Netflix Original 'Ghoul': An engaging work that endeavors to speak to our times

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews
Radhika Apte as Nida in Ghoul
Radhika Apte as Nida in Ghoul
Ghoul is the latest offering from Netflix. An original horror miniseries, Ghoul stars Radhika Apte and Manav Kaul in the pivotal roles. Ghoul is written and directed by Patrick Graham and is produced under the banner of Phantom Films, Ivanhoe, and Blumhouse. The miniseries consists of 3 episodes of about an hour each and is set to premiere on August 24, 2018.

Ghoul is set in a dystopian world where jingoism reigns supreme and where any protest against the ruling government is seen as an attack on the country's integrity and the perpetrators are seen as anti-nationalists, regardless of whether they are terrorists or leaders of the opposition party. A particular community is seen with suspicion and often youngsters from this community are taken away to undisclosed locations from where they seldom return. Books and liberals/intellectuals are considered dangerous for they tend to trigger dissent. The onus is on the Ministry of National Protection (the Orwellian connection is not just limited to the name) to keep things under check and it does so through its much feared National Protection Squad (NPS). The NPS operates a covert detention center at which military officials interrogate suspected terrorists.

But there is more to it than meets the eye, for secrets much darker lay hidden her under the command of a sadistic commander who runs the center with an iron fist. When a young officer named Nida is assigned to the post, she begins to discover many disturbing truths about the place even as she fights the prejudice of her fellow officers owing to her association with a certain community. Things go from bad to worse when a dreaded terrorist is brought to the facility for interrogation. His arrival triggers a series of supernatural events which culminate in an unprecedented mayhem.  
Manav Kaul in Ghoul, Netflix Original
Manav Kaul in Ghoul
But what is Ghoul? Well, according to Arabic folklore, a Ghoul is an evil spirit that’s capable of living amongst the human beings as one of them. For, it can take the shape of any human. A human must trade his/her soul to call upon the Ghoul. A wicked Djinn who thrives on a human being’s past guilt, the Ghoul finishes its victim by eating its flesh and finally ends up taking up his/her form.

Ghoul is dark, disturbing, and diabolical. The best thing about it is Radhika Apte's deeply nuanced portrayal of Nida. While she has delivered numerous memorable performances this one is right up there with her very best work. She is well supported by other members of the supporting cast well led by the ever so reliable Manav Kaul. Also, veteran actor S. M. Zaheer is brilliant in the role of Nida's father. Ghoul may not be the best piece of horror that you will see this year but it is certainly an engaging work that endeavors to speak to our times. It is a must watch for all horror cinema lovers.

Rating: 7/10

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!

Ghoul Netflix Original Miniseries Trailer (YouTube)

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