Experience of Grief in Real Life v/s Reel Life: How the Movie “Pagglait” portrays Grief and Bereavement

17 April 2021 / By Social Media

Bound by tradition, breaking bangles and wiping off the vermillion symbolizes the grief of a widow. Unfortunately, we assign and expect certain behavioural and emotional reactions even after personal losses such as this. Grieving the death of a loved one can be a devastating experience and, there shouldn’t be any behavioural expectations. Beautifully questioning the tradition, the Netflix film “Pagglait” makes a satire on how society expects a young woman to feel and behave after losing their partner. The movie makes us note that there can be several psychosocial ways of bereavement.

In recent years, films and web series have successfully portrayed grief and loss in an honest fashion. The 2019 Netflix web series, Northern Rescue, depicted similar emotions of a husband grieving the loss of his wife. He tries to stall and suppress his grief by over involving himself with work. Certain scenes, like this one, often end up striking a chord with the audience due to their relatedness. In the real world, the loss of a partner may mean the loss of the sole wage-earner, imposing major financial concerns. These vulnerable situations leave little time to sit and cry and, taking care of one’s family becomes a priority. At such times, grieving becomes a luxury.

While there have been some notable cinematic depictions of grief, some other movies depict these real emotions with a reel twist. “The show must go on” attitude or the phrase that “Men don’t cry” are some examples. Grieving is more than expressing sorrow over a lost life, it is a crucial aspect in processing the loss and moving past it. Encouraging minimizing behavior of feelings and emotions might get in the way of the healing process.

All grief is as unique as the person experiencing it and their relation to the bereaved. Thus, people take their own time to process the surfacing emotions. While there can be different manifestations of grief such as shock, sadness, physical pain, rage, or disbelief, there are also different healthy ways to cope. At such times, acknowledging the pain and seeking external support should be encouraged and embraced.

At You’re Wonderful Project, we believe that there should be no rules to bereavement and, we work towards providing emotional support to deal with hard times.


Rajendran, S. (2021, March). ‘Pagglait’ review: Netflix film on a ‘merry widow’ is interesting but glib. The News Minute. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/pagglait-review-netflix-film-merry-widow-interesting-glib-146266.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee for the Study of Health Consequences of the Stress of
Bereavement; Osterweis M, Solomon F, Green M, editors. Bereavement: Reactions, Consequences, and Care. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1984.
CHAPTER 4, Reactions to Particular Types of Bereavement. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK217848/

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