Unpaused is an Indian Hindi-language anthology film consisting of five short segments directed by Raj & DK, Nitya Mehra, Nikkhil Advani, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Avinash Arun respectively. With an ensemble cast, the stories revolved around lives of people impacted by the COVID-19. It premiered on 18 December, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video.
There have been n number of stories, series, and films curated on the theme but what sets Unpaused apart is the rainbow it creates with several forms of storytelling for being directed by separate directors. Not only directors but each of the five stories has been written by separate screenplay and story writers which adds variety. They altogether bring forth stories of love, new beginnings, second chances, and a glimmer of hope in these dark times.
The first story – Glitch stars Gulshan Devaiah and Saiyami Kher in a futuristic love story. It speaks up on virtual relationships and the dearth of real physical interaction that is already visible around us. It also features the pairing of people of opposite characters, but do opposites attract? You need to watch the film to find out. Although sporting a trendy theme, this short story is kind of mundane but of course the pandemic has made things like that. It’s just very real and the real is generally not very much exciting all the time.
Next story in the anthology is ‘Apartment’ that focuses on mental health. In this story, Richa Chadha plays the wife of a renowned journalist played by Sumeet Vyas. She is on the verge of committing suicide as she discovers her husband’s adultery when an unprecedented doorbell interrupts her. The rest of the story is quite predictable though with elements of upliftment and righteousness through campaigns and messages but the actors are totally on point. Amidst of all, the trending track – Nayi Dhoop – plays and viewers are lost in their own thoughts.
Rat-A-Tat starring Sairat fame Rinku Rajguru and Lillete Dubey, is far better than aforementioned shorts for it turns a very known plot of a young tenant living with a old landlady into something very warm and humorous. It is the plight of rats that causes havoc in the calm house. The story depicts a person’s denial of age and sadness. Director Tannishtha also adds the charm of Mumbai to bring a more magical and humane touch to the story.
Next in line is Vishaanu featuring Abhishek Bannerjee and Geetika Vidya Ohlyan by Avinash Arun is uncannily identical to Oscar winning film – Parasite. Pandemic-hit people living in luxury flat with no food is what the story portrays. Yet it’s no way as appealing as Parasite for it often confuses viewers with its loose representation.
The fifth film – ‘Chaand Mubarak’ by Nitya Mehra is again the good part that you ought to watch. It stars Ratna Pathak Shah and Shardul Bhardwaj as an independent, elderly woman and a Rickshawala who talk about the ways of the world while they are looking for Shah’s medicines. They are busy criticizing eachother only to realize that they both are actually no different. Ratna ji surely picks the most unique and unforgettable characters.
Here’s the trailer.