Seema Pahwa sits on the director’s chair and gives you a film that is culturally rooted in Indian context talking volumes about human relationships
Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi shines in each and everything that it brings your way. This is a rare case where there is grief in humor and humor in grief. Brotherhood. Emotions. Sadness. Taunts. Generation gap. Emptiness. Belonging. You have it all. A film that is so simple, this tells you that all you need to tell a convincing story is good intention and mere dedication to say it the way you want to. Probably the only film in the longest times to have an army of seasoned actors on board, this one absorbs you fully.
Watch the trailer here:
When Ramprasad (Naseeruddin Shah) suddenly dies one day, the extended family comes under one roof till the time of observing his tehrvi (the 13th day of grieving)
Written by Pahwa herself, it’s a masterpiece, both in terms of direction and writing. A film that will be known for its direction for times to come, this one boasts of its simple idea but excellent execution. One man dies, and the clan gathers to mourn. That’s that? Now, how many members? What are their traits? What is the age of them all? What will they talk about? What will be their issues? How will they deal with those issues? All these elements are so beautifully woven to make a wholesome piece of art that you just can’t stop adoring.
Every scene is a moment of gold. Every character breathes life. Every situation is relatable. One thing leads to another and every other person contributes in small capacities, like a teamwork and what you get is a tight and fine display of emotions without an iota of hotchpotch.
There’s a brother whose wife is fashionable, someone takes very long in the bathroom, someone owes another some money, the younger generation feels out of place and finds its own ways of enjoyment, an elderly man who speaks only English, a mamaji who always pokes his nose, a jijaji who’s always angry, the wives who hold grudges and but also laugh it out. Everything has been so intricately etched out that you enjoy every bit of it.
The graph of the story is progressive and although you do predict where it is leading to, you still are very much interested in knowing how will things shape up. The film is made up of sweetness, an earnest charm and all of the weirdness that is an integral part to almost every family.
In a milieu that’s set in winters of North India (brimming closely through the costumes and props), it gives the film a visual connect. The scenes are loaded with minute details of what you call wow factor. The light goes off and an aunt steps on a boy’s foot, or when two brothers smoke, or when the mamaji comments on why he takes so long in the toilet, or in general when people within themselves talk in whispers- these are notions that will make you fall for the film, bone deep.
The film rises to another level by its fantastic acting. These are people who would just appear before the camera and magic happens.
Manoj Pahwa makes his mark splendidly. Similarly Ninad Kamath, Vinay Pathak and Parambrata Chattopadhyay too live their roles as if they were born to play this. They, as brothers, are so so good. They seem real brothers.
Supriya Pathak never goes wrong. She just can’t go wrong. She is supremely impressive. So is Konkona Sen Sharma, Deepika Amin, Divya Jagdale, Alka Kaushal, and Sadia Siddiqui.
Rajendra Gupta is hillarious. So is Brijendra Kala in a memorable role. Give it up for Vineet Kumar, the mamaji who kills it whenever he appears. Vikrant Massey has his own distinct moments of charm.
Naseeruddin Shah in a special appearance is also good.
Music and background score by Sagar Desai are simply brilliant. Two extremely soulful songs and a score that binds everything together in a film that is concise and extended at the same time is very difficult.
Cinematography by Sudip Sengupta must be lauded for the framing of people. The placement of camera is strikingly impressive. It’s just so good how angles and shots in a film that has so many characters never seem cluttered. It’s one house. Only a house. But you get so much to see. Production design here by Parijat Poddar must be hailed for crafting the limited space according to the need of the camera. Minimalistic yet effective.
Editing by Dipika Kalra is mind blowing. The narrative structure has been conceptualised tightly so as to give you enough humour and seriousness all at the right points. There is absolutely no dull moment in the film and the film keeps moving positively up.
Salutes to Seema Pahwa, the director deserves all the respect for this one. This film tells that the simple ideas are the most difficult to execute. But if executed well, make the maximum impact. DO NOT miss this film.