coming of age

[Netflix Review] Typewriter Season 1 (2019) ★★★☆☆

Ravi, Sam, Bunty, Bunty and Gablu and Buddy in Typewriter season 1

Typewriter conjures up some playful scares and a sinister evil ghost of the past in an uneven horror mix.


Typewriter is a supernatural horror Indian Netflix Original ghost story with an endearing group of kids as a sleuthing Ghost Club. It’s a fine mix of the supernatural, a mystery from the past, ghosts and adorable ten year-olds. The ghost story with a creepy haunted mansion, is told through three main perspectives in three different time periods. These different perspectives each create a different tone and atmosphere. There’s also some humor woven into the  story that is mainly caused by the four kids. 

While it is told from a child’s perspective as well as adult perspectives, the overall tone can be a bit confusing and it isn’t always clear for which audience this series was intended. Sometimes it speaks to a teenage/young adult audience but sometimes the themes are rather mature and serious and too scary or gruesome. But the big story arc is a creepy and entertaining one and if you like horror series with kids as the sleuthing mystery solvers, then this is one to watch. 

This first season consists of 5 episodes with each a duration of 43-54 minutes. It has a big continuous storyline that unravels the mystery through different timelines and characters. 


Plot

The story starts with a writer Madhav Mathews and his granddaughter Jenny who live in the Bardez mansion in Goa. Madhav has written a book The Ghost of Sultanpore but the house itself seems haunted and it kills him. 

Years later Jenny returns with her own family to the mansion, after her husband accepted a job in Bardez. The kids Nick and Anya don’t like it very much, but Nick joins a group of friends who are interested in the house and its ghosts. 

These friends, Sam Anand and her dog Buddy, Satyajit Tandon aka Gablu and Bunty Devraj form their own Ghost Club and want to find out everything about the ghosts in the mansion and especially the Ghost of Sultanpore. 

Meanwhile Anya discovers an old typewriter in the attic on which Madhav typed his book, but then some strange things start to happen, even deaths and the ghost of Sultanpore might be all too real. 


Why you should watch it

First of all the four kids and their Ghost Cub steal the show. They are adorable and a very close group of friends that makes the series very entertaining and fun. Their storylines are playful and the most fresh to watch. Opposite from this playfulness are the two other storylines of police officer Ravi, Sam’s father and the storyline of Jenny.

All three storylines are after the mystery of the ghost, everyone in their own way, with their own reasons. The kids’ reasons are full of fun and excitement. Jenny wants to know more about her strange past and Ravi has some murders to solve that are somehow connected with the mansion. 

While they each are unraveling the mystery they uncover the story of Fakeer, the man behind the Ghost of Sultanpore. His story can be seen as the fourth storyline and explains the story of the ghost, the murders and a far more sinister history. 

The series is therefore more a mystery and a kids adventure and a ghost story with a horrifying but intriguing past than a real scary horror story. Although the deaths and possession make it a true horror story. The ghost hardly shows itself and it is more about the development of the mystery and how the main characters are solving it, and less about the hauntings, making the ghost disappear into the background. But it’s an intriguing and compelling and entertaining story, nevertheless. 

The three different time periods, 1982, 1950 and the present make the whole story more complete and interesting and it provides some variety. But this also results in different tones and atmospheres which sometimes can give the feeling that the series is searching for its own voice. On the other hand, this also creates a fresh and new story that combines different views and at the end put them all together in a truly eerie ghost story. 


My favorite part

I really liked Sam, she is the star of the show. She’s smart, brave, adventurous and the leader of the group who gets them all into trouble. It’s a Goonies meets ghost story kinda series and it can really work if you like this kind of setup. There are lots of fun scenes but they also can be a bit too simple, it depends on your own view but I really liked the scenes with the kids.

In contrast, the story about Sultanpore is very enthralling and impressive but maybe not implemented in the best way into the series, so that it seems it almost came out of nowhere and was simply put into the story. Nevertheless his storyline is maybe the most horrifying and is cause for the hauntings that could have been slightly more present and scary.

The balance between the unraveling of the mystery by the main characters and the storyline about how the mystery came to be could have been better and more compellingly woven into each storyline, but I still liked it very much. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Scare factor: ★★☆☆☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★☆


Cast and crew

Typewriter is directed and written by Sujoy Ghosh. It stars Palomi Ghosh (Jenny), Aarnaa Sharma (Sam), Purab Kohli (Ravi), Palash Kamble (Bunty), Mikhail Gandhi (Gablu), Aaryansh Malviya (Nick), Sara Gesawat (Anya), Sameer Kochhar (Peter), Harish Khanna (Moses) and Jishu Sengupta (Amit).

Music: Raja Narayan Deb. Cinematography: Gairik Sarkar. Original network: Netflix.


Check the trailer below


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