Khandaani Shafakhana Story:
When Baby Bedi (Sonakshi Sinha) is entrusted with a job of running controversial sex clinic ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’, in a small town of Punjab, she faces severe backlash from all quarters. Can she find a cure for the widespread social stigma against important issues like sex education and sexual health?
Khandaani Shafakhana (Hindi) Movie 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.
In the past, we have seen films like ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Shubh Mangal Savadhan’ handle sensitive subjects (read sperm donation and erectile dysfunction) with class, tact and comedy. While this film’s intent is bang on, what it really needed was a heavier dose of humour and entertainment.