Monday, 22 July 2019

Netflix Reviews: Typewriter

We (my sister and I) just finished binge-watching the new Netflix India series- Typewriter. We thought we should review it, in case any of you were thinking of watching it! 

General Thoughts: I'll be honest here, the trailer for Typewriter did not draw me to it. In fact, based on the trailer alone, I had little to no interest in watching the show. It just did not seem interesting. The only reason I started watching the show is when I found out that it has been written and directed by Sujoy Ghosh- a man whose previous work (Kahaani) I've enjoyed. So, my sister and I decided to watch the first episode and see if it hooked us.. and, it did. So, let's jump into the review, shall we? 

Things We Liked: 

1. The show has several elements that appeal to us- horror, a mystery, kids, a doggo, a book at the centre of it all and set in a small town. Put all these ingredients together and you're, most likely, guaranteed an interesting soup! So, that was one of the first few things that drew us into the show. 

2. The look-and-feel of the show was quite nicely done. We see three time periods on the show- 1952, 1982-83 and present day and each of these looked distinct and era appropriate. I liked Bardez Villa itself. It was large, imposing and spooky without being too over-the-top spooky, because, let's face it, who would live with their kids in a super spooky house?! It was atmospheric enough for a horror show but not so scary that you can't imagine a regular nuclear family living in it. 

3. I liked that the kids were very kid-like. They were not uber-smart or uber-grown up or uber-precocious. They were typical 9-10 year olds. Sometimes they got scared, sometimes they were brave, their plans were childish, sometimes their plans made sense.. basically, it is a sign of very intelligent writing to write kids and their shenanigans as they ought to be. Nothing was unrealistic or over-the-top. They were kids, not superheroes. 

4. The performances were all good. The grown ups and the kids did a really good job. Jishu Sengupta was very good as Amit Roy, Purab Kohli was perfect as a single father cum police officer and Palomi Ghosh was also very good as Jenny. The kids were cute and natural and nothing they did seemed over-the-top or fake. 

5. The story arc for this season was interesting. It picked up tempo at the right time and was spooky but not overly spooky with unnecessary jump scares. The five episode series was very well paced. You got to know the characters in the first two episodes and then, very organically, the action ramps up. 

6. I like that we got breadcrumbs of information throughout the series instead of all the suspense being built up to be revealed in the last episode. Sometimes too much build up is a bad thing! 

Things We Didn't Quite Like:

1. There were several loopholes in the story, especially, when it came to the pivotal event that happened in 1983. There is a lot brushed under the carpet in terms of procedure, consequences etc. by just saying that Madhav Matthews (Jenny's grandfather, owner of the typewriter) was a very influential man and could do as he pleased in Bardez. It just does not make sense and a lot of what happened in 1983 does not add up, especially, with regards to the motive of the antagonist- Fakeer. What was Fakeer's grand plan in doing what he did in 1983? It makes no sense and we hope that there is a good explanation for this in Season 2!

2. The last episode was silly and very anti-climactic. The events of the climax were crafted just to leave a cliffhanger situation for Season 2 and was most unsatisfactory for viewers like us, who'd been watching the current series and hoping for a satisfactory resolution of events! It was just too lame, stupid and manipulative! The last five minutes were such a let down! So disappointed! There are a million other ways to leave a cliffhanger! There were many other ways of achieving the same end result that would've been far more satisfying! Gah! Anyway! 

3. Jenny's husband- Peter- had his own parallel storyline going on, which was not really required as a sub-plot, unless, of course, there is some connection with events in Season 2. Peter was disjointed from this whole narrative that involved his wife, his son and the very house he lived in. So much so that he wasn't even home the night the events of the final episode went down! Like I said, not sure why we needed to see his side hustle and the issues he is dealing with in his business... It didn't tie in with the rest of the narrative and I wish it did. 

In Sum: Overall, we did enjoy the series and glad we spent our weekend binging this! However, there are some glaring flaws and the last episode is quite a let down. But, we do recommend watching it because of the build up. It's also low-medium on horror quotient. So, if you, like my sister, don't enjoy horror, you can still watch it. There were only a few moments that were scary. 

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