Paatal Lok review: Dark world calling

Debarati Palit Singh
Saturday, 16 May 2020

Paatal Lok

Platform: Amazon Prime

Language: Hindi

Creator: Sudip Sharma

Starring: Neeraj Kabi, Jaideep Ahlawat, Gul Panag, Abhishek Banerjee, Swastika Mukherjee, Ishwak Singh, Jagjeet Singh, Asif Khan and others

Rating: 4/5

Yeh Jo duniya hai, yeh ek nahi teen duniya hai. Sabse upar swarg lok, usme devta rehte hai. Beech main dharti lok, jisme admi rehte hai aur sabse niche paatal lok, jisme keede rehta hai’. This is the opening dialogue of Paatal Lok and you know you are on a ride to meet those keede, the law breakers. 

Paatal Lok is about an inspector Hathiram Chaudhary (Jaideep Ahlawat), who is out to find the mystery behind the failed assassination of top journalist Sanjeev Mehta (Neeraj Kabi). The series unfolds into deeper mysteries and travels into the heartland India and the problems -- caste divide, communal clashes -- set around them. Kabi in one of scene says something like, “We (journalists) used to be heroes; now we get trolled, killed, fired. We are all dispensable like Gauri Lankesh.” The series touches upon different issues linked with each other at some point. 

Not one character and thereby actor is out of the place in Patal Lok. They fit in beautifully with the story. Jaideep Ahlawat is a delight to watch and he brings forth a frustrated policeman, who hasn’t got his due, and is passionate enough to follow this high profile case because he’s got one for the first time. Kabi is a man torn between his family life, as his wife suffers from anxiety and is trying to save is career. He speaks mostly through his eyes.

But it’s Abhishek Banerjee as Vishal Tyagi known as Hathoda Tyagi, who is a surprise package. Although one doesn’t get to see much of his acting in the first three episodes, he is a complete delight whenever he comes on the screen. Baneerjee alongwith Jagjeet Sandhu (Tope Singh Chaaku), Asif Khan (Kabir M), Mairembam Ronaldo Singh (Mary Lyngdoh) play the four alleged assassins caught by the police. 

Some of scenes in Patal Lok will give you goose bumps and will stay with you for long. Those living in an urban city in Maharashtra or some other city far from the North, will take a moment or two to take in the darker side of Delhi or Uttar Pradesh.

Verdict: The series produced by Anushka Sharma is a must watch. Anushka is not only a talented artist, but she has come up with laudworthy choices as a producer. Paatal Lok shows her belief in a script, which is edgy, impactful and entertaining.

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