Nagraj Manjule and Ayappa KM provide strong performances in this pandemic-themed miniseries.
The second instalment of Unpaused examines the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on labour and livelihood for people of all socioeconomic groups.
Three of the five episodes of Unpaused: Naya Safar, a documentary on the coronavirus outbreak, focus on the frontline and freelance workers. The Amazon Prime Video anthology miniseries is the follow-up to Unpaused, which was released in 2020. The latest instalment demonstrates a clearer understanding of the devastation COVID-19 wreaked on the impoverished. Unpaused’s writers attempted to lighten the atmosphere by telling largely uplifting anecdotes when COVID-19 hit us. The end effect was clumsy and uneven.
Everyone has now accepted the virus’s refusal to depart and accepted the pandemic’s impact on material reality across social classes.
Unpaused Naya Safar review: Nagraj Manjule and Ayappa KM deliver solid entries in pandemic-themed miniseries https://t.co/XkubkXukKM
— Hindustan Times (@HindustanTimes) January 21, 2022
Unpaused: Naya Safar highlights the pandemic’s impact on people from diverse classes and castes, whereas Unpaused season one was largely focused on the upper and middle classes, excluding Avinash Arun’s brilliant entry. If the first episode opens in a high rise with a yuppie couple, the fifth and final episode is about a cremation yard worker.
There’s one more distinction between the seasons. The main topic of Unpaused season one was loneliness and the need to reach out and connect amid the epidemic.
This time, the subject is work. Given how the pandemic flipped the economy and our work positions upside down, it’s a more worthwhile topic.
People have lost their employment, their incomes have been lowered, and numerous families have lost their main source of income. In two consecutive episodes, two characters moan about being disposable, like “a gear in the wheel.”
The Couple, directed and co-written by Nupur Asthana and starring Priyanshu Painyuli and Shreya Dhanwanthary, features the series’ wealthiest characters.
The episode appears to have been written after the authors read some media headlines about males being bad at housework and growing wealth disparity during the epidemic.
The wife loses her well-paid job and begins to behave badly. Her ad-man spouse saves the day by devising a consumer solution. “The worst part is that they’ll replace you with some substandard man,” he offers to sweeten the bargain.
Shikha Makan tries to make Gond Ke Laddu, a short film with a pleasant title.
Nagraj Manjule and Ayappa KM deliver solid entries in pandemic-themed miniseries Unpaused: Naya Safar.
Review by @devarsighoshhttps://t.co/drnlSQij0B
— HT Entertainment (@htshowbiz) January 21, 2022
It’s lovely, but it doesn’t actually have much to do with the epidemic. If delivery agent Rohan (Lakshvir Singh Saran) is to maintain his job, he must get a five-star rating before the end of the day.
His career is on the verge of being ruined by an accident until his clever wife, Geeta (Darshana Rajendran), comes up with a strange solution.
The War Room is as gloomy as it gets. Sangeeta (Geetanjali Kulkarni), a widowed schoolteacher, works in one of three Mumbai COVID-19 war rooms entrusted with triaging. Sangeeta’s day is normal until one of her calls turns out to be linked to someone she holds responsible for a prior catastrophe. Will she be spiteful or will she carry out her mission? What is the proper course of action?
The direction of War Room is so precise that I kept wondering why it took Ayappa KM so long to produce a film. He also co-wrote the tale with Anand Menon and Shubham and collaborated with Karan Malhotra on the spooky background soundtrack.
The performances of Saqib Saleem, Ashish Verma, and Sam Mohan, who portray three robbers hanging out with a large amount of loot in an abandoned factory that they can’t get out of due to the lockdown, make Teen Tigada worth seeing. Ruchir Arun, who directed Netflix’s Little Things, is a specialist in millennial-focused web programs.
I’m not sure what Teen Tigada’s attempt was. It’s a dark comedy with a slice-of-life feel to it. Although there is some dialogue that suggests depth, nothing actually stays. The created oddity and poignancy are far too artificial to be meaningful. A funky montage set to a spoken-word rock melody sticks out, but Arun doesn’t do much with it.
The last episode, Vaikunth, stars and is directed by Nagraj Manjule, the Marathi filmmaker of Dalit-themed modern-day masterpieces Fandry and Sairat. The plot is deceptively straightforward. After sundown, Vikas (Nagraj Manjule) works at the Vaikunth (heaven) crematorium, which resembles hell. He keeps track of the dead, burns them, and disposes of the ashes without complaint. “Zyada maat soch, majbut rehneka,” he advises his kid. Don’t overthink things; be strong.)
The family members awkwardly weeping after having their relative cremated by Vikas and his colleagues because they are too afraid to touch the body; the police softening up after learning Vikas’ profession and offering tea; the cremation ground workers dumping the ashes near a painting of Shiva; the cremation ground workers dumping the ashes near a painting of Shiva; the cremation ground workers dumping the ashes near a painting of Shiva; The joyful finish of Vaikunth underlines a crucial lesson learned over the previous two years: family is everything.