Grief. This word has a different meaning for each person undergoing the aforementioned sentiment. The loss of a loved one makes us crumble inside in deep, searing pain. The memories of the deceased keep haunting us, as we repeatedly relive them in our minds. The sheer fact that all of a sudden, a real person of flesh and blood just ceases to exist, is quite difficult to fathom. Death is inevitable, yet we choose to deny it until it comes knocking on our doors. Actor Seema Pahwa’s directorial debut ‘Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi’ is about death and the grief associated with it. It’s a splendid film that makes you ponder about the futility of life yet by the time the film ends, you are bound to leave the theatre with a smile on your lips. It’s that kind of film. 

Ram Prasad is a septuagenarian musician who one day dies, leaving his wife and a large family of four sons and two daughters. Father’s death brings the children and other family members under one roof. In the mourning period of thirteen days, various scenes unfurl to show that not everything is right in the household. Everyone’s got their own demons to tackle. For each individual’s problem, there is plenty of sniggering and backbiting from the rest of the family. With everyone steadfast with their own thought processes, the mourning starts to turn into a facade of sorts. Amidst all this hullabaloo, we witness the crazy dynamics of the circus otherwise known as the great Indian family. 

Ms Seema Pahwa is a terrific actor. Her understanding of the craft, makes her tackle a sensitive subject with the utmost care. ‘Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi’ has a terrific ensemble cast that boasts credibility. Each actor justifies his/her role to perfection. As a viewer, you don’t see Ms Pahwa’s actors, rather it’s the individual family members who are going to stay with you. Ms Pahwa talks about the dilemma, the resentments and the regrets of the family members which somehow had to remain dormant over the years but they get spilled out as they come face to face. Her actors get the job done as they bring out their A-game portraying such difficult emotions. With every actor performing to perfection, it’s really difficult to put a finger on a single performance. If there could’ve been an award for the best ensemble cast, this set of actors would win every time for their finesse and depth. 

As this is her debut film as a director, there is bound to be some issues. But one must overlook them to understand the film and its need to tell this story. Sudip Sengupta’s lenses efficiently capture the sombre mood of the family that sometimes borders on insanity, depending on the situation. Dipika Kalra’s editing is razor-sharp, keeping the runtime of the film, just under 2 hours. Music by Sagar Desai sets the overall mood of the film. I keep listening to the song ‘Bulawa Aaya Re’ which’s the pick of the album. It’s haunting to the core and bound to leave an indelible mark on the listener.

‘Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi’ is a deep, personal film. While watching it, almost subconsciously I went back to my own memories, where I had to deal with some of my own losses. Grief is very unique and individualistic. It’s something that nobody wants to share. Yet it reminds us that beneath every argument or resentment, lies a disconcert. And that’s what defines the frailties of human beings. Deep inside within our hearts, we all are flawed. All we look for is a little understanding and a little love.

The Cinemawala Rating – 3/5

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