House Arrest Review : This Netflix original is a sloppily put together series of predictable scenarios

18 . Nov . 2019
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A few years back, if someone had told me that Netflix has bad or even average content on the
platform, I would have scoffed at him, but today, I am not so sure! Netflix recently released its
latest original movie House Arrest. When I first saw the trailer, I had high hopes for the film
and had been eagerly awaiting its release. However, when I finally started watching it, my
enthusiasm crashed.

Karan (Ali Fazal) is on a self-imposed house arrest and has not stepped outside his house for
the last 9 months, for a reason revealed later in the movie. Everyone in his life has his or her
own way of motivating him to get out, but he does not relent. He keeps himself busy cleaning
his gorgeous spacious house, cooking, learning new skills such as Origami and tending to his
plants. Welcome To Mirzapur’s Guddu’s style does not seem to have left Ali.

His best friend JD (Jim Sarbh) is a cassanova who thinks he is a boon to woman-kind, but one
look at the character and I wondered why! He looked more cassanova-like in Amazon Prime
Video’s Made In Heaven. THAT Jim Sarbh is believable as someone women would swoon over,
not the House Arrest one. JD gives Karan’s phone number and address to a journalist Saira
(Shriya Pilgaonkar) who is doing a story on Hikikomori, a Japanese word that implies
extreme social withdrawal. She forces herself into Karan’s life. This intrusion is an unwelcome
one at first, but seeds of romance are sown as they start getting to know each other better.

Barkha Singh plays the role of Pinky, the daughter of a gangster. I liked her so much better
in The Timeliners’ Engineering Girls. Here, she doesn’t go anywhere without her gigantic,
intimidating bodyguard in tow. Pinky leaves a suitcase-sized package in Karan’s house ordering
him to take good care of it for a day. The content of the suitcase, a mostly-semi-conscious
man, causes intermittent havoc in Ali Fazal’s life.

What’s Wow:
This concept of someone not leaving the confines of his house for months on end has not been
explored on the digital medium, which is a good plus for this movie.

What’s Blah:
The concept, though unique, failed to keep me hooked.
It is a 1 hour 44 minutes long movie, but I did not find myself emotional attached or even
remotely liking any of them. I wish they were better etched.
Amit Sarbh’s cassanova character’s look is in no way convincing and his occasional pelvic
thrusts are in bad taste. I understand the freedom of the web and all, but still!
The way Pinky addresses Karan as ‘baby’ is pure cringefest.

Parting Shot:
Watch it only if you have run out of all other shows on Netflix (and other OTT platforms) to
watch!

Cast & Crew:
Cast: Ali Fazal (Karan), Shriya Pilgaonkar (Saira), Jim Sarbh (JD), Barkha Singh (Pinky)
Director: Shashanka Ghosh and Samit Basu
Writer: Samit Basu
Production house: India Stories