I have mixed feelings about original content form Netflix. While it is great to see an outside player investing money to create great content, often the content creators themselves appear to be somewhat biased and reflect the biases of the west looks at non west cultures. Indians shows like Paatal Lok for examples reeks of an American view of India. Such shows fail to reflect the Indian culture properly and appears to have been created to appeal to the readers of Washington Post and New York Times. That perhaps reflects why they have been flop.
This time as an Indian watching and Egyptian series produced by Netflix I had mixed feelings.
Paranormal series starts us by showing Dr. Ismail Rehat. A brilliant doctor but also appears to be somewhat less confident in himself, unable to speak his mind freely and has an awkwardness around women. Two women, a Scottish ex-classmate and a beautiful cousin come fiancée seem to like him.
There are not too many characters. Rehaat, Maggie, Howaida, Rehat’s three brothers and their wives. Rehaat constantly has to face new threats that appear paranormal but Rehaat refuses to believe them as such. While some of the paranormal elements like a custodian Gorilla of desert are somewhat weird, the central horror theme is not.
Dr. Rehaat as a child had wandered near a haunted home where he met a little girl, Shiraz. It is revealed that Shiraz the toothless little girl was a ghost who tried to kill Rehaat. Dr. Rehaat continues to see this girl rest of his life.
This central story is scary, it also explains the weird nature of Dr. Rehat and why he is scared of loving anyone. He has created his rules to cope with this “mind tricks”.
Each episode presents a new “problem” before Rehat which he solves with the help of Maggie and rest of his family. People do die. He is not always successful and some events remain unexplained. But the story is gripping. At no point you feel the pace to be slow. Dr. Rehat’s inability to take initiative constantly frustrates you even as a viewer but then we also get surprised by him.
My only problem with the series has been its ending. There are no spoilers here but there is mention of “Lucifer”. I think linking the entire series to biblical mythology was needless and could have been avoided completely unless there are plans for a season 2 that take use deeper into Dr. Rehat’s mind.
- Excellent acting.
- Good gripping execution.
- We see the 60s-70s Egypt like never before.
- Link to biblical mythology.
- Some parts of story remain unexplained.