Seema Pahwa's directorial debut Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi released in theatres in January 2021. In March this year, Sanya Malhotra's Pagglait premiered on Netflix. Interestingly, both the films had a similar plotline which revolved a large, extended middle class family from UP coming together for the funeral of loved one.
In a recent tete-a-tete with Film Companion, Seema Pahwa expressed her displeasure over the similarities between both the movies and said that it was painful for her. She said that the audience got confused between her film and Pagglait because of the same location.
The senior actress told the entertainment portal, "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 said that the matter could have been resolved with a conversation. The Bareilly Ki Barfi actress further added that she felt cheated because there were people who worked on both the films and knew about the similarities.
"There should've been some conversation between us and we could've changed some things to make our films more individualistic. There was ignorance on my part too because I found out too late that a film just like ours was being made. I feel cheated because there were people who worked on Pagglait who had also worked on Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi and who knew about the film. It's a little surprising that they didn't see it as a second chance and make some changes. I haven't spoken to them yet, but it was shocking," Seema told Film Companion.
Earlier, in an interview with Hindustan Times, Seema had praised Sanya Malhotra's performance in Pagglait but had also added, "I have a few objections with the movie, not because it shares similarities with my film, but because I object to a few things regarding the subject. In a middle-class house, there is no humour when a youngster passes away."
Later, Sanya Malhotra had reacted to Seema's criticism in an interview and said that everyone has their own way of dealing with grief, or for any emotion. She was quoted as saying, "I just don't know why we are comparing these two films and this question. I think Umesh sir would be a better person to answer this question because he is the one who has written Pagglait. I think the idea was that this is a very heavy emotion to carry for a long period of time. I don't know if you have experienced it but all of us have in our family. You just shed it after a point, because you are dealing with other issues."
Workwise, Seema Pahwa will next be seen in Alia Bhatt's Gangubai Kathiawadi.