After the buzz from his 2021 thriller, ‘Boiling Point’, director Philip Barantini sends Netflix viewers into an hour and a half spiral of anxiety and excitement with his latest movie ‘Accused’.
Sex Education star, Chaneil Kular plays the role of Harri Bhavsar, a young man with South Asian desent wrongfully accused in the involvement of a terror attack in London. Resulting in him defending himself from revenge obsessed vigilantes who storm his parents’ country manner.
Barantini cleverly crafts this movie, making the tension almost unbearable for viewers as they watch helplessly at protagonist Harri attempting to clear his name after being spotted on CCTV dressed the same as the true London bomber, sending social media into a witch – hunt. Despite the movie setting being based on Bhavsar’s social media accounts and laptop screen, the director still manages to capture the terror faced by Harri as he watches these accusations flood his newsfeeds, drawing viewers into his dramatic reality. Barantini jumps from Harri’s digital perspective to his real life setting seamlessly, with both being as thrilling as each other.
In the first half of the movie, viewers are almost uncomfortable, watching the racism unfold, with Kular playing the role of the victim so well, sending viewers into a state of sadness and disappointment due to the blatant bigotry present online as well as the dramatic irony that Netflix viewers battle with through the whole 90 minutes. However, these hurtful tweets quickly escalate into physical violence, with Bhavsar being under attack in his own home. Thus, adding both thrill and panic.
With Barantini refusing to shy away from racism and the language used in these awful tweets creates a clammy and uncomfortable feeling for movie viewers as this hatred is not just fictional but instead present in everyday life, making the movie harrowing to many viewers. Metro UK states: “The drama feels alarmingly close to home as it explores xenophobia, racism, the power and perils of social media and online witch-hunts, and inner – city realism.” (Adejobi, A, 2023)
By doing so, the director has faced copious amounts of praise, with ‘Accused’ receiving a 100% rating on rotten tomatoes.
When these blood thirsty vigilantes eventually find Bhavsar through social media, the original panic sets into excitement as it transforms into another home invasion horror, with the ending becoming guessable. Viewers nervously watch Harri attempt to carefully escape the danger of his own home. With one creaky floorboard being a matter of life and death.
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