Unpaused: Naya Safar Web Review – Pause, play; you’ll suffer not

Unpaused: Naya Safar Web Review - Pause, play; you’ll suffer not

Unstoppable: New Safari
On: Amazon Prime Video
Directors: Nupur Asthana, Ayyappa KM, Ruchir Arun, Shikha Maken, Nagraj Manjule
Cast: Shreya Dhanwantri, Geetanjali Kulkarni
Rating: 3/5

I remember the first season of this topical anthology aired on Amazon Prime Video in December 2020. Most of us believed that then the worst of COVID-19 was behind us.

Surprised to appreciate individual filmmakers/entities for pulling off highly capable, professional short films as a feature-length anthology, approx. It felt like a visual novelty of sorts. While the world was barely exiting the lockdown.

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This second, equally accomplished compilation, similarly set during the pandemic, is apparently about a ‘second wave’. This happened less than six months after the first halt. A deadly disaster that affected practically every Indian household, in some form or the other. Such that no event in recent history can arguably match.

And that this compilation does a fair job with sympathetically fictionalized and calmly surveyed. Putting the right characters and stories in place to match different worlds, targeted differently by the same virus, depending on the circumstances that define their lives.

Whether it was in the first episode: A young, double income, no kids (DINK) couple, going about their day, who by then had become a fully adjustable, professional general known as “Work From Home” ( WFH). ) – a term that actually meant working on weekends, previously for troubled employees.

Apart from the usual terms and conditions of an isolated life, the young WFH, the splendid lead the way between the married couple- Shreya Dhanwantri, Priyanshu Painyuli, just watching each other on screen, couldn’t be written in a script Hai- Nupur Asthana’s The Couple also sheds light on how some employers behaved when the chips were down.

Even more downsizing now. The complex problem of unemployment corona. The disregard for human issues is obviously a bigger problem than the virus itself. Because there is no vaccine against it.

Some call it simply capitalism. As expressed in this short film, the best of us are reduced to “statistics.” What is not expressed is how only a few billionaires became many times richer than before.

This short can hit home hard, especially for those affected by such HR ‘tough calls’. God knows how many And yet, if you believe, an MBA grad with an engineering degree, losing your job is hardly the same in the pyramid of tragedy as a man who earns a living by burning the dead at a time like this.

This sees the fifth and final episode of this omnibus with the film Vaikunth, directed and starring Nagraj Manjule (Sairat). The signage/graffiti outside the main character’s crematorium reads: “Here the rich and the poor have the same bed (the rich and the poor share the bed here)!”

Booked between these two extreme scenarios – living in a “fantastic prison,” as my little nephew calls it, daily fighting for survival – the filmmakers behind this anthology pan cameras between people who We know they still have to go out and take risks.

Get less in return. In the second episode with the brilliant Geetanjali Kulkarni, Ayyappa playing the role of a teacher in KM’s war room, turns into a temporary health worker, answering desperate calls to the municipal helpline.

Or the courier package for the young delivery boy (Shikha Maken’s Gond Ke Laddu), star-rating in the fourth episode. Or indeed, in the third episode (Ruchir Arun’s Teen Tigra), a bunch of robbers who have nowhere to go with a truck full of loot because there is a lockdown outside.

The ideal way to watch an anthology like Unpaused: The New Journey is to pause enough between the different clickable, 25-minute episodes, soak in the essence of what you’ve caught, and then play the next one. This way, you will not suffer at all.

It does not mean that the movies are of the same quality/merit. Can not be done. Most such compilations are short film contests, with personal favorites, and essentially a film that is universally different. It is a pandemic genre in itself. Not that you let that affect you in any way, but on my list, it’s clearly: E1>E5=E2>E4=E3.

The controversy over whether such an anthology should be classified as a feature film or series certainly remains. In my mind, this is a series, what else. No one sees the feature in five installments.

What equally unites it still, beyond COVID-19 as a central theme, is its approach. It is positive. I mean the response of the filmmakers to the tragedy. And not positive for corona, which is negative for the world. Millions died. We don’t know anyone in this series.

And yet for an eternally soulless race, this series, like much else, serves as an important fictional record for the future. Something I thought we had nothing to do with the Spanish Flu of 1919—rarely mentioned in our history books. They are otherwise full of stories from WWI and India’s independence movement, which apparently did not affect the many nooks and crannies of the planet.

I don’t want to speak too early in January 2021, that this bullshit is nearing its end. But we must watch this fascinating series and save it for now. Everything will be remembered—remembering is important.




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