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Panchayat Still Has The Punch To Pull It Off




Rating: ****

Panchayat in its third season,is high on credibility and intelligent insightful writing.  What we get are teasing, heartwarming scenes from a rural life that is rapidly vanishing from the cinematic radar. Hold on to it. The stillness of a smalltown is still unnerving in Amazon Prime Video’s Panchayat,a splendidly executed  series about  rural India where…well, nothing happens. Life goes on  without adventure or change, let alone transformation

After a point, the cruel insubstantiality of the lives being described in the series, begins to get to you. There is no hope of a better tomorrow for villages such as Phulera. What keeps the episodes from sagging under the weight of its own despair is unflagging positivity of the characters. These are not people who are aware of the futility of their existence. In fact they are proud of it.

 The very reason why the characters  who populate the  village of Phulera (Uttar Pradesh) in Panchayat seem so frozen in time, makes them the cause for much curious probe  and idle gossip  in  the series.

Director Deepak Kumar Mishra, still firmly in  command,   and his writer Chandan  Kumar plunge  into thes einert lives stirring up  what can  be called a  storm of  inconsequentiality.

 The series is defined by the very essence of nullity  that permeates these lives. There are  long stretches  of barren building-less  land in  the third season of Panchayat. Not much has changed  in the topography and emotional  map of the Phulera  dwellers since we last met them.

No one except the village Pradhan’s daughter Rinku(Sanvikaa)  talks  about  leaving the village ,and she too does so only in passing.The Pradhan and  her husband played with smug worldweariness  by Neena Gupta and Raghuvir Yadav, continue to be incurable  status quoists. In this season where more  of nothing happens in these placid lives, the most exciting debate in their household is  on whether  to serve lauki or kat-hal for the visiting administrative office.Daughter Rinki plods to a neighbour’s house to  borrow a  kat-hal: clearly the  highlight of her day.

The  camera lurches through the Pradhan and her  rubberstamp Husband’s  large(by the village standards) half-constructed  pukka home(this is a village built on mud and hope rather than cement and mortar) like an elephant determined  not to trample over the  grass . awkwardness  during the  courtship is ably expressed by the actor.

There is  a deliberate selfconsciousness , a calculated awkwardness , if you will,  about these  characters .The series’ protagonist Abhishek Tripathi(Jitendra Kumar) has a romantic interest in Rinki.His

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