Amazon Prime Video is all set to present its newest Indian Original web series Panchayat, which will be its second collaboration with The Viral Fever (TVF) after the well-received Hostel Daze. The streaming platform dropped the trailer of the upcoming show this morning, which, in its almost 2 and a half minute run, conveys much about what the story is about.
It is obvious from the trailer that Panchayat promises a story that is amply relatable in today's times. TVF stalwart Jeetendra Kumar plays Abhishek, an engineering graduate without a job. He settles for a mediocre job at a Panchayat office in a small village of Uttar Pradesh, at the instance of his friend, a role essayed by the incomparable Biswapati Sarkar.
Once in the village, realization dawns upon Abhishek that the job is way out of his league. He is forced to engage in laughably inconsequential tasks at the behest of the village elders. Neena Gupta and Raghubir Yadav play a rural couple that engages with Abhishek.
The rural backdrop remains largely unexplored in most TVF series, routinely set as they are in urban backgrounds. The scenes in Panchayat remind one of Biswarath Kalyan's Lakhon Mein Ek Season 2, which was similarly set in a rural milieu. Jeetendra Kumar invokes sympathy as much as humour with his poor little boy stuck in a pitiable situation character. His expressions, body language and delivery of dialogue is simply perfect, conveying the pathos of the situation with skill.
The series, apparent from the trailer, slams home the pertinent point that a graduation degree will only get you this far in the job market. A postgraduate degree is a must in modern day India to get the golden goose of a big fat cheque-paying job.
The rural scenes in the trailer are imbued with the right touch of a lazy, laid-back ambience. The UP dialect and accent is bang on; but then, it is the easiest accent to pull off, having been a part of comedy content since the seventies, when a certain Mr Bachchan brought it into the limelight.
The latter half of the trailer is dedicated to Kumar's not-so-fructifying attempts at cramming in CAT prep to his haphazardly hectic days and electricity-deficient nights. Although shot with a decidedly humorous touch, the scenes bare a startling hint of reality in them - it is the reality of countless CAT and MBA aspirants in the country who try to juggle long work hours and non-existent facilities with their aspirations and studies.
In that sense, Panchayat promises to be the next milestone in a long line of relevant and pertinent topics touched upon by TVF shows.
Panchayat arrives on Amazon Prime Video on 3rd April.