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Bearded man in black suit with tinted sunglasses holding pistol
Film poster
Directed by Vishnuvardhan
Produced by
Written by Abburi Ravi (Dialogues)
Screenplay by Rahul Koda
Abburi Ravi
Story by Vishnuvardhan
Music by Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography P. S. Vinod
Edited by A. Sreekar Prasad
Distributed by Sri Venkateswara Creations
Release date
  • 9 December 2011 (2011-12-09)
Running time
156 minutes
Country India
Language Telugu
Budget 33 crore (US$5.1 million)[1]

Panjaa (Telugu: పంజా; Claw) is a 2011 Indian Telugu action romantic thriller film directed by Vishnuvardhan, starring Pawan Kalyan. The film, jointly produced by Arka Media Works and Sanghamitra Art Productions, also stars Sarah-Jane Dias, Anjali Lavania, Jackie Shroff and Adivi Sesh, while featuring music scored by Yuvan Shankar Raja and cinematography handled by P. S. Vinod.[2][3] It was later dubbed in Hindi as Jaandaar and in Tamil as Jai.[4]


Jaidev (Pawan Kalyan) is an accomplished hitman and the most trusted aide of Bhagavan (Jackie Shroff), who is the supreme don of Kolkata. Jaidev remains loyal to him as he helped in seeking revenge with the people who raped his mother and sister when he came to Kolkata in his childhood after his father's death. They share a business rivalry with Kulkarni (Atul Kulkarni), who aims to overthrow Bhagavan. Things are smooth until Bhagwan’s son Munna (Adivi Sesh) returns to India. He is a psychotic and highly impulsive youngster. He has his eyes on club dancer Jahnavi (Anjali Lavania), but she rejects him as she adores Jaidev.

Jaidev meanwhile comes across Sandhya (Sarah-Jane Dias), who is a soft-spoken environmentalist and tree lover. A mutual admiration for each other leads to a romantic involvement between the two. Munna meanwhile, continues to go crazy about Jahnavi and a tragedy ensues.

Sabhapathi (Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao) works for Bhagavan. Munna mistreats Sabhapathi, but Bhagavan doesn't care. Sabhapathi joins Kulkarni's gang to protect himself. Jaidev kidnaps Sampath's (Sampath Raj) son. Munna kills Sampath's son due to laughter over Jahnavi loving Jaidev. Munna confronts Jahnavi at Jaidev's flat. Munna brutally murders her. Jaidev kills Munna by throwing him from his flat. This scene is seen by Guravayya (Tanikella Bharani), an associate of Bhagavan who is an informer to Kulkarni. He reports this to Bhagavan to get rid of Jaidev.

Jaidev is forced to decide whether to retaliate or leave Kolkata completely. He chooses to leave out of loyalty to Bhagavan and heads to Palasa, the village of Sandhya where Sandhya's brother Ashok (Subbaraju) is a valiant and kind-hearted cop. He comes across S. I. Paparayudu (Brahmanandam), and he solves the problems of the village by cleverly using Paparayudu. Jaidev cannot hide the truth from Sandhya anymore. Jaidev tells Sandhya about his life in Kolkata. Jaidev tells Sandhya that he made it look like that Paparayudu solved the problems of village. Since Jaidev told the truth, Sandhya still loves him.

On the other hand, Bhagavan cannot rest until he seeks out Jaidev for revenge. Firstly, Bhagavan kills Chotu (Ali), Jaidev's best friend and associate. Meanwhile, Sandhya gets kidnapped and taken to Kolkata. In a fit of rage at losing Chotu and Sandhya, Jaidev returns to Kolkata and starts hunting his rivals. He goes to Kulkarni's house with heavy ammunition and kills everyone except Kulkarni, as Jaidev promised him that he would not kill him. Kulkarni dies in his attempt to kill Jaidev. Later, Jaidev kills Guruvayya, as he gets information that Guruvayya was responsible for this saga. At last, Jaidev reaches Bhagavan, who actually kidnapped Sandhya. Although Jaidev tells Bhagavan that Munna killed Jahnavi, Bhagavan still believes that Jaidev should not have murdered Munna. After an emotional sequence, Jaidev shoots Bhagavan in his chest as Bhagavan shoots Sandhya. Sandhya survives, but Bhagavan dies. Jaidev unites with Sandhya, and they both start a new and happy life.




In November 2010 sources reported that director Vishnuvardhan would direct a film featuring Pawan Kalyan in the lead role, to be produced by Neelima Nagesh and Shobu Yarlagadda.[5] Neelima in an interview stated that she was a big fan of Pawan Kalyan.[6] Vishnnuvardhan, following the release of his 2009 film Sarvam, which fared poorly at the box office, had been working on two scripts – the other one being the prequel to the 2007 version of Billa – but was unable to start either project due to unavailable dates of Pawan Kalyan and Ajith Kumar.[2][7] He had planned to shoot both projects simultaneously from March 2011 onwards,[2] but since that was not possible, he was forced to drop one of the projects, with Vishnuvardhan eventually deciding to direct this film.[7] Reports also claimed that Krish, director of critically acclaimed films Gamyam (2008) and Vedam (2010), would pen the dialogues for the film, besides revealing that it would feature two female leads.[8] It turned out that Abburi Ravi was roped in to write the dialogues, while the screenplay was provided by Rahul Koda.[9]


Former Miss India Sarah-Jane Dias was signed for one of the two female lead characters, making her Telugu film debut,[10] portraying the role of a college student pursuing horticulture.[11] Jiah Khan,[2] and Shazahn Padamsee, who starred in Orange opposite Ram Charan Tej, were considered for the other female role.[12] However, eventually Mumbai-based model Anjali Lavania, best known for her appearances in the Kingfisher calendar and several other advertisements, was finalised for the second character.[13] Director-actor Sesh Adivi was roped in for an antagonist role,[14] playing Munna, an NRI and spoilt brat,[15] while Abburi Ravi was confirmed as the dialogue writer, in spite of earlier reports that suggested otherwise. Yuvan Shankar Raja and A. Sreekar Prasad, Vishnuvardhan's norm associates, were signed to score the music and handle the editing department, respectively, while P. S. Vinod was selected as the cinematographer in place of Nirav Shah who had worked on Vishnuvardhan's previous projects.[3] Action sequences were choreographed by Shyam Kaushal, a noted stunt co-ordinator in Bollywood films, while Sunil Babu was chosen as the art director.[16] Vishnuvardhan's wife, Anu Vardhan worked as the costume designer. Pawan Kalyan was given a "much stylish look" for this film.[17]


Principal photography was expected to start from 15 April 2011, with the scenes during the first schedule being shot in Kolkata, West Bengal.[18] Filming eventually began on 6 May in Kolkata,[19] where the major part of the film was shot.[20] The Kolkata schedule was completed by late June 2011,[21][22] and the following month, filming was held in Pollachi, Tamil Nadu,[23] which was followed by schedules in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu,[24] and across Kerala.[22][25] In Kerala, the crew shot for five days at the Vagamon hill station, located 1,100 metres above sea level.[26] A song sequence featuring Pawan Kalyan and Sarah Jane was shot at the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad in September under the choreography of Firoz Khan.[27] From 10 October, the last song picturised on Anjali Lavania was canned in a Hyderabad studio. Anjali performed belly dance in the song, which was choreographed by Geeta Kapoor, best known for work in the song "Sheila Ki Jawani" from the Hindi film Tees Maar Khan.[28][29]

The film was launched under the working title The Shadow, with the team indicating that the title may be changed. The film, began its principal photography in early May 2011, which was completed by October 2011, with filming being held primarily at Kolkata, West Bengal, Pollachi and Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu and Vagamon in Kerala.[30] In the following months, several titles including Kaali, Thilak, Power and Patel, were considered.[31][32] The official title was revealed as Panjaa by the producers during Dussera.[16] Panjaa is planned to be dubbed and released in Tamil as well.[33] Initial reports suggested that Ajith Kumar would provide his voice for Pawan Kalyan,[34] which was dismissed by the actor several days later.[35] The Tamil version became titled as Kuri and is planned to be released by January 2012.[36]

Pre-release revenue[edit]

Panjaa Pre-release business
Territories and ancillary revenues Price
Nizam rights 14 crore (US$2.2 million)
Ceded rights 6.5 crore (US$1.0 million)
Nellore rights 1.4 crore (US$220,000)
Krishna rights 2 crore (US$310,000)
Guntur rights 3 crore (US$470,000)
Vizag rights 3 crore (US$470,000)
East godavari 2.4 crore (US$370,000)
West godavari 2 crore (US$310,000)
USA 3 crore (US$470,000)
Total 50 crore (US$7.8 million)

These figures do not include the Print and Advertising (P&A) costs. In total Panjaa collected a pre-release revenue up to 50 crore (US$7.8 million)[37]


The film was released on 9 December 2011 in 1800 screens worldwide playing around 8000 shows on its first day.[38] A teaser trailer was released a day prior to Diwali, which received high response. According to Sify, it was seen more than 200,000 times on YouTube channel within 24 hours, setting a new record.[39][40] Panja will be dubbed onto Tamil as jai and it will be release soon.[41]

Panjaa's Nizam distribution rights were sold to Siri Media for 140 million.[42] The overseas theatrical and DVD rights were bought by BlueSky Cinemas.[43]

Critical reception[edit]

Panjaa received largely negative reviews from critics.[41] The movie was criticised for its lack of story and weak screenplay, though it was praised for its stylish presentation. Rediff gave a two stars, said "Panjaa is let down by a weak script. Panjaa also reminds one of Pawan Kalyan's own earlier movie, Balu. The second half of the film lags a bit. There doesn't seem to be much originality in the story telling. On the whole, Panjaa is nothing extraordinary and even a bit disappointing".[44] greatandhra rated two stars, noted "The main drop down in the film is Pawan's character design. His getup and being a yesman to a gangster aren't in kilter with his nursery business. First half is morose and second half is emotion overdose. On a whole, Panjaa hits badly on the expectations of audience".[45] Deccan Chronicle gave two stars says "The much-hyped action thriller lacks the adrenaline of a tight and creative script and one feels let down when stepping out of the theatre".[46] A gangster film with mafia backdrop,[18] It got mixed reviews but its title song, Panjaa, was the song of the year. described as "There are not many positives in the film. Pawan Kalyan’s acting, his subtle underplay of emotions and cool chic look are big positives. Panjaa is not exactly the high voltage action and romantic entertainer as it was billed out to be. The Telugu movie is an average film that will not please even the die hard fans of the Power Star".[47] Sify gave a " Disappointing" verdict stated "The director fails to give Pawan Kalyan a strong identity other than that of being a Man Friday for a Don. Pawan Kalyan fails to thrill the audience with his stylish stunts, which are seen more as deliberate attempts, without any natural feel. Except for half an hour initially, the movie just rolls down like a Leviathan".[48] However says "Having received a great opening, Panjaa has taken a dip at the Telugu Box Office in weekdays. However, the distributors of the movie, which was released worldwide last Friday, have almost recovered the money".[49]

On the other hand, Jeevi of idlebrain gave 3 stars out of 5 explained: "First half of the film is decent. The motive in the second half is not strong enough, hence it will not connect to the average audiences. On a whole, Panjaa is a sensible attempt, but not in the tune of popular taste."[50] Mahesh Koneru of 123 Telugu gave 3 out of 5 rating terming it an Emotional Journey of a Hitman[51]


Panjaa audio cover.jpg
Album cover
Soundtrack album by Yuvan Shankar Raja
Released 19 November 2011 (2011-11-19)
Recorded 2011
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 27:41
Language Telugu
Label Aditya Music
Producer Yuvan Shankar Raja
Yuvan Shankar Raja chronology

For the film's score and soundtrack, Vishnuvardhan's friend and usual associate, Yuvan Shankar Raja was signed up. The soundtrack album was originally planned to be launched on 13 November 2011[52] but was postponed and launched on 19 November 2011 due to the sudden demise of Yuvan Shankar Raja's mother.[53] The audio launch was held in a grand manner at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad. Along with the cast and crew, noted film personalities including directors K. Raghavendra Rao and S. S. Rajamouli, composer M. M. Keeravani and actor Rana Daggubati attended the function,[54] which was anchored by comedian Ali and Suma Kanakala.[55] The event featured performances by percussionist Taufiq Qureshi and rapper Blaaze, while several songs from the soundtrack were also performed by the respective singers on stage.[56] The event was broadcast live on MAA TV,[57] and the entertainment portal[58]

Panjaa's soundtrack features six tracks. Chandrabose and Ramajogayya Sastry penned the lyrics for each three songs. The composing began in late January 2011.[59] Haricharan had recorded one song in April, with Yuvan Shankar Raja disclosing on Twitter that he had made "about eight versions" of the song.[60][61] Another song was styled as a "mass comedy track" filled with banter, featuring the voices of Pawan Kalyan and Brahmanandam.[62] Singer Hemachandra recorded the number in seven and a half hours in the night.[63] Other singers who had lent their voice to the songs include Shweta Pandit, Belly Raj and Saloni, all of whom collaborated the first time with Yuvan Shankar Raja. Upon release, the songs generally garnered positive response.[64] The songs became chartbusters, with the title track ("Nee Choora...") becoming the most played songs in all Hyderabad radio channels.[65] All six songs occupied six positions in the top eleven songs list of the Nokia Ovi Store,[66] while CNN-IBN named the title track as the song of the year in Telugu.[66] 'Panjaa' was the song of the year.[41]

Track listing
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Panjaa" Ramajogayya Sastry Yuvan Shankar Raja 3:34
2. "Ela Ela" Chandrabose (lyricist) Haricharan & Shweta Pandit 5:05
3. "Veyra Chey Veyra" Ramajogayya Sastry Saloni 4:29
4. "Kshanam Kshanam" Chandrabose (lyricist) Shweta Pandit 1:45
5. "Anukoneledhugaa Kalakaanekaadhugaa" Chandrabose (lyricist) Belly Raj & Priya Himesh 4:27
6. "Paparayudu" Ramajogayya Sastry Hemachandra, Sathyan, Pawan Kalyan & Brahmanandam 5:15
7. "Panjaa (Remix)" Ramajogayya Sastry, Blaaze Yuvan Shankar Raja, Blaaze 3:08
Total length: 27:41


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External links[edit]