SPOILER ALERT | Panchayat: What can one learn after watching this drama set in rural India?

Updated: Apr 06, 2020, 10:34 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Panchayat isn't just about a man and his tryst with the heartland India but also about a palette of some intriguing characters he's surrounded by. There are a lot of things to be learned from this TVF presentation!

Picture Courtesy: YouTube
Picture Courtesy: YouTube

Panchayat isn't just about a man and his tryst with the heartland India but also about a palette of some intriguing characters he's surrounded by. There are a lot of things to be learned from this TVF presentation! In case you are yet to discover this sharp satire on the brutal realities of rural India, we've two words for you- Spoilers Ahead!

Here are some takeaways from the series:

1. Not Everyone Wants A Life Like Swades

Kumar plays Abhishek Tripathi, a man who has landed a soulless job in the Phulera district of Uttar Pradesh as the secretary of the village's Gram Panchayat. He scoffs at the idea and is clearly not willing to land there. His friend throws an analogy of Swades and tells him he has the opportunity to be akin to Mohan Bhargava, but the scoffing continues. Maybe not everyone is turned on by the rustic charm of India, not everyone wants a life like Swades, and not everyone wants to be like Shah Rukh Khan!

2. The Horror Of The Heartland

When a majority of the Bollywood films have depicted the fragrance of the heartland, mostly spearheaded by Ayushmann Khurrana, writer Chandan Kumar and director Deepak Kumar Mishra (Permanent Roommates and Humorously Yours) focus more on the horror it offers, as we see this world through the eyes of our hero. His solemness about the ordinariness of his job continues when he reaches for work. Right from the time he takes charge of his duty, we sense panic and pandemonium for him. And guiltily, become interested in knowing how he'll adjust into this unknown and unwanted territory.

3. Raghubir Yadav Is The True Hero Of The Heartland

Raghubir Yadav has been occupying this space years before Ayushmann Khurrana became a nearly permanent resident. Yadav, the man who starred in films like Salaam Bombay, Lagaan, Peepli Live, Newton, and Sui Dhaaga, has now mastered the language of this milieu like few others have in Bollywood. His casting as the Chief of the Panchayat Brij Bhushan Dubey comes as no surprise. His character at first is submissive, but there are certain moments of unexpected explosions, and the deadpan demeanour perfectly suits his real-life persona.

4. Battling Electricity Problems, Politics and Superstitions

Tripathi, very early in his work, becomes a victim of electricity problems, village politics, and superstitions, and both the writer and the director cleverly infuse the notions together to keep the drama moving. The show picks up prevalent points and slaps us with the grim realities of rural India. Overnight development of villages seems like a distant dream and only possible in Shankar's films, for a lot of other filmmakers, rural India still deals with backwardness and balderdash.

5. The Fury Of Monotony

We have seen a lot of heroes that get frustrated and furious over their mundane and monotonous schedules. The first name that comes to mind is Ved Sahni from Tamasha. Abhishek's life is no different, albeit filled with a string of misadventures and idiosyncratic characters. He has aspirations of clearing CAT and quitting this job as a secretary. He says he has no friend or family in this village, but what follows next is a charming scene where he sits with Dubey, Prahlad, and Vikas (played fantastically by Faisal Malik and Chandan Roy) for a drink in the night. Vikas even asks him to join their Whatsapp group where they all drop a message when they want to grab a drink- High! It's smart and clever writing.

6. The Tragic Comedy

Filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap and Tigmanshu Dhulia have mastered the art of cleverly amalgamating tragedy and comedy and uniting the two drastically different genres. We get to see in Panchayat what we saw in Paan Singh Tomar and Gangs Of Wasseypur, the humour arising out of the characters' horrors. A scene that serves itself as an exasperation for Tripathi and entertainment for the viewers, he's stuck with an innocuous and ingenious bridegroom and his bunch of friends. It's sharply filmed and performed and ends on a hilarious and heartbreaking note. 

7. Take-Two

For anyone adamant to prepare for the CAT examination in merely five months can either be immensely studious or just plain stupid. Tripathi's decision borders on the latter and his friend thinks so as well. The exam is just an opportunity for him to escape from the boredom of his new job, and for once we sense he would succeed, but he doesn't. And the makers nicely stuff sense into his head. Neena Gupta, delivering another gripping performance, is asked to recite the National Anthem in one scene, she's loaded with confidence despite fumbling and asks for one more chance. She says she'll recite properly on the next Republic Day. This makes our hero realise he needs to give another shot.

Everything in Panchayat happens for a reason, even the gags and the plot twists. The last episode ends on an amusing and exciting cliffhanger that paves way for another season. Tripathi struggles to find a reason to fall in love with the village, and he discovers one. But what it ends up as a distraction?

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