After being released in theatres three months ago, Seema Pahwa’s Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi recently dropped on Netflix and is maintaining its top 10 spot as one of the platform’s most-watched titles over the past weeks. The film’s plot revolves around the family members of a deceased patriarch as they reunite to conduct his last rites. Before the release of Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi on Netflix, the platform had already released Umesh Bist’s Pagglait, which also deals with a plot similar to Seema’s film. Hence, comparisons between the two films were made.
In a tête-à-tête with Film Companion, Seema shared, “We made Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi in 2018 and released it before at MAMI and other film festivals. Pagglait came after that and had some similarities, which was painful to see. The location it was shot at was the same as ours, there were similarities between the characters too. I thought that this was because both films have middle-class families, in which you find the same kinds of characters. Maybe that could’ve been a coincidence but the location being the same was a problem because the audience got confused between the films.”
She added that Pagglait released on Netflix first and so people had watched it by the time her film released on the same platform and started drawing comparisons. She said that the timing was weird, but she doesn’t know whose mistake it is. Either the Pagglait team should’ve held the film for longer or they should have, she said.
This could have been avoided if she would have been informed by the makers of Pagglait and both the teams could have changed a few things to make both their movies more individualistic, she added. She didn’t shy away from admitting her ignorance too because she found out late that a film just like her movie was being made.
While Seema-helmed Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi made a debut at the MAMI Film Festival in 2019 before it was released in theatres earlier this year, Umesh Bist’s directorial venture Pagglait was released on March 26 on Netflix. Both the films delve into similar themes: the death of a person and how it impacts the other members as they cope with their grief, tracing the journey of the family until the 13th day of the funeral ritual.