Shaadi Ki Baat on body-shaming, is a winner

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Shaadi Ki Baat is a simple but effective film on body-shaming. Photo: Abhijit Sinha

We know that many short films on YouTube and similar platforms, by virtue of their definition and meaning, send out messages in a crisp yet hard-hitting manner. There are too many examples here, Ouch and Tindey being just among dozens. Marital harassment, religious discrimination, treatment of parents—almost any topic is handled deftly in such movies because of the time constraints, usually under 20 minutes. In fact, the impact is greater when the film is shorter.

A welcome addition to this list is Shaadi Ki Baat, produced by Euphoria Films, on the crucial issue of body-shaming. The feature Dum Laga Ke Haisha was all of seven years ago, so we see a far-shorter story here to drive home the point that physical attributes like weight and figure do not decide a woman’s nature and character, and thus her eligibility for marriage. And this issue is universal, not culture-centric.

Irika (Irika Sharma) has been rejected by 12 suitors despite her academic qualifications, her direct and humorous nature and the high post she holds. The 13th boy, Sachin (Prashant Yadav), no Adonis himself, comes to see her, accompanied by his father (Abhijit Sinha). The mother is almost apologetic about her daughter, and keeps warning her against overeating and her obsession with food, especially now that 12 men have rejected her on the grounds of her plumpness.

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Sachin’s father is also negatively affected by her looks, but as a formality, the young suitors move into a second room to converse. Irika, of course, assumes the worst, and is unapologetic about what she is. But we are in for a surprise.

A simple, no-frills story, it is narrated basically by writer-director Abhijit Sinha (who plays the boy’s father) with decent background music by Shobhana Thakur. The film is commendable for its intentions and should be watched by all those who confuse the value of a human being on a (weighing-) scale of zero to 100 kilos rather than on more relevant issues.

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