“Jab ladki log ko akal aati hai na, toh sab unhe pagglait he kehte hain”. This line said by the protagonist Sandhya pretty much sums up the whole story of the movie ‘Pagglait’.

The free-spirited Sandhya(Sanya Malhotra) is a misfit in the orthodox Giri household . She is grappling with Post Stress Traumatic Disorder (PTSD) but that illusion is shattered soon when she says “Bilkul rona nahin aah rahaan hain yaar aur bhuk bhi lag rahin hai,”(I don’t feel like crying at all, I’m hungry), she confides in her frown-inducing friend, Nazia Zaidi (Shruti Sharma). ‘Pagglait’ is a dig at our society and the rules pertaining to the fate of a widow in many parts of India and how mansplaining and patriarchy are still so deep rooted in some of us.

This social drama also smirks at the loveless relationships we latch on to and maintain only because of the phrase ‘log kya kahenge?’( what will people say)

First things first, Sanya Malhotra takes the centre stage again and she renders an impactful performance as expected.

The story of ‘Pagglait’ is more than just a woman lacking human emotions on the most devastating day of her life ,it is about self discovery, years of conditioning we are subjected to as far as dealing with certain sections of people are concerned and issues we keep on brushing under the carpet.

The movie isn’t perfect too. There are things which were portrayed in depth whereas some important topics have lesser screen time than deserved. For example, in one scene, we see Nazia being served tea in a separate cup and in another, she is eating dinner with the same family. How did that transition take place? Also, an interesting subtext in the film was the sensitive issue of incest – which was only hinted in one scene  and dropped immediately without a proper conclusion. It deserved another 30 minutes just for that. The movie tries to break many taboos and teach much needed lessons through its apt use of sarcasm and dry humour, but everything didn’t work out as intended.

‘Pagglait’ is one of those movies that takes its premise seriously and touches upon many a sensitive issue in our society that needed to be talked about. And the beauty of it is that it is never too dramatic to watch. Sandhya’s journey from being confined in a room  to actually going out there and taking on the world resonates with those who have been suppressed under strict parenting. Her story is lesson for girls who give in without a fight and never ask “Why?”

-Kavin V,
3rd year,
Information Technology

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