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Pagglait

RATING
4 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

Day 2 of the super bumper weekend and I have just finished watching the Sanya Malhotra starrer Pagglait on Netflix. Right from the time its trailer was out, it seemed different from the other Bollywood films which were out and starkly similar to Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi(which I will be seeing once it is out on Netflix later this month). So is Pagglait worth your time, stay tuned.

Story & Screenplay

Pagglait is the story of a young widow who is unable to grieve for her husband amidst some quirky relatives. The story is a dark comedy of the highest order. The thing with dark comedies is that its appeal is limited and it does not cater to everyone. So if you are expecting a light, frothy and breezy comedy then this film isn’t for you. There are very few films made with funeral as a theme. The Malayalam film Ee.Ma.Yau is the first film that comes to mind. The thing with such movies is that the writers try to find humour at some of the most unexpected places. And here things are no different. The screenplay here focusses on the 13 days of the funeral with almost no back story on how things landed up the way they are now. So the atmosphere is such that it feels you actually are at a funeral with a bunch of relatives that generally stack up numbers. The humour lies here with each relative bringing about their baggage of greed. Mind you this is a slow burn and it requires you to be patient but I really loved the dark humour coming through. On the downside, some of the subplots were just tackled superficially whereas a little more detail would have worked wonders. The second half is about self discovery amidst the existing patriarchy and that has been shown pretty well. And within the whole plot, subtle issues related to our society are deftly raised. The writers deserve brownie points for genuinely trying to do something different.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are the ones that would generally feature in a conversation, nothing to dramatic. The music which marks the debut of Arijit Singh as a composer is excellent, I really enjoyed the soundtrack here. Director Umesh Bist has done an excellent job here. The ability to provide sonething different is evident here and lets be honest this film was a risk, but the director comes out with flying colours.

Performances

The performances are excellent here. There are some veterans cast here and they are simply fabulous. Rajesh Tailang, Meghna Malik, Natasha Rastogi, Raghubir Yadav, Jameel Khan all are brilliant. Sharib Hashmi is excellent in a cameo as Mr. Arora. Sayani Gupta as Akanksha leaves her mark effortlessly. Such a good actress and such a good performance. This was the first time I saw Ashlesha Thakur who impresses as Aditi. Sheeba Chadha as Usha gives such heartfelt performance. Ashutosh Rana as Shivendra is wonderfully restrained, I can’t remember any of his previous performances as subtle as this, watch him emote through his eyes. Nakul Roshan Sahdev as Aditya has his moments to shine, so do Aasif Khan and Chetan Sharma. Shruti Sharma as Nazia is excellent and wish to see more of her going forward too. The star of the show is Sanya Malhotra who is phenomenal as Sandhya. Right from the opening sequences where she yawns at the condolance messages to wanting pepsi and chips randomly to enjoying golgappas while her husband’s ashes are put to rest on the banks of a river, she is brilliant. I would also mention her choice of films which are so refreshing and carving a niche for her.

Conclusion

Pagglait is not meant for everyone, infact most of you will find this drama boring too. But if you appreciate subtle dark humour then there are very few films better than this one. Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended.