Exclusive review – Laghushanka – Shweta Tripathi excels again in a sweet little short film on bed wetting

By Joginder Tuteja

What if you are a girl in your early 20s who suffers from the condition of bed wetting?

What if you are a girl coming from a small town where this condition is a taboo?

What if the girl’s wedding is just a couple of days away?

What if the groom is totally unaware about this?

Laghushanka (Google the word for Hindi translation) is a short-n-sweet 12 minutes about this very girl [Shweta Tripathi] who wonders, along with her supportive mother [Kanupriya Pandit], how to go about ‘fixing’ this ‘problem’. It turns out to be a family matter after all, as is expected in a joint family set up as shown in a geography that could belong to UP or MP.

Bhai-behen, chacha-mama, bua-foofa, mama-mami, just about everyone comes together with a bunch of suggestions around how to go about getting thing corrected before they blow out of proportion. The biggest issue at hand is, should the groom [Yogendra Vikram Singh] be informed about it beforehand?

The entire family is at loggerhead, hence resulting in a hilarious scene that faintly reminds one of the family battle that was filmed so brilliantly by director Shakun Batra in Kapoor & Sons. Out there, it was a hapless plumber who wondered whether he should even expect wages from a family where every member was grabbing each other’s throat. In this case, it is the simple helper who is wonder whether fancy lights and flowers should indeed be put out of decoration, lest the wedding is called off.

Though Shweta Tripathi is more of a silent spectator here, the scene – best of the short film – is craftily handled by first time director Nikhil Mehrotra. He had a certain idea around how to present this hilarious scene while also marveling over the thought process of the joint family members in a small town. Though there are a dozen characters on screen, the man who holds the reins here is newcomer Narottam Baid. As the father of the bride, he could well stand in as a double for yet another brilliant character actor, Vijendra Saxena [Super 30] on a given day.

Now if only the fun element could have well continued right till the climax, Laghushanka could well have turned out to be one of those little charming films. Here, once the scene shifts to the bedroom, the conversation that ensues between Shweta and Yogendra ends before it begins. One would have expected some spark around, at least in the climax if not the pre-climax. However, what you get to see is rather convenient. Moreover, Nikhil could well have gone all out to reveal what really happened, either through audio or video. Here, just a hint is thrown.

Nonetheless, the idea is good and the fact that OTTs (in this case Sony LIV) are backing up different content is allowing newer stories to be told. While this quick-fire 12 minutes affair does keep you engaged with Shweta impressing yet again in an unconventional part, a feel-good conclusion results in the core message of ‘all is well’.

Rating: ***

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