Panchathantram directed by Harsha Pulipaka generated interest as it features Colors Swathi and Brahmanandam in key roles. The film directed by Harsha Pulipaka hit the screens on December 9, 2022. The film's OTT partner is yet to be finalized and once it is done, the streaming will be done after the theatrical run ends. Here is what Panchathantram offered to the viewers.
Panchathantram story is all about five stories based on sight, smell, touch, hear, and taste (Panchendriyalu), five sensory organs. Veda Vyas (Brahmandanam), a retired announcer from All India Radio, aspires to become a storyteller and he is discouraged by his daughter Roshini (Swathi Reddy). He participates in a contest and much to the surprise of all he marches ahead in the contest by narrating five stories.
Veda Vyas starts first of his story with that of Vihari (Naresh Agastya), a software engineer. Due to the work pressure gets vexed and starts showing off his temper as he is unable to see even the beautiful places which he aspires to. Whether he achieves his dream at least once in his life form the story pertaining to sight.
Veda Vyas' next story is that of Subhash (Rahul Vijay) who rejects many girls as he finds their answers awkward and silly and what happens when he meets a beautiful girl Lekha (Shivatmika Rajasekhar) and how his tastes and preferences change.
Veda Vyas moves ahead narrating the story of Shekar (Vikas) and Mythri (Divya Sripada) and how they react when they are faced with difficult situations and are in dire straits.
Veda Vyas continues his next narrating the story of Ramanatam (Samuthirakhani) who feels the odd smell of blood as the delivery date of his daughter approaches. Why he experiences such a smell ends with a surprise.
Veda Vyas ends the contest with the story pertaining to a small girl, whose father Sambayya (Uttej) goes on to give her a birthday surprise by meeting the famous RJ Chitra (Swathi Reddy) of a startup company co-founded by Vikram (Adarsh Balakrishna).
Panchathantram idea conceived by Harsha Pulipaka is an interesting one. He blended the anthology in a beautiful and curious manner correlating it with the sensory organs. The first story featuring Narsh Agasthya progress in a slow and steady manner and it sets the stage for the rest of the stories. The second story featuring Rahul Vijay and Shivatmika Rajasekhar prepares viewers for the stories that are about to follow slowly taking them into the story. While the first two stories are light-hearted, the third and fourth turns out to be extremely emotional.
The story involving Vikas and Divya Sripada is extremely emotional and so too is that of the story involving Samuthirakhani. Both stories make viewers get emotionally charged and completely drained. The final story of Swathi, Uttej, and Adarsh Balakrishna is a perfect ending with a good amount of emotions, a realistic feel, and an unexpected twist.
Brahmanandam is the backbone of the film. He with his towering presence connected the dots for the various stories. Naresh Agasthya as the youngster who experiences work pressure is natural in his role. Rahul Vijay and Shivatmika Rajasekhar performed well in their roles and Shivatmika looked good on the screen. Vikas and Divya Sripada emoted extremely well. Samuthirakhani did well but at times he overdid his expressions and this irritated all. Uttej,Swathi and Adarsh Balakrishna performed naturally and in a realistic way.
Raj K Nalli's cinematography is captivating. It elevated the feel and emotional elements in a beautiful and appealing manner. The editing of Garry BH could have been better as a few episodes are very slow and dragged to the core. Prashant R Vihari's music is good and the background score made an impression.
Harsha Pulipaka with Panchathantram came up with the most creative experiment and he emerged successful in connecting the emotional chords with his stories, screenplay, and dialogues. But the problem comes in the way he mixed the stories He starts on a lighter note and suddenly goes extremely emotional and many viewers may be completely put off by these sudden and swift changes in the tone and tenor of the narration. Had he continued one lighthearted episode with an emotional one and then with another interesting one before taking the emotions to another level, he would have made a bigger and better impact. The screenplay and direction turn out to be a mixed bag. Considering all these aspects, Cinejosh goes with a 2.5 rating for Panchathanthram.