Khandaani Shafakhana Highlights & Review

Introduction :

Khandaani Shafakhana (transl. Familial clinic) is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film directed by debutant director Shilpi Dasgupta, and starring Sonakshi Sinha and Badshah. The supporting cast includes Varun Sharma and Annu Kapoor. Principal photography began on 25 January 2019, and it was theatrically released in India on 2 August 2019.

Casting

• Sonakshi Sinha as Babita “Baby” Bedi

• Badshah as Gabru Ghataak

• Varun Sharma as Bhooshit Bedi

• Annu kapoor as Tangra

• Priyanshu Jora as Lemon Hero

• Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Hakim Tarachand aka Mamaji

• Rajesh Sharma as Judge

• Nadira Babbar as Mrs. Bedi

• Rajiv Gupta as Chachaji

• Diana Penty as Suneeta (special appearance)

• Sunil Shetty  as Himself (Cameo appearance in song “Shehar Ki Ladki”)

• Raveena Tandon as Herself (Cameo appearance in song “Shehar Ki Ladki”)

Khandani Shafakhan Movie Review

Khandaani Shafakhana Review: Walk into Khandaani Shafakhana, if you please. It’s a sex clinic where everything from erectile dysfunction and low sperm count, to early ejaculation and injuries during passionate sexual encounters is cured with Unani medicines. Needless to say, the visitors to the clinic are discreet, and ‘Mamaji’ (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), the man at the helm of this clinic faces social boycott and protests. For many years, he single-handedly pursues his passion to cure people until he passes away, leaving the ownership of the clinic to his niece Baby Bedi (Sonakshi). She is a medical sales representative living with her mother (Nadira Babbar) and good-for-nothing younger brother Bhooshit (Varun Sharma) in a house that could be usurped by a family member, if she fails to repay her dues.

The film’s premise is interesting and relevant as it repeatedly underlines how sex is still a taboo in India. Thankfully, it does so without resorting to cheap humour and double meaning jokes. The setting of a small town in Punjab also works really well as the backdrop. A dusty old clinic, the busy bylanes of a grand bazaar, and the nondescript homes, add character to the narrative.

However, contrary to the promotions of the film, where it was reiterated that a serious subject is tackled with humour, the film is not all that funny. The humour is sparse and dialogues which could have been funny, lack the comic punch. With repetitive conflicts, the story takes an emotional turn and eventually, it gets stuck in a loop. The pace too, slackens.

Sonakshi Sinha as Baby Bedi owns the film. She portrays Baby’s bravado and vulnerability in right doses. Rap star Badshah also makes an impressive debut as ‘Gabru Ghatack’, who is the most high profile client of Mamaji’s magic meds. He retains his real-life flashy avatar on-screen too, and delivers well in emotional scenes. Another debutant, Priyansh Jore as Sonakshi’s love interest, has an impressive boyish charm, but their chemistry is almost non-existent. Sadly, his character doesn’t give him the scope to perform. Varun Sharma once again plays his usual funny self, but we’ve seen him in a similar role in a recent release too. So there is nothing refreshing about it. Among the rest, Annu Kapoor, Nadira Babbar and Kulbhushan Kharbanda perform fairly well.

Highlights

Sonakshi Sinha is handed a lifeless sexual health clinic.

An old man bequeaths his Unani sex clinic in Hoshiarpur to his young niece – imagine the potential of that premise.

Sonakshi Sinha plays Baby Bedi, a medical sales representative from a struggling lower middle class family who sees light at the end of the tunnel when a beloved relative, Hakeem Tarachand (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), leaves his business to her. The conditions of his will do give her pause: she has to run the clinic for six months before she can sell it, which leaves her with a double whammy to contend with. First, she is not a qualified Unani doctor. And second, the late Hakeemsaab’s practice was frowned upon not just by society at large but also by her own family. Back-breaking debt, a mother (Nadira Babbar) and brother (Varun Sharma) who depend on her, and the possible loss of their home leave her with no choice though. And so begins her adventure.

The promise of this subject is multi-pronged – the agony of men, women and couples with sexual problems in a conservative community, the social squeamishness around sex, the restrictions placed on women, and a general unawareness about Unani medicine among a modern urban audience. If these had been tackled with depth, there is so much that Khandaani Shafakhana (Family Health Clinic) could have offered. Depth though is missing in this film that touches upon all these elements, but sinks its teeth into them only in fits and starts. It has its moments here and there. However, overall, although it is meant to be a comedy drama about sexual health, the comedy is occasionally on point but there is not enough of it, the social commentary is very occasionally insightful but not enough, and the drama is not dramatic enough.

Fukrey’s Varun Sharma is funny although his dialogue delivery sometimes needs clarity. Nadira Babbar manages to draw the most out of this thin story. And Annu Kapoor as the lawyer handling Hakeem Tarachand’s will is amusing to begin with, but fizzles out in the face of repetitiveness.

The one who suffers the worst injustice at the hands of this film is TV’s sweet-faced Priyansh Jora whose attractive personality makes you long for something substantial to happen to his character in the next scene, or the next scene, or the next…but it never does. As Baby’s neighbour in the locality where her dispensary is located, we notice the good-looking guy as soon as we see him. So does she. But he is given almost nothing to do.

Sexual health is not a theme often visited by Bollywood. In 2012, Shoojit Sircar pulled off a film about a sperm donor with immense maturity and sensitivity, neither of which took away from its comedy. What his Vicky Donor had going for it, apart from his own finesse and a great cast, was a great writer: Juhi Chaturvedi. RS Prasanna’s Shubh Mangal Saavdhan(2017) – which also starred Vicky Donor‘s Ayushmann Khurrana, this time playing a man with erectile dysfunction – was entertaining though not quite as good. There is so much of this territory that could be further explored. To place a woman at the centre of a film about a Unani sex clinic in an orthodox small town was a stroke of brilliance on the part of the team of Khandaani Shafakhana.Beyond that, the best thing about this film is that it deals with a tricky subject without getting icky at any point. That apart, Khandaani Shafakhana is an opportunity lost.

Releasing

The main look publication of the film was discharged by Sonakshi Sinha on 19 June 2019.The following day another blurb was revealed showing the lead cast of the film in a secret look. The official trailer of the film was discharged on 21 June 2019 by T-Arrangement.

The film scheduled to discharge on 2 August 2019, after the underlying discharge dates were changed.The film confirmed with a runtime of 136 minutes by English Leading group of Film Characterization, was discharged on 2 August 2019.

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