Amazon Prime Video's latest crime-drama Paatal Lok has become a crowd favourite, raising the bar when it comes to Indian web series, and becoming an example of powerful performances.
Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Abhishek Banerjee, and Ishwak Singh are the actors playing primary characters, and there is no denying their brilliance. But, in Paatal Lok, these supporting actors' performance is what helped add a layer of authenticity to the show:
1. Jagjeet Sandhu as Tope Singh
A victim of caste discrimination and child abuse, Tope Singh was a criminal whose past had left him hungry for love and quick to anger. Sandhu, who is a common face in Punjabi cinema, perfectly portrayed Singh's almost maniacal desperation that willed him to fight for his life when wronged.
2. Rajesh Sharma as Gwala Gujjar
Gwala Gujjar is the latest in a series of roles that barely scratch the surface when it comes to showcasing Sharma's acting potential. As Gwala Gujjar, his menace comes alive right at the end. It is commendable (and scary) how easily he switches from the benevolent rebel leader to a mob boss avenging betrayal.
3. Mairembam Ronaldo Singh as Cheeni
Mairembam Ronaldo Singh is a transgender theatre actor from Manipur, who has made her digital debut with Paatal Lok. Cheeni is a victim of sexual abuse and suffers from the mistreatment of the transgender community. But the scenes where she interacts with her friend allow Ronaldo to beautifully portray Cheeni's fear and vulnerability, while also throwing light on her reason for agreeing to the conspiracy.
4.Swastika Mukherjee as Dolly
Swastika plays the role of Dolly, Sanjeev's (Neeraj Kab) wife who battles anxiety and is a dog-lover. Mukherjee flawlessly captures the many stages of Dolly - her aggravated anxiety on learning about the assassination attempt on her husband, her immeasurable affection for a stray she adopts, and her pain on discovering her husband's affair.
5. Vipin Sharma as DCP Bhagat
An alumnus of NSD, Vipin Sharma gained widespread fame for playing the strict father in Taare Zameen Par. As DCP Bhagat, he introduces just the right amount of arrogance and tolerance to his character, which makes it difficult to outrightly love or hate him.
6. Niharika Dutt as Sara Matthews
As a young journalist who falls for her married boss, only to discover he is not the man she thought him to be, Sara's character is a representation of most millennial professionals - the ones who are yet to become jaded by the corporate world.
7. Aasif Khan as Kabir M
A small-time mechanic caught in a long con, Kabir displays more kindness in the few scenes he has, than most characters do in the whole series. His fate leaves you hurt but sadly, not surprised - because it is a reflection of the encroaching Islamophobia that has gripped the nation. A theater actor, Aasif has been a regular in web series. Perhaps that explains how he has the audience falling in love with Kabir in just a few scenes.
Any other character or actor from the show, that left you visibly impressed? Let us know in the comments section below.
All images are from Amazon Prime Video.