Non-suspended film review: a mediocre anthology

Written by Shubhra Gupta |

Updated: December 18, 2020 3:07:56 PM

Unpaused is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Uninterrupted Cast: Gulshan Devaiah, Saiyami Kher, Richa Chadha, Sumeet Vyas, Ishwak Singh, Lillete Dubey, Rinku Rajguru, Abhishek Banerjee, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, Ratna Pathak Shah, Shardul Bhardwaj
Non suspended directors: Raj and DK, Nikkhil Advani, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Avinash Arun, Nitya Mehra
Evaluation not suspended: Two stars

In recent months, streaming platforms have been inundated with post-Covid material dealing with the issues of isolation, loneliness and resilience related to the blockade. In its five-part anthology, Unpaused mixes all of the above with news that made headlines in this terrible virus-laden year, with average results.

Richa Chadha and Sumeet Vyas play a couple torn apart by Me-Too’s accusations, the fact that they are part of a publishing house seems to have been “inspired” by real-life characters in similar situations. He blames him for taking advantage of young women in his mid-life; he turns and instructs her not to “stop him”. The licensed male, gaslighting is stock; The fact that Chadha is grappling with his own guilt is the interesting aspect of this piece.

What if this virus is here to stay? The characters played by Gulshan Devaiah and Saiyami Kher look futuristic in the way they create a “bubble date” in a bar / lounge. Or in the way he, a “hypo”, refuses to leave his apartment, or she, a “warrior” is at work in a laboratory, talking about heroes who “wear not a cloak but a PPE”. Fear of infection is everywhere, but the desire for company is stronger.

A mouse leads a young girl (Rajguru) out of her apartment. A harsh elderly lady (Dubey) starts to growl, ends up smiling: this is the least engaging of the bunch. Another segment uses another unripe elderly lady (Shah) who is attracted to a younger human, a rickshaw driver (Bhardwaj), who appears to be the polar opposite of class and religion. And a migrant couple (Banerjee and Ohlyan) get stuck in the city, with nowhere to go.

I liked the last two the most. Although the story of a woman living in a posh apartment and a Muslim car driver breaking the roza has a predictable arc, starting with irritation and ending with affection, both Shah and Bhardwaj (so good in Eeb Allay Ooo of Prateek Vats, out today in theaters), let us watch. Like the migrant couple hiding in the city, in a luxurious apartment equipped with a jacuzzi and modular kitchens: when you can’t turn on fancy gas stoves, light fires on the floor, which doubles as a bed. How will these two get used to their life in the village, which is at the end of a long way home?

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