Four friends (Luke, Murgi, Joy and Pondy) wasted by youth and self destruction play together in a band along with a fifth female member (Shiuli). Luke the lead singer and self-imposed ...
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Four friends (Luke, Murgi, Joy and Pondy) wasted by youth and self destruction play together in a band along with a fifth female member (Shiuli). Luke the lead singer and self-imposed leader of the pack ensures his dominance in the group by providing accommodation, drugs and food for his wasted and broke friends. Pondy is fascinated by Shiuli who sleeps with rich guys for money. The movie revolves around a kidnapping plot gone wrong, in which the 4 male band members plan to kidnap another friend Nikhil. Nikhil is part of the plot and agrees to get himself kidnapped to extract money out of his rich but miser father. In the process excess of drugs and uncontrolled anger leads to the murder of Nikhil by Luke. Luke blackmails all others and ensures that nobody leaves or confides into the cops. Meanwhile Shiuli also gets entangled into the plot. The money hungry youngsters then go on to kill the father of Nikhil and a cop (Sharat Saxena) investigating the murder. The plot thickens with a ... Written by
In September 1993, while Kashyap stayed at the St. Xavier's Boys Hostel, he used to hang out with Adam Avil, Eddie Avil, Luke Kenny and Ulysses Veyra the members of a band-Greek (later Pralay). He took copious notes on how they lead their lives-forty pages of a small notebook, and began writing the script-"in bits and pieces"-for a film that he called Mirage but which would later become Paanch. See more »
There are hardly any films that stand the test of a year these days, let alone 8 years. Paanch was shot in 2000, but has yet to see a mainstream release in India due to strange business problems (which continue complicating the world rather than simplifying it). There may be cinematic moments in Paanch that have been replicated in later (and far lesser) films, but the whole here is far greater than the sum of its parts. And that whole is driven by a tone of seething intensity that is too individual, too real, to not be the author's personal voice. Films with personal voices are rare in these times, and that is what makes the film special. Whether Paanch is seen now, or 10 years later, it is this tone that will always give it a distinctive voice.
Despite not having a remarkable plot or even a thought-provoking narrative thrust, and despite a few (no doubt, forced) nods to commercial viability, the film's visceral energy still gives it a very compelling quality. The performances are almost uniformly excellent, and the "realness" of atmosphere can make you smell and taste the time and place qualities Hindi cinema badly needs to incorporate in its thought process.
This is not a film about music or musicians, but about dark mindsets in people who happen to be musicians. The music (with very distinctive Indian rock songs Vishal Bharadwaj and Abbas Tyrewala at their best) is just a backdrop but it has a force that makes you forget that it is just a small plot point in the overall scheme of things.
The director of Paanch Anurag Kashyap, has moved on with a highly accomplished film (Black Friday) and a very personal one (No Smoking), but Paanch will always be special for the new voice that emerged in 2000. Whenever the film is seen.
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