Pagglait Movie Review, Analysis And Rating | Sanya Malhotra, Sayani Gupta

The second release of this weekend that i was genuinely stoked for was the Umesh Bisht Directed film Pagglait that had just released on Netflix. The film which is produced by Guneeth Monga and Ekta Kapoor again fascinates me just because of the kind of content that Ekta Kapoor green lights for movie projects compared to the plethora of shows she has on television. I guess the segregation is quite interesting and clear that she has an idea of what indian households want to see in their respective houses and she will do as she pleases in telling liberating stories of women through film.

As i saw the trailer of Pagglait i was glad to notice Sanya Malhotra to get a film as a solo lead. This might be an unpopular opinion but since Dangal, i was thoroughly impressed by her capability. While i think she was shortchanged due to her small role and as the attention went more to Fatima. She is an actor that has consistently proven her capability as a performer with films like Pataka and Ludo.

Pagglait focuses on the giri family in Lucknow that is mourning the loss of their Son Astik set up much like the beautiful Sema Pava film Ram Prasad ki Terhvi, the film showcases the ins and outs of what takes place during the period of 13 days as the family executes several traditions to ensure the peaceful departure of Astik soul.

What makes this film different from Seema Pava’s movie is that more than being a commentary on human behavior and relationships. It highlights the experience of women in this country that many will empathize and connect with. I’ve seen many pieces on youtube dismissing the film as boring but this showcases an analysis of the film from an arm’s length rather than actually imagining the hypothetical that this may be so many individuals reality especially women, before i get deep into the writing of the movie and why i so thoroughly enjoyed it and believe it is a piece that can be discussed in detail.

I have to confess that i fell in love with the music of this movie this is Arijit Singh’s first foray into composing music for a film and his sound really does feel like an essential part of the world of Pagglait. My favorite tracks from the film include Thode kam ajnabi and Fir fakira. I think also the combination of Nilesh Mishra’s lyrics enhance the impact of the songs in the movie, often in these films which are sombra in nature you may feel like the integration of music is merely a marketing or a commercial decision but thankfully the music fits just perfectly with the narrative never coming across as unnecessary or overbearing.

It is the attention to detail and the writing by Umesh Bisht that really headed out of the park with this film, the only skepticism i had regarding the movie was that Umesh Bisht’s filmography wasn’t something that i got excited about. He has written films like Hero and Oh teri which have been forgettable at best but after watching Pagglait, i don’t think there’s any room for debate that this film is his best work.

The most beautiful or impressive aspect of the writing in Pagglait was the ability to show irony and contrast in that dwelling. The impeccable writing already sets in as the establishment is called shanti kunj quite contrary to actually what happens within it. The family perceives Sandhya played by Sanya Malhotra to be mourning in her own room but the camera slowly pans towards her as. She is checking her social media engagement and judging people for sending generic condolences.

The doorbell of the establishment plays a loud upbeat bollywood song constantly disrupting the somber occasion. A friend is instructed to eat outside the dwelling in order to keep the purity of the house intact, as the scene quickly shifts to the men swigging alcohol in the terrace. The ceremonies are conducted in honour of Astik’s departed soul.

The young brothers hands that take part in the ceremony quickly shift to the hands that crave for an escape, even if it just means getting golgappas nearby, like any other family there are unresolved matters fickle egos and a lot of resentment that gets shoved in people’s faces the moment any conversation commences. the occasion calls for a sense of sensitivity but familial issues comments on one’s marriage a dig at one’s impotency and even shifting blame on the widow for possibly the trauma that the family is enduring carries on.

Technically if you look at it we consider our family members to be avenues so that we can be unabashedly ourselves, but the film realistically portrays how vested interests and ulterior motives shift no matter how strong they bond in the relationship.

Through the writing of this film we often see characters projecting negativity towards one another but in hindsight you realize that it is just a product of insecurity. The characters provide sermons of righteousness equality and egalitarianism. While at the same time scuff at one character of a particular religion partaking in the events speak of the widow as a commodity and keep the gender disparity within the household intact. For such a film that is more or less set in one location you require a phenomenal caste and just like Ram Prasad ki Tervi  the film boasts of only legends in the game.

Raghubir Yadav has almost done a phd playing the grumpy old uncle who thinks that he knows best in every situation. He is stubborn hot-headed and extremely annoying, just a testament of the brilliant job he has done, Sheeba Chadha and Ashutosh Rana as the grieving parents lend a very realistic portrayal just adjusting to these circumstances their characters often succumb to the madness around them and accurately represent a generation that partakes in every custom belief to change their circumstances.

While at the same time mock their own decisions actors like Jameel khan, Meghna Malik and Asif khan are beautiful additions to this world as well . Whenever i see Sayani Gupta on screen i wonder just how under utilized she is in comparison to her ability as an actor. Her addition in this world provides a great catalyst or allows the story to move forward and despite her brief appearance she really is brilliant. She really deserves much more meaty roles as she shares the screen mostly with sanya and she creates an impression each time, i actually fell in love with Sania’s portrayal of Sandhya, she is a girl we all know who accepts her circumstances who is oblivious to her own potential who lives in the moment who is non-confrontational assuming her state as a woman, a wife a daughter and even a daughter-in-law as the norm

Sanya provides a very understated performance something required for the role and her arc of coming to terms with her own existence as her husband is passed is a beautiful journey and makes me come to the point on why this piece may be misunderstood as well. You know i was reading an article talking about how while analyzing films or a piece of art there are several hats that you have to put on. This may range from doing your due diligence in terms of research, context to films may be depending on the geographical location they are set in and also the social commentary especially regarding gender and whether we can truly understand what scenes are trying to say. often as a man i overlook moments as they are not my experience. this subjective and ignorant notion sometimes discredits the impactful message of films.

Which in this case many women resonate with, the film is a commentary on a girl coming to terms with how there may be a possibility that she never lived for herself hilariously she mentions to her daddy of the household. On how whenever there is an awakening within a woman and she has clarity of what she wants everyone assumes she has lost her mind. The video is almost discussed as a burden between families shifting responsibility of who will take care of her now, something that magically changes when there is a monetary incentive our own parents talk about being open-minded while still propagating the same regressive customs. Assuming that the only purpose women have while being qualified to be employed and successful is to have a man who is employed and successful.

It opens the discussion around so many women and their untapped potential as individuals in society for merely succumbing to what were others wishes, rather than even considering that they might have their own choice a glared is a beautiful and nuanced film that you should give a chance on netflix, it doesn’t deserve to be dismissed so flippantly.