Khandaani Shafakhana Movie Review: Sonakshi Sinha's Film Isn't A Cure for Boredom
Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Sharma and Badshah on Khandaani Shafakhana’s poster.
Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Sharma, Annu Kapoor
Director: Shilpi Dasgupta
Sex sells and as Khandaani Shafakhana would suggest sex problem resolutions sell even more. Directed by Shilpi Dasgupta the film, and specifically Sonakshi Sinha as Baby Bedi a medical representative from Hoshiarpur goes into regions where no woman has gone before—the sexologist zone. Come to think of it almost all parts of India that I have travelled and lived in, I haven’t ever chanced upon a female sexologist. So the film had my attention right from the word go.
If Vicky Donor explored the ambiguous realm of sperm donors and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan stepped into the male performance pressure zone, Khandaani Shafakhana views the whole issues of sexual health, bloopers and misadventures through a family gaze and why talk of sexual health should not be a taboo topic.
The movie makers stay true to their promise of, “The Only Sex Film for the Whole Family” and the film ends up being a straitjacketed one for it.
The story is simple enough, Mamaji (Kharbanda) a practitioner of Unani medicine decides to assign the said Khandaani Shafakhana (a Unani medicine sex clinic) to his niece Baby’s name much to everyone’s surprise provided she runs it for six months. Baby, whose family is struggling financially, sees an opportunity –she plans to sell it once it’s in her name but unexpected hurdles crop up in the course of time. Fortunately for Baby, her circumstances compel her to take up the project of running the clinic far more seriously than she had imagined.
No doubt, writer Gautam Mehra has an unusual premise that gets your attention but for a script that displays such novelty, the film does little to surprise the audience. The dramatic quotient is lacking and attempts at humour—a critical element in such films-- fall flat. It’s a pity that the screenplay does not provide the director and his team of actors enough opportunity to fly with a story that is delightfully quirky.
Sonakshi Sinha takes the lead with sincerity and is competent even in an underwritten role. Varun Sharma slips into his comic bumbling act (of Fukrey fame) infusing the much needed laughs but has too short a role and no help from Annu Kapoor as the lawyer Tangra (assigned the task of execution of Mamaji’s will). Badshah, who plays rapper Gabru Ghatak with his easy swag does add some lightness to the film but even his charm is of little help.
Khandaani Shafakhana has many plot points—the importance of traditional medical practices for instance --that if developed carefully could have packed in a lot more punch but end up merely being missed opportunities.
Unfortunately, Khandaani Shafakhana is not the film that the doctor ordered as a cure for boredom.