Unpaused: Naya Safar
And like I had said last week in my review of Puthum Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyadhaa, it is raining anthologies. Like in 2021 where one anthology after another was churned out before a period of lull which followed, 2022 has begun on the same note. And onto my second review of the day where I have finished watching the second season of Unpaused or like Amazon Prime likes to call it Unpaused : Naya Safar. I had quite liked Season 1 although in anthologies you often run the risk of the series being a mixed bag. That said, is Unpaused : Naya Safar worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Unpaused : Naya Safar follows 5 heartwarming stories set against the backdrop of the pandemic which give you hope and happiness. And truly, each of the five stories make a mark here with their own unique ways of storytelling which at times makes the drama relatable as well.
The Couple focusses on the story of a couple who are working from home until one of the two loses the job. This was the most reliable short story for me as it has been almost two years now since I have been working from home. The small fights and quarrels that follow only to realise your mistake at the end, I have done all of it. But the drama is handle with a lot of sensitivity here and the screenplay works very well. The end is a heartwarming one wrapping up an excellent short.
War Room follows the story of a class teacher who along with other teachers have volunteered as Covid Warriors in a War Room. This until a conflict arises traces back to her past. This is probably one of my favourite shorts of the lot where the conflict is actually a substantial one. And the screenplay is mounted such that the dra seems real as do the emotions. You are invested in this drama right from the first scene. What I also enjoyed was how a simple pen is metaphorically used, even right at the end. This short comes with my highest recommendation.
Teen Tigada follows the story of three thieves who are trying to smuggle a package until the pandemic foils their plans. This is quite a unique story as you start off with no sympathy for the characters, yet as you get to know them more and their uncomfortable camaraderie, you begin to invest in them. The screenplay offers a few heartfelt moments here along with it being a touch philosophical. All in all a nice little short.
Gond Ke Laddu follows the story of a mother couriers Gond Ke Laddu to her daughter which doesn’t get delivered on time. The story here is heartwarming and has so many layers to it. The subtle twists and turns in this heartfelt tale will keep you invested culminating into a warm and fuzzy final act that will definitely put a smile on your face.
Vaikunth is probably the most hard hitting of the five stories and the joint favourite. The story is gut wrenching as it gives you a glimpse into the lives of the personnel who work at the cemetary. The screenplay makes you feel for the characters. But surprisingly so, the film ends with a lot of hope that will make you shed a tear or two. A beautifully woven screenplay!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational and engaging in all the shorts. The BGM definitely does its bit in uplifting and enhancing the drama. Director Nupur Asthana who directed the first short makes it perfectly relatable and believable. Director Ayappa KM does a fabulous job with the second short. The way he introduces and handles the conflict is just so beautiful. Ruchir Arun has done a pretty good job with the third short. A layered tale told in a philosophical manner! Shikha Makan has dome a heartwarming job with the heartfelt fourth short. It definitely did put a smile on my face. The veteran Director Nagraj Manjule does a brilliant job in the fifth and final short. The typical hard hitting nature of the drama definitely grasps you but the hope at the end makes you shed a tear. Excellent Direction!
The performances are excellent here. Shreya Dhanwanthary and Priyanshu Painyuli makes for such a cute couple with some crackling chemistry. There is this comfort between the two which is so infectious. Geetanjali Kulkarni is a fine actor and she is absolutely brilliant here. She lives through the conflict so beautifully here in what was an acting masterclass. Saqib Saleem is first rate and it is so refreshingly to see him making some smart choices. Ashish Verma is fantastic and does a swell job, as does Sam Mohan who is terrific. Neena Kulkarni delivers a heartfelt performance. Lakshvir Saran whom I saw last in Milestone(Highly Recommended) displays so much honesty and sincerity here. Darshana Rajendran is so charming and her performance is sure to brighten up your day that little bit more. Nagraj Manjule doubles up as an actor too and he is such a natural onscreen. He delivers an impactful performance here!
Unpaused Naya Safar comprises of 5 stories, 5 hits and 0 misses. One of the best anthologies of recent times. Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Recommended!