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The Gone Game Web Review: Ambitious, taut lockdown thriller

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The Gone Game Web Review: Ambitious, taut lockdown thriller

Vijayalakshmi Narayanan

Director : Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Genre : Thriller

Our rating :

It's an interesting premise to shoot a whodunit featuring a competent cast, each actor placed in the confines of their homes during an imposed lockdown across the country, following a global pandemic.

Directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat, 'The Gone Game', streaming on Voot Select is a taut thriller that deploys innovative makers and a competent use of technology to tell a compelling mystery centered around the outbreak of COVID 19 in India.

Sahil Gujral (Arjun Mathur) has arrived from Bangkok following a business trip and is self-quarantining himself in his Mumbai residence with his Instagram influencer wife Suhani Kapoor Gujral (Shriya Pilgaonkar). His parents Sanjeev Gujral (Sanjay Kapoor) and Suneeta Gujral (Rukhsar Rehman) are stranded in Delhi and Lucknow respectively, while sister Amara (Shweta Tripathi Sharma) is in Bangalore. Following the rising number of COVID 19 cases during the nascent stage in March, a countrywide lockdown has been imposed causing social isolation, paranoia and confusion for one and all. Video calls and chats are the only window to the outside world. Sahil starts developing symptoms that severe with every passing day. Suhani urges him to go and get himself tested. Sahil tests positive and is asked to get himself admitted. Within hours of admission, news of his death reaches his family. But the hospital shows no record of the said patient. Where has Sahil gone and is he alive?

Written by Bhat, Mautik Tolia, Ayesha Sayed and Radhika Anand, the four-episode series spanning across two hours is nail-biting and worth the suspense. Shot by Piyush Puty with the background score by Aditya N and Nayantara Bhatkal, the tension, the claustrophobia and the uncertainty of the future ahead as the world wraps around the concept of the 'new normal' to itself, is captured aesthetically. The backdrop of COVID 19 plays an integral character in the storyline and its to the credit of the editors Manish Mistry, Amit Kumar, Rajesh Pandey to have ably pieced together frames featuring each actor to keep the narrative cohesive.
Everyone in the cast is suitably cast for their parts. But a special mention must be reserved for Shweta Tripathi Sharma who portrays a sense of urgency and desperation beautifully with her wondering eyes. Shriya Pilgaonkar strikes a fine balance between being shallow and superficial yet vulnerable. Arjun Mathur is mystical. Rukhsar Rehman as the Gujral matriarch seems rather young to be playing a mother to actors who are fairly closer to her age. Sanjay Kapoor seems comfortable playing an extension of himself. Dibyendu Bhattacharya is fairly intimidating and Lubna Salim and Indraneil Sengupta make fine impressions.

The big letdown though is the unconvincing climax which seems convenient and hurried. While it is understood that the restrictions caused by the lockdown could prove to be a major hurdle, the discerning viewer's experience of a fine story is stalled by such bumps.

Nevertheless, 'The Gone Game' is a quick snack to be binged when you easily have two hours to spare.

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