Watched Pagglait on Netflix today. Released on March 6, starring the wonderful Sanya Malhotra, who after debuting in Dangal seems to be going from strength to strength in each movie. She is very ably supported by Ashutosh Rana in a very subtle and understated performance as well as a collection of not-so-famous but very talented cast including Sheeba Chaddha, Raghubir Yadav, and Rajesh Talang.
The movie hits a number of traditional and modern points. It carries a family through the traditional 13 days of Hindu mourning after a death in the family of a young son, bringing forth the pain of a father and mother as well as the hesitating and sometimes irreverent participation of the extended family. The highlight of course, is the reaction and transformation of the young widow played by Sanya. The story and acting unfolds wonderfully without any unnecessary melodrama with a very relatable depiction of the events. Intertwined is the heart felt support of a Muslim friend to a Hindu friend in need in the midst of very different ceremonies than she would be used to, the painful toll the rituals of death extract from the living, and the selfish nature of humans even in the most tragic moments and more. The cherry on the cake, of course, is what Sanya’s character decides to do with the rest of her life.