“Paatal Lok” has been the breakout show of the year and actor-producer Anushka Sharma says though it is too early to comment, the team would love to take viewers back to the darkly twisted universe created by longtime collaborator Sudip Sharma in a follow-up season. The unanimous praise for the Amazon Prime Video series, led by Jaideep Ahlawat’s seasoned Delhi cop, has been gratifying for Anushka as a producer.
"You have to wait and watch to know more about season two. I don't want to divulge too much but let's just say it’s quite possible. It’s too early to talk about it but yes if Amazon is willing to do it, definitely there will be a second season,” Anushka told PTI in an email interview. "We have always stayed true to stories that we want to tell and we will continue to do that. We hope for similar appreciation in the future as well,” the actor, who has produced the show with her brother Karnesh via their banner Clean Slate Filmz, said.
The nine-episode neo-noir series, centred on a Delhi Police inspector who uncovers a sinister plot while trying to solve the assassination attempt on a popular TV journalist, has been lauded for its deep-dive exploration of the caste, class, gender and religious faultlines in the country through an investigative story.
Anushka, who first worked with Sudip on her production debut, the critically-acclaimed film “NH10”, said she trusts the writer “immensely” and they make a good team. “Sudip’s first film as a writer was ‘NH10’. So we go back a long way and he's like a brother to me. I believe in everything he writes because he is such an economical writer. He is somebody who will tell you the most complicated things in the simplest manner and most entertaining fashion and I think that is his greatest strength as a writer,” the actor said, adding that she was happy that they have done some of their best work together.
There is a marked difference in the kind of projects she has backed as a producer, be it road thriller “NH10”, horror fantasy film “Pari” or now “Paatal Lok”. They are darker and edgier compared to her films, fantasy comedy "Phillauri" being the exception. Anushka said that has been deliberate on their part as they want to be associated with stories and ideas that are unique.“It has been deliberate (as) we want to push boundaries; we want to push the envelope as far as content is concerned... I was always driven by content. I was not fooled by pop culture. I was not fooled by songs. I was not fooled by just beauty when I saw films. So that is something that I will reflect in my choices.
“As a producer I have always backed content which has been unique and which, you can also say, has been dark. But I don't really categorise them into anything. For me, stories are stories. They are ideas and they just have to be said in the most truthful way possible and I think that's what we've always tried to do.”
Emergence of streaming platforms has been a real boon for creative people, Anushka said. "Paatal Lok" is Bollywood actor's first production in the digital medium. “As a creative individual, you understand that the process of creativity should be a free-flowing. So what the OTT platforms do is that they allow you to express yourself in a way that is true to the story that you are trying to say and you can remain true to it,” she said.