Nocturnal enuresis is a medical condition in which an individual suffers from involuntary urination. Most people call identify this condition with the term ‘bed wetting’. While very young children suffering from it should not be a cause of concern, an adult showing symptoms of it definitely is. ‘Laghushanka’, the new short film directed by Nikhil Mehrotra (writer of films like ‘Dangal’, ‘Chhichhore’ and ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’) deals with this subject.
This medical condition continues to be a taboo in the Indian society. In this twelve-minute long film, a young bride-to-be (Shweta Tripathi) is the one suffering from this condition. Her prospective groom and future in-laws are not aware of her suffering from this problem and the family fears if they get to know about it, they might just call off the wedding. The family also contemplates coming clean on this issue and calling off the wedding on their own.
In the last couple of years, many Hindi films have used humour as a tool to address serious issues. This short film takes a similar route. The film is set in North India (presumably Uttar Pradesh) and though it is shot largely in indoor locations, milieu has been represented very well. There are a bunch of sharply written lines that bring a smile to your lips and many a times, evoke laughter. The various characters in the girl’s family, the conversations they have with each other, their character traits – all these things have been portrayed with a certain nuance and that helps you investing in this film as a viewer. The setting, characterisation and the dialogues are the elements which make the film a delightful watch. The twist that comes around in the penultimate moments has been incorporated nicely and leaves a solid impact. Right from the first scene, music has been used as an effective tool to underline the various emotions that have been represented in the film. The score, put together by Mannan Shaah, is memorable; several music pieces linger in your mind long after you have finished watching the film.
Shweta Tripathi has played the role of a North Indian girl in a couple of her projects in the past but there no sense of repetitiveness in the way she approaches this character. She delivers a performance that is sensitive and confident in equal measures. The casting is excellent. Each actor, regardless of the scope he or she gets, leaves a solid mark. A special mention must be made of Yogendra Vikram Singh who plays the groom. He gets ample scope to show his mettle as an actor in the last five minutes of the film and he does exceedingly well.
‘Laghushanka’ is a well-written and deftly executed short that uses humour very effectively to address a serious issue.