If you have watched both Seema Pahwa's directorial debut Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi and Umesh Bist's Pagglait, you cannot ignore the uncanny resemblance. While Seema Pahwa's film released in theatres on January 1, 2021 after its premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Festival in October 2019, Pagglait went on floors just a month after, on November 2019. Since there has been chatter about the similarities of both films, we asked Seema Pahwa if she watched Pagglait and what she thought about it.
Seema Pahwa's Reaction to 'Pagglait'
"Yes, I have seen Pagglait. Honestly, if I tell you, I was quite upset after watching the film. After that when I started thinking logically I thought maybe it’s just a coincidence that two people thought of the same thing." - Seema Pahwa, Actor/Filmmaker
Script Could Have Been Tweaked a Little: Seema Pahwa
"Also, I felt that because the film was shot after us and by then a lot of people had already watched Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, they knew the concept already, so I felt bad because maybe they could have tweaked the script a little but they chose to ignore it. I don't know the reason behind it, but maybe it's possible that they had gone way ahead with the script and even after watching our film they didn't feel the need to make any kind of changes," she said.
Bringing up the fact that both films were shot at the same location, Pahwa added, "Or maybe they felt that there were no similarities. But, similarities get even more prominent when the location where the film is shot is the same, because they shot the film in the same house where we shot Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi. But, there are many coincidences like this, so I guess we can consider the fact that they have a similar thought process as us."
Seema Pahwa on Having a Conversation with 'Pagglait' Makers
When we asked if she would want to have a conversation with Pagglait's director Umesh Bist or producer Guneet Monga this is what Pahwa had to say.
"I feel that this conversation they should have had with me when they had seen my film in MAMI. If Guneet or anyone related to the film would have just spoke to me about how their film script is by chance so similar to ours or they would have tweaked their script a little, then it would have been nice but maybe they wouldn’t have felt the need. But, if I would have got to know that there is another film in which all these things have already been shown, I would have definitely made changes in my script." - Seema Pahwa, Actor/Filmmaker
Seema Pahwa on Why She Feels Cheated
While she refuses to do anything about it, Seema Pahwa says she does feel cheated with the whole thing.
"Yeah, obviously you do feel cheated. On one side you have your original film that you have already made and then someone makes something so similar and that gets appreciation then you do feel bad. All I know is I made a film with full honesty that the audience and critics have appreciated. It has run for 60 days in the theatres. I think this is a big reward for me." - Seema Pahwa, Actor/Filmmaker
"Now, this film (Pagglait) is coming on Netflix so now the audience who has seen Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi will watch Pagglait and decide. People who have watched both the films will understand themselves, because my film released way ahead, so naturally it's not copied. So let's see how the audience reacts," she concludes.
Pahwa's directorial Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi stars an ensemble cast of Naseeruddin Shah, Vikrant Massey, Konkona Sen Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Supriya Pathak, Manoj Pahwa, and Vineet Kumar. It follows the story of a family that gathers for the customary 13-day period after Ramprasad's death and situations that then arise.
We reached out to the makers of Pagglait for a reaction, however they refused to comment.
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