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Sharmajee Ki Beti review: A celebration of girlhood across all ages!

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Aishwarya Srinivasan
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Directed by Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, Sharmajee Ki Beti is a slice of life film that reminds you of a warm hug on a rainy day.

Sharmajee Ki Beti review: ‘Sharma’ is one of the most common last names that we have in India. And in most Indian neighbourhoods, being referred to as ‘Sharmajee ka ladka’ or ‘Sharmajee ki beti’ is the norm. Tahira Kashyap Khurrana takes this surname and makes it the protagonist of the film. It is her attempt to show us ‘Sharmajee Ki Beti’ is more than just the coy girl next door. 

The story revolves around five women, all of course have the same surname ‘Sharma’ and while all of their arcs are running parallel to one another in the film, they’re all still connected to each other in some way or the other. To begin with, we see Swati Sharma (Vanshika Taparia), a 13-year-old who is beyond frustrated that she still hasn’t gotten her periods. She considers herself to be abnormal and dysfunctional because all the girls in her batch have got their periods and the FOMO is hitting her hard! Swati’s mother, Jyoti Sharma (Sakshi Tanwar) is a teacher at a coaching class and only aims to go higher and higher with her career. But this leads to Swati feeling the absence of her mother, especially at a time when she needs her the most. In another household, we see Kiran Sharma (Divya Dutta) who has recently moved to Mumbai from Patiala and is struggling to adjust to the fast-paced life here. She feels rather lonely in this city where no one takes the time to even take a proper breath. But she also feels lonely with her husband who is anything but interested in their marriage. Her daughter, Gurveen Sharma (Arista Mehta) has a love/hate relationship with her hair and is mostly confused about what she wants from life. Gurveen and Swati go to the same school and are each other’s besties and confidantes. The fifth Sharma that we see in the film is Tanvi Sharma (Saiyami Kher) who plays cricket for the Mumbai team. But her red flag of a boyfriend doesn't find her ‘feminine’ enough. How all five Sharmajee ki Betis embrace their truth is what the film is all about.

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This year has been particularly fabulous for women centric films. With Kiran Rao’s Laapataa Ladies garnering all the love and Rhea Kapoor’s Crew joining the 100 crore club, Sharmajee Ki Beti just takes the torch forward in this marathon. A major reason why all of these films work is because it's women telling women’s stories and we’re all for that! Tahira Kashyap Khurrana’s attempt to pinpoint the underlying issues in the daily lives of these women leaves an impact on you. For instance, Swati’s longing for periods and her happiness when she finally gets them is such a unique way of looking at menstruation which most of us were told to look at as a ‘problem’ since a young age. A lot of scenes in the film also hit close to home for me. Growing up, I also had a working mother and because of that, a lot of the times, she could not make it to my annual days and be there for me when I needed someone to tell me it’s okay to have body hair or rather it’s okay to even have a bad hair day. Swati’s plight felt too relatable on this account. But what I  also resonated with was Swati realizing that her mother is working so hard for her and that's not a bad thing at all. It's something to take inspiration from and she is giving so much of herself in every single aspect of her life. 

Any scene that had Swati and Gurveen together, never had a dull moment. While the film is not outright funny, certain dialogues between the two had the perfect comic timing. The friendship between the two is the heart of the film. Without spoiling anything, a particular scene that’s heavily focused on Gurveen is so well done. It feels authentic and makes you wonder about the prep that must’ve gone behind it. Divya Dutta as Kiran makes your heart melt. From having nobody to talk to, being a housewife facing prejudice from other working women to finding her own calling in this city, her arc will make you want to root for her.

This film is Tahira Kashyap Khurrana’s directorial debut and it's impressive how she has written her characters with so much depth. These characters meet each other only once or twice during this movie but that one small meeting proves to be pivotal to the climax. In certain scenes though, the narrative falls for stereotypical tropes about women which seems like a paradox to the moral of the story. Although with its issues, Sharmajee Ki Beti is a celebration of these imperfectly perfect women and highlights how womanhood is way more layered than we believe it to be!

Sharmajee Ki Beti is currently streaming on Prime Video!

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prime video Divya Dutta Sakshi Tanwar Tahira Kashyap Khurrana Sharmajee Ki Beti