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Marvel's Black Widow Review - More of the Same

If today's cinema world was a closet and you pull something out of it, you'd find yourself a superhero costume 70 percent of the times. Marvel's Black Widow is just another pretty looking and flashy costume, with little to no design modifications. Nonetheless, its an entertaining film and here's our verdict.  Film  – Marvel's Black Widow (2021) Duration  – 2h 14 m Director  – Cate Shortland Main Cast - Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour Rating  – 3 / 5 (It's a spoiler-free review) Black Widow acts as a fitting tribute to MCU's fan-favorite character but at the same time it is just more of the same stuff we see in a superhero flick. For one thing this film is about 5 years too late and for another, it doesn't really do anything for Black Widow's character or MCU as a whole. In my opinion it was just a cheap trick to encash the fans' emotions after losing her in Avengers: Endgame. Well, its not a bad film

Must Watch Alert! Primevideo's Panchayat is Full of Simplicity and Life!

Over the years TVF and Jeetu have become household names in India, thanks to their grounded and quality content. So if TVF brings to you a web series with Jeetu in it, I don't see a reason not to watch it!

Series - Panchayat Season 1

Episodes - 8

Director - Deepak Kumar Mishra

Starring - Jitendra Kumar, Raghubir Yadav, Neena Gupta, Chandan Roy and Faisal Malik

Rating: 4/5

Best Episodes - 5th "Computer Nahi Monitor" and 8th "Jab Jaago Tab Savera"

Primevideo's Panchayat is a simplistic and highly relatable tale of a young man struggling between his ambitions and his destiny, which qualifies as the main narrative. Though all of the episodes fit within the larger narrative, every single one of them has the ability to stand alone if you know the characters. Each episode has its own unique plot as well, apart from the main story-line and closes that unique plot pretty satisfyingly by its end without any cliffhangers. But a few problems introduced in the main narrative still remain and would probably be solved by the next season.

Though Panchayat may seem very simple and straightforward but over the course of 8 episodes, it highlights many rural issues starting from lesser ones like powercuts, petty thievery and superstitions to more pressing issues like patriarchy, root level politics, poverty and birth control. What's great though is the very subtle approach that the makers took towards them. It all perfectly fits into the narrative and never once feels forced and yet proves though provoking for the viewers. The satirical and realistic approach makes Panchayat a very light hearted, feel good and relatable show.

But the show would have been no good without the brilliant cast ensemble, which is basically the USP of the show. Jeetu, like always, shines as a frustrated young Panchayat secretary - Abhishek Kumar, who doesn't at all like what he's doing and wants to leave Phullera Gaon as soon as possible by cracking CAT. Raghubir Yadav's Pradhan's companion and Neena Gupta's Pradhan Ji or vice versa is another interesting take which forces us to think whether its a case of patriarchy or unwillingness. But what didn't take much thinking, was the fact that both of them delivered tremendous performances.

(Image: © Primevideo/TVF)

Chandan Roy (Vikas) and Faisal Malik (Prahlad) were also excellent choices for the supporting cast and handled their roles and accents pretty well. Then there were certain brilliant cameos by Biswapati Sarkar and Vishwanath Chaterjee (Daroga Ji). Apart from the cast, it also received great direction with sensitive and outright funny moments as and when required. But yeah, the writing wasn't as good as the TVF heavy hitters like Pitchers or Kota Factory.

Another catchy thing about Panchayat was its music. With a sweet and original opening theme, a subtle score and a brilliant song "Paasa Fenk", Panchayat is all set to soothe your ears and mind. The main title design is also visually appealing as it creates and establishes that authentic Indian village feels and I, for one, never once skipped the intro throughout the 8 episodes. So, Panchayat does a very good work transporting the viewers to its rural setting, thanks to its praise worthy cinematography as well as its sound design. 

As I mentioned above, Panchayat Season 1 introduced us with quite a handful of problems but some of them still remain unsolved. Also, certain things needed better explanation than we got but there was no particular flaw that can't be fixed in later seasons. Every episode tried to teach us some life lessons like adjustment, self reliance, hard work, standing up for oneself, courage to take tough decisions and most of all trying our best!

Primevideo's Panchayat may not be flawless or extraordinary but it is quite beautiful in what it is and definitely deserves your attention. If Jeetu and TVF as well as this review aren't enough to pull you in, then this is probably not the type of content you are looking for but according to me, Panchayat should be on everyone's lockdown viewing list. Give it a try, you'll not be disappointed!


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