The film Paggalait is streaming on Netflix
Cast: Sanya Malhotra, Shruti Sharma, Ashutosh Rana, Sayani Gupta, Sheebba Chaddha, and Raghubir Yadav
Written & Directed by Umesh Bisht
BY TANISHQ RATNAKAR
Pagglait is a dark comedy drama movie showing how people expect a certain kind of reaction from a widow, Sandhya (Sanya Malhotra), and call her ‘pagglait’ (crazy) if she doesn’t react that way.
It is a story of a widow who doesn’t feel even a bit mournful when her husband dies after five months of marriage. The story captures the reactions of a middle-class family and shows how relatives react after someone’s death. Their relatives stay at their house for 13 days, and a ritual is done on the 13th day of his death as it is believed that the soul goes to heaven on 13th day.
The story starts with the weirdest shot of a rickshaw puller’s bums, however the shot changes smoothly to the front of the house. The cycle rickshaw stops and they pull down the mattresses from rickshaw which they transfer to their house for relatives who have come to mourn with the family. The story proceeds to how everyone is mourning, and all of sudden everyone gets concerned about sandhya. But surprisingly, she is not mourning but scrolling through RIP comments on her husband, Astik’s, death. While everyone is expecting her to mourn, she doesn’t even feel a thing. As the story moves forward, it becomes apparent that Sandhya never really talked with her husband, who never really moved on from his ex-girlfriend, played by Sayani Gupta.
The story also shows how people’s reaction and behavior changes according to your wealth. At first sandhya’s mother, Alka Pandey (Natasha Rastogi), doesn’t want her to come back home but as soon as she got the news that her daughter’s husband left him a good amount of money, she told her to come back home. And in another scene, Astik’s cousin who wants to open his own hotel, offers her to marry him.
This movie also shows how there are still people who discriminate between people because of their religion. Pappu Giri, Taiyya Ji of Astik, played by Raghuvir Yadav reacts weirdly in the initial scenes when he heard the name of sandhya’s friend, Nazia Zaidi, played by tv actress Shruti Sharma. The family differentiate the utensils for her and also one of the family members take her out to eat meals.
Umesh Bisht did a great job in covering various aspects of a middle-class family in one movie. But I think some actors didn’t get chance to show their actual acting skills because of lack of footage. The climax was very predictable but that worked for this film. I think one should watch this movie at least once. One will enjoy it.
Rating: * * * and 1/2 (three and a half stars)