The trailer of Unpaused, Amazon Prime Video’s first Hindi anthology film, was released on Tuesday at a virtual press conference. Unpaused is a collection of five short films set in a post-Covid-19 world. Directed by Raj & DK, Nikkhil Advani, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Avinash Arun, and Nitya Mehra, the shorts delve into themes of friendship, love, hope, second chances, and new beginnings.
When the whole world hit the pause button, there were some stories that went Unpaused.#UnpausedOnPrime, Dec 18@rajndk @nikkhiladvani @TannishthaC #AvinashArun @nitya_mehra@gulshandevaiah @SaiyamiKher #KomalChhabria @RichaChadha @IshwakSingh @vyas_sumeet pic.twitter.com/InWZh9dMtb
— amazon prime video IN (@PrimeVideoIN) December 8, 2020
The trailer begins with the ‘Janta curfew’ declared in March 2020, a precursor to the eight-month-long nationwide lockdown, and goes on to capture what life has become since then. The film shares a resemblance with the Tamil five-film anthology Putham Pudhu Kaalai, also released on Amazon Prime Video.
Unpaused will premiere on Prime Video on December 18.
Aparna Purohit, head of India originals, Amazon Prime Video, said, “These stories are a reminder that there is hope at the end of a dark tunnel and chance for us to embark on new beginnings.”
The five short films were shot during the lockdown, with the crew adhering to government rules and regulations issued in Maharashtra, said Amazon Prime Video in a statement. The shorts were shot with a cast and crew of 10 people each, all of whom had to undergo Covid-19 tests. The cast and crew also said that the film’s pre-production was done through Zoom calls.
Director and actor Tannishtha Chatterjee, who has directed Rat-A-Tat in the anthology, said, “This whole Zoom thing and Zoom rehearsal was really frustrating. Even a lot of pre-production, all the discussions, locations, reccee also, some of it was done through Zoom.”
Actor Ratna Pathak Shah, who has acted in Chand Mubarak in the anthology, called the online rehearsals “narcissism of the worst kind”.
Glitch, directed by Raj & DK, stars Gulshan Deviah and Saiyami Kher, is about a hypochondriac man meeting a girl on a blind date. The director duo’s last collaboration with Amazon was the 2018 webseries The Family Man, featuring actor Manoj Bajpayee.
Apartment, directed by Nikkhil Advani features Richa Chadha, Sumeet Vyas and Ishwak Singh, is about the owner of a successful online news magazine who has to deal with her husband’s sexual indiscretions.
Tannishtha Chatterjee’s second directorial, Rat-A-Tat, starring Rinku Rajguru and Lillete Dubey, focuses on the loneliness that senior citizens faced during the lockdown.
Talking about her film, Chatterjee said, “What is nice (about) the way we explored it, is that it’s not very dramatic. Because a lot of stories which happened during the lockdown were not dramatic. You are surrounded by this huge pandemic, a drama that has changed the world, changed our lives, but something has not changed at all. It is paused and yet you are trying to find meaning in it.”
Vishaanu, directed by Avinash Arun, marks his second collaboration with actor Abhishek Banerjee after the web series Paatal Lok. Also starring Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, Vishaanu is about the life of a migrant family who are forced to illegally sneak into a lavish flat.
Talking about the communities that are at the receiving end of every disaster, Arun said, “I think it was very important for me to tell the story of a time that people are living in currently, and thus, will be able to resonate much more.”
Unpaused producer Sanjeev Kumar said, “The biggest tasks were getting the location, convincing the people and working with PPE kits and all. But we achieved it.”
Chaand Mubarak, directed by Nitya Mehra and starring Pathak Shah and Shardul Bhardwaj, is about an affluent middle-aged single woman who is forced to depend on a young rickshaw driver for help during the lockdown.
Talking about his experiences, Bhardwaj said he was happy to have found work in the middle of a pandemic. He said, “I am new. For me, it was this sheer privilege to get this. I was at home for six months during the lockdown.”