Dhootha: This Riveting Paranormal Saga Makes Compelling Points About Politics And Journalism

‘Dhootha’ focuses on how Sagar (Naga Chaitanya) is related to the invisible forces and races against time to connect the dots.

An intriguing web show!

Dhootha (Telugu)

  • Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Priya Bhavani Shankar, and Parvathy Thiruthovu
  • Director: Vikram K Kumar
  • Producer: Sharrath Marar
  • Music: Ishaan Chhabra
  • No. of episodes: 8
  • OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video

Filmmaker Vikram K Kumar is not new to the genre of paranormal thrillers.

For example, the director made a horror film in Tamil titled Yavarum Nalam (2009). The same was dubbed into Telugu as 13 B.

13 B was a gritty thriller where a TV set becomes a character in the story.

After making a series of romantic and science fiction movies, the filmmaker is back with a paranormal thriller and this time, the focus is on journalism and politics.

Synopsis

Naga Chaitanya Vikram K Kumar
Actor Naga Chaitanya and director Vikram K Kumar on the sets of ‘Dhootha’. (X)

Sagar (Naga Chaitanya) and Priya (Priya Bhavani Shankar) are successful investigative journalists. They both are in a happy space, professionally and personally.

Priya is on maternity leave. But thankfully, director Vikram K Kumar doesn’t regulate her to just a one-note character.

Sagar is promoted as the chief editor of a newspaper called “Samachar“.

But the happiness doesn’t last long. A tragic accident claims the life of Sagar’s pet dog. Right before the tragedy, Sagar comes across a newspaper clipping which foretells what would happen.

The incident marks the beginning of many ominous messages foretelling future events and an external force targeting corrupt journalists.

Parvathy Thiruvothu plays an investigating officer named Kranti Shenoy.

In a nutshell, Dhootha focuses on how Sagar is related to these invisible forces and how he races against time to connect the dots.

Analysis

Naga Chaitanya in a still from Dhootha
Naga Chaitanya in a still from ‘Dhootha’. (X)

Vikram Kumar engrosses the viewers from the first frame. He does a brilliant job of balancing the suspense and supernatural elements.

A major strength of the Dhootha web series is how the director designs the character of Sagar.

Initially, the viewers see Sagar as an ideal husband and a righteous media person. He is an inspiration to many aspiring journalists.

But soon enough, layers upon layers come out. Sagar is a departure from the on-screen characters that Naga Chaitanya has portrayed thus far, and the actor more than rises to the occasion.

He does a splendid job, particularly when Sagar has mental and emotional breakdowns.

Backstory shines

Working still from Dhootha
A working still from ‘Dhootha’. (X)

The backstory of the newspaper involving Pasupathy and Tharun Bhascker also gives the web show some of its best moments.

There is a lot of impactful socio-political commentary.

For example, there are hard-hitting dialogues about how intersecting politics and journalism are dangerous for society. The web series also predicts that nothing good will come out of politicians running newspapers.

Apart from Pasupathy and Tharun Bhascker, Dhootha has many small characters. For example, Prachi Desai is Sagar’s PA, and Rohini is the mother. These characters have been neatly integrated into the main storyline by Vikram K Kumar.

For any thriller, it is necessary that the dots are connected, and the director has done a great job of connecting all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

Like the television set in 13 B, the newspaper cuttings play a pivotal role in the web series. As soon as a newspaper cutting appears, the viewers feel tense about what will happen next.

Performances

Parvathy Thiruvothu doesn’t need an introduction. She has always been a solid actor. Here too, she makes a huge impact as the no-nonsense police officer.

Priya Bhavani Shankar Sagar, as spouse, is in good form. Her character comes with its grey shades.

Technically, the Dhootha web series is a solid product with top-notch cinematography and special effects.

However, one slight problem is the middle part where the parallel investigation of Kranthi feels a bit bloated.

Also, the closing episode could have been more impactful. However, these are just minor quibbles in an otherwise gripping show.

Verdict

In a nutshell, the Dhootha web series is a gripping paranormal saga that makes some pertinent points about politics and journalism.

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