Netflix’s Pagglait Review: A Lot More Than Just A Mourning Tale

Sanya Malhotra is back with her new Netflix film Pagglait. The actor has already made us fall in love with her acting in Ludo. As she keeps surprising us with her film choices, we are inquisitive to know if director Umesh Bist’s film is up to the mark or not.

The Netflix film also stars Ashutosh Rana, Raghubir Yadav, Sheeba Chaddha, Sayani Gupta, Shruti Sharma, Rajesh Tailang and Sharib Hashmi. Director Umesh Bist is also the writer of the film and the music is composed by Arijit Singh. Produced by Balaji Motion Pictures and Sikhya Entertainment, Prerna Saigal is the editor and the cinematography is by Rafey Mahmood.

Pagglait is a story of a girl named Sandhya (Sanya Malhotra) whose husband Astik dies 5 months after their wedding. Everyone around is mourning his loss, but his wife Sandhya is neither crying nor is she sad. Her family and relatives think she has taken her beloved husband’s demise badly and is in a state of shock. But that’s not really the case.

While everyone outside is weeping at Astik’s loss, Sandhya is lying in her bed and scrolling through the Facebook post about Astik’s death. She is reading the ‘RIP’ comments and says, ‘it’s all copypasted’. Your initial thoughts are similar to the family members – Sandhya is in a state of trauma. However, as the story unfolds, you realise why she is unable to cry and much more.

A still from the film

Pagglait means mad and, believe me, Sanya Malhotra’s Sandhya is anything but mad! In fact, she is looking out for answers about her and Astik’s life. We don’t know who Astik is and how he looks. I felt it’s weird they didn’t bother to show the face of the man because of whom the tale commences. But you realise, our protagonist herself doesn’t know anything about her late husband. So how does it matter how he looks?

Umesh Bist’s film highlights a lot of issues – We get to see how the taunts never die even in a surrounding where people are grieving someone’s death. People leave no chance to make the most out of someone’s vulnerable situation when it comes to money. Something has possessed a girl when she isn’t reacting to her husband’s death. As they are waiting for the Tervi (13th day since the death), there are already discussions about remarrying the widow, Sandhya.

In the film, Raghubir Yadav’s Sethi character says they are open-minded so they have no issue in remarrying Sandhya. Yet, he feels uncomfortable around Sandhya’s friend Nazia (Shruti Sharma) because of her religion. The discomfort is such that they don’t serve her tea or food in the same utensils. They ask someone from the family to take her out for dinner.

Amid all this drama, 13 days have passed. People talked, people cried, some mocked each other, some tried to work things in their favour. But there’s Sandhya. No one from both sides of her family cares enough to know what she wants. In these 13 days, when our protagonist meets Sayani Gupta’s Aakanshka, she releases her own value and sees things clearly for herself which no one ever allowed her to do till now.

pagglait review
A still from Pagglait

Sanya Malhotra has done a commendable job from the start to the end. She leaves you curious because she hardly talks. When she does, you are baffled and want to know what’s going on in her mind. However, answers are provided only when we reach the end. The rest of the cast also played their part well throughout the film.

Umesh Bist’s Pagglait is partly realistic, partly dramatic and partly comedic. The comedy in the film is subtle and makes you chuckle even when the characters are mourning Astik’s death till the end. Arijit Singh has made an incredible debut as a music composer as his songs hit the right feels and are used appropriately for the situations. Pay attention to the lyrics and how they resonate with what’s going on the screen.

Pagglait: Is it worth it?

Overall, Pagglait should indeed be on your watchlist. It’s not your conventional grieving tale of a widow. The film’s duration is 1 hour 54 minutes so nothing is dragged to leave you bored. The ending is a typical Bollywood twist but it leaves on with a smile on your face.

Pagglait is currently streaming on Netflix.

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Pagglait is more than your typical widow story and provides the right doses of different things to keep you hooked.
Pooja Darade
Exploring all kinds of cinema and stories. Superhero and fantasy dramas, comedy, horror and crime thriller are my favourites. I worry that my last sentence would be - 'Sh*t, I forgot to watch that film/show'.

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