Seema Pahwa’s Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi unfolds during the 13-day mourning period post the death of the family’s patriarch, the eponymous, Ramprasad.
The film has striking similarities with Pagglait, which also released on the same platform a few weeks ago. However, the treatments of the films are markedly different from each other. While Pagglait deals with the issue of empowering the wife after her husband’s death, Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi deals more into the psyche of a mom and how she feels left alone after the death of her husband, the father of the family. Will the herd of kids and grandkids stand up to the occasion? Or will these 13 days become just another occasion for a fun family get-together? While both stories deal with relatives coming in for the 13 days of mourning and forgetting the actual cause of being there and talking about varied other family issues, somehow Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi ends up being a notch higher than Pagglait.
The story by Seema Pahwa is slightly predictable as it’s something that every one of us has seen in our personal lives. But stories like these tend to get into the zone of high-pitched Baghbanesque melodrama, but Pahwa keeps a stern grip on the narrative, safely steering clear of that and brings the film home.
Best part about Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi is the flawless acting by the cast that includes stellar performers like Naseeruddin Shah, Supriya Pathak, Manoj Pahwa, Vinay Pathak, Ninad Kamat, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Vikrant Massey, Konkona Sensharma, Divya Jagdale among others. These ace actors make the whole experience seem as if you’re sitting right in the middle of it all. However, the treatment of the film is more like a theatre play (it is adapted from Pahwa’s own play, Pind Daan); in fact, the problem is that it neither looks entirely as a film and nor does it look entirely like a play. So, that dichotomy is something that pulls the project down. Also, one tends to be left a tad disappointed as actors like Vikrant Massey, Vinay Pathak, Konkona Sensharma and others are hardly allocated adequate screen time and one is left wanting for more. However, even in that limited duration and often with sparse dialogues, they manage to make their presence felt with their nuanced performances.
Sagar Desai’s music is poignant and makes you feel for the family on display. Songs like Ek Adhoora Kaam and Bulawa Aaya Hai remain with you after you’re done with the movie. Sudip Sengupta’s cinematography is raw and shows things exactly how it should be. The constant repeating shots of an electrician trying to fix the intertwined wires on an electric pole are symbolic of the complicated relationship that the members of the family have. Lastly, the editing by Dipika Kalra is crisp and the movie doesn’t seem to drag at any instant.
Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi is a great attempt at bringing the issues of a dysfunctional family out in the open. But with nothing more than that to offer, it sort of borderlines on becoming too depressing at times. Whatever it is worth, it is indeed a great ONE-TIME WATCH. I am going with 3 stars.
Title: Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi
Cast: Supriya Pathak, Parambrata Chatterjee, Konkona Sensharma, Vikrant Massey, Manoj Pahwa, Vinay Pathak, Ninad Kamat, Naseeruddin Shah
Director: Seema Pahwa
Rating: 3 stars