Ek Mini Katha
Duration: 134 Mins
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Karthik Rapolu
Writer: Sheik Dawood G., Merlapaka Gandhi
Production Company: UV Creations
Music: Pravin Lakkaraju
Cinematography: Gokul Bharathi
Editing: Satya G.
Release Date: 27 May 2021 (India)
Streaming On: Amazon Prime
Star Cast: Santosh Shoban, Kavya Thapar, Shraddha Das, Brahmaji, Sudharshan, Sapthagiri, Krishna Murali Posani, Keshav Deepak, Harshavardhan
Plot: Santhosh (Santosh Shoban), a youth struggling with 'Micro Penis Syndrome' from a very young age starts believing that he has a small-sized phallus. He grows up to be a kind, good-natured civil engineer but is constantly worried about his size, hence is on the verge of being depressed.
He makes the right choice to seek clarification from his father. Back from school, Santosh tells his father, who is interestingly a college professor, “I have a doubt.” The father is more than happy to help him but only if his doubts are in maths, science or social. The father loses it, when the boy says, “My doubt is in my shorts.” Like most parents in this country, instead of sitting him down and having a conversation, his father (Brahmaji) beats him up when he wants to talk about it. He also remains under the misconception that his son is a sex addict. Therefore, from the internet advising medicines, to Ayurveda, to even machines that promise to grow the size, Santosh tries out everything but succeeds with none.
Since the doubt of the seventh-grader remains unresolved even after he becomes an adult, sitting in a psychiatrist’s office (Harshavardhan), Santosh narrates his story in a flashback - his childhood days when he was bullied, the doubts that plagued him, misunderstandings between him and his father, and getting dumped by his first girlfriend. All of that leads him to believe that it is his phallus size that is the problem.
In the end, there is only one solution to life’s every problem in our society - marriage - and hence begins Santosh’s love story with Amruta (Kavya Thapar).
Review: Telugu cinema is fast pacing to join the world in the race to the evolution of content. In a country with shoddy sex education, debutant director Karthik Rapolu and writer Merlapaka Gandhi explores this single line - ‘does size really matter?’ a new territory that is completely untouched!
When films are made about taboo topics, filmmakers usually take the comical route as they feel it is easier to convince the audience that way, without making them uncomfortable. The one that Bollywood films like Vicky Donor, or Shubh Mangal Saavdhan have taken! Vicky Donor did a fine job of conversations around sperm donation and relationship issues a donor might face and was remade in Telugu as Naruda Donoruda, while the Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham (remade in Hindi as Shubh Mangal Saavdhan) discussed erectile dysfunction. ‘Ek Mini Katha’ is one such film that revolves around a man and his misconception about the size of his phallus.
However, for a film that relies on how a small phallus is more of a mental issue in our country than a physical one, the film never takes the time to delve deeper into Santosh’s mind. The tendency to tip-toe around the subject, the shame and stigma attached to it, deprives the children of the most basic and vital knowledge that would go a long way in making their adolescent years a bit less challenging and confusing. It instead chooses to go through repetitive scenes and jokes about it, which gets tiring after a while.
In short, what begins like a laugh riot and fresh content takes a dip after the interval. And as the screenplay begins to get repetitive, things become more generic. Rather than discussing the actual problem in the film, the filmmakers only try to stretch the humour around the misconception that size matters the most.
Nevertheless, Santosh Shoban is a charmer in his own way. The actor puts aside all the insecurities and becomes the boy who thinks he is not big enough in his pants. Hope he continues to be that vulnerable in choosing roles and evolves more as an actor.
Also, Sudarshan, who plays Darshan, Santosh’s friend, is a comic relief to the script and manages to do his job hilariously. Even Brahmaji who plays Santosh’s father gets a meaty character to play with and doesn’t let us down either.
But the filmmakers become clueless about what to do with the female lead character Amrutha, played by Kavya Thapar. Amrutha is introduced as a smart and independent girl. After marriage, however, she disappears into daily household chores as the hero wallows in his own sorrow. Kavya Thapar does what the script demands from her; however, she doesn’t have much screen time to show her versatility as an actor. Also, the glamorous, weed-smoking, woman sage, played by Shraddha Das is just meant to serve as eye candy and a distraction.
Music by Pravin Lakkaraju interrupts the flow for the most part, with only one song blending into the narrative, ‘Ee Maya Lo’. The melodious track beautifully captures the soul of Hyderabad with high-rise buildings and the metro.
Cinematography by Gokul Bharathi is staple. He gets creative with the dance numbers; the viewers would be impressed with the choreography and staging of the songs.
Overall, ‘Ek Mini Katha’ is a fresh subject that no one has touched yet. For Telugu cinema, this is a brave new step. Moreover, the viewers would like to stay invested in Santosh’s character in the middle of all that chaos and would want to know if he ever ends up making peace with his predicament. And that is what makes this film worth a watch!