Pagglait is a 2021 Indian Hindi-language black comedy drama film written and directed by Umesh Bist. The film was produced by Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga and Achin Jain under the banners Balaji Motion Pictures and Sikhya Entertainment. The film features Sanya Malhotra, Ashutosh Rana, Shruti Sharma and Raghubir Yadav in lead roles.
In the film, a young widow and her family are dealing with the loss of her husband, Aastik, who died after just five months of marriage. Astik’s parents (Usha and Shivendra) are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of their eldest son, on whom they were financially dependent. The family suffers, even more, when their relatives (uncles and aunts of Astik) come to the house and create a mess. Amidst a house full of grieving relatives, Sandhya yawns through the social media condolence posts and “copy-paste” comments for her dead husband, Astik. Her attitude leaves some puzzled and others miffed. A relative, Ghanashyam, suggests she is suffering from PTSD. When Sandhya’s best friend Nazia comes to support her, Sandhya confesses to her that she does not feel anything for the loss of her husband. To get away from the mourning family, she sneaks away with her best friend Nazia for a feast of ‘golgappe’ even as Astik’s younger brother performs the necessary rituals at the river.
Sandhya and Astik were never really a close couple in the few months they shared. While looking for Astik’s documents for the bank claim, Sandhya finds a photo of a girl in the closet. Sandhya feels anger toward her dead husband thinking he was cheating on her. When Astik’s office colleagues visit her to give condolences, she finds the girl from the photo, Aakanksha. Sandhya confronts her in private about the affair. Aakanksha states that Astik and she were deeply in love since college and they both worked in the same company. But he never cheated on his wife, and that they were together until Astik married Sandhya. They could not get married as her parents did not agree on their marriage. Sandhya finds this hard to believe. The two, however, grow close as she tries to know more about Astik from Aakanksha.
Meanwhile, members of the family react when it is revealed that Astik had signed an insurance policy for INR 50 lakhs, of which Sandhya was the sole nominee. Tarun, Ghanshyam, and Pappu (Brothers of Shivendra) convince Shivendra, to use the insurance money for repaying his own bank loans, who then unwillingly tries to make himself and his wife, the nominees instead of Sandhya. Shivendra and Usha, still grieving the loss of their son, try to come to terms with the family’s proposal that Sandhya should be married off to Aditya. Aditya is the paternal cousin of Astik who is unemployed and failing to manage money for his hotel business.
Sandhya asks Aditya why he wants to marry her. He says he is in love with her, which touches her heart and she accepts the proposal. This angers her parents and Astik’s brother, who is also in love with her. On the 13th day of Astik’s funeral, Aditya leaves hastily. His parents tell everyone that Sandhya told him that she is pregnant with Astik’s child. It is revealed by Aditi (Aditya’s sister) that Sandhya lied about her pregnancy to test Aditya’s love for her. Sandhya goes missing from the house after the funeral.
While Sandhya leaves the house, ready to begin a new life with a new job in a new city. Even after being a topper in her MA class, her family never let her do the job. She shared how since childhood, the main focus of her parents was to marry her off, not concerned about letting her being self-independent. Seeing Aakanksha in her office and work, she become motivated about working and being financially independent. She realizes as long as she stays here, she can never live her own life; as in society, other people make decisions for the women.
In three separate letters to Usha, her mother Alka, and Astik’s brother Alok, she bids goodbye to her in-laws. Shivendra finds a cheque for the entire insurance money, which Sandhya has left for him as she believes he will need it more than her. She also promises to support her in-laws as her husband did.
Sandhya meets with Aakanksha one last time and apologizes for her outburst, and gives her the photograph Astik had kept in his book. In the end, she is traveling on a bus, ready to face life afresh.
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