It’s only been about two months since Mishra TVF Gullak He took us into the heart of a small town in India and their bitter struggles and victories. Relatively and truly, the show managed to walk a tightrope between what is personal and global for its fourth consecutive season. Now, TVF’s other great presentation, Panchayat Season 2, streamed on Amazon Prime Video, offers puppets of vivid moments and a heartwarming experience that is bound to stay with the audience long after they’ve been watched.
Same village, same actors, same theme music, but nothing bitter – that’s the beauty panchayat 2. You are emotionally invested in the lives of the villagers, Fullera, as you were in the first season. And there is enough laughter on the way.
The first season of Panchayat, consisting of eight episodes, focused on Abhishek Tripathi (Jetendra Kumar) a recent college graduate. His government job takes him to a small village in the state of Uttar Pradesh Fulira panchayat sachaev. A city boy struggles to settle in a village with a drastic change of pace, blackouts, and a different social and economic reality. He focuses his attention on passing the CAT test so that he can escape from Bolera. On his journey, he is joined by Pradhanji (Ragobir Yadav), and his wife Manju Devi (Nina Gupta), who is the real Pradhan, gram sevak Vikas (Chandan Roy) and up-pradhan Prahlad (Faisal Malik). All together they make his life easier, and by the eighth episode, Abhishek has finally settled in Vulira.
A cut for the second season, where, in the first scenes, Abhishek grins while getting work done from workers in Polera, clearly hinting at his adaptation to village life. With a wonderful grip on the story, writer Chandan Kumar and director Deepak Kumar Mishra’s gentle handling of the lives of the people of Bolera greatly drives the show’s vivid sense.
In one instance, when his guests insisted that Pradhan Ji (Yadav) should also eat dessert at his daughter Rinke’s birthday party, he replied, Abhi toh bohot bachaa hai, hum toh subah bhi ye hi khayenge (Much left, and I’ll eat it in the morning too).’ This reminded me of the times I ate leftovers from a party at home until it was over or old. Another hilarious and hilarious moment is when a character sits on his motorcycle only to immediately jump because the scorching sun has turned it on. How can you not relate to him living in Delhi’s 49 degree heat?
The creators of Panchayat 2 envisioned the Indian hinterland like anything we’re used to seeing on screen. Not Mirzapur with his weapons and bands, neither our hero nor our heroine dances. Sarsu Kekhet. Instead, it’s a village that deals with related issues like open defecation, alcoholism, and the installation of security cameras, but with a sense of humor.
The person leading these issues is Abhishek, who has no plans to bring about major changes in the village, but is only bound by duty and does not want Kabir to scold him. He only considers open defecation when alerted about a “snap” inspection. This typical managerial approach of a government employee is not new to Indians. Jitendra Kumar as Abhishek is awesome. It depicts the frustration of an ambitious young man stuck in the wrong place and the fears of a kind-hearted human being, in equal amounts. Kudos to the creators for not giving us “Adrashwadi“Government official, because we’re not used to having one.
Besides Jitendra, the entire cast, including actors Chandan Roy, Faisal Malik, Sunita Rajwar, Durgesh Kumar, and Shrikant Verma, took a well-written script, crisp, simple yet charming, a notch higher with their towering performances.
Among them all, the real scene stealer is Manju Devi, played by Nina Gupta. She, despite being the villager, Pradhan is happy to make her to-do list as a housewife. Her husband Brij Bhushan Dubey (Yadav, another actor par excellence) is Pradhan’s factor here. But this does not mean that she is incapable of taking up her official duties, or that she is happy to follow all of her husband’s orders.
It’s amazing how she does what feels right, whether it’s finding a groom for her daughter or negotiating a mud price like Pradhan Village. At one point, she tells Brij Bhushan’s friend, who is back home, to pick up the plate he ate and keep it away. She is not even afraid of the ruthless MLA who insults her husband and others close to her and shows him his stature in her unique style. It’s good to see Gupta getting more screen time this season, as she brings so much subtlety and nuance to her performance.
The only hiccup comes when the narrative falters of a tragedy struck by Prahlad in the final episode. But it can be overlooked in front of the nourishing experiences the show gives us to cherish. The strength of Panchayat 2 is that it does not take itself too seriously and slips into situational comedy effortlessly.
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