Udayavni Special

Betaal Review: Though entertaining this zombie fantasy fails to scare


Madhukar Bhat, May 25, 2020, 8:22 PM IST

Photo Credits: Instagram

Betaal is an original series presented by Blumhouse Productions and Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment. This series is directed by Peter Graham and Nikhil Mahajan.

This show is about a special task force – ‘Baaz Squad’ deployed in a small village in Chattisgarh to clear the area free from villagers as the government wants to build a highway. They try to open a tunnel that is protected by the villagers who claim that it is haunted and if they open the tunnel, the Betaal (devil) will kill everyone.

However, a businessman who has the contract of road construction who knows the background of the village manipulates the Baaz team to open the tunnel which leads to the entry of an army of British zombies that were shut inside the tunnel for over 100 years.

As the story gets more intense, the zombie series lacks logic as we get to know a dead British commander, Colonel Lynedoch believed in black magic and used it to wake up a demon to get more power. The villagers put a line of turmeric and ashes to block the zombies from attacking which appear funny on screen and reminded us of the 80s-90s Indian horror movies.

Vineet Kumar Singh’s performance as the lead role of Vikram Sirohi is brilliant. Him listening to commandant Tyagi (Suchitra Pillai) and zombie Colonel metaphorically connects to tales of Vikram and Betaal but loses logic.

The production design of the tunnel, haunted buildings, and the village look sharp. The editing and tone are also at top-notch along with good sound effects. The first few minutes of the series reminded us of Bollywood’s Tumbbad and the latter parts of the series reminded us of Peter Graham’s mini-series Ghoul.

Even though the story starts with the social commentary on the poor, government, and greedy rich people who manipulate others, the zombie fantasy takes the story to nowhere. It would have more effective if the theme would have been more static.

If the makers had made the show with 2 episodes rather than 4, as their previous series Ghoul, it would have been better. This is a zombie-themed drama show and not a complete horror show.

Watch it if you are bored and get entertained by keeping your logical mind aside.

You can stream this on Netflix.

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