Unpaused: Love amidst a pademic

Dubai - Abhishek Banerjee and Geetika Vidya on why their segment of the


Ambica Sachin

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Dubai - anthology, dropping this weekend is a 'love story'

Published: Wed 16 Dec 2020, 4:43 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Dec 2020, 4:45 PM

He is one of the deadliest serial killers to come our way through an original web series, Paathal Lok. While she played a Delhi cop tasked with solving violent crimes against women in crime drama Soni. Together they should have been the anathema of an on screen couple. But in Unpaused, an anthology of 5 stories from stalwart directors to drop on Amazon prime Video this weekend, the duo come together to showcase a story of survival, hope and life amidst a pandemic.

The various segments of Unpaused have been helmed by Raj and DK (Glitch), Nikkhil Advani (Apartment), Tannishtha Chatterjee (Rat-A-Tat), Avinash Arun (Vishaanu) and Nitya Mehra (Chaand Mubarak). The film stars Gulshan Devaiah, Saiyami Kher, Richa Chadha, Sumeet Vyas, Ishwak Singh, Rinku Rajguru, Lilltete Dubey, Abhishek Banerjee, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan among others.

In Vishaanu, Abhishek Banerjee (Stree, Dream Girl) and Geetika Vidya (Thappad) play a young migrant couple in Mumbai who move into an empty high-rise when the pandemic strikes. The issue of migrants caught up in various parts of India when lockdown restrictions meant they could not travel back home or even find daily sustenance, was one that drew many eyeballs.

Vishaanu is a tale of challenge, how the less fortunate in society survive by doing ‘jugad’ and most importantly a story of survival that stresses on family bonds.

“It is a migrant family’s story,” Geetika admits, “but at its core it is also a love story. About dreams, about resilience, about being your partner’s strength,” she continues over a Zoom conversation along with her costar ahead of the movie’s release.

“It’s completely a human story for me, more than a migrant story,” asserts Abhishek. “Forget the fact as to where they are coming from, what they are doing; they are human beings. In the end, he says, “it is a survival story of a family.”

“They are caught up in the same situation as many families in this country and across the world. The only thing is they are less fortunate, but that does not mean they don’t have to strive. The spirit of ‘jugad’ (quick fix) was more important than anything else,” he explains.

While for Abhishek the onus as a guardian was to safeguard his family, for Geetika her role as a supportive wife was paramount. She plays a woman who knows her husband is going through a tough time and that if she breaks down, he would find it difficult to get their family out of this situation.

“And that’s how we understand the character and strength of a family right?,” questions Abhishek. “How a family deals with crisis, that completely makes or breaks a family.”

Unlike Chaand Mubarak, which its director Nitya Mehra, asserts is a story that will hold good even pre or post pandemic, the lead stars of Vishaanu are unsure if their movie will be relevant if one takes out the context of the pandemic from it. The conflict in the story is created by the pandemic, explains Abhishek. “If you take it out, then it will become a story about a migrant family trying to make ends meet. Geetika pitches in: “It would have been science fiction if we had done it before the pandemic!”

What makes Unpaused such a special story for the lead actors is also the fact that it is set in the current time and space we are all living through. Though both also echo the sentiment that while they love the fact that a short format can showcase an entire story in a limited time, they miss delving into their characters in depth as well.

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