156 Min. | Action – Crime – Thriller | December 2011
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Staring: Sarah-Jane Dias, Anjali Lavania, Jackie Shroff
Panjaa Review: For a film set in the backdrop of a mad, macabre mafia world, Panjaa’s format is not inventively refreshing, but the way Vishnu Vardhan treats the proceedings makes this film one of the worthiest movies in the 15- year career of Pawan Kalyan. The film stands out for its technical perfection and also for the mature and brilliantly nuanced performance of its lead star. The film boasts of many interesting moments that keep you on the edge of the seat and also those heart-tugging scenes, which help you understand the mind of Jai (PK), the character around whom the story revolves. Bhagawan is an unchallenged don who rules the roost in Kolkata. Kulkarni, has built his own empire after breaking away from Bhagawan some years ago. The film, from the word go, introduces the audience to the rivalry between these two ruthless gangsters. Jai is Bhagawan’s trusted lieutenant, who promises loyalty to him till his last breath. His boss may self-delude himself that he is the most powerful, but there comes a time when Jai reminds him that it is he who is his strength.
Munna (Sesh Adivi), Bhagawan’s son, is back from Australia. Oozing menace and sadism at every turn, he lusts Jahnavi (Anjala Lavania) and develops rivalry with Jai. Sensing Jai’s aggression towards his son, Bhagawan demands that he be loyal to Munna the way he has always been towards him. As destiny would have it, Munna, who mercilessly stabs Jahnavi to death (suspecting that she has an affair with Jai), is killed at the hands of Jai. This is the film’s game-chaining moment. What follows is how Jai decides to leave the murderous world behind him and lead a fresh life with his sweet-heart, Sandhya (Sarah Jane Dias), in a faraway place in Andhra; how Bhagawan tries to trace him, and how the film ends on a rather violent note – a climax which may not take you by surprise, but which will make you enjoy the poetic justice.
Panjaa is essentially an action-significant film with its share of well- written emotional moments and well-executed fight sequences. Romance and comedy are there, but they are not integral to the story. Pawan delivers one of the best performances in years. His looks are all right and emotes well with eyes in his characteristic style. As Jai, he is minimalist. The beard look will be remembered for long. Many years after Khushi, his fights are bohemian. He brings a certain grace to the character he plays. Sesh Adivi is electrifying as the lusty lecher. He has a long career ahead for sure. Jackie Shroff is at his usual best. Atul Kulkarni, Tanikella Bharani and Sampath fit the bill. Between Sarah and Anjali, it is the latter, who plays a club dancer, who is better. Sarah is a tall diva, but she looks too lean and her acting is not refined. All in all, Panjaa is a roller-coaster ride of sorts. With its share of emotional crests and troughs and superb action, the film stands out in its own right.