Primarily known for her acting chops, Seema Pahwa now makes her directorial debut with the multi-starrer family drama Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi. The film brings together some of the finest actors in the Indian film industry who may not be known for their box office success but have definitely given performances worth watching. The movie made its premiere at the 21st Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, where it received a standing ovation. Using the premise of death, Seema Pahwa’s film gives us a realistic look into familial relationships in the Indian context.
Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi begins with the demise of Ramprasad Bhargava (Naseeruddin Shah), bringing his large family back into their old bungalow where his wife (Supriya Pathak Kapur) now lives alone. Their six children arrive with their families to complete the patriarch’s last rites. As the entire Bhargava family gathers, differences begin to crop up. Old arguments are brought into the limelight and the family struggles to make it through the 13 days of mourning. To make things worse, it is revealed that Ramprasad owes the banks a huge debt and now his kids must bear the brunt of paying it back.
Not like your regular hasee-rona family drama
What sets Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi apart from regular family dramas is that it does not try to be too funny or emotional. Depending on the situations, the emotions just flow naturally. Seema Pahwa has tried to keep the story as authentic as possible, even deriving scenes from her own life. The result is a perfect portrait of what real families go through during a death. The ups and downs of a relationship are beautifully portrayed with no specific conclusion or happy ending.
Too many cooks make a fancy broth
Apart from the filmmaker herself, the cast is to be credited for making this movie what it is – a realistic portrayal of family and relationships. Manoj Pahwa as the eldest sibling uses his experience to make the biggest impact and bring in some laughs. Vinay Pathak and Ninad Kamat are also incredible in their roles and Parambrata Chattopadhyay stands out as the youngest and most responsible brother. Konkana Sen Sharma’s tense relationship with her husband’s family is palpable and the final scene involving her and Supriya Pathak Kapur can bring tears to one’s eyes. It is said that too many cooks spoil the broth but Seema Pahwa has shown us that it takes a talented chef to make the most of the many flavors.
Do not expect to be entertained
Given the cast of this film, it is natural to assume that Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi must be an out-and-out comedy. The film does have its moments of laughter but it is mostly a serious film with some heavy emotional scenes. While the story and its characters are as realistic as they can get, somewhere they might not make the kind of impact you had hoped.
WATCH OR NOT:
Seema Pahwa makes an impressive directorial debut that you mustn’t miss. People from large families will connect well to this emotional and entertaining family drama and even otherwise, the film with its talented cast makes for a great watch with family.