Five stories. Stories of lockdown, of survival, of perseverance, and of love. “Unpaused” takes us through the journeys of people trapped in a world haunted by a global pandemic and a seemingly never-ending lockdown. The new Amazon original movie is a collation of five short stories about people and their experiences during the 2020 lockdown in India.
For single people, dating in 2020, like everything else this year, has been nothing short of frustrating, what with virtual dates and the awkward physical distance when meeting in person. The movie in “Unpaused” takes us through one such story of a couple who meet in hopes of finding a connection. What they find, however, is a difference of opinion. Do they get past their opposing perspectives and find their way to each other, or go back to their lonely lives? Co-directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. take us through the story which includes a couple of unexpected twists. Saiyami Kher and Gulshan Devaiah star in this short story and play the lead characters Alizah and Ahan.
When Devika (Richa Chadha), the owner of a successful news magazine, finds out about the multiple sexual harassment allegations against her husband and co-worker Sahil (Sumeet Vyas), she can’t help but blame herself and figures the only way out of this unbearable situation is to end her own life. But something stops her in the nick of time – her doorbell rings. It’s her neighbor Chirag (Ishwak Singh) who can’t seem to take a hint that she’s not interested in a prolonged conversation with him. Can Chirag’s peskiness be what keeps Devika from doing the unspeakable? Director Nikkhil Advani shows us how sometimes a stranger can show more kindness in tough times than the people we expect it from.
A story of how two new neighbors bond with each other when one is too scared to enter her flat because of a mouse. Archana (Lillete Dubey) is a stuck-up 65-year-old living alone and constantly complaining about her neighbors. Priyanka (Rinku Rajguru) is a young and vibrant struggling production designer who is out of work because of the lockdown and unable to pay her rent. How these two contrasting personalities find comfort in each other’s company is shown in this sweet, lighthearted story directed by Tannishtha Chatterjee as the third short movie in “Unpaused.”
When migrant worker Manish (Abhishek Banerjee) and his wife Seema (Geetika Vidya Ohlyan) and son Monu are evicted from their accommodation and unable to return to their home in Rajasthan due to the lockdown in India, they sneak in and take refuge at their boss’ lavish flat. They could all get used to this life of luxury, but will they get caught for trespassing or will they successfully find a way to travel to Rajasthan before they run out of their meager savings? Director Avinash Arun Dhaware shows a glimpse into the poor plight of the migrant workers in India and the atrocities they faced when the lockdown was announced without much consideration for how a whole population of low-income workers was supposed to cope with it.
When senior citizen Uma (Ratna Pathak Shah) tries to go pick up her prescription at a pharmacy during curfew hours, she is stopped by the police who insist that she take an auto-rickshaw or head back home. Reluctantly, Uma agrees to travel in Rafique’s (Shardul Bharadwaj) auto and isn’t the least grateful for his service. But as fate would have it, Uma finds herself in need of Rafique’s help to fetch essentials including groceries and medicines. What forms along the way is a sweet friendship and a bond between Uma and Rafique in this heartwarming story directed by Nitya Mehra.
All five stories in “Unpaused” are based on the lockdown but are unique in their own way because each shows a situation in how people of different age groups and belonging to different social classes were impacted and how they have had to cope with the “new normal”. While nobody knows for sure how long this pandemic is going to linger, watching these short stories does present a ray of hope that somewhere even in our darkest times, we might stumble upon something so special which we would have normally taken for granted.
Consultant by day and professional dancer on weekends, Neha loves going to the movies and has a not-so-secret crush on Hrithik Roshan!