Though spooky, Su­joy Ghosh’s Typewriter doesn’t leave you want­ing more

India Today - - LEISURE - —Farah Yameen

WWhen Sa­cred Games re­leased last year, it set a bar for pro­duc­tion val­ues that were rarely seen on In­dian tele­vi­sion. It re­placed awk­ward mid shots, shoddy edit­ing and flat light­ing with care­ful art di­rec­tion and cin­e­matog­ra­phy. Su­joy Ghosh’s Net­flix hor­ror se­ries, Typewriter, lives up to this new id­iom of visual sto­ry­telling. It sit­u­ates it­self in a Goa vil­lage, finds a mag­nif­i­cent man­sion as a cen­tral char­ac­ter and then lux­u­ri­ously plays with sharp lights and shad­ows. With the cin­e­matog­ra­phy and edit­ing work­ing to its ad­van­tage, Typewriter jumps straight into the usual hor­ror tropes—a haunted house with a dark his­tory, a new fam­ily in the area, whis­per­ing lo­cals, pass­ing shad­ows and

dis­em­bod­ied sounds. A set of char­ac­ters and sto­ries from two dif­fer­ent time­lines all move in­eluctably to­wards the ful­fil­ment of a prophecy about the blood moon night. Four chil­dren that run a ghost club are con­vinced of this prophecy that has been put down in a book, cred­ited to the dead owner of Bardez Villa. The story moves al­most en­tirely on ac­count of their med­dle­some­ness. At the house, an old typewriter is re­stored to its po­si­tion in the study. A man of un­known in­tent is look­ing for this typewriter with vi­o­lent zeal. The new owner of the villa, Jenny, is out try­ing to re­mem­ber her time as a child in this house. And all this while, an evil spirit, which seems to pre­fer day­light, is out on the prowl. Su­joy Ghosh deftly em­ploys mul­ti­ple plot el­e­ments to have enough flesh for five en­ter­tain­ing episodes. The close of each episode hits the right spots to in­duce binge watch­ing, but Typewriter trips over its ghost club. The group ap­pears to serve the sin­gu­lar pur­pose of stand­ing in to pro­vide a gulli­bil­ity that would make adults seem id­i­otic. With­out the nu­ance of, say, The Haunt­ing of Hill House, Typewriter is sim­ply another hor­ror story which op­er­ates within old tem­plates. It has the thrills but in­spires no an­tic­i­pa­tion for another sea­son. ■

GHOST STO­RIES Stills from Typewriter

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