Showing posts from May, 2020

Netflix Saturdays: Betaal (TV Series)

It's perhaps not a secret that I get drawn to zombie series or movies easily. There's something primal and raw about the notion that you don't really die - and are still stuck in that no-man's zone between death and life. Countless movies and books have done this right. And I think the trick to get it right, of course is the human elements that constitute the drama, with the zombies being another layer to the mounting levels of tension. Americans have made this a regular feature on their yearly movie-list. Hollywood searches for humour in this undead-genre. (Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, too many to name here!) On the grim-dark human drama side, there's The Walking Dead (This series is something I haven't yet watched, might get around to it later) or gritty action-packed Val Helsing. The Koreans, however, excel in this. ( like a lot of other genres I suppose!) - The Kingdom was such a treat, masterpiece. Or the Train to Busan - one of their best exports to

Pataal Lok (TV Series )

Amazon Prime , for long has been trying to outdo the frenzied success that Sacred Games brought for Netflix India . They finally might have found one. In Pataal Lok , produced by Anushka Sharma, directed by Sudip Sharma. Set in the seedier outlands of Delhi ( Outer Jamnaa Paar )  Pataal Lok is a black noir thriller with mythological overtones, focused on the efforts of a down-on-his-luck honest but cynical cop, Hathi Ram Chaudhary's attempts to unravel the mystery behind a failed assassination attempt of a high-profile journalist. It succeeds at different levels, often because of the realistic treatment of the issues of casteism, racial prejudices and the political machinations that is weaved into the crime-narrative, rather than be just backdrops against which typically such crimes flourish. While the first couple of episodes lays the foundation for an intriguing mystery and assuredly plumbs the seedier parts of a Delhi, we have never seen really, the series truly soars -

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

Post Apocalyptic Zombie novels continue to fancy me. While there are just a handful out there that truly buck the trend (Of being the typical predictable zombie novels that read like one-dimensional companion reads for Walking Dead ) - Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff seemed intriguing. The Road set in Ireland? Ooh, count me in. The story is centred around Orpen, a young girl dragging her friend(sister?) Maeve in a barrow on a road through a densely wooded area, surrounded by rolling calm hills. It's gradually revealed that most of humanity is dead. In fact, in brief flashes of the past, we find out that Orpen has actually been living in an isolated island off the coast of Ireland, brought up by her mother, Mam and Maeve. The cause of the apocalypse is never revealed but there is the looming threat of creatures called Skrake ( good old walking dead zombies) whom she's been warned about. Early on on the mainland, she gets a feel of the grim reality that defines t