Set in the dark underbelly of Indian society, politics
Amazon Prime Video has set a May 15 release date for its next original series from India: Paatal Lok. Neeraj Kabi (Taj Mahal 1989), Gul Panag (Dor), and Jaideep Ahlawat (Bard of Blood) lead the cast of the neo-noir series, which has previously been described as “an investigative thriller that also acts as a scathing commentary of modern-day Indian society and politics.” Paatal Lok has been created by Udta Punjab writer Sudip Sharma, and produced by Anushka Sharma's Clean Slate Films.
In a video released alongside that comes with the Paatal Lok logo and release date, an unseen narrator says: “Ancient scriptures describe a world where blood is shed for justice, where cruelty thrives in the garb of humanity, where lawlessness is the only law, wiping out all the hope of life. This inescapable hell that exists beneath our world is called Paatal Lok.”
For those unaware, Paatal Lok is Hindi for the literal underworld. The earth is called dharti lok, and the heaven is swarga look. Of course, for the Amazon series' purpose, it refers to the figurative underworld — as evinced by the voiceover and the visuals in the video — that is India's dark underbelly which influences the four pillars of democracy: legislature, executive, judiciary, and media.
Earlier in the week, Amazon — and Anushka Sharma — had released another video that “announced” Paatal Lok as a new show, even though it was originally announced in February 2019. The show's title was revealed back in January, alongside a first look.
Paatal Lok will be the sixth series from India on Prime Video in 2020, after the Kabir Khan-helmed war drama miniseries The Forgotten Army in January, the black comedy miniseries Afsos from comedian Anirban Dasgupta in February, the second season of comedy-drama Pushpavalli from comedian Sumukhi Suresh in March, and the TVF-created comedy-drama Panchayat and the second season of romantic comedy-drama Four More Shots Please! earlier in April.
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Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil