Ghoul: Watch (or don’t) as Anurag Kashyap unloads unhindered propaganda on the audience

“…I am willing to go out on a limb to assert that the second season (of the Sacred Games), scheduled to coincide with the 2019 elections, will be aimed at the end-game of showing the ruling dispensation in a negative light…”

For someone resuming writing after a hiatus, predicting the story arcs to be crafted by one of India’s most skilful bunch of film-makers was a bold little assertion made on this very portal earlier this month. Thankfully, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, et al. didn’t make this writer wait an entire year to feel vindicated and returned to spew their toxic leftist propaganda within a month. Only this time, any pretence of a primary plot to ship the propaganda with appears to be gone.

At the outset, I would begin by clarifying that horror is not my cup of tea. Pennywise the clown, who was beaten (literally) by a bunch of fumbling kids, haunted my nights for weeks after I watched IT, and a friend has had to pester me for days to agree to watch Annabelle: Creation. (Seeing demonic spirits fleeing from Christian symbols in the latter though, does beg the question as to what were people doing to get rid of evil for centuries before Christianity usurped native religions). So, while I cannot claim to be an authority when it comes to the genre, but I can vouch for myself as being one of the easier guys to scare-off and Netflix’s Ghoul fails miserably at it!

While we are not told what year are the events of the show are unfolding in, but ‘fascist’ India in the series is shown stuck with Maruti Esteems and landline phones in an alternate reality where intellectuals and free thinkers are being hounded for their espousal of country’s secularism by a totalitarian regime. A poorly made off-shoot of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

The constitution and the idea of India are in danger as Muslims are selectively rounded up and lodged in high-security prisons, and extra-judicial killings are rampant. A few Christians who toe the line of a majoritarian government though are surprisingly rewarded with high-ranking postings.

The show even uses the oft-derided phrase “wapsi” to refer to Muslims that have been tortured into re-orienting their allegiance to the state. Now, where else have the viewers read stories of such dooms-day scenarios before? Answer: In every other leftist rag that carries the rants of “intellectuals”, that the show fondly refers to, who claim they are being hounded for something as justifiable as stopping them from leeching public wealth.

What is appreciable though, is the series’ mention of themes — Aramaic Language and the Goan Inquisitions — that would never find even a fleeting mention on Indian television. One just wishes the show makers had the courage to tell the viewers how the language they pertain to was erased to extinction during the bloody and deceitful subjugation of its speakers by the community shown as persecuted in the show. Or how it is the supposed villains of the series, the Hindus, who have historically been persecuted in episodes such as the Goan Inquisitions.

The writers of the show seem well aware of the history (which is one of the only two saving graces of the show) but the brief and motivated references to history, otherwise aptly used by the writers to lend some credence to the original story, is what this writer takes exception with.

Coming back to Netflix’s Ghoul — this utterly underwhelming three-episode series, which I learnt to my surprise, took three years to make, is helmed by a greenhorn director with nothing of note to his credit previously. The trailers of the show, though, bandy about the name of the production house of Jason Blum (“the makers of Insidious and Get Out”), but since Blum’s company has produced more than ten films and TV series in 2018 alone, one can imagine the level of his involvement in a project that tries to piggyback on his reputation.

While it cannot be anyone’s case that a debutante director cannot make a good show, using Blum’s name to sell the show does smack of dishonesty. It also turns out that it was fairly recently that Netflix came on board and turned the intended feature film into a web-series, according to the makers’ “creative freedom” from the censors. Despite the association of the two deep-pocketed production houses with unrivalled experience and expertise, the make-up, the prison setup, the props and the uniforms leave a lot to be desired.

One can’t help but sympathise with the amateur British director’s failing attempts using eerie background music (the second saving grace of the show) and resorting to patchy lighting, shaky camerawork and jump-scares in the make-believe Indian Guantanamo Bay like setup (in a country which famously released the largest number of PoWs in history, almost entirely Muslims, honourably) to add some horror to the mix.

He is also let down by his dialogue writers and Indian assistants who should have been tasked with making the alternate dystopian reality narrative, believable. The aforementioned Esteems and telephones preclude the timeline from being a dystopian future to more of an alternate reality set in the 90s. The writers would have done well to give us a background on how India ends up in that fascist reality, if only they weren’t already deluded into believing that we are already living in it. A half-decent origin story is least one can expect from a show that has been three years in the making.

Sacred Games, for all its discussed flaws, was a well-made show and an engaging watch. The social media was abuzz with praises for performances of its lead actors. For Ghoul though, I have already seen a number of tweets calling out the comically exaggerated and ill-placed leftist references. We have already lamented losing creative talent to the communist echo-chamber that Bollywood has become, but after watching Netflix’s Ghoul I can cheer this bunch on as they continue to peddle propaganda and lose the love they earned laboriously into an oblivious obscurity.

Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.

Most read articles recently

Rahul Gandhi’s lucrative and seemingly clandestine means of income and his links to scam accused FTIL, Unitech

How does Rahul Gandhi earn to buy land and other properties? A mystery we try to unravel

Nitin Gadkari at the receiving end: Is there a pattern?

Indian Express has a massive interview of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in its March 23, 2019 edition.
AM Sheikh Dawood promised of offering 10 litres of free liquor monthly to the families in his constituency on his victory

Independent candidate from Tamil Nadu promises 10 litres of free liquor every month on winning elections

An independent candidate from Tamil Nadu has come up with a strange promise of offering 10 litres of free liquor every month to every family in his constituency

Shunned by the BJP, jilted Shatrughan Sinha goes on a rampage against the party, rumoured to join Congress

Shatrughan Sinha was visibly irked and had a Twitter meltdown after the BJP declared Ravi Shankar Prasad's candidature from Patna Sahib constituency
Rahul Gandhi

Staring at an imminent defeat in Amethi, Congress on the scout to secure a safe seat for Rahul Gandhi

The Congress units of southern states have been feverishly imploring Rahul Gandhi to fight from any constituencies in southern states, apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh .
Prakash Raj was welcomed with pro-Modi slogans in Bengaluru

Actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj greeted with pro-Modi slogans as he went to file his nomination

Prakash Raj seemed visibly miffed with a large number of Modi supporters welcoming him with pro-Modi slogans in Bengaluru
'Rahul Gandhi is running away from Amethi, not me': Smriti Irani on rumours BJP might field her from Wayanad

‘Rahul Gandhi is running away from Amethi, not me’: Smriti Irani on rumours BJP might field her from Wayanad

Smriti Irani rubbishes rumours that have surfaced about BJP thinking about fielding Smriti Irani from the Wayanad constituency too, to counter Rahul Gandhi. 
Sapna Chaudhary denies rumours of her joining Congress

Embarrassment for Congress: Sapna Chowdhury says she never joined Congress, picture with Priyanka Gandhi old

Denying rumours, Sapna Chaudhary said that the photos in circulation on Internet were old

How Caravan and Congress’ attempts to create ‘bribegate’ before 2019 election fell flat

The 'bribegate' that Congress and The Caravan tried to cried falls flat on its face on several counts. 

AAP propagandist tweets false claim about Adani Group, deletes due to fear of defamation

Earlier Delhi's Education Minister Manish Sisodia had also tweeted false claim about Adani Group

Latest articles

Connect with us


Don't miss these

Share This Post and Support: