Release Date : 17 Nov, 2017
Banner : Funtime Entertainment
Producer : Anil Somani, Pramod Goyal, Anup Todi
Director : Prem Prakash Modi
Cast : Brijendra Kala, Yashpal Sharma, Rajesh Sharma, Ravi Jhankal, Amitosh Nagpal, Lalit Parimoo, Arup Zaigirdar, Malini Sengupta, Nayna Bandhopadhyay, Uma Basu, Punyadarshan Gupta, Iqbal Sultan, Pranay Narayan, Anuradha Mukherjee
‘Panchlait’ is a Hindi feature film based on Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’s much loved story Panchlight. It is a slice of life drama surrounding ‘Panchlait’ (colloquial of Panchlight – Petromax lamp) as the title suggests. The lamp is a precious commodity in villages and remote parts of our country not just as an item of utility but a thing of pride. It is used mostly in village community hubs and panchayats.
Set in the fifties, a small village of North India, ‘‘Panchlait’’ traces the journey of an otherwise happy-go-lucky sub cast of people known as Mahato Tola who gather together in pursuit of the coveted ‘‘Panchlait’’ as theirs is the only community in the entire village which does not have one. In a beautiful slice of light depiction, the film captures this community’s trials and tribulation, dilemma, exaltation and fear surrounding the acquisition of ‘Panchlait’. Alongside the heartwarming plot a beautiful and ethereal subplot of romance is interspersed through the story of the protagonist, Godhan, who woos his lady love Munri in a rather bold fashion for his time and place. It leads to his expulsion from the village yet he is the only person who knows how to operate the ‘Panchlait’.
Capturing the beautiful bygone era, the film explores subtle nuances, village traditions, customs, superstitions and basic mindset either through scenes, dialogues or songs. It is a tribute to Renu and Raj Kapoor as Godhan is seen emulating the screen icon in a number of scenes. The stellar ensemble cast and lost music from days of yore breathe life into the narrative.
Will Godhan be resuscitated in the village? Will he finally win Munri’s love? And most importantly will the ‘‘Panchlait’’ save the day for ‘Mahato Tola’ are some of the questions that the film heads out to answer in its climax.