Let me just start with how happy I am that India has finally started bringing such great shows to Netflix. Well, Love Per Square Foot was obviously a big miss, but I loved Lust Stories and Sacred Games. However, Ghoul is my absolute favourite today. It is short, it is thrilling and I found the narrative to be quite refreshing. Netflix’s Ghoul is a story that sets itself apart in the first few minutes of its beginning. It is a much-needed departure from all the horror-flick Bollywood has gifted us till date.
Ghoul lacks jump scares and I am not complaining. It has got good material and Radhika Apte is the actual treasure the film has to offer you. To be honest, I really liked her here better. In Sacred Games, her role was not quite as effective, as I would have wanted it to be. Here, however, she is a cadet; she is in the field, giving her level best to protect her nation. Radhika is refined and portrays her character with a lot of ease and dedication.
Through Ghoul, the director has tried to raise the issues about various social problems like terrorism, Islamophobia, anti-nationalism and the misrepresentation of the minorities. I think the time could not have been apter. What establishes Ghoul as a good miniseries is its interesting story. The story revolves around a shape-shifting demon known as Ghul and how he is summoned for revenge.
I could not help but compare it with Anushka Sharma’s movie Pari which released earlier this year. While Pari was a bit overdramatic, it was also a tad more entertaining when compared to Ghoul. And it ran along similar Islamic Arabic mythology. Ghoul is darker, bloodier and deadlier. It is obviously not one of the scariest shows I have watched till date, but it has successfully and strongly impacted me in a different way. I just can’t get the show off my mind and I hope the makers are planning for a second season already.
Ghoul is a story that tries to make us aware of the various political and social causes along with a gentle touch of horror where humans are the real villains. The director Patrick Graham does a good job, no doubt in balancing the tone for the miniseries. While you might think you have seen similar shows with similar concepts; the thing that kept Ghoul going on for me was the well-maintained suspense and the steady pace. Apte’s Nida Rahim changes sides frequently and finally discovers the truth and learns her lesson. It is a story where nobody is the winner; there is loss everywhere in this dystopian world. Aren’t we all headed the same way in real life?
Horror is not always typical in a traditional way, it has different layers. And so does Ghoul. Ghoul has successfully set a milestone for all Indian Netflix shows that are yet to come. However, there are a few flaws about Ghoul that we do need to talk about.
The characterization of the characters does not seem enough, so I do not feel much invested in the show at one point. Certain stories, certain characters deserved concrete background and Ghoul lacked it. If the series was a film, I’d have thus liked it more. There are certain little loopholes in the story, however, this horror story engaged me enough so as to let me let go of those faults.
And last but not the least I would like to finish my review with the appreciation of another actor. Ratnabali Bhattacharjee plays Major Das and has a terrific screen presence. Her portrayal surprises me and demands attention. Her role is kind of unsettling and she, for one, does not disappoint. Manav Kaul adds to charm of the series as well.
Ghoul is now streaming on Netflix. So what are you waiting for? Do you agree with my thoughts? Let me know in the comments section below.
Deblina is a 23 yo introvert who is often a victim of her own jokes and her OCD. She loves books, Marvel, Netflix and Star Wars. She writes about nerd stuff. Jessica Jones and Tyrion Lannister are her spirit animals.