Panchayat Series Review


We have always had one debate in the entertainment industry – Are actors born or made? I have never been able to find an answer to that question but after watching Panchayat, I made a modest attempt to answer it.

Panchayat is an Indian comedy-drama series (made by TVF) based in Uttar Pradesh (UP) following the life of Abhishek Tripathi (Jitendra Kumar), a graduate student who applies for multiple job openings through his college. His life takes a U-turn when the only job offer he gets is that of the secretary of a Panchayat office in UP. With a heavy heart and nowhere to go, Abhishek bids his city life good-bye and travels to Phulera to take up his new job, not knowing that this job will make him question every decision of his life.

After playing many successful roles in several web-series, Kumar proves yet again why he is called the superstar in the Indian web series world. Kumar plays the role of a 20-something graduate boy with great panache whose patience is tested every single day of his life. However, Kumar’s brilliance is just one part of the show that makes it a success. Another important aspect of the show is the chemistry between Pradhan and Pradhan-Pati played by the two veterans of the industry – Neena Gupta and Raghubir Yadav. Neena Gupta is the Pradhan (Chief) of the village on paper but with no real interest and little experience in politics, while her husband i.e. Pradhan Pati (Raghubir Yadav) makes all the important decisions – a common patriarchal practice in India. Raghubir Yadav portrays the character of the acting-chief in its true rural essence. From his walks to his dialect, there isn’t a single aspect of his acting that looks out of character.

If there is any actor who could bring the same finesse to the screen as Raghubir Yadav, it is Neena Gupta. Her body language and her character portrayal is near-perfect. Watching these two actors makes me question why we haven’t seen more of them on screen in the past few years. Lastly, I think even the two supporting characters Vikas (Chandan Roy) and Prahlad Pandey (Faisal Malik) have done a remarkable job.

Panchayat is a pure team effort in which you see the work of immaculate technicians i.e. fresh production design, colorful cinematography, panoramic drone shot, and pleasant music accompanied by capable actors. A special shout-out to the casting department for picking actors who have delivered collective brilliance.

When the show ended, it got me thinking – Jitendra Kumar is an IIT graduate with no formal training in acting whereas Neena Gupta and Raghubir Yadav received their training from the National School of Drama (NSD). Yet all of them have done a fantastic job in their roles. So, are actors born or made?

I guess I would never be able to answer this question. But honestly, does it matter as long as we get to see their brilliance on screen?! 🙂 ‘Panchayat’ is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Review by
Puneet Ruparel