It was only a matter of time before one realized how social media exacerbates a certain form of ambivalence within a person. If not, the past two years certainly have highlighted how likes, comments, and hashtags generate vigilance on social media, swing opinions, and contribute to artificial discourse. The new Disney + Hotstar Escaype Live is trying to show this part of the iceberg; In it, Siddharth Kumar Tiwari’s show succeeded to some extent.
The plot, despite her futuristic office setting, is simple. There is an application and it hosts an online contest for 30 days; Earn and have 3 crores in your bank. Just like in real life, competitors line up. They are from different backgrounds – metros and villages, rich and poor, and of course the good and the bad.
The similarity with Tik-Tok is obvious. There is instant fame and all you have to do is make reels for those likes. There is a clever touch to that though. The performer earns likes and “diamonds”. These diamonds can be exchanged for real money with the company applying for their share of it. The company wants to make stars, change lives, and feed its ulterior motives. It’s very clear that action is a priority, and how far these characters go in order to claim the reward drives the story.
Now, the answer to that was not given to us even after watching seven 40-45 minute episodes. This is because a file
The final episodes will air on May 27. Here’s the deal, its makers probably jumped the gun and thought they’d come up with an edge-of-the-seat thriller and audiences would jump to see the score on the 27th, ultimately crashing Disney+ Hotstar (long shot). Or the manufacturers felt that constant viewing until the 27th day would immerse them in the show and binge-watching was not intended at all. Either way, there’s a lot here to grab your attention, and then there are reasons to leave it halfway.
Attractive offers. Nobody tries to think of these characters. They surround us in our daily lives or appear on our screens as we scroll. There is the role of Dark Angel convincingly by Sumedh Mudgalkar, Fetish Girl is brilliantly played by Plabita Borthakur, Aamcha Spider is starred by Ritvik Sahore who is easygoing, and Aadyaa Sharma is as exceptional as Dancing Rani. Rohit Chandel does well as Rajkumar, a transgender woman hoping to undergo a sex change operation. Siddharth plays the moral compass of the show. He works as a content manager for the company and is aghast at the way it operates. The restraint may have been intended to show an inner struggle from which to do well in one form or another. Javed Jaffrey recovers to watch Ravi Gupta application leader. There are other characters as well and this is where it gets a little stressful to keep your interest. There is a lot to follow, and some patience may be worth it.
However, the show is a commendable attempt. For many, shows about the dangers of social media aren’t new. Escape Live asks many questions. I’m a little apprehensive about describing anything too far-fetched or unrealistic here. Possibilities that seemed funny yesterday, are becoming everyday today. We must decide how this sinister world will spin out of control in the future, and if it happens as these miserable shows predicted, the makers could say desperately, “I’m telling you.”
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