Paatal Lok (2020)
Created By: Sudip Sharma
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video
No. of episodes: 9
Plot: A distraught cop lands the case of a lifetime when four suspects are caught in the assassination attempt of a renowned journalist. The pursuit leads him to ‘Paatal Lok’ where he encounters astonishing revelations of the past of the four suspects.
Even though the audience was earnestly waiting for the release of Mirzapur’s season two, Amazon perhaps had a better plan.
Created by Sudip Sharma, who previously wrote the dialogues and screenplays of several critically acclaimed films like ‘Laal Kaptaan’, ‘NH10’, ‘Udta Punjab’, ‘Sonchiriya’, and many others. The show is based on Tarun Tejpal’s critically acclaimed book ‘The Story of My Assassins’, Tejpal, is ex-editor-in-chief of Tehelka, a popular newspaper, he was accused of sexual assault by a colleague and is out on bail nowadays. Maybe that is the reason that his book or his name is not given the credit in the show.
According to the spokesperson of Amazon, “ Tarun Tejpal was not involved in any manner in any phase of the development and production of the show.” Paatal Lok begins with a simple plot and progresses with several twists and turns. The show begins as a simple thriller and grows into a slow burn drama and mixes several genres in its execution. The show is written by Hardik Mehta (Har Kisse Ke Hisse: Kaamyaab), Sagar Haveli, and Gunjit Chopra. They have done a phenomenal job of writing a screenplay, which explores socio-political situations thus becoming a mirror of our society in the modern world. The show takes several jabs at many real-life incidents by weaving them meticulously in the narrative.
While doing research for the show, the writers had gone on a trip to East Delhi and small towns of Uttar Pradesh. Their hard work can be seen in layered writing filled with gritty realism. The dialogues of the show are written meticulously, they’re hard-hitting and effectively portray the grim reality of our society.
Kudos to Anushka Sharma and her brother for producing this show and promoting stories like these.
The show gets too dark and violent at times while unfolding situations like sexual abuse and class divide etc. Prasit Roy (Director: Pari) and Avinash Arun (Cinematographer: Karwaan, Madaari, Drishyam, Masaan) have directed the show, both bring their distinct visual styles to the show and their direction remains very strong throughout the show. Avinash has also handled the cinematography of the show along with Saurabh Goswami. Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor’s music is good and helps to elevate the overall experience of the show. Sanyukta Kaza’s editing makes it a well-knit show.
Jaideep Ahlawat, who gained twenty-five kilograms for his character is one of the highlights of the show. His body language, accent, and mannerisms are spot on and make for impeccable performance.
Neeraj Kabi has done a brilliant job yet again and has kept the audience hooked with his acting. Abhishek Banerjee was supposed to be the casting director only but he opted to act as well and thank god for that. He delivers a riveting and memorable performance, which leaves a longlasting impact. Mariembam Ronaldo Singh deserves a special mention for the hard work he has done and for putting forth an exhilarating performance.
Gul Panag, who plays the role of a homemaker has aced the role like a pro, her performance is natural and absorbing. Ishwak Singh puts forth a strong performance, Niharika Lyra Dutt does her part exceedingly well, Swastika Mukherjee is superb in her role. Jagjeet Singh does his role quite well, Aasif Khan puts forth a commendable performance, Bodhisattva Sharma is admirable in his role. Veterans Anurag Arora, Vipin Sharma, Rajesh Sharma, Asif Basra, Manish Choudhary shine and do justice with their work with the limited screen time they had and reaffirmed their commitment through splendid performances.
Impeccable writing, gripping direction, and top-notch performances delivered by everyone make this an absolute must-watch show. Paatal Lok is truly a binge-worthy show that will shake you to the core with its storytelling prowess.