BOTTOM LINE: Silly, Outdated and Juvenile Horror Show
Rating: 3 /10
Skin N Swear: Several Instances of Strong Language, on-Screen Intimacy
|Platform: Disney Plus Hotstar||Genre: Horror|
What Is the Story About?
Media person Jenifer Mathews is the brain behind a popular television show, Dark Tales, where real-life paranormal incidents are retold and re-enacted in a true-to-life environment. A controversial episode revolving around a woman being molested by a ghost invites trouble from various quarters – sponsors, public and the television management – thereby forcing the show to be called off. However, Jenny is committed to winning the TRP game by launching another show where the crew would go live while interacting with the ghosts in haunted houses. She picks up one such house in Yelagiri to kickstart the new show that eventually puts the lives of her team members at risk.
Kajal Aggarwal is strictly ordinary in the role of a show director for a television channel. She’s in a hurry to deliver her lines quickly as if she has to catch a flight any moment from now. Vaibhav Reddy plays a regular, happy-go-lucky character with a mysterious past, which he sleepwalks with relative ease. His flair for humour is well known but even that can’t come to rescue in this bore of a show. Anandhi is captivating while she lasts and Daniel Annie Pope livens up with the atmosphere with his cheery screen presence. Ashwin Kakumanu doesn’t make much of an impression as a man-child. Selva and Priyanka are reasonably okay in their brief roles. Premgi Amaren shines in a small part that parodies Venkat Prabhu.
The horror-thriller Live Telecast is a refurbished version of a script that filmmaker Venkat Prabhu had planned to execute as a feature film nearly a decade ago. And guess what? This show literally tells us why the feature film never got made! It’s extremely dated, is neither spooky nor funny and boasts of numerous cringe-inducing, done-to-death tropes in the horror genre. In a regular Venkat Prabhu film, even if you don’t buy the thrills or the story, there are ample comedy/timepass moments that make for a jolly good ride. But, Live Telecast is the filmmaker’s weakest work. Not only is the plot incredibly juvenile, but the screenplay is also extremely bloated and does a great disservice to the potential of its lead cast.
The series hinges on a premise of a paranormal live reality show–gone wrong. The first two episodes are overlong, uninteresting and are unnecessarily stretched to introduce the poorly-etched characters. Live Telecast picks up some pace after the action shifts to a haunted house. The supposed-comedy sequences involving the television crew and the humour made out of a medical condition ‘prosopagnosia’ is unfunny. The Premgi Amaren portions where the director pokes fun at himself and the actors who regularly appear in his films are somewhat hilarious.
The old fashioned horror-cliches are a snooze fest – be it the ghost slitting the throat of a man and making his head turn the other way round, the jump scares, the flashback to justify the motive of the ghost or the holy thread to keep the evil spirit away. A twist or two is certainly interesting, but there’s more ambiguity than entertainment here. The narrative is a mess. The scenes are extremely repetitive – the ghost methodically takes turns to torment all the members in the haunted house. Some characters are conveniently forgotten by the end of the show.
Venkat Prabhu is so out of sync with the times and the storytelling trends in the digital space. Live Telecast is a nightmare for those who expect something fresh from the filmmaker. It’s lazily written, casually executed, poorly enacted. Despite the reasonable length well under four hours, you’d rather be more entertained by watching paint dry.
Music and Other Departments?
Premgi Amaren’s turn as a music composer doesn’t add any special value to the show. He relies on staple sound effects and loud background score prevalent in most horror stories. Cinematographer Rajesh Yadav does a decent job of lending a lively colour palette and a rich visual flavour though the mediocre writing hardly permits him to shine. Aishwarya M’s dialogues are perfunctory and too generic to make an impression. Venkat Raajen, the editor, has very limited scope to salvage the show, given the poor story but the show would have been partly arresting if it were an episode short.
Brief comedy portions
Absence of any emotional connect
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Live Telecast Web Series Review by Binged Bureau