Updated: Jun 16
The story is set in a remote village, which quickly becomes the arena of a breathless battle when a two-century-old East India Company Colonel, infected with the Betaal‘s curse, and his battalion of blood-sucking zombie drummers are released from their tomb – attacking anything with a pulse. With the CIPD (Counter Insurgency Police Department) forces fighting against the dead army and tribal civilians makes this story breath taking and gripping.
Betaal — also written as “Betal” — “is the anglicized form of the Marathi word “बेताळ”, which is a folk deity worshipped in the western Konkan region of India. But for the purposes of the show, Betaal is drawn from the Sanskrit word “वेताल” / “Vetala”, which refers to reanimated corpses — that’s zombies — who reside in charnel grounds and predict fortunes”- source: newbust.in
Somewhere in the heart of India, a contractor named Ajay Mudhalvan (Jitendra Joshi), who cares for money and little else, is out to construct a highway through the jungle. A mysterious and closed stone tunnel comes in the way, and Mudhalvan needs to destroy it. Local tribals warn him the tunnel is cursed and venturing in could spell doom. Mudhalvan won’t believe them, of course. He hires a military squad to ensure the job gets done.
With the hasty order of CIPD chief, the squad attacks and kills all the civilians except two people, who struggle to get inside the haunted house and try to rescue the world from Betaal. Betaal curse can only be compensated with the sacrifice of 16-year old daughter of Ajay Mudhalavan. This crooked contractor joins hands with the beast to initiate the sacrifice. Meanwhile Sirohi, Vineet Kumar Singh leads the squad and neutralizes the Betaal’s curse by closure of the tunnel and eradication of Betaal by his tactical ideas.CIPD team puts in their entire armory across the team of Betaal to get rid of him.
Puniya is among those village folks caught between the zombies and the CIPD. She is the woman who helps control the spread of Betal’s curse. She along with her father performs eerie actions to let go of Betal’s curse on the young girl. She even ends up sacrificing her own husband to save the young girl.
Aahana Kumra (Lipstick Under My Burkha) stars alongside with Vineeth as DC “Ahu” Ahluwalia (Aahana Kumra). She depicts a character which had a difficult past that made her a strong woman today. She finally sacrifices herself after the bite of Betaal.
As Sirohi, Vineet Kumar Singh overcompensates, as usual, for this little writing. Like his previous collaboration with Red Chillies, the more horrific (but for wholly different reasons) Bard of Blood, he is under-utilized, and his character is underwritten. Creator Patrick Graham, who previously directed the rather enjoyable Ghoul for Netflix, is once again uncertain about whether to focus on the folk-horror elements, or the army action.
Finally, the act ends with as usual expected plot of good winning over the evil. Betaal’s curse is neutralized by closing the tunnel and blasting it inside. This dead scary plot depicts Indian folklore customs and traditions that people have against their ancestors.People strongly believe in curses and they try not to deal with it. This story also shows the dominative nature of people living in cities with advanced technology and says how important it is to understand the sensibility of a place, customs and people living.