Netflix has been in hot water over their allegedly political content. That said, it’s a surprise that they launched Leila, a web series starring Huma Qureshi, Siddharth, Seema Biswas and Sanjay Suri in a surprising role. Here’s our complete review of Leila.
Shalini (Huma) leads a happy, high profile life with her husband (Rahul Khanna) and daughter Leila (Layesh Mange). One night, out of the blue, her husband is killed, and she arrested for stealing water. This is a dystopic, futuristic world run by a tyrant government, and the country’s Aryavarta. Aryavarta is a country that is savagely xenophobic, patriarchal and run by one cult of personality, Mr. Joshi. Shalini is immediately sent to a re-programming centre and spends two years there. A chance escape spirals into an adventure and a search that might just change the world as they know.
What’s Wow : This is Netflix’s boldest series yet. The political message is out there. Woke audiences will see all the references to the current political scenario in many countries. But what’s surprising is that the series also works as a hardcore thriller/entertainer. Seven writers are credited with writing this and it’s commendable that they have not given in to the seduction of creating a soul-sapping, depressing piece of content – given the current scenario in the world.
A depressing piece of content would be a disservice to the thought that has gone behind making Leila. Right now, the world doesn’t need a cynical, ‘what else’ piece of content. What it needs is a positive method, a streak of light, and Deepa Mehta’s directorial has come up trumps.
The writers create a nuanced, terrific paced thriller that rounds itself up with the ‘last arrow trope’ – something we have seen in films like 300 and Hunger Games, where the protagonist finally owns up to his or her destiny in the last episode.
Deepa Mehta does a commendable job of bringing the taut thriller to life and giving the audience a peek at the world that could be. The cinematography shows off the stark divide between the haves and the have-nots with the charm of a veteran. Of course, thriller viewers will see some references to other dystopian content like Equilibrium, but the team should take this as a compliment and not as a criticism.
What’s Blah : Absolutely Nothing
Parting Shot : Leila is a must watch for thriller fans.
Cast & Crew :
Cast: Huma Qureshi, Rahul Khanna, Seema Biswas, Sanjay Suri
Writers: Prayaag Akbar, Patrick Graham, Asad Hussain, Urmi Juvekar, Suhani Kanwar, Deepa Mehta, Yashwant Mundhra
Director: Shankar Raman, Deepa Mehta, Pawan Kumar
Watch the trailer here :