Director: Umesh Bist
Cast: Sanya Malhotra, Sayani Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Ashutosh Rana, etc.
Pagglait is the story of Sandhya, a free-spirited woman whose husband, Astik Giri, passes away within five months of their ‘loveless marriage’.
While her family members expect her to behave in a typical fashion after the passing away of her husband, Sandhya, on the contrary, fails to feel the loss from within. In fact, she, like any other given day, stays connected to social media, and even goes out to taste street food with her friend Nazia, although on the sly.
But why is she not behaving the way society expects her to? Is she pagglait (crazy) or someone who does not want to live in the shadow of tyranny? Well, the director provides an answer to this in a somewhat satirical manner as he tries to find a reflection of a woman’s psyche who wants to charter her own way, does not want to carry the baggage of past relationships, and, just be her own self.
With a rather uncommon and gripping narrative, it was imperative that the actors are handled meticulously, and, director Umesh Bist does not disappoint on that front.
Further, with an array of quality actors in the line-up, Bist not only manages to provide enough screen space to them, but also made each of the characters appear relatable, especially during the run of play that unfolds between Astik’s cremation and terahvi – the concluding rituals on the 13th day of death.
The light nature of the narrative gets even more absorbing when Sandhya comes across Astik’s colleague and former girlfriend, and, goes on to explore their past relationship, which eventually has a bearing on her perspective towards her dead husband. The sub plot vis-a-vis the insurance amount, too, is effectively played out without being too fussy.
After, perhaps, after Dangal, this is Sanya’s best performance till date. The actor is impeccable with her expressions and controlled emotions. She is even more impressive when she is shown bottling up her emotions.
In fact, all the characters, including the likes of veteran Raghubir Yadav and Ashutosh Rana, impress with their subtle variation.