Web Series: Unpaused Naya Safar
Directors: Nupur Asthana, Ayappa KM, Ruchir Arun, Shikha Makan, Nagraj Manjule Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Review by: Russel D’Silva
Amazon Prime Video’s anthology film, Unpaused, which had released a little over a year ago, had delved into the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the lives of folks from diverse sections of society. Amazon Prime has now come up with another anthology, a sequel titled Unpaused Naya Safar, albeit in web series format of five episodes, with the focus this time being on the effects of having spent vast amount of time under lockdown. Does it work? Well, it does, but more in “pauses” (pun intended) than in its entirety.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Unpaused Naya Safar is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Unpaused Naya Safar web series review…
What’s it about
Unpaused Naya Safar comprises five episodes, where talented actors like Shreya Dhanwanthary, Priyanshu Painyuli, Saqib Saleem, Neena Kulkarni and others take you through the trials and tribulations experienced deep into lockdown, which many of us would be able to relate to.
Watch the Unpaused Naya Safar trailer below:
Shreya Dhanwanthary and Priyanshu Painyuli’s chemistry in the first episode of Unpaused: Naya Safar, The Couple, is what helps quite a predictable story sail like a breeze, with their journey here being more important than the destination. It wouldn’t be a stretch to claim that almost every couple holed up with each other during lockdown would relate to them. We meet Geetanjali Kulkarni next as a COVID-19 helpline operator in the second episode, War Room, and the moral dilemma she faces over choosing between her duty and a chance at retribution with one of the callers gives this quite an edge.
Saqib Saleem, Ashish Verma and Sam Mohan play thieves who’ve stolen medical supplies in Teen Tigada, the fourth episode, and their desperation of being saddled with goods they can’t sell on the black market due to lockdown and their inability to make some good money for their families despite having the wares to do so could easily be equated with several small business shutting down or people losing their jobs during the same time.
Gond Ke Laddu, the fourth episode, starring Neena Kulkarni, is warm tale of an elderly lady, alone at home, trying to make friends with technology due to lack of options, and a courier boy miles away, who connects with her over a parcel. Finally, there’s Vaikunth, the bleakest of the lot, which focuses on an oft forgotten frontline job during the coronavirus pandemic, that of workers at crematoriums during the rising death toll from COVID-19 and the hostility they met from neighbours and land owners just as other frontline workers. The production values and camerawork of all episodes are also on the money.
At times, the pace becomes of Unpaused – Naya Safar too slow, but that’s not as much an issue as how the second, third and fourth episodes end abruptly, and somewhat lose the point they’re trying to make by the time the finale draws near. The editing of all the episodes, too, barring the first, could’ve been crisper, which is quite surprising with each being no more than 25-30 minutes.
To sum it up, Unpaused: Naya Safar is relatable as a whole even though it doesn’t always come together as whole. I’m going with 3 out of 5 stars.
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