Widowed soon after marriage, a young woman contends with an inability to grieve, quirky relatives, and a startling discovery about her late husband.

Cast: Sanya Malhotra, Shruti Sharma, Sayani Gupta, Ashutosh Rana

Director: Umesh Bist


The woman finds a secret about her deceased husband as the family gathers in their ancestral home to grieve the man’s passing. She is forced to reevaluate her life rethink her future in the light of a discovery she makes about her husband of the third day of his death. Her financial assurance at the death of her husband leaves a few some of the relatives dismayed and thus starts a process of other people continuing to make the decisions of her life.


This Netflix original film scripted and directed by Umesh Bist, bases on a young widow who feels no sorrow. Her demeanor baffles her family. Amidst the post-cremation rituals, she reassesses the fundamentals of her life with contradictory motivations as she realizes how the decisions of her life are really not hers- right down to the choice of the beverage she may want.

As she waits for the mandatory mourning period of 13 days to pass to move on with her interrupted life, a distressing reality explodes in her face which makes her view her own self in a new paradigm.

Suddenly craving Pepsi, potato wafers, and golgappas; all the food she is forbidden to eat as her husband has died, Sandhya (Sanya Malhotra) pretends to be unwell and slips out of the house with her friend Nazia so she can be deliberately indiscriminate on the sly, as if that was therapy she desired in the face of her shock. The film is replete with the caricatures of family personalities we may have all had the joy of having in our extended families- the nosey aunts, the gossipy uncles, the know-it-alls and the snooty relatives. The narrative is replete with the unvoiced commentary on our prejudices and presumptions and how we live with them till we do not force ourselves to question them ourselves.


The movie is very beautifully written. It has an all-star cast with superb acting all around. The narrative takes an uncomplicated take on a woman’s pursuit for her right to make her own decisions. The storyline not only gets the character arc and tone right, but it also expertly navigates clear of the truisms of this genre.

This is also Arijit Singh’s debut as a film composer and though we absolutely stan him as a singer, his compositions neatly come together into the storyline in a ritualistic manner of the great music directors of Hindi cinema’s golden era. The songs are understated and effortless on the ears and subserve the story adding to its charm as the narrative unfolds.

Pagglait is invigorated by a collection of great performances. Sanya Malhotra excels in her layered character with finesse. Ashutosh Rana knows that his character, though brilliantly subtle needs its superlatively modulated moments and knows when to perform those. The extraordinarily pliable Sheeba Chaddha glides through a range of emotions and takes the entire audience with her.

The cast is not only superb; it is the best that there could be. Raghubir Yadav, Shruti Sharma, Natasha Rastogi, Meghna Malik, Aasif Khan, and Chetan Sharma. Sayani Gupta and Sharib Hashmi in their special appearance shine without any special efforts.

Prerna Saigal’s editing is flawless while Rafey Mehmood’s camerawork is lovely.


This story could be the story of any Indian arranged in India. Love is indeed an alien concept for most Indians who’re married off as per the whims and fancies of their parents, to a partner of the parent’s choosing. The children carry the burden of the aspirations of their parents.

The idea that Sandhya may choose to forge her own destiny is a big deal. And therefore entitles herself to the title of “mad” – (Pagglait)

This role was tailor-made for Sanya. After Ludo, this was perhaps another sharp performance from her.

Umesh Bist writes and shines his arc-lights on the shenanigans of Hindu death rituals. The conversations are superb and deliver a sharp shot of cynicism that should not only delight the thinker in us but also get us pondering about the futility of the customs that we thrust upon ourselves.

The thirteen days of mourning could have been a Shakespearian play, with ample scheming, plotting, gossiping, and back-stabbing going on in the background. If only Shakespeare could have been around to dramatize the frame.

However, we were saved by Shakespeare’s absence and this one was saved from becoming such a tragedy.

Pagglait does leave us with a warm, fuzzy feeling in the depths of our heart that asks us to explore possibilities beyond the walls of customs we force upon ourselves.




Not  much

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