Show review: Paatal Lok – Cop on a perilous mission who solves the mystery not the case

Show review: Paatal Lok

Rating: 4/5

Cast: Neeraj Kabi as Sanjeev Mehra
Jaideep Ahlawat as Hathiram Chaudhary
Gul Panag as Renu Chaudhary
Mairembam Ronaldo Singh as Mary Lyngdoh or Chini
Abhishek Banerjee as Vishal "Hathoda" Tyagi
Swastika Mukherjee as Dolly Mehra
Ishwak Singh as Imran Ansari
Sandeep Mahajan as Dahiya
Jagjeet Sandhu as Tope Singh "Chaaku"
Asif Khan as Kabir M
Niharika Lyra Dutt as Sara Matthews
Bodhisattva Sharma as Siddharth Chaudhary
Anindita Bose as Chanda Mukherjee
Vipin Sharma as DCP Bhagat
Asif Basra as Jai Malik
Manish Chaudhary as Vikram Kapoor
Akash Khurana as Singh Saab
Rajesh Sharma as Gwala Gujjar
Anup Jalota as Balkishan Bajpayee
Amit Raj as journalist

Writer: Sudip Sharma

Directors: Avinash Arun & Prosit Roy

Gripping from the word go. Sudip Sharma of Sonchirya, Udta Punjab and NH10 fame delivers another master piece with Paatal Lok

It is almost unfair to call it an all out Jaideep Ahlawat show all the way considering how every single character has supported Jaideep as Hathiram Choudhary. But it is so. 

Jaideep Ahlawat as Hathiram Choudhary in Paatal Lok Photo courtesy: Jaideep Ahlawat FB Page
Jaideep Ahlawat as Hathiram Choudhary in Paatal Lok Photo courtesy: Jaideep Ahlawat FB Page

Within 15 mins you root for the rustic, never-brooding, straight shooter Hathiram, who bears no resemblance in the way Delhi-cops are portrayed in movies and drama series, from the word go. 

For me, it was Shahid Khan who overwhelmed me the most in Gangs of Wasseypur and stayed with me for the longest period of time. I have always believed that Jaideep’s intensity as Shahid Khan never got its due share of recognition. So it is great to see the effortless actor get a lead role, which he delivers flawlessly. 

Paatal Lok is a drama-bingers delight. A crime thriller with roots in Delhi, it spills to various parts of India to tell back stories of main characters while touching issues like caste system, LGBT intolerance, child molestation, safety of women and religious bigotry. 

Hathiram has ominous clouds of trouble looming throughout as he goes about policing first in the hope of solving a “career reviving” case and then compelled by his innate desire for justice. 

He does solve the mystery but not the case. Watch it and see it make sense. 

Neeraj Kabi who plays channel head Sanjeev Mehra, seemingly inspired by Prannoy Roy, is very natural. His exchanges with Akash Khurana, playing Singh Saab, the owner of the channel where Neeraj is employed are brilliant. “You know Sanjeev, I never really liked you,” while they are having a drink is a reflection of real life business relationships where commercial considerations take the lead over personal feelings.   

Swastika Mukherjee as Dolly Mehra is brilliant. And her inadvertent impact on the story. A masterpiece. 

I have always felt Aamir Khan’s voice in Dangal should have been dubbed to get the right Haryanvi accent. The only weak point in the epic film. Jaideep being a Haryana boy has no issues in getting it perfectly. Additional marks for casting him in the lead.