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Friday, September 22, 2023

Khandaani Shafakhana: Hindi Cinema Raises Awareness of Sexual Health Through Comedy

Khandaani Shafakahana loosely translates to ‘Familial clinic’ and the film’s trailer has just released.

Whilst the title seems quite unexpected and bizarre, the premise of this Shilpi Dasgupta film is relevant and required in today’s society.

The story revolves around a young girl, Baby Bedi (Sonakshi Sinha) who inherits his uncle’s sex clinic after he dies.

Varun Sharma once again makes laugh with his acting prowess and humorous antics.

His quirky character will compel you to see more of him on the screen.

Badshah will be making his acting debut with this movie and he looks unexpectedly funny in the trailer.

Bollywood Pushing the Envelope on Sexual Health

In the trailer, we see how Baby she realises that there are a lot of people who have sexual problems but just feel ashamed in sharing it and seeking treatment.

Dialogues like: “People just quiver at the name of ‘sex’. We will have to do something that will open up people in talking about sex themselves.”

She takes centre-stage in endeavouring to spread awareness and encouraging people to get help when necessary.

Khandaani Shafakana joins a list of several other Bollywood films which focus on sexual health… Most notably Vicky Donor and Shubh Mangal Savdhaan.

However, the difference here is that the movie aims to cover sexual health – generally.

Though sex is frequent and natural, the film continues the dialogue of why there is this culture of silence and double standards about it.

How Sexual Health Can Impact the Psyche of Men

The most interesting aspect of Khandaani Shafakhana is the female lead.

Going by the trailer, we will see how a female protagonist takes the responsibility to educate society on sexual health and well-being.

We will also witness how she encourages people to seek help for it. But by ‘people’ we specifically mean ‘men’.

As such, the first glimpse gives a taster on how sexual health issues impact masculinity and the potential ‘shame’ that it curtails.

On the same token, there are raised eyebrows and scepticism whether a woman can run the clinic… As we see in Varun Sharma’s reaction.

As such, to again see a narrative where a woman fulfils her responsibilities regardless of the misogynistic views against her is empowering.

Furthermore, to see that a female protagonist advising/helping men is quite supportive and optimistic.

It’s almost like Bhumi Pednekar’s character in Shubh Mangal Savdhaan who stands by her love interest who suffers from erectile dysfunction.

In addition to the embarrassment, we could also see the hypocrisy that the word ‘sex’ has on society, even the elder generation’s reactions towards seeing awareness raised on it.

Appeals to a Family Audience

What should be a matter of celebration is that films like these are no longer made with an A-certificate and appealing to an adult audience.

There is that confidence to make ‘taboo’ subjects on a mainstream level, that too appropriate to a family audience

Perhaps through such mediums, films are able to convey messages more effectively and to a wider range of viewers.

As it is, Hindi cinema does not have a particularly great track record with sex-comedies. They are either too extreme, cringeworthy or outright disrespectful.

But with movies like this, one becomes convinced that the project will be sensible and enjoyable at the same time.

In fact, nowadays, Bollywood is learning how to strike the perfect balance between education and entertainment.

We are certain that Khandaani Shafakhana will follow suit.

The film releases on 26th July.

Watch the trailer of  Khandaani Shafakhana here!


Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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