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Live Telecast(Disney-Hotstar, Tamil, 7 Episodes)



Directed by Venkat Prabhu

Rating: *

Honestly, spooks shivers and scares were never funnier than this. Live Telecast is  neither horror nor spoof. It is plain hogwash,with no redeeming  qualities. Except that we get to laugh at  the most  unexpected  junctures in the plot.

In Episode 1, a guy called Karthik  takes Prema  out into the  jungle…to make out…for the first time.

“I am  a good girl,” she simpers.

“We’ll soon know how good a girl you are,” Karthik leads Prema to the  backseat of their car as they are attacked by thw  most comic ghouls since man and the Ramsay Brothers invented those  guys with bulging and eyes, stewed faces, and  boiled  limbs.

The above is an episode from a  series called Dark Tales that Jenny(spelt in the end-credits with one ‘n’) and her colleagues telecast from  a channel which must  be as desperate for  a hit as Disney-Hotstar seems to be  by commissioning this  atrociously misguided  horror saga which makes Disney-Hotstar’s horror-spoof  Laxmii seem  like  a masterpiece.

 This monsterpiece  in  7 episodes is  so loud  and  clamorous,  so full of terrible acting that midway I began to  fear for the ghosts. Imagine, if real ghosts saw this. They would be so insulted  that there would be hell to pay.

Hell is what Jenny and her gang of ghost-baiters pay when they arrive to shoot in  a haunted home  lately purchased by  a lady named Shenbagama(her  collection of sarees are  just about the only tasteful  sight you  will behold in this tasteless series)   and her two children. Soon, it’s  as clear as  daylight that all is not right  in Shebagama’s new abode . Her little  boy  is playing ball with a  friend no one can see.

And there are strange noises everywhere. None, I am sure, as strange as  the noises director Venkat Prabhu asks  his cast members   to make order to express alarm, shock(literally since  the whole haunted  house  is surrounded by  short-circuited walls) fear and  helplessness. All of this,  plus more, because, Jenny(with one  ‘n’)  was too ambitious  for her own  good. Yup, this is what happens with over-ambitious working women who smoke  like chimneys(will someone please tell me what is the  connection between working women and  cigarettes in  Indian cinema?) and  cross the line of  professionalism by staging news to get TRPs.

 There is a scene where  Jenny’s boss asks, “How are you placed tonight,Babe?”

No wonder Jenny  likes to spend time with  ghosts. At least they are more interesting than these horny human beings. Nothing in Live Telecast seems interesting or logical  enough to  invest  more than three of  hours of your time . The characters are  pure cardboard, the scares are  non-existent  and the acting is abysmal. Kajal Aggarwal did  the right thing by  getting married. If this is what the Indian entertainment industry  has  for her she’s better off not working.

By the  way, did you  know  that  there is a place  in Assam which is, and I quote the expert in the series,  “the capital  of necromancy and voodoo?” No? You didn’t , did you?But you do know that the Indian OTT platform is  rapidly become the capital  of corniness, crassness and plain pain in  nether  domain.

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