Adhura review: This horror mystery is too predictable and not scary in the least!

Sakshi Sharma
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Adhura review

Adhura review: Unfortunately this hillside boarding school horror mystery is a bleak attempt at both genres and disappoints you!

Adhura review: A boarding school on the hillside, kids bullying each other, a counselor not over her past, a senior dealing with his own demons, and a mystery to be solved. Adhura on Prime Video literally needs a ghost to tell you that bullying can lead to serious troubles. The only thing that keeps you gripped is "I have started it, I've got to finish it." This seven-episode series unfurls the drama with the mysterious death of the dean and the return of the batch of 2007 for their reunion in Nilgiri Valley School in Ooty. But there is a quiet kid and a supernatural force that creates trouble for all. The show offers two timelines, one of the present ie. 2022 and another in 2007. It had an interesting premise with a ghost coming to teach a valuable lesson to all but it cannot get out of the mess it has created itself. The creators Ananya Banerjee and Gauravv Chawla cannot find a good balance between horror and PSA against anti-bullying which leads to Adhura feeling tiring and done to death.

Unfortunately for the show, with a very similar premise, same location, tonality, foggy jungles, and character arcs, there already exists a show called School of Lies. Then Adhura just feels like a murky copy! But that show relied on children to tell the stark reality of the dark world of trauma we live in whereas this show only uses children to mask the irregularities in its logic as children are often considered to make up stories full of fantasy and unbelievable. After all which one of us hasn't told a ghost story on a school bus trip or campsite with a torch in our hands? The fault of the show is that it believes us to be the same children who will believe anything said to them rather than taking us back to those days of innocence.

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Unnecessary jump scares, flickering lights, overlong stares, sounds of bone cracking, insects crawling inside the body, and possibly everything that you can think of as the typecast of a horror film is shows in this one. But it doesn't just stop there! Even the characters are reduced to a version. Ishwak Singh (Adhiraj), an extremely talented actor is reduced to a guy who has anxiety because of a mistake he made in his past. And even though he tries his best, there is practically nothing that he can do to get out of this space though it's nice to see him in modern-day clothes. On the other hand, Rasika Dugal (Supriya) another gem of an actor doesn't have much to work with and becomes quite irritating after a point of time because of her denial which is explained in a rushed over-the-top exposition nearing the end that the audience doesn't get time to process.

The young kid, Shrenik Arora (Vedant) is only used for staring at people. It looks like he's cast only because of his eyes. As for the young adult, Poojan Chhabra (Ninad) is the only one that gets to do something. Especially when you consider him with Rahul Dev (Officer Bedi) and K.C. Shankar (Dean Swamy), who are wasted talent here at best. Though the guy who plays Jamwal with his flat tone and emotionless acting is even bad than the way his character is written. The predictability of the show is irritating as from the time you start watching Adhura, you know exactly what is going to happen. Yet the show still feels like it has to explain everything that is pretty clear. It’s as if whatever is happening feels forceful just to make ends meet. Even the fact that these guys know and are meeting each other after 15 years seems like such an effort because you don't know whether they are trying to make us believe that they are friends or themselves.

In order to show the tension of the world inside the school, the show puts in so much effort but completely rejects the idea of a world outside it. And leaves you begging to ask one question - where the hell are the parents of these children if there are so many deaths happening all around? What is not worrying them? Children, ghosts, boarding school, bullying, postpartum depression, anxiety, all of it seems a great idea on paper to show how we as a society are at fault for not being able to save our children from the horrors of it all. And how the wounds of adolescence are not easily filled. But Adhura makes such a cliche attempt at it that you are relieved just like the others in the show when all is finally over! The only horror in the show is its end which hints towards a second season.

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