Available On: Amazon Prime Video
Duration: 9 episodes/ 40 minutes
Story: Paatal Lok follows a washed out cop, who is assigned the best case of his life, when four criminals are nabbed in the assassination attempt of a prime time journalist. The story takes a turn, when he finds out that the truth is twisted and hidden, unlike the open and shut case he was given earlier.
Review: Paatal Lok, by Sudip Sharma, mirrors our society, it accurately essays the twisted web of lies and truth we question every day. The Amazon original is unmissable for its performances, screenplay, story as well as the binge-worthy experience it gives you. It stars Jaideep Ahlawat, as Hathiram Chaudhary, a cop who introduces us to the ancient realms that still exist in the modern world.
Jaideep Ahlawat As Hathiram Chaudhary
We first meet Hathiram Chaudhary, a cop, well aware of ‘how' his world works, ‘who' to stay clear off and ‘where' he exactly stands in the society. As a dharti lok cop stuck working in paatal lok, Chaudhary is eager to leave, and the chance of a lifetime comes when he is assigned to an open and shut case of an attempted assassination. But the high profile case keeps slipping out of his hands because of corrupt cops, big time businessmen, and journalists with political agendas.
Abhishek Banerjee As Hathoda Tyagi
The crime thriller has as many pivotal characters, as it has cuss words, and there are a lot. Even with many subplots and detours, the nine-part series does not waver from the story even for a minute. Paatal Lok not only stays true to the crime thriller genre, but at the same time, shows you the entire world around it, from the media, politics, businessmen, cops to the contract killers, who are all involved in the crime one way or another. We follow Hathi and his confidant, Ansari throughout the show, as they struggle to prove themselves, the crimes at the centre of the story and lies that are hiding the truth.
Hathiram Chaudhary With Imran Ansari (Ishwak Singh)
Hathi and Ansari both have a lot to prove. While the former is under the scrutiny of his family, Ansari is under the scrutiny of the world, on account of his religious identity. Despite different stories and struggles, they make for a great team. Watching them together will also give the audience a chance to see what culture prejudice in real life looks like, since most have developed a selective perception to it, and what should be done about it. Similarly, the makers have shown the criminals' past not to justify their crimes, but to show where the hate dwells and comes from.
Neeraj Kabi as Sanjeev Mehra
The screenplay and direction talks about perspective, and uses the phase similar to 'evil is not born it is made'. It also comments on several other ongoing social issues from domestic violence, racism, casteism, LGBTQA rights, animal rights, yellow journalism, to other concerns like emotional intelligence, mental health and social pressure. It shows the truth we don't want to see and quickly moves on to the next worst thing, just as the news changes every day, and nothing is shocking enough to revisit again.
Gul Panag As Renu Chaudhary
Swastika Mukherjee, Niharika Lyra Dutt, and Gul Panag, the women in the show don't get the credit they deserve, but they hold the fort. Some even with little screen time, leave a strong and promising mark. As for Neeraj Kabi, Jaideep Ahlawat, Abhishek Banerjee and Ishwak Singh, together they show us every shade a man (human) is capable of.
Paatal Lok is not about good versus bad, it is about evil fighting greater evil. Sudip Sharma, with Paatal Lok comments on the current situation of the world with the help of this dark, but an engaging crime thriller.