When Paatal Lok hit Amazon Prime Video, I was really excited for it. Now that it is up and running and has exceeded my expectations, I thought y’all should know this show made me feel.
Like its namesake, Amazon Prime Video Paatal Lok is downright depressing, horrifyingly soul-crushing and vigorously gut-wrenching. But also, undeniably and impeccably, mind-blowing.
In investigating the lives of four nobodies from “Paatal Lok”, and their four haunting histories, the show explores the omnipresent hellish darkness of India. These creatures are accused of a high profile crime – the failed assassination attempt on journalist Sanjeev Mehra ( Neeraj Kabi). This extraordinary case finds itself on the table of an ordinary Delhi cop, Hathi Ram (Jaideep Ahlawat) who soon discovers that all that stinks is not shit and all that glitters is definitely not gold.
Much like the systems of corruption that it sets out to expose, the story too appears to act like a shape-shifting monster.
With new characters, plot points and twists at every moment – the mystery keeps on compounding. But these details are revealed in such a delicately calculated fashion, that you can never piece out the true picture until the very end.
Because after all, the story, like the corrupt systems, is really a well-oiled machinery – the brainchild of the incredibly intelligent writers Sudip Sharma, Ganjit Chopra, Sagar Haveli and Hardik Mehta. They effectively envelope the main plot with numerous compelling subplots, all of which pertain to the same themes -violence and the Darkness.
If the haunting background music in enough, the brilliant acting performances provide a visceral and terrifying experience.
From the newcomers Bodhisattva Sharma’s angry silence and Henthoi’s traumatizing cries, to Abhishek Banerjee’s steely stare, Ishwak Singh understated anger, Neeraj Kabi’s duplicitous charm and Jaideep Ahlawat’s masterful performance everything is perfect. And more. It’s an ensemble like you have never seen before.
However, the real victory of the show is its mere existence. The credit truly goes to the producers who provided a mainstream platform to an honest, brave and compelling story – crafted straight from heart to give voice to the powerless straight from hell.