Sharmajee Ki Beti is wonky women’s empowerment drama

Vanshika Taparia, Sharib Hashmi and Sakshi Tanwar in Sharmajee Ki Beti. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

There are five female Sharma’s here belonging to three families living in the same building. Jyoti Sharma (Sakshi Tanwar), an ace teacher in a coaching center, due to her frenetic schedule, is forced not to look after the small but vital needs of her pre-pubertal beti (daughter) Swati (Vanshika Taparia) who begins to hate her.

Kiran Sharma (Divya Dutta) has moved from Patiala to Mumbai with her indifferent husband (Parvin Dabas) long ago. She has a teenage beti named Gurveen (Arista Mehta), who is Swati’s bestie in school. Tanvi has no friend in “busy” Mumbai and with a hubby she only meets when she cooks breakfast for him (they barely make eye-contact), she occupies the bulk of time doing absurd things like playing cards with the dabbawalas (Mumbai’s famous tiffin carriers) and sundry while attempting to make social contacts with her neighbors, who unlike in Patiala, have no time for her.

The final Sharma is Tanvi (Saiyami Kher), who also lives in the same building and is an ace cricketer with great prospects in the field. Her boyfriend, Rohan (Ravjeet Singh) is an aspiring actor who wants her to leave cricket, be more “feminine’ and ‘perfect’ in his eyes. This intensifies when he gets a big launch.

A wannabe but completely addlepated female empowerment movie, Sharmajee Ki Beti follows the mundane tepid cinema that is becoming more and more common today—about confused people who should think straight. It makes a case for the wrong things—surely, for example, Jyoti, who is cheered by all her students when she is given the Best Teacher award, could have been (much) more attentive and considerate towards her own daughter, Swati. Almost every point that Swati points out in her outburst at her mother is valid. Swati, who has a massive inferiority complex as she has not yet got her periods, goes to school each day with her hair looking like a mop of fiber: now which school will allow that for long? And surely, her father could have been taught by busy mom dearest about how to do his daughter’s hair if she had to leave? Why not make her look presentable?

On the other hand, Kiran somehow knows everything about Gurveen, and encourages her when she mentions that she has discovered her gay leanings: Sigh! That modern wannabe obsession with homosexuality again: which is completely needless and out of context here!

Presumably, Gurveen is at least 14, if not older, so it is not easy to buy the explanation that Kiran’s husband later gives her about why he is indifferent to Kiran and is cheating on her as well. More so, we do not get any interaction whatsoever between Gurveen and her dad! Also, does it justify her husband’s callousness to his wife and daughter that in the end he leaves the plush apartment to them and moves out apologetically, stating merely, “It’s the least I can do!”?

The third story is something we have seen in a recent sports movie I cannot recollect: a chauvinistic boyfriend who cannot see his girl’s brilliance at play. But again we wonder how Tanvi bore Rohan’s chauvinism for so long, even after going to bed with him.

Tahira Kashyap Khurrana’s script wallows in showing fallible human beings in the best tradition of such modern movies about “losers” or “confused” people in general. According to her, small gestures like Jyoti taking a day off for Swati justifies a mother’s failures, so that even Swati appreciates her for her “fame”—a poster on a passing bus as the star of her coaching classes! I am no traditionalist, but surely career women are never so negligent about their own children’s emotional needs, or unaware (especially as a teacher who always teaches her students good values!) that the most important thing you can give your kids is time. Surely, as is the practical case with a zillion such women, a mother can do the balancing act between kids and work.

Wonky in its premise and in the way it is written and executed, Sharmajee Ki Beti is an acute disappointment and only Vanshika Taparia’s splendid turn as Swati and Divya Dutta as Kiran save the day as far as performances are concerned. Sharib Hashmi is alright as Swati’s father but his confrontation sequence with his wife’s critical colleagues is lukewarm, especially from his side. As always, the music is a dead loss.

And the film is acutely disappointing.

Rating: **

Amazon Prime Video presents  Applause Entertainment’s & Ellipsis Entertainment’s Sharmajee Ki Beti  Produced by: Tanuj Garg, Atul Kasbekar, Sameer Nair & Deepak Segal  Written & Directed by: Tahir Kashyap Khurrana  Music: Abhishek Ananya, Zohran Miranda, Ravator & Nivedita and Natasha Pinto  Starring: Sakshi Tanwar. Divya Dutta, Saiyami Kher, Sharib Hashmi, Parvin Dabas, Vanshika Taparia, Arista Mehta, Ravjeet Singh, Sushant Ghadge & others



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