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Panchathantram Review: A Mixed Tale

Panchathantram Review: A Mixed Tale

Movie: Panchathantram
Rating: 2.5/5
Ticket Factory, S Originals
Cast: Brahmanandam, Swathi Reddy, Samuthirakhani, Rahul Vijay, Shivathmika Rajashekar, Divya Sripada and others
Music: Shravan Bharadwaj and Prashanth R Vihari
Director of Photography: Raj K Nalli
Editor: Garry BH
Producers: Akhilesh Vardhan and Srujan Yarabolu
Written and Directed by: Harsha Pulipaka
Release Date: Dec 09, 2022

It is not the stars but the content that is selling more at the box office. To cash in on this trend, a small film titled “Panchathantram” with an ensemble cast like Brahmanandam and Swathi Reddy got released in theaters today.

Let’s find out its merits and demerits.

Narrated by Veda Vyas (Brahmanandam), the film features five short stories that share the theme of the five senses.

In the first tale about sight, an exhausted IT professional (Naresh Agasthya) desperately wants to visit a beach.

The second story, which is about the sense of taste, recounts how two young people (Rahul Vijay and Shivathmika Rajasekhar) discover that they are the match made for them.

In the third tale, a retired man (Samuthirakani) experiences a peculiar change in his sense of smell while at home. On the other hand, his daughter is in her final stages of pregnancy.

In the fourth story, Vikas and Divya Sripada, a poor newlywed couple, face a potentially fatal situation. "Touch" is the topic at hand.

The final story (sound) is about Chitra (Swathi Reddy). The paralysed writer is taken aback when she finally meets one of her most devoted fans.

Artistes’ Performances:
Veteran comedian Brahmanandam serves as the film's narrator. He seems credible in the lead role. Among her dual roles, Swathi Reddy shines as a paraplegic.

Samuthirakani carries himself well in his role. The right facial expressions give Shivathmika Rajasekhar all the attention she deserves.

Rahul Vijay, Naresh Agasthya, and Vikas are just okay. Divya Sripada shines. Uttej is fantastic in this short role.

Technical Excellence:
The songs are on the ears. Without a lot of money to work with, cinematographer Raj K Nalli pulls off some impressive shots. Dialogue writing is good. But there is inconsistency in the editing. Many episodes required severe editing.

Last two stories
Couple of good performances

Slow narrative
Lack of sharp editing
The initial portions

"Panchathantram," like most anthologies, weaves together various stories around a central theme. This film is about the five senses. Brahmanandam, in his first non-comic role in a long time, narrates the film, and each story unfolds as he does. 

In general, anthology films attempt to keep the audience's attention by placing the best story at the beginning. However, "Panchathantram" takes the opposite approach. The initial stories are uninteresting. The first two stories, in particular, that discuss "sight" and "taste," are superficial. 

The tale of the man who sees a beach for the first time is not only unbelievable, but also completely dull. Even though Shivathmika looks stunning in the second episode, the story fails to make an impression.

Only with the episode of smell does the film begin to make sense.

The film's premise is intriguing, but the first act has been superficial. Samuthirakani's episode may seem intriguing, but the fourth and fifth tales are the ones that really need to be discussed. Emotional depth and solid acting are both highlights of the fourth story. Swathi Reddy's series finale is moving and motivational, with a strong message.

Anthologies such as "Panchathantram" are not new to the Telugu film industry, but the new director has attempted to tell them in an honest and sincere manner. While the pace is slow and it takes a while to get into the groove, the later part of the film is worth seeing. 

Overall, "Panchathantram" is a serviceable effort, but it would have been a better viewing experience on OTT than in theatres. Such stories are deemed for OTT.

Bottom line: Not For Theatres


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