Honestly, spooks shivers, and scares were never funnier than this. Live Telecast (available on Disney Plus Hotstar) 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 the 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 an 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 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 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 has rapidly become the capital of corniness, crassness, and plain pain in the nether domain.
Directed by Venkat Prabhu, Live Telecast gets 1 star
Image source: Binged, Youtube/DisneyPlusHotstarVIP
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