Sharmajee Ki Beti review: A warm group hug celebrating womanhood; your next watch after Laapataa Ladies | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Sharmajee Ki Beti review: A warm group hug celebrating womanhood; your next watch after Laapataa Ladies

Jun 28, 2024 10:51 PM IST

Sharmajee Ki Beti review: A celebration of women's stories with genuine and fun narratives. It marks Tahira Kashyap's feature debut.

It's an impressive feat when 'women telling women's stories' isn't just a flashy motto, but it translates into powerful storytelling on screen. Earlier this year, Kiran Rao's Laapataa Ladies earned all the love and adulation for its gentle storytelling and endearing performances, and now Tahira Kashyap Khurana, marking her debut with the feature format, brings a heartwarming watch with Sharmajee Ki Beti. (Also read: Kalki 2898 AD (Hindi) movie review: Nag Ashwin offers a chaotic sci-fi epic; stellar 2nd half redeems a dull beginning)

Sharmajee Ki Beti review: Divya Dutta in a still from the movie.
Sharmajee Ki Beti review: Divya Dutta in a still from the movie.

Celebrating women and womanhood across ages, this film is like a warm cup of masala tea with a slice of zingy lemon that soothes your senses. It's simple, genuine, fun and feels like a group hug with women telling each other how special they are. The narrative weaves together stories of three different women, with the same surname, Sharma. While these tracks are running parallel, their characters bump into each other at one point, briefly enough to make us feel the impact. The film makes several strong points, yet its simplicity and lack of pretence make the film work. The film offers you a generous dose of laughter, and though it's not an outright comedy, you can't miss the impeccable comic timing of each of the actors in their own spaces.

The five stories

Sharmajee Ki Beti talks about real and relatable issues that modern and middle-class women go through on daily basis while dealing with existential crisis in urban cities. There's a teenager Swati Sharma (Vanshika Taparia), thinks she's 'abnormal', and frets about being the only girl in her class who hasn't got her 'period yet. Her mother Jyoti Sharma (Sakshi Tanwar) is climbing up the professional ladder teaching in a coaching class but is losing her daughter's respect, though she has an extremely caring and supportive husband in Sudhir (Sharib Hashmi), who always has her back. In another household, Kiran Sharma (Divya Dutta) from Patiala is trying hard to adjust in the fast-paced lifestyle of Mumbai and fighting loneliness even with her husband Vinod (Praveen Dabbas), who is almost non-existent in the marriage.

Kiran's reluctant mother back in Patiala would rather be caught up making reels or spend time on play station than listen to her daughter's sob stories. Kiran's daughter, Gurveen (Arista Mehta), also Swati's best friend in school, has no time for anything but being concerned about her short hair and confused about what she wants from life. Lastly, Tanvi Sharma (Saiyami Kher), an aspiring cricketer, is reeling under the constant pressure from her boyfriend Rohan (Ravjeet Singh) to look 'feminine'. How their stories coincide yet remain individualistic is the beauty of Sharmajee Ki Beti.

Kudos to Tahira Kashyap

The confidence, courage and conviction with which Tahira has written her characters deserve applause. She doesn't hesitate one bit in letting all these women own up their flaws while embracing their existence and be proud of what they are. All these women have their own shares of struggles, and though the degree of difficulty may vary, they must never forget that they have a super woman within. While the film touches upon several pertinent issues, it opts for a light-hearted approach to storytelling that keeps it from being preachy.

Also, the minute details and nuances in the screenplay elevate the narrative in Sharmajee Ki Beti. It's the little things that make you burst into laughter, and that detailing keeps you hooked. There are portions in the film when the most serious of situation breaks into a hilarious scene. For instance, upon seeing a building on fire, Kiran dreams of donning the Super Woman costume and flying in the air to rescue people! There are quite a few of these, and each gets better than the last one. And then Jyoti's constant reminders on her mobile phone, ranging from maid's salary to kitchen duties to even spending time with her husband. While you love the friendship angle between Swati and Gurveen, the mother-daughter tracks are equally endearing. The scene in which Gurveen tells her mum a secret, or when Swati realises her mum is doing no wrong if she chooses to work are some of the beautifully written sequences that move you.

I want to take a moment to laud Tahira for resisting the temptation to cast any 'star' in her directorial debut. It's commendable how she let these women be the stars of the story.

Actors: Winners and winners

Talk of the young actors - Vanshika and Arista - both are the heartbeat of the film, and there's no dull moment with them on the screen. Their camaraderie, bonding, comic timing and dialogue delivery is all on point. Vanshika, in particular, is outstanding with such a mature and nuanced performance with those expressions, body language and control over her shots.

Sakshi Tanwar, the formidable actor she is, delivers an earnest performance, showcasing the struggle of all working mothers. She brings the perfect balance while emoting strength and vulnerability.

Saiyami Kher's role of an aspiring cricketer looked like an extension to her character in Ghoomar, and though she is representing a million women, who choose their dreams over relationship, her character sketch and storyline seems the weakest of all. Moreover, there's very little in terms of expressions and activity that she brings to the table, so it's quite a passable act.

What truly steals the show in Sharmajee Ki Beti is Divya Dutta's heartwarming performance as a housewife on a journey of self-discovery. She is an epitome of strength, perfection, and finesse. She is so convincing that you smile with her, cry with her, feel her pain and agony, yet she just lights up the screen with her presence. Watch out for the climax scene with her husband, it is one of the high points in the film.

Among the supporting cast, Sharib Hashmi delivers an endearing and moving performance, once again. From helping his wife do the daily chores to being her biggest cheerleader, from fulfilling daddy duties to enjoying sweet moments with his daughter, he portrays the man with all green flags, with so much ease. Parvin Dabbas, in his limited screen time, doesn't really standout but his climax scene with Dutta leaves an impact.

One thing I felt the film could have avoided is falling for stereotypical tired tropes like labelling housewives as idle women, or working mums as evil who neglect their kids, or career-oriented women as selfish who don't value relationships, It somewhere contradicts the whole idea of celebrating these women. At one point, you feel the narrative has bitten off more than it can chew, it is easy to overlook the chaos.

Sharmajee Ki Beti is a slice-of -life film that resonates because it celebrates women as strong, flawed individuals without being over-the-top or beating any drums about feminism.

The film is now streaming of Prime Video.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!.

Get more updates from Bollywood, Taylor Swift, Hollywood, Music and Web Series along with Latest Entertainment News at Hindustan Times.
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On