Sharmajee Ki Beti Review

Sharmajee Ki Beti
Sharmajee Ki Beti

Tahira Kashyap Khurrana's directorial debut, "Sharmajee Ki Beti," shines with its clever title. It plays on the popular Indian phrase "Sharmaji Ka Beta," often used by middle-class parents to urge their sons to emulate the mythical perfect boy next door. This idealized figure excels in academics, career, and life, representing the pinnacle of success and virtue. "Sharmajee Ki Beti" subverts this notion, offering a fresh perspective through the lens of the perfect neighbor’s daughter.

The gender flip in "Sharmajee Ki Beti" presents five distinct stories featuring a different Sharma highlighting various facets of womanhood. We meet Swati Sharma (Vanshika Taparia), a 13-year-old eagerly anticipating her first period, and her best friend Gurveen Sharma (Arista Mehta), who is grappling with her sexual orientation. 

Swati's mother, Jyoti Sharma (Sakshi Tanwar), is a dedicated tuition teacher striving to balance her professional and personal life. Gurveen's mother, Kiran Sharma (Divya Dutta), a wealthy homemaker from Patiala, faces the challenge of adjusting to life in Mumbai. 

Lastly, Tanvi Sharma (Saiyami Kher) is a Ranji cricketer whose boyfriend thinks she lacks femininity. These women confront societal expectations to be straight, submissive, feminine, and domestic. Through their experiences, the film suggests that these real women, with all their flaws and strengths, set the true standard for courage and complexity, challenging the very notion of the ideal woman.

Debut Pitfalls: The Challenges of "Sharmajee Ki Beti"

However, that's where the film's ingenuity ends. "Sharmajee Ki Beti," like other similar projects such as "Big Girls Don’t Cry," suffers from the common pitfalls of debut features. Their novelty might have sufficed a decade ago, but these works are so preoccupied with their progressive themes that they fail to explore them deeply. This gap between intent and execution highlights the difference between genuine storytelling and mere marketing. Themes of women's empowerment and feminism are reduced to superficial hashtags, resembling neatly packaged brands more than insightful social commentary.

The characters are presented in oversimplified binaries. The 'housewife' is portrayed as a simpleton; the cricketer is a stereotypical tomboy who rides bikes, and frequently uses "yaar," and arm-wrestles at pubs. The teenagers speak with an unrealistic maturity, as if written by adults, and the teacher’s life is so compartmentalized that ‘Me time with husband’ is an alarm on her digital calendar.

"Sharmajee Ki Beti" falls victim to the first-feature syndrome. It overuses metaphorical mirror shots and begins with a playful voice-over that subverts the traditional male baritone, only to abandon it after the initial character introductions. The exposition lacks subtlety, such as when two cricket selectors discuss Tanvi's potential in a clumsy, on-the-nose manner: “The opener slot is empty for the upcoming New Zealand tour.” It's as if they are issuing a press release to the audience.

Kiran’s ennui is portrayed through random activities: playing cards with dabbawalas, taking selfies with vegetable vendors, and interacting with a house helper who behaves like a character from "The Kapil Sharma Show." The film juggles five parallel stories, leading to expanded sequences rather than compressed or divided ones. Disparate scenes and emotions often merge awkwardly because they feature the same character. For instance, Swati transitions from being funny backstage to winning an acting prize with a triumphant anthem playing to waiting sadly for her parents as the school empties out—all within a single scene. These should have been split into three separate scenes to convey each emotion properly.

The film's struggle is evident in how Jyoti's resolution is reached so early that by the time everyone else gets their happy endings, you almost forget about her story. This uneven pacing and lack of depth ultimately detract from the film's intended impact.

About Flim’s Cast, Director & Where it is Streaming

  • Director: Tahira Kashyap Khurrana

  • Writer: Tahira Kashyap Khurrana

  • Cast: Sakshi Tanwar, Divya Dutta, Saiyami Kher, Vanshika Taparia, Arista Mehta, Sharib Hashmi, Parvin Dabbas

  • Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

 Replacing Complexity With Stereotypes

1. Reduction to Stereotypes

  • Kiran’s husband: Too busy to care, dismissive, Disney villain-like.

  • Tanvi’s boyfriend: Aspiring actor, blatantly chauvinistic, mimics Farhan Akhtar, critical of her cricket bruises and chipped nails.

  • Jyoti’s husband, Sudhir: Supportive but superficially beta-male.

2. Performance Flattening

  •  Talented cast spanning generations, but underutilized.

  •  Reminiscent of Gareth Southgate’s coaching: Everyone out of position, overly cautious approach despite the talent.

3. Rare Striking Moments

  • Tanvi’s boyfriend pins her down during sex to 'correct' power dynamic.

  •  Kiran imagines herself as a corny superhero or serial killer.

  •  The hotel receptionist silently supports a woman searching for her cheating husband.

4. Potential Unrealized

  • These moments hint at what the film could have been but fall short.

  • Comparison to Kiran Rao’s "Laapata Ladies": A true ‘Sharmajee Ki Beti’.

  • Advice to be like "Laapata Ladies": Aim for balance, work smart, not loud.

Sharmajee Ki Beti
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What is the plot of "Sharmajee Ki Beti"?


The film follows the lives of four women from the Sharma family, showcasing their personal struggles, aspirations, and familial bonds within the traditional Indian family structure.


Who are the main characters in "Sharmajee Ki Beti"?


The main characters include Sharmajee, Sunita Sharma, Priya Sharma, and Nina Sharma.


What are the central themes explored in "Sharmajee Ki Beti"?


The film explores generational conflict, women's empowerment, and family dynamics.

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