Review of Sharmajee Ki Beti: A lighthearted and sincere celebration of women’s experiences. It’s Tahira Kashyap’s first feature film.

When “women telling women’s stories” becomes more than simply a catchphrase and becomes effectively conveyed on television, it is a remarkable accomplishment. Sharmajee Ki Beti, Tahira Kashyap Khurana’s feature debut, is a pleasant film. Earlier this year, Kiran Rao’s Laapataa Ladies won all the praise and appreciation for its tender storyline and charming acting. 

This video, which celebrates women and womanhood throughout history, calms your senses like a hot cup of masala tea with a wedge of zesty lemon. It seems like a group hug where women are telling one other how great they are.

 It’s straightforward, sincere, and enjoyable. Three distinct ladies with the same last name—Sharma—have their experiences woven together in this narrative. Even though these songs are running simultaneously, there is a small instant in time when their characters cross paths that give us a sense of the effect. The movie has a lot of great aspects, but it works because it’s straightforward and unpretentious. The movie makes you laugh a lot, and even though it’s not a comedy per such, you can’t help but notice how funny each actor is while they’re in their respective roles.

Sharmajee Ki Beti discusses the challenges that middle-class and contemporary women face daily when navigating existential crises in metropolitan areas. These issues are genuine and realistic. Teenage Swati Sharma (Vanshika Taparia) worries about being the only girl in her class who hasn’t had her period yet and believes she’s “abnormal.” Although her kid still respects her mother Jyoti Sharma (Sakshi Tanwar), who is teaching in a coaching class and moving up the professional ladder, she has a supportive and loving husband named Sudhir (Sharib Hashmi) who is always there for her. In a different family, Patiala native Kiran Sharma (Divya Dutta) is suffering loneliness despite her husband Vinod (Praveen Dabbas), who is hardly present in the marriage and is working hard to adapt to the fast-paced lifestyle of Mumbai.

Reluctantly, Kiran’s mother in Patiala would much prefer to make reels or play on the Play Station than hear her daughter’s heartbreaking tales. Gurveen (Arista Mehta), Kiran’s daughter and Swati’s closest friend at school, is preoccupied with her short hair and unsure of her goals in life. She doesn’t have time for anything else. Finally, promising cricket player Tanvi Sharma (Saiyami Kher) is stressed up all the time by her lover Rohan (Ravjeet Singh) about how ‘feminine’ she should appear. The brilliance of Sharmajee Ki Beti is in how their storylines align yet maintain their individuality.

Tahira deserves praise for the courage, confidence, and conviction with which she has crafted her characters. She doesn’t hold back in allowing each of these women to embrace their uniqueness and own up to their imperfections. These women have faced varying degrees of difficulty in their lives, but they must always remember that within them lies a superwoman. Although the film touches on several important issues, it chooses a lighthearted approach to storytelling that prevents it from coming across as preachy.

Additionally, Sharmajee Ki Beti’s story is elevated by the screenplay’s subtleties and minute details. You can’t help but giggle at the small things, and the attention to detail keeps you interested. There are scenes in the movie where the most serious circumstances give way to amusing ones. For example, Kiran dreams of dressing herself as Super Woman and taking to the skies to save people when she sees a building on fire! These come in a good number, and they all get better with time.

And then there are Jyoti’s incessant texts on her phone, reminding her to do everything from pay her maid to do kitchen chores to spend time with her husband. Even while you adore the friendship angle between Gurveen and Swati, the mother-daughter songs are also really cute. Some of the exquisitely written scenes that touch you are the ones where Gurveen tells her mother a secret or when Swati realizes her mother is doing nothing wrong if she decides to work.

Sakshi Tanwar, the formidable actor that she is, gives an earnest performance, showcasing the struggle of all working mothers. She brings the perfect balance while emoting strength and vulnerability. I would like to take a moment to laud Tahira for declining the temptation to cast any star in her directorial debut. It’s commendable how she let these women be the stars of the story.

When it comes to the film, Vanshika, and Arista, the two young performers, are its lifeblood and never have a boring moment. Their relationship, camaraderie, comic timing, and language delivery are all spot on. Particularly impressive is Vanshika, who gives such a sophisticated and subtle performance with her emotions, body language, and camera control.

Despite being a symbol of a million women who prioritize their aspirations above relationships, Saiyami Kher’s portrayal of an ambitious cricket player in Ghoomar seemed to be the most undeveloped of them. Furthermore, she doesn’t provide much in the way of emotions or action, so it’s a fair performance overall.

In Sharmajee Ki Beti, Divya Dutta’s endearing portrayal of a housewife on a self-discovery journey is what really steals the show. She is the picture of power, grace, and elegance. She only brightens the screen with her presence, yet she is so believable that you can laugh with her, weep with her, and experience her anguish. One of the best scenes in the movie is the climax moment where she is with her spouse.

The movie could have done a better job of avoiding tired stereotypes that portray housewives as idle, working mothers as bad people who ignore their children, and career-focused women as egotistical people who don’t value relationships. These stereotypes seem to run counter to the very notion of honoring these women. It is easy to ignore the turmoil at times, but you get the impression at one point that the story has taken on too much.

A slice-of-life movie that strikes a chord is Sharmajee Ki Beti, which affirms women as powerful, imperfect people without going overboard or hammering home feminism’s points.