Director: Shilpi Dasgupta
Starring: Sonakshi Sinha, Badshah, Varun Sharma, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Annu Kapoor, Priyansh Jora
Written by: Gautam Mehra
The story of KHANDAANI SHAFAKHANA starts off with the ad of Hakeem Tarachand (Kulbhushan Kharbanda)’s sex clinic, playing over the TVs and how the families watching the ad are just so disgusted by it. Eventually the story progresses and we are introduced to Baby Bedi (Sonakshi Sinha), who is the niece of Hakeem Tarachand. Baby works as a medical sales representative who aspires to buy the agency of an herbal medicine and sell it from a godown/shop which she plans to take on loan. She lives with her mother and her younger brother (Varun Sharma) and she also has an even younger sister who has already been married off. Her mother’s brother in law is trying to get her married off as well and seems to be eyeing the place that Baby and her family are living in, because he wants to open a beauty parlour for her daughter over there. The story really starts off when Hakeem Tarachand, fondly referred to as Mamaji by Baby, family and even his patients, is killed by one of his patients. Now, in his will, he left his sex clinic into the hands of Baby. With sex already a taboo in their little town of Hoshiarpur, and everyone hating Mama, seeing a girl take over the clinic doesn’t go down well with people, even Baby’s own mother. But even before she could sell the place or do anything else with it, the will states that she has to go and run the sex clinic for six months, and the medicine should especially reach the old patients on time. She does exactly that, or at least tries to as she sees her Mamaji’s old patients and supplies them with their medicines. But her first trouble arises when she realizes that Gabru Ghattack (Badshah), a popular Punjabi rapper, was a secret patient of Mamaji, and Mamaji has not made the extra medicine for him like he did for his other patients. What conflicts arise next and how she deals with them forms the rest of the film.
The film certainly has an interesting premise and talks about a topic that is considered a taboo in the country. The main idea was nice and so was the story but the script is where the problem starts. The characters aren’t written well, especially of the protagonist Baby Bedi. There’s not a proper graph for her and her character seems one of convenience. It seemed like, if the film needed a caped superhero who was strong and who could fly, the character would become one easily without any difficulty at all. If the characters were worked on more the film could have been even better. The conflicts in the film also seemed forced a bit, and sometimes you feel they’re not enough. It leaves you in two minds. The film has its heart in the right place and gives out a good message too and all in all, makes for a decent watch.
Technically, the film is decent. Cinematography by Rishi Punjabi was good and some shots are great but otherwise, no shot stands out as such. Editing by Dev Rao Jadhav was decent and could have been better. There were a few scenes/shots whose length could have been trimmed. About the story again, the idea is great but then the script can’t match up to the idea of the film. The music is good and works in the film. The pick of the lot is Koka which plays in the end credits. The production design and the costume design is good enough.
Performances from the actors is what has lifted the film higher. Sonakshi Sinha is brilliant in the film. She has carried the film on her shoulders. She really is in top form. Badshah has made his debut with this film, albeit in a supporting role, and he is great as well. He is a big positive to come from the film. He plays a crucial role in the film and is also a big part of the climax and he manages to hold his own. Varun Sharma who plays Sonakshi’s brother in the film is fine and brings in the comic relief in the film, and as expected he has the most number of funny scenes in the film as well. Priyansh Jora who plays ‘The lemon hero’ in the film has a job of supporting Sonakshi in the film and he is decent. Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Mamaji is, as expected, great, he does a fine job of it. Annu Kapoor plays Mamaji and subsequently Baby’s lawyer in the film, has a small role comparatively but he impresses with his performance and is superb. It is really a great pleasure to see such a good actor like Nadiara Babbar make a comeback in this film. She is really good. The rest of the cast offer able support.
Director Shilpi Dasgupta tries to but doesn’t manage to improve upon how the script was, although manages to get good performances out of her actors.
At the box-office
The film has taken a disappointingly shocking start at the box-office. But with a good word of mouth the movie can salvage something overall.