'Ek Duaa' review: Heart was at right place, disappointing execution
Bollywood actress Esha Deol Takhtani debuted as a producer with her digital short film Ek Duaa. Directed by Ram Kamal Mukherjee, the film has been backed by her banner Bharat Esha Films (BEF). The venture talks about gender inequality and how families still continue to treat a girl's birth as unfortunate. The heart was at the right place, but execution disappoints. Here's our review.
Deol Takhtani plays a mother lamenting her daughter's unfair treatment
The 45-minute-long project opens with Deol Takhtani as Abida, a homeworker in a struggling Mumbai household. She lives with her husband Sulaiman, son Faiz, daughter Duaa, and mother-in-law, and their economic condition is made apparent from the beginning. As seen in the trailer, Duaa is invisible to the orthodox patriarchal family. She is neither allowed schooling nor given any attention at home.
The twist is so apparent that it feels wasted
Given the very difficult condition, the mother-in-law suggests her son to try for another child (obviously a son), as she believes that it will increase his (Sulaiman's) chances at a better life, during his old age. It's when he adheres to his mother's advice, the twist is disclosed. However, it is so apparent that viewers will be able to see it from miles away.
Innumerable inconsistencies thoroughly affect experience of viewers
None of the acting performances, including Deol Takhtani's, appear convincing. What's more, the product is riddled with notable inconsistencies. The Dhoom actress wakes up, goes to sleep in heavy make up, and the accent of actors changes mid-speech. Most notably, Duaa should not be able to touch anyone (because, spoiler alert, she's Deol Takhtani's imagination) but one such shot has been kept in.
Reunion between director-actor fails to impress, movie gets 1.5/5
Ek Duaa marks the reunion of Mukherjee and Deol after 2019's Cakewalk. The movie was released on Voot Select as part of Voot Film Festival. Even at 45 minutes, the movie feels dragged. There is no sparkle to help you drag through. If you wish to watch something on female feticide, there are several short films and documentaries available online for free. Verdict: 1.5/5.