Seasoned actress Seema Pahwa made her directorial debut with the critically acclaimed film Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, which starred Naseeruddin Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Manoj Pahwa, Vikrant Massey among others. The film premiered at MAMI Film Festival and released in theatres in January 2021 after the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the film recently made headlines after many people noticed similarities between it and Netflix’s latest release Pagglait, which stars Sanya Malhotra.
Both Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi and Pagglait revolves around dysfunctional families navigating the death of a person. In the former, it is the death of a family patriarch, whereas in Pagglait, Sanya Malhotra’s character gets widowed after her young husband dies suddenly. Not only that, the location of the two films are similar.
Speaking about the controversy, Seema Pahwa told Hindustan Times, “Maybe it is a coincidence. Two people can think similarly. They thought of it as we did, their subject is also different. They have focused on a young girl’s problem whereas our focus was on an old lady. People go through several similar experiences in life. If you take a middle-class family, there are events and people who share similarities so I feel this could be a coincidence. It definitely must be a coincidence, who would want to copy someone else’s work,” she said.
She added that she wrote the film in 2015 and premiered it at MAMI in 2019. She said that she knew Pagglait’s audition was held after the event, but she is not involved in those things. She added that she watched the film after she got calls from people. She said that the movies feel similar because the problems of a middle-class family are the same.
However, she added that the location being the same as Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi also added to the confusion. “But had the locations been different, maybe then it would have made a difference. Since the locations are the same, there is confusion, thus making the movie look similar,” she added.
She also added that she found an issue with the fact that the flm found humour in a young person’s death. She said that when she lost her brother at 28, it silenced not only their house but their entire colony.
Directed by Umesh Bisht, Pagglait also stars Ashutosh Rana, Meghna Mallik and Sayani Gupta, among others, in pivotal roles.