUL – BETAAL – ANJAAN Rural Myths at Netflix Short Review Notes by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Web Series Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New OTT content Reviews by Bobby Sing
31 May 2020 / Comment ( 0 )
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