Panchayat Web Show Review: A fairly engaging drama that uses humour to highlight the grim realities of India
TVF's Panchayat re-establishes the issues that have been highlighted by the medium of movies before, and yet fairly succeeds in making you want to know what would happen next.
On: Amazon Prime Video
Director: Deepak Kumar Mishra
Cast: Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Chandan Roy
The greatest thing about the team of TVF has been how they always successfully suck you into the fictional yet real world they create for their viewers. The actors they choose for their characters never feel like actors, there's absolutely no trace of farce or facade, you would either want to befriend them or at least meet them once to understand them better. Panchayat, their latest series on Amazon Prime Video, is pretty much similar to these feelings.
Jitendra Kumar plays Abhishek Tripathi, who lands a job in the Phulera district of Uttar Pradesh as the secretary of the Gram Panchayat. He and his friend, Biswapati Sarkar, have opposite reactions to the news. Once he lands there, he meets a palette of interesting and idiosyncratic characters that prepare us for the misadventures he's going to experience in his work. Writer Chandan Kumar and director Deepak Kumar Mishra rightly capture the milieu of the state and also the lingo of the characters.
The performances never feel like performances, it seems the characters have resided at the shooting spot for ages. Raghubir Yadav and Chandan Roy are the stars of the show and get some of the best lines to chew on. Neena Gupta is clearly enjoying her innings 2.0 and getting all the meaty and marvellous parts that make her irresistible and immensely likeable. She plays a cantankerous character in this show, but her chemistry with Yadav is worth watching.
Watch the trailer right here:
As it has become a staple in shows, this one too ends on a suspenseful cliffhanger, and given how Jitendra Kumar successfully makes us root for his pain, pathos, and pleasures, it would be interesting to see how his story continues in the second season. But Panchayat isn't just about his journey, it flirts with multiple ideas and notions that drive rural India even today. It uses the language of humour to highlight vital issues the country continues to grapple with. In many ways, this is a satire we need to see, if not necessarily admire or adore.
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