Pagglait - Of Widows and Dysfunctional Families

Release Date - March 26

Streaming - Netflix

Rating - 3.5

Starring - Sanya Malhotra, Shruti Sharma, Ashutosh Rana, Sheeba Chaddha

Director - Umesh Bist

Music - Arijit Singh

Pagglait (Crazy) introduces us to Sandhya (Malhotra), a girl who is widowed just 5 months after her marriage. Everyone around her is grief stricken, especially her late husband's parents - Shivendra (Rana) and Usha (Chaddha); but she seems unaffected by it. She knows it and they are confused by it. This is portrayed whackily when she asks for a Pepsi instead of tea and immediately her mother shuts her up.

The first 30 minutes throw up such situations that are fun. Fun not in a laugh out loud way but one that has you chuckling and giggling. The way the ladies bitch about each other, the younger brother taking a smoke when he is not allowed to do so and the doorbell that blares "Ooh La La Ooh La Laa" from The Dirty Picture.

Matters come to a head when Sandhya discovers a photo of her husband's girlfriend and said girlfriend (Sayani Gupta) visits to offer her condolences. The rest of the story is how Sandhya deals with this new piece of information and deciding her next course of action.

Sanya performs really well as the widow who can't cry. She has a very good filmography and Pagglait is another good addition to it. Shruti as Nazia, Sandhya's friend provides a shoulder and companionship when Sandhya needs it. The other members of the ensemble cast Rajesh Tailang (Mirzapur), Raghubir Yadav (Panchayat), Aasif Khan (Mirzapur) all do well within their limited screen time. But the best of the lot have to be Ashutosh Rana and Sheeba Chaddha as the grieving parents. They have lost them child and are still coming to terms with it when unforeseen circumstances arise. Their eyes and body language do most of the talking and you feel for them.

Pagglait is also the debut of Arijit Singh as a composer and man, does he rock? The music and songs are so beautiful and lovely and you can see that it has paid off. The score during the preclimax and climax portions takes the movie to a whole different level after the slighly slow middle segment.

At the heart of it, Pagglait is a story about a woman who is amidst dysfunctional family members and how she deals with all of them. One dialogue by Sandhya hits us hard and it goes something like this :

"Jab ladki log akal se kaam karte hain, sab usko pagglait kehte hain".

Director Umesh Bist also must be lauded for dealing with such a touchy subject with a bit of humour and sensibility. Go and watch Pagglait for some fun and how a woman deals with everything that is thrown at her.

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