Pagglait Review: Ashutosh Rana is brilliantly subtle with his voice modulations. The phenomenally malleable Sheeba Chaddha sails through a gamut of emotions.
Cast: Sanya Malhotra, Shruti Sharma, Sayani Gupta, Ashutosh Rana
Director: Umesh Bist
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
An untimely death, a bereaved woman, a couple of life-altering flashpoints and intimations of a new lease of life combine to fuel Pagglait, a Netflix original film scripted and directed by Umesh Bist. Its ambition is mid-size, but the execution is deft enough to offset its limited scope. The drama centres on a young widow who feels no sorrow. Her demeanour confounds her relatives. Amid the post-funeral rituals, she has other things on her mind and those around her cannot fathom what is going in.
The heroine, portrayed with unswerving focus by Sanya Malhotra, grapples with conflicting impulses as she seeks to wrest control of her life. Backed by steady writing and stellar acting all around, this unfussy take on a woman’s quest for freedom not only gets its arc and tone right, it also cleverly steers clear of the cliches of the genre.
The woman stumbles upon a secret about her departed husband even as the family is gathered in their ancestral home to mourn the man’s passing. She reassesses her past and rethinks her future in the light of the discovery. Another disclosure a little later leaves a few some of the relatives dismayed. But she goes on regardless.
As she waits to move on with her interrupted life a troubling truth pops out of the closet of her late husband, a twenty-something corporate executive Astik Giri (who is never shown, not even in a photograph). She realises she barely knew the man. More importantly, she begins to see herself – an educated woman in an arranged marriage, a dutiful daughter-in-law in a conservative household, and a girl with suppressed yearnings of her own – in a new light.
The film’s title refers to ‘the streak of madness’ that her relatives believe Sandhya Giri (Malhotra) has. The impression is strengthened when her best friend, Nazia Zaidi (Shruti Sharma), responding to a social media post by one of Sandhya’s two younger sisters, lands up in her marital home – Shanti Kunj, Lucknow – and helps the widow shake things up, gently and one move at a time.
news Source: NDTV Movies