It was easy to see this coming. Evidently made to cash in on the commercial proceeds of Anushka's make-up and mood in Arundhati
, Panchakshari is a lot like those fake brands you find in low-rung kirana outlets - the ones that are dressed like Vicco and Ponds but are really Viggo and Pomes. Actually, make that Pomes and Viggo, since Panchakshari isn't even modeled
on the lines of Arundhati.
Panchakshari is essentially a devotional that harks back to the days of Ramyakrishna, Raasi and Sita. One might be tempted to say there's no market for such films any more, but that is an escapist theory to sideline the issue of why a bad product doesn't have a market in the first place. Panchakshari is nowhere in the league of any of the really powerful woman-centric movies that Telugu filmdom has made, or any of the really powerful religious movies that held audiences awe-struck. Or any of the real movies, in fact.
And when it introduces the heroine by making a woman called Honey (!) Patel (Anushka) wear what seems like a discarded Cat Woman costume, and gyrate to an item song in an Ammavari temple in Warangal, it's the first sign that this flick is headed down south. Even though it chooses to start right at the bottom.
The deal is that Panchakshari (Anushka) was born in the above-mentioned temple, and once every month, she's Ammavaru
reincarnated. As a result, her entire village worships her. Presumably to intrigue the audience, the film simultaneously introduces to us Honey (Anushka), an ambitious fashion designer in Hyderabad.
As an aside, a humourous-cum-senti family track consists of the domestic goings-on in Honey's household, led by her father (Nasseer). Her father conducts a confessional session every Sunday at the family breakfast table, where everyone at home - adult sons included - must admit to any wrong-doings done during the week, following which punishments are doled out ("You lied and played cards? No office for you for two weeks!").
Meanwhile, a few twists in the script and a chase or two later, Honey must go to Panchakshari's village to help finish a story. There's a villain (Pradeep Rawat), a few people getting burnt alive, a tantrik, seedy special effects, and many guffaw-worthy moments.
The story, like we said has little direction. Clearly, the makers wanted to make a devotional while not being foolish enough to not capitalize on Anushka's glamour. So in the first half of the flick you have absolutely random sequences of her performing yoga, playing basketball, sashaying down Kalanikethan and mouthing arbitrary lines.
The execution of the revenge story reeks of a '90s style narration, with the helpless villagers, the cartoonish villains and the corny dialogue not helping one bit. In the end, Anushka does an uninspired Durga maata - tongue sticking out et al - to pierce a trishul through Pradeep Rawat. Who is a nara-roopa-rakshasa who kicks a pregnant woman in order to show his disregard for her devotion for the village deity.
Anushka looks bored throughout, and the rest are of no consequence. The Magadheera
spoof with Brahmanandam is the only fun part of this flick, despite the fact that the writing is poor.
Not a single tune in the movie is worth writing home about, and the background track is as random and devoid of thought as the rest of the proceedings. The graphics are cheesy and the cinematography in general is second-grade.
Well don't stand in queue for this one, is all we'll say.