Pataal Lok

Jaideep Alhawat, Neeraj Kabi, Abhishek Banerjee, Ishwak Singh Gul Panag and others
Amazon Prime Videos
Avinash Arun and Prosit Roy

Pataal Lok is that living hell human beings are pushed into without any thought. Their only fault being the curse of being born where they were. Haathi Ram Chaudhary (Jaideep Ahlawat) works with the Delhi Police, and is stationed in outer Jamana Paar. He hasn’t got the cunning mind to reach places but as luck could have it, a big case lands almost in his lap. Four accused have been nabbed almost red-handed by the Delhi Police, their mission was to terminate an influential television journalist, Sanjeev Mehra (Neeraj Kabi). Haathi Ram is well aware that his immediate superior is not very happy with his fate that has landed him this case. His mission now becomes to not mess things up, and prove himself once and for all. Little does Haathi Ram know, that being diligent is not the most important requisite in Pataal Lok

He along with his friend and colleague, Imran Ansari (Ishwak Singh), set out to determine where the accused parties come from, how did they come together and most importantly, who set these four against Sanjeev Mehra. Unfortunately, every time he comes close to a lead, the inept coworkers or jealous superiors leak information. With Sanjeev Mehra doing his own investigation on the side, matters worsen and Chaudhary finds himself off the case and even suspended. The case is handed over to the CBI.

For a man whose father has always considered him a loser and his son (Bodhisattva Sharma) who grudges his authority – Haathi Ram finds himself wanting to prove he is more than capable of handling things. Given CBI lets out a made up story to the press, Haathi Ram’s suspicion about something amiss only grows further. Why the big cover-up? What is it that people are trying to hide? Who are the four accused really? And WHO IS BEHIND THIS WHOLE CONSPIRACY?

Given the OTT medium is filled with thrillers and crime stories, Pataal Lok could have easily been pushed onto that same lot without much thought. But the writers Sudip Sharma, Sagar Haveli, Hardik Mehta and Gunjit Chopra have ensured they are not telling a crime story, but a human story. What happens to people when they feel abused, used, lost, cheated upon and such? From hating where you come from, and not realizing what you have come into  – the writers of Pataal Lok have covered the whole journey of us people. 

It is this variety that will make you remember the father-son relationship – its trials and triumphs, the friendships between kids who just happen to meet on a train, the helplessness of elders who couldn’t do more for their own and so on…. You not only take back the thrills, you take back the people from this series.

Throughout the series you cannot help draw parallels between Jaideep Ahlawat the actor’s career and Haathi Ram Chaudhary’s career. Both had to wait too long to get their due and when they got the chance, their thirst to prove themselves is palpable. Every episode in Pataal Lok is a slap on the faces of commercial cinema movers and shakers who do not give actors like Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Abhishek Banerjee their rightful due. Actors like Ishwak Singh are such a pleasure to watch, that one can only hope we see more of them in future. Take a bow, directors Avinash Arun & Prosit Roy (of Pari fame) and of course, team Clean Slate films. We are already looking forward to season 2. 

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