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Best Paatal Lok Web Series Review

Best Paatal Lok Web Series Review :-

Paatal Lok is a nine-episode series, adapted from Tarun Tejpal’s critically acclaimed book 'The Story of My Assassins'. Tejpal, ex-editor of Tehelka, was accused of sexual assault by a colleague and is currently out on bail.

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                                Paatal Lok Web Series Review
 Which is presumably why his name or the name of the book doesn’t feature in the credits. An Amazon spokesperson said, that Tejpal “was not involved in any manner in any phase of the development or production of the show.” I haven’t read the book, but the show is terrifying and terrific. Paatal Lok is constructed asan investigative thriller. 

Four killers have been arrested for trying to murder Sanjeev Mehra, the head of a leading news channel and one of the country’s most high-profile journalists. The case has been assigned to a washed-out, mediocre cop who works in the Outer Jamuna Paar police station or what he calls Paatal Lok, jismein keede rehte hain. 

But the rather unfortunately named Haathi Ram Chaudhary, whose life has beena series of slights and failures, instinctively understands thatthis case can be a game-changer. Because it involves Sanjeev,a man from the upper echelons or what he calls Swarg Lok. Who lives and who dies inthis strata of society actually matters. Aided by his fresh-faced junior Ansari, Haathi Ram tries to uncover the motives of the four assassins. Of course, little goes according to planand even less is what it appears to be. 

Paatal Lok is the first seriesby Clean Slate Filmz, the production house run by Anushka Sharmaand her brother Karnesh. It’s been created by Sudip Sharma,who wrote NH10 and Udta Punjab. Sudip has also co-written the series along with Sagar Haveli, Hardik Mehta and Gunjit Chopra. The show has been directed by Avinash Arun,who made the National Award-winning Marathi film Killa and Prosit Roy, who made the horror film Pari. This is a crew brimming with talent and their collective skills create fireworks on screen.

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                           Paatal Lok Web Series Review

 Paatal Lok is a tightly knit thriller  with every episode ending on a cliffhanger, which forces you to keep bingeing. The suspense doesn’t flag, but our perception of the characters shifts as the story unravels so that it becomes impossible to decide the good, bad and ugly. Paatal Lok means underworld,so it would be futile to look for a moral center, but what little goodness there is,resides mostly in women, children and dogs. 

It’s telling that Haathi Ramis named after an animal. There is little humanity in the humans here. This world and these character sare meticulously detailed. From the sullen stare of Haathi Ram’s teenage son to this Buddhist chanting that Sanjeev’s wife organizes to keep her husband safe to this incredibly vulgar,opulent office of a shady builder where the receptionist is dress edin this amazing Greek toga, and she addresses her guests with"Talreja Pranam". 

The directors locate that thread of absurdity in the rampant consumerism of contemporary India. The narrative travels from Delhito Chitrakoot and Punjab and the distinct accents, language and specific curses are one of the highlights of the show. There's one particularly horrific scene in which a character is explaining to Haathi Ram the various types of sexual crime that can be inflicted to settle scores.

 There’s penetration with fingers,there's rape and there's rape with murder. And the last is appropriately called Poora kaam. Haathi Ram belongs to the pantheon of memorable investigators that streaming platforms have given us, like Sartaj Singh in Sacred Gamesand Srikant Tiwari in The Family Man. Haathi Ram is a man who has spent his life dealing with violence and vice and yet he retains his honesty. 

His inherent dignity and sense ofrighteousness might be fatigued, but it refuses to fade. Jaideep Ahlawat, an actor I’ve admired sincehis stellar turn in Gangs of Wasseypur, finally gets a roleto match his blazing talent. Haathi Ram’s face and his eyes seem bruisedby the brutality he has encountered, but he is still, every inch,the everyman hero. Despite the odds, Haathi Ram, like a modern-day Sisyphus, continues to push his rock uphill and probe until the piecesof the puzzle fall into place.

 Haathi Ram is up against formidable opponents,including the murderer Hathoda Tyagi, named so because he prefersto kill with a hammer. Abhishek Banerjee’s pitiless, furious gazeis guaranteed to give you sleepless nights. There’s also Neeraj Kabi, pitch perfect as Sanjeev,who is by turns, arrogant, afraid, entitled. In a rare moment of vulnerability, Sanjeev says:"We used to be heroes, people like us.

 Then something about this country changed.Now we get trolled, killed, fired." This is what elevates Paatal Lok from a skillful thrillerto something bigger and more essential. Every turn of the twisted plot serves asa scathing commentary on the state of our nation. But this isn’t done with a sledgehammer. It’s done with economy and skillin the little moments. Watch the small slights that Ansari must endureat the station because he’s Muslim.

 Ansari is smart, brave, clearly headedfor a bright future, and yet, within the majority Hindu force,he is a second-class citizen, and he's reminded at every turnabout his status. Paatal Lok lays bare the bigotry thathas seeped into the fabric of this country. In a heartbreaking scene, the fatherof one of the accused asks: "jisey maine musalmaan na banne diya,aap logon ne usey jihadi banaa diya." Paatal Lok showcases caste,corruption, greed, dirty politics. 

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                             Paatal Lok Web Series Review

 It explores the back stories of the lead characters, revealing the cauldron of poverty and hate that creates killers. This might not be new information, but what’s chilling is how casually it all plays out. A key character explains that what everyone thinks of as a rotten system is in fact a well-oiled machine in which every part knows his job and anyone who doesn’t is just replaced. There’s plenty of violence in the show, but for me, this was the most frightening moment.

 The violence gets goryand in places, gratuitous. This is an overwhelmingly male worldin which heads and fingers get chopped off, brains are splashed on streets and even childrenare subjected to unspeakable brutality. The women are mostly collateral damage in the game for power and money being played by men. Gul Panag breaks the bleakness withher feisty presence as Haathi Ram’s wife. Swastika Mukherjee is also lovelyas Sanjeev’s long-suffering spouse.

 These actors leave a markin the little screen time they have. The locations in this showare also characters – especially the river, which is a site for romance,violence, contemplation and excretion. In one of the early episodes, a charactertrying to relieve himself near the river where the cops are trudging the riverfor a key clue, says that they won’t even let him shit in peace. It’s funny and sad. Avinash doubles up as DOP along withSaurabh Goswami for all 9 episodes.

 The two shroud this grim world in a green-grey palette,which is momentarily broken by bright lights. The climactic detour into a village fairis especially dazzling. As is the haunting background music byNaren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor, and the editing by Sanyukta Kaza. Paatal Lok is the type of storytellingthat streaming platforms were made for – dense, layered, ambitious, ambiguous. I highly recommend thatyou make time for it. 

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