Cast: Sanjay Kapoor, Shweta Tripathi, Arjun Mathur, Shriya Pilgaonkar
Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Voot Select’s The Gone Game should be your streaming choice this week for its relatable Covid-19 setting that is effectively deployed to steer forth and embellish an interesting thriller plotline.
The Gujral family is struck hard with the sudden announcement of lockdown due to coronavirus spread and can’t help but catch up on group video calls only. Not that they have been open with each other lately, but this mandatory physical distancing seems to come in as much-needed respite and a fitting excuse to be away from each other, without any guilt trip.
Sahil (Arjun Mathur) claims to have arrived from abroad and isolates himself in his house. His influencer wife Suhani (Shriya Pilgaonkar), absentee father Rajeev (Sanjay Kapoor), emotionally vulnerable mother Suneeta (Rukhsar Rehman) and independent, witty sister Amara (Shweta Tripathi) are other members trying to keep their wits about the entire pandemic situation. However, life goes for a toss when Sahil tests positive and is shifted to a hospital. Later, it is learned that he is dead and through happenstance Amara convinces herself and others that the terrible tragedy that has befallen the Gujrals may not be as simple as how it looks.
Seeking help from a hacker and connecting some dots herself, Amara is now on the path to unravel the mystery surrounding her brother’s alleged death. But will lockdown make it any easier for her to get to the bottom of it and find the conspirators and real reason behind this façade?
The Gone Game stays honest in its intention of using Covid-19 crisis as one of the main plot drivers. As soon as you start easing into the narrative, forgetting even slightly about the pandemic, a reminder comes in some form and the characters feel restrained in their ability to do something about what they seemingly now love and value the most– their family.
This not only gives the otherwise ‘normal situations’ a new depth, but also tests the breaking point of the Gujral family members.
Since production is limited to minimal setups and indoor locations, director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat relies on performances to create tension arising from the story and milieu. Each character has done a convincing job and you will not be able to make out one’s true intentions behind the ‘masks’. In that, The Gone Game not only serves well the thriller genre tropes but also goes beyond it, sometimes.
Voot Select may have a winner on its hands in The Gone Game. With an interesting take on how the pandemic is fueling distrust among ourselves, the series also makes a commentary on opportunists that await certain times to show their true colors.