Unpaused Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a half stars)
Director: Raj & DK, Nikhhil Advani, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Avinash Arun, Nitya Mehra
What’s Good: Every story fiddles around your heart, some touch it &!some hurt it. The acting/scene quota throughout the film is too high!
What’s Bad: It had its downs and most of them were from a story for which I was excited the most about.
Loo Break: Only if you’ll pause and go, and that too between the films.
Watch or Not?: For the amount of relatability this offers, just go and see which of the character you’re the closest too!
Panning just a little under two hours, this anthology covers five different stories with the backdrop of coronavirus & lockdown. All these people aren’t connected, but they come close to many of us & how we’ve been in the past ten months. Ahan (Gulshan Devaiah) & Ayesha’s (Saiyami Kher) story ‘Glitch’ is set in the future in which ‘viruses are the new terrorists’. Despite Ahan being Awasthi & Ayesha being Hussain, it’s not the religious difference they’re facing. Ahan is a ‘hypo’ (a futuristic word for paranoid), Ayesha is a warrior (a scientist working on the vaccine) & this story is between their glitchy meet.
Second story ‘Apartment’ resides the story of a hotshot couple of Devika & his #MeToo accused husband Sahil (Sumeet Vyas). They run a magazine together & all these accusations on Sahil push her into the dark well of self-blame as she attempts to end her life. But, nature has something else planned for her. Archana (Lillete Dubey) & Priyanka’s (Rinku Rajguru) ‘Rat-A-Tat’ is a solid conversation between two very contrasting people. While Archana is living the final phase of her life with all the experience, Priyanka is just starting as a production designer.
Manish (Abishek Banerjee) & Seema (Geetika Vidya Ohlyan) are a migrant family in ‘Vishaanu’ staying at their boss’ plush Mumbai flat without anyone’s knowledge. With the hope of not getting caught, they seek the resumption of railways so they can return to where they’re from. Last story ‘Chand Mubarak’ is about the bonding between a middle-aged woman Uma (Ratna Pathak Shah) and an auto-rickshaw driver Rafique (Shardul Bharadwaj). With a pinch of ‘Aman Ki Asha’, both of the characters try and fill each other’s vacant emotional gaps.
Unpaused Movie Review: Script Analysis
This follows the tried and tested formula of anthologies in India but comes the closest to perfection. From an optimum usage of the backdrop of coronavirus in every story to building every character within a limited scope of time, this is a team effort. Every story complements other, and the way they’ve been placed is ingenious.
Yes, that order matters a lot! How? Let’s get into it. So, with the first story, you’re given all this ‘futuristic vibes’ which will make you hope that would be the case in future stories too. But, then to surprise you, the makers drop a story tackling today’s harsh reality (#MeToo & suicide) with a similar setting but current time.
Lillete & Rinku’s Rajguru story disguises not to be a heavy one at face, but once you proceed with it, you realise you’re deep into it. But before Abishek & Geetika’s track turns you off (as it’ll many) just wait for the sweetest surprise is Ratna Pathak Shah’s finale story. Cinematographer Pankaj Kumar gets a more freehold in Raj & DK’s Glitch as it’s futuristic. He gets to play around colours, while the rest five stories are more in a ‘limited colours’ zone.
The film starts at a high point with Glitch and ends at even better with Chand Mubarak. An instant smile moment: For depicting Gulshan’s loneliness, he drinks beer from a pint which reads ‘Beer For One’.
Unpaused Movie Review: Star Performance
It’s getting routine for Gulshan Devaiah as he comes in a film, chooses yet another character and plays it so well we can’t even imagine anyone else touching that. As a paranoid in future, Gulshan and Saiyami Kher’s track largely depends on how fantastic performers they are. They eventually leave a ridiculously sweet after-taste which somehow gets too delicious to touch by Richa & Sumeet. They deliver an ‘it’s good they’re there’ performance. Like, it’s good this part of the anthology had someone like them justifying the story. Ishwak Singh’s performance is a bonus. With shining in just one scene, he proves how he’s ready for the big game.
As charming as ever Lillete Dubey manages to spread the delight yet again with her presence. Full marks to Rinku Rajguru for not just being among Liellet’s aura but standing up to her tremendous talent. Abhishek Banerjee has always been an underrated gem for me in many films. But, let’s face the music, he’s just not there in this one. More than that it takes real talent to cast Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and waste her.
Ratna Pathak Shah plays a lonely Maya Sarabhai in the film. A great actor is never recognised by the way he/she recites dialogue; it’s by the way he/she doesn’t. She’s very impactful, especially in the scenes without dialogue. My biggest takeaway amid this talented group of people has to be Shardul Bharadwaj. It’s tough to act in front of Ratna Pathak Shah and hoping that you’ll be noticed. Shardul makes the most of the limited he gets.
Unpaused Movie Review: Direction, Music
Raj & DK take a modern route to tell their version of the story, and there’s so much to like about their world. Without getting into much technical detailing, they focus more on the voice assistant their lead uses and that works in their favour.
Nikhhil Advani goes dark and basic for his story. Covering the panic attack of his character amid the chaos of ‘thali programme’ was a smart inclusion.
Tannishtha Chatterjee’s Rat-A-Tat is dialogue-heavy, and its writing really helps to keep the intrigue alive. Avinash Arun desify’s a short sub-plot from Bong Jon-Hoo’s Parasite. However, it doesn’t achieve what others do ending on a rather abrupt note. Nitya Mehra lets her characters do the major lift-ups keeping everything basic.
Glitch has the best songs of all – Mujh Mein Hai Tu & Rastey (Fiddlecraft) indicate Ayesha & Ahan’s mood very well. Surprised to know Rat-A-Tat’s super soothing song ‘Badarva’ is crooned by Tannishtha Chatterjee. Background score is equally good in every story.
Unpaused Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, pause everything and take out a couple of hours to take a look back at what all we’ve been through since the entry of the virus. Laced beautifully with phenomenal performances, the anthology is worthy more as a whole package.
Three and a half stars!
Unpaused releases on 18 December, 2020.
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