“Toh isse pehla ki bahut der ho jaaye, humein Thank You keh dena chahiye…”

Thank You and Thank You, Seema Pahwa!

Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi is a precious little gem that is much larger than the sum of its parts. Pahwa’s theatrical roots show and how, whether it is through multiple long shots in the film as if not to break the gaze of life, overlapping conversations reflecting the cacophony of the times, or multiple flavors of emotions from nostalgia to bickering to unstated desires all cramming up for space in the packed frames but never dislodging one another unfavourably. Her film about death and grief hence becomes a celebration of little somethings of life, with life playing out in its raw emotions and heartfelt moments, striking intimate chords much more like a staged theatre and lesser like processed cinema.

And then there is the terrific ensemble cast that Seema Pahwa brings together, where everyone shines in their unique ways leaving such strong character impressions behind. This could be one of the strongest ensemble films in years and frequently reminded me of Konkona Sen Sharma’s A Death in the Gunj in terms of how seamlessly orchestrated and strong the entire ensemble act emerged as. Not surprisingly, Supriya Pathak sparkles as the shining pole star of the colourful Bhargava family and is arguably the strongest standout performance of the film. As the grieving and lost amma, she delivers one of the finest acts of her career – quiet, layered, complex but endearing. But it will be unfair if Parambrata Chatterjee, Manoj Pahwa, Vikrant Massey, Vineet Kumar and Anubha Fatehpura are not given a separate shoutout as well for how well they layer their parts with such delicate nuances. No wonder, it is heartwarming to see how Pahwa uses Thank You to express her gratitude to everyone from the ensemble as the final credits roll. After all, she implements what she wants her characters to realize through her storytelling.

“Toh isse pehla ki bahut der ho jaaye, humein Thank You keh dena chahiye…”

Thank You Team Ramprasad!

Now playing on Netflix!

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Copyright ©2021 Jayashree Chakravarti. This article cannot be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL can be used instead.

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