GHOUL, Netflix TV Show
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Created, Written & Directed: Patrick Graham
IMDB: GHOUL (7.3/10)
Ghoul is a mini-series on Netflix. It stars Netflix’s original one and only (as the word goes) Radhika Apte as the lead. It is a horror series but with three episodes one might have to wonder how much alone one might have to be. The story is set in the dystopian future and as the genre of mini-series, the cast of the TV series is also mini. With just a handful of people and an old building is all that is needed. The story takes us through how the world has changed and how a portion of the people need to align themselves with what the system wants rather than sticking to their old ideologies. The lead character strongly believes and keeps her faith in the system that she snitches on her dad for his anti-government mindset. This could very well be an eye opener but then again it is a revenge story. And where in the history of horror movies, the ghost has not had a revenge.
The future does look a more fucked up than we might care to admit. An interpretation of it is in the very TV series. It is a 3 episode show which takes the protagonist to realise that the system she so very much believes in isn’t actually doing any good job. She doesn’t even take into account her father when her own father complains about the system how it has gone to tatters and how the basic human rights are no longer in play. The government sort of controls everything and the ones’ opposing are anti-government ho much ever one might love their country. And for the people who are anti, they set up rehabilitation centres to cleanse them of their anti-nature and make them complicit.
I am a person who believes in details. Be it fiction, I want the story to be built up, an introduction, a narrative giving a clear picture to the person watching what is happening and the mystery to what to expect. Again, details. That is one reason, I suck at writing fiction because how much ever I want to divulge in the details, I can’t write unless I find it quite right, say like something that I have come across or say an experience could help me in painting the picture more perfectly. But then again, it is the struggle of the writer I believe. The reason I brought this up is because I found a couple of places where it was a bit off. Now, I am not perfect, but there is no harm in wanting it to be perfect.
Nida Rahim is the protagonist of the series and she is someone who truly believes in the system, or lets as per the storyline say she is a patriot. She is doing her course in Advanced Interrogation Techniques but realises that her dad harboured anti-government thoughts. (#1) I don’t know but she has stayed with him for her entire life and she just realised this after 20 odd years. So much for learning into getting into one’s head to get some information. But she does realise this and what she does is reports the same to the authorities since it was her “duty” as a citizen to report any anti behaviour.
A couple months later when the most acclaimed terrorist gets caught so easily, she comes to limelight when she was called upon to interrogate the terrorist. She had no idea why that was done but she was told that since she was the topper in her class and was excelling at this interrogation stuff she needed some field exposure and why not start with the most dangerous terrorist.
Meanwhile, the dad is being interrogated because he was deemed a terrorist for having anti-government thoughts. Well, the interrogation concludes that the dad was not a terrorist and was completely clean. But then again he was ordered to be killed. Because who cares, really!? The dad was already pissed off with the system that he calls upon an ancient ghost to take “revenge” by opening her daughter’s eyes to the actual truth of what the system that she so believes in is actually doing.
Now that the most notorious terrorist has been captured, he needed to be interrogated to get some answers to what his plans are. So, when the most acclaimed terrorist is brought in to the centre and they had just a day to break him down, the fierce, strong and determined Nida was asked to take a shot at the interrogation. In what we call the tables turning, the topper of the class gets broken down by just one word. Just one word and she was left speechless. She even starts to have nightmares that very night. Well, not just her though, all the people in that facility have nightmares. All thanks to the new terrorist that was brought in the detention centre.
Apparently, the terrorist was brought upon had been possessed with a demon called Ghoul who reveals the deepest darkest secrets of the other people. And all one needs to summon the demon is to make a design with one’s blood and chant something in Arabic which is something like “What goes around comes around”. But the expert interrogators at the facility have no idea about that. And how much ever, Nida who just comes to the news of it tries to explain the same, no one listens to her. While the expert interrogators are getting broken down in again, what we call a turn of tables, they needed someone to could break this guy down. Hence a 7-foot guy was called upon to help with the process of the interrogation.
The writer of the story seemed to have done extensive research on the worst interrogation techniques that were “allegedly” done after 9/11. But with all that research one might expect a little more than hand punching the face. At least waterboarding. Oh well, you will find loud music that won’t let the prisoners sleep and hanging them. There is this one scene where he is taken out of a box that was half his length and with all that music playing and the no sleep thing, he looked fresher than the rest of the people at the centre who had cosy beds.
Eventually, Nida comes to know about the demon that was on the lose and things go sideways when she was thrown in with the existing inmates where she learns of all the other stuff about what had actually happened to her father. And her father was the one who had summoned the demon. As the ancient texts go, all one needs is blood and a chant, that is and one can summon the demon from anywhere. However, the details are a little foggy on how the demon comes out on the open, but I must take a moment to appreciate the artist that her dad was. If one has ever seen the blood, no one can paint with it, but the artist that the dad was he paints a perfect design as if he had used a paintbrush. Like I said, I am a sucker for details and that’s why I hate a few too many things that seem unreal.
Long story short, the revenge is taken on the ones that have been taken things into their own hands and the only person that comes out alive of this Nida. And is then captured and interrogated since she was the only one with a gun and she everything else was in flames. With her dad’s history who was already turned in for being a terrorist, this wasn’t hard to connect the dots to conclude that she was a terrorist herself and she was merely taking revenge for her dad’s death. And when the system fails to believe her ghost story, she decided to take the matters into her own hands by calling the demon herself and make things right.
To conclude this long ass review which no one reads, the future is fucked up and it really does need a supernatural entity to put things into order or perhaps a little more chaos.
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