The zombie genre has always been one of my favourite genres and for this reason, I was eagerly waiting for the new Netflix series 'Betaal'.
Presented by Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment and starring Vineet Kumar Singh (of Danish Khan fame from Gangs Of Wasseypur), I was expecting a thrilling series.
With an ensemble case of Suchitra Pillai, Jitendra Joshi, Ahana Kumra, and Richard Dillane- who starred in Ben Affleck's Argo- I was expecting a gripping horror tale in Betaal.
But I was left hugely disappointed by this tasteless and meaningless and horror less zombie series.
When someone speaks of a gripping zombie tale, the first movie that comes to the mind is Will Smith's I Am Legend, followed by movies like World War Z, Train To Busan, Zombieland to name a few.
And then there are series like The Walking Dead, which have taken the zombie genre to a different height altogether.
However, this Indian zombie tale, with a showtime of around 135 minutes, is nothing more than an idiotic act.
I understand, being an Indian series, the references to black magic and a powerful evil soul named Betaal must have come naturally to the makers.
However, I don't understand as to what weed were the makers on when they finalised the story and the script and then decided to go ahead with something that gave this final product?
Did they take any cheap weed, which in fact is cheaper than the cheapest quality of weed that is available currently in the market?
Because everything is bad and cringe-worthy about this series.
Well, not everything is bad as the background score of the episodes and the end credit music after every episode and especially that of the final episode are absolute pieces of beauty.
Even the credit rolls during the start and at the end of the episodes are eye-catchy.
Let me clarify one thing here- this write-up is not a review of the series but it is just the frustration of someone who is hooked to the zombie genre.
Betaal is so bad that to review it I will need to be high on the same weed on which the creator was on when he wrote the following dialogue- "Bl**dy white men, first they plundered our country, then our jobs, then our gold, our land and now these a**holes have even stolen our evil spirits!
And this is just one among the many such cringe gems.
I don't know if it could have been worse than what I witnessed, but I am sure it could have been much better only if the makers had decided against their will and sheer passionate desire of making it!
I am repeating myself- this is not a review of the series and this is just my own frustration that I am writing out.
You should not go by what I am writing and you should definitely watch the series.
The lockdown has offered us with several spare minutes to waste and if at the end you feel you 135 minutes, then you should not weep as you must have already wasted many more such minutes in the past!
I have wasted my share and I throw the ball on your court.
Partha Prawal (Goswami) is a Guwahati-based journalist who loves to write about entertainment, sports, and social and civic issues among others. He is also a published author.