How does a young girl, who is on the threshold of being a woman feel when her young husband passes away? How do you react, what do you do, what do you speak?… Then you become stoic when the whole world is watching you and wonder why you are not crying, have you gone crazy? Like the song playing in the background throughout the movie. Pagglait movie review…
Welcome to this Pagglait who asks for Pepsi and chips when asked for tea. The movie is a roller coaster ride of feelings and perceptions post a young death in a family. How things playout around a young widow set in a town somewhere in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is a film about old values in a middle class family and how things change with circumstances.
Sandhya (Sania Malhotra) the protagonist is the young widow barely a few months into her marriage, when she looses her husband Astik, though the young man is thankfully not shown throughout the movie, not even a photo but the director draws a sketch of his character from what Astik has left behind and the interaction about him between various characters. Living in a small joint family, her husband being the only bread earner of the family (his income is also alluded to) dies leaving several unfinished businesses.
Pagglait is also story of the 13 day period according to the Hindu rituals, before one says goodbye to the soul of the dead. It is a subtle take on compulsions of a middle class family without any slanging match or over the top shouting or too much Rona-Dhona. Realisations of the widow as things keep changing dynamically around her. How people’s perceptions change as soon as they realise that she is a cash cow.
The movie presents many aspects of our way of life in India where you say one thing but actually mean something else. Elders not practicing what they preach. Some coming of age sequences are handled with care. The only person who is shown ready to breakdown at the drop of a hat is the boy’s father played sincerely by Ashutosh Rana. It is only in the finale, does the widow breaks out of the cage of her loveless marrige and widowhood into the open world as a free bird, but not before she has given back and promised something more to her family, it is like coming of age to her, find one’s true calling.
The movie is now streaming on Netflix. Sania Malhotra underplays her role but as a ‘matter of fact’ is in great form. Shruti Sharma as her friend Nazia who is unwelcome in the house plays her role with elan. Sayani Gupta looks adorable as a forlorn lover. Then the usual suspects in the character roles like Raghubir Yadav, Rajesh Tailang and Sheeba Chaddha play their parts with a certain degree of maturity.
The movie with a running time of 115 minutes explores a gamut of feelings love, betrayal, forgiveness, helplessness, realisation, conspiracy, jealousy and many more.
– Review by PAWAN GUPTA
Cast of Pagglait:
Sanya Malhotra as Sandhya Giri
Sayani Gupta as Aakansha Roy
Raghubir Yadav as Pappu Giri (Tayyaji)
Ashutosh Rana as Shivendra Giri (Sandhya’s father-in-law)
Sheeba Chaddha as Usha Giri (Sandhya’s mother-in-law)
Chetan Sharma as Alok (Sandhya’s brother-in-law)
Rajesh Tailang as Tarun Sethi (Shivendra’s younger brother)
Natasha Rastogi as Alka Pandey (Sandhya’s mother)
Bhupesh Pandya as Girish Pandey (Sandhya’s father)
Credits of Pagglait:
Production companies – Balaji Motion Pictures, Sikhya Entertainment
Directed by Umesh Bist
Produced by Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga, Achin Jain
Written by Umesh Bist
Music by Arijit Singh
Cinematography Rafey Mahmood
Edited by Prerna Saigal