Amazon Prime Video’s nine episodes web-series Paatal Lok is a crime thriller in which Jaideep Ahlawat playing a good-for-nothing Delhi Police inspector Haathiram Chaudhary goes deep into the muck to solve a well organised murder attempt of prominent journalist. We’ll start reviewing with the performances.
Paatal Lok characters, performances and why this is Jaideep Ahlawat’s best ever
Considered an unworthy policeman by the seniors, Hathiram is awarded with a case where four criminals conspiring to kill a top city news anchor Sanjeev Mehra (played by Neeraj Kabi) fall on to Police radar only to be caught. One may or may not like the story, screenplay, direction or whatever. But, Paatal Lok deserves to be binge-watched for the amazing performance of Jaideep. He has been a wonder element in the whole story and never fails to amaze with his power packed execution of the role.
Another deserving name is of Ishwak Singh playing as Imran Ansari – a subordinate officer to Haathiram. He has complemented Jaideep’s character through every line and scene. Both are seen sharing a great camaraderie and never throwing a dull moment during their screen presence. Ishwak’s character is of respect for his senior Haathiram. His role was precise and arousing.
Neeraj Kabi has been good at the role of a English journalist. Looking suave and speaking with a specific style of anchor accent, he has aced his character. Swastika Mukherjee playing Sanjeev Mehra’s wife as Dolly Mehra is just as good. Her role more seems wasted, or wasn’t well written. Similarly, Gul Panag in the role of Haathiram’s wife as Renu Chaudhary didn’t evoke any dramatic appeal and never suited role. Playing an inspector’s wife would have been more comfortable for any character artist or the new age actors.
Paatal Lok has wasted another brilliant actor. Gul Panag wasn’t even able to utter dialogues with the required lower middle class accent. Playing a cop or Hathiram’s senior would be a much better option. Abhishek Banerjee playing as Hathoda Tyagi – one of the four conspirators – had justified his role of manic killer. His expressions, style, accent match the ferocity a killer would seem to have. Though, he missed out the perfect execution of important dialogues a few times.
Paatal Lok Story, screenplay & direction
Initially, the Paatal Lok’s story would look to be a slow directional when there are not-sao-paced and dull moments between Hathiram and his wife, and Sanjeev and his wife. In between the story too, direction slows down and gives several dull moments enough to escape the interest of the audience. On an apt fast-paced mode, the series would have been finished in seven episodes.
Paatal Lok’s Screenplay is good mostly, except for few places including lengthy scenes of extra marital affair between Sanjeev and his colleague, few shady unnecessary angles to infuse forced thrill to entrap audiences’ curiosity which may rather be called a failed effort. For example, Haathiram’s repeated follow-up of Gwala at the Ganga bathing ghats in Chitrakoot despite knowing he was being watched seemed irrelevant.
Loopholes apart, the series is one of the best crime thriller from India and deserves 7 out of 10 stars.