The COVID-19 pandemic has, no doubt, brought the world to a whooping halt. And with all of us stuck at home for more than two months now, we have been on quite a binging spree. I mean, what is better than watching a whole show at one stretch, amirite? Aren’t we all guilty of doing that? Recently, Anushka Sharma announced her digital debut as a producer with the show, Paatal Lok. Given it boasted of an ensemble of super talented writers and actors, I was super excited for it. Come May 15th, the show started streaming on Amazon Prime and it was time to binge! After successfully watching all the 9 episodes in one go, here’s what I thought about the show!
A prominent TV journalist is the target of a group of 4 killers. But the question is, why do they want to kill him? Who is behind all this? The case is handed over to a washed-out mediocre cop, Hathi Ram Chaudhary (Jaideep Ahlawat), who with his rookie inspector Ansari starts digging deeper into the case of this failed assassination. Amazon Prime‘s Paatal Lok is terrifying and a terrific show, which promises to keep you hooked till the end. It lays naked the prejudices that has drained into the fabric of the country. In the midst of caste, corruption, greed and dirty politics, it scouts the backstory of the lead characters —revealing how the cauldron of hardship fed by hunger and hate, creates a killer. Constructed as an investigative cum police procedural, the tale of the series travels to Chitrakoot, Delhi and parts of Punjab.
The show is meticulously crafted by Sudip Sharma, with Avinash Arun and Prosit Roy‘s brilliant cinematography complementing it beautifully. Add to that an ensemble of terrific actors and it undoubtedly creates fireworks on screen and makes you feel like a part of the hunt. Paatal Lok is a perfectly binge-worthy show as every episode ends with a cliff hanger, forcing you to jump to the next episode.
Talking about the stars of the show, Jaideep Ahlawat — an actor I have expressed my admiration since his mindblowing performance in Gangs Of Wasseypur — finally gets a role to do justice to his flaring talent. The actor embodies the character of Hathiram Chaudhary with such conviction and has outdone himself. Abhishek Banerjee, who plays the character of the very dangerous Vishal Tyagi aka Hathoda Tyagi is guaranteed to give you sleepless nights with his merciless and fuming gaze in the show. Neeraj Kabi also proves to be pitch-perfect as Sanjeev Mehra, the celebrated journalist. Swastika Mukherjee, who plays the role of Kabi’s wife in the show, is absolutely terrific as a bruised woman who is trying to hold herself together. She does not give you a single chance to think that she is acting, that’s how effortless her portrayal is. Actors like Jagjeet Sandhu, Aasif Khan, Mairembam Ronaldo Singh and Ishwak Singh surely leave a mark with their impeccable acting and screen presence.
Religion, caste, politics, violence, corruption and power-play might not be new subjects, but what’s chilling and terrifying about all of it on this show is how casually it plays out here. The distinct accent and slangs is also a major highlight of the crime-thriller, that grounds you to the characters. When I completed my binge session of this absolute gem of a show, a thought that crept into my mind was: can anyone be absolutely evil? To know what I am exactly talking about, watch the show! Because I can promise you one thing for sure, Paatal Lok is captivating, compelling and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.