A down and out cop lands the case of a lifetime when four suspects are nabbed in the assassination attempt of a journalist. The pursuit of it leads him to ‘Paatal Lok’, and to shocking discoveries in the past of the four suspects.
The show does remind of Sacred Games in that the lead character is a cop who is seen as a loser and who has a honest sidekick. The show borrows a lot from real life incidents – the 2014 Badaun gang rape (though here the girls are not found hanging here), the Batla House encounter case (though the encounter doesn’t happen here) and the Junaid Khan case (lynching on a train on suspicion of eating beef). The show also highlights harassment of lower caste people by upper castes in Punjab, poor street kids being sexually abused and Islamophobia. The show also has a LGBT character. There was no need for that scene of child rape where a nude male is shown thrusting though they did not show the kid. The scene before and after was enough to show that the child was raped.
Paatal Lok is a very good show but the ending kind of made the last few episodes pointless. When the actual culprits get away the the cop investigating at all those odds becomes useless. One can defend the ending saying that’s what happens in real life but the show needed a better ending. Paatal Lok is written by Sudip Sharma, Sagar Haveli, Hardik Mehta and Gunjit Chopra. The writing is very good up until the last episode. There is a unnecessary car accident and a chase scene which hardly changes the story line in the last episode.
Jaideep Ahlawat is very good as Hathiram Chaudhary. Gul Panag is very good as his wife, Renu. Bodhisattva Sharma is good as their son Siddharth. Ishwak Singh is very good as Imran Ansari. Neeraj Kabi is good as the TV anchor Sanjeev Mehra. Swastika Mukherjee is good as his wife, Dolly. Abhishek Banerjee is excellent as Vishal “Hathoda” Tyagi. Jagjeet Sandhu is very good as Tope Singh. Asif Khan is good as Kabir. Mairembam Ronaldo Singh is very good as Chini. Amarjeet Singh is very good as Kalia. Niharika Lyra Dutt is good as Sara Matthews. Anindita Bose is good as Chanda. Vipin Sharma is good as DCP Bhagat. The kids playing young Kalia and Cheeni were good too. The rest of the cast is decent too.
Direction by Avinash Arun & Prosit Roy is very good. They build up the show really well up until the last episode. Paatal Lok is a very good web series even with the somewhat disappointing ending. Paatal Lok raises a lot of important issues and shows a mirror to our society.