There are two parts of India – Urban India which has kind of adapted to the western culture and Rural India which still follows the tradition, culture and authentic. If you love to watch a village story, Panchayat is the right dose of medicine for you.
Panchayat tells the story of an engineer graduate who joins a small village, Phulera, in the Bilai district of Uttar Pradesh as a secretary of a panchayat office and in the process re-discovers the grass root issues in the village like frequent power cuts, unorganized office, dowry, family planning etc. What follows next is the measure taken up by him to improve the quality of life in the village.
Created by TVF (Permanent Roommates, TVF Pitchers, Kota Factory) and directed by Deepak Kumar Mishra, Panchayat absorbs you right from the very first episode when Abhishek Tripathi (Jitendra Kumar) joins the offices and begins to observe the life, habits and behavior of the village folks. Panchayat has shades of Shah Rukh Khan starrer Swades where a NRI comes back to India in search of his nanny, identifies the problem and finds the solution. The only difference is that Panchayat focuses on the granular level at the various aspect of a village life.
The direction is impressive handling many sequences with perfection. The scene where Abhishek Tripathi finds out the real mystery behind the haunted tree is hilarious, the wedding scene where the groom shows attitude at the Panchayat office, the fight between Abhishek Tripathi and his team with the local boys at the Fakauli market will bring down the house, the chemistry between Neena Gupta and Raghuvir Yadav is outstanding. Technically, the cinematography capturing the beautiful locales of an Indian village while Art Direction is simple yet powerful. Dialogues are punching while background score goes well with all the 8 episodes.
While Panchayat will keep you on your toes, there are few insignificant scenes which I felt hampers the momentum of the web-series, especially towards the end. The web-series also shows that Abhishek Tripathi still never liked the village but had to stay back because of the reason which could have been better. Nevertheless, writing by Chandan Kumar is brilliant which should be lauded while the editing is tight.
Performances of Panchayat is the highlight of the web-series. Jithendra Kumar is complete natural as frustrated guy who is transferred from an urban city life to a remote village. However, it is Raghuvir Yadav and Neena Gupta who are just splendid to watch. Chandan Roy as Vikas and Faisal Malik as Prahlad Pandey added more weight to the film.
Panchayat, overall , has the right intention with a good social message which should be the top choice for this weekend. Excellent – 4/5