In this Seema Pahwa’s directorial debut Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, Ramprasad (Naseeruddin Shah), a music teacher dies in the opening scene leaving his widow Savitri (Supriya Pathak Kapur) alone in their ancestral home in Lucknow. Their four sons and two daughters come back with their spouses and children to mourn the death of their father.
Movie: Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi
Director: Seema Pahwa
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Supriya PathakKapur, Vinay Pathak, Konkona Sen Sharma, Parambrata Chattopadhyaya, Manoj Pahwa, Vikrant Massey, Deepika Amin
As a part of the death rites they all have to live together in the house for 13 days. In no time, tears dry up and family politics begin. Skeletons tumble out of the closet. If the sons have their complaints, the daughters-in-law are scheming and bickering about the family. As relatives pour in, the chaos magnifies. Almost every character has an axe to grind. As if their personal resentments weren’t enough, they become aware of a huge loan that their father owes to a bank. The load of ‘who will pay the loan’ now becomes the fulcrum of discussion among these siblings who are anything but sad about the demise of their father. Soon, takes over the question ‘who will keep amma’ now that she is all alone in the big house. Busy in their own family lives and responsibilities, the older three brothers, played by Manoj Pahwa, Ninad Kamat and Vinay Pathak, have every reason to shirk from this responsibility and all other.
The youngest played by Parambrata Chattopadhyaya is willing to shoulder his responsibility but his strained relationship with wife Seema (Konkona Sen) is another complication. When Savitiri witnesses the goings-on in the house, she tells her brother how alone she feels even when the family is finally together.
This tragic-comic film is every bit realistic portrayal of a large Indian family.
Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi has a strong screenplay and even the scripting is sharp but where it falls weak is the incompleteness of so many situations. Seema Pahwa has a lot to convey and maybe she hasn’t been able to tie it up together. There are messages but they are more for you to perceive than made clear.
Performance wise, this film is a top scorer with a battery of such accomplished actors. Even with so many characters, almost everyone makes their presence felt.