Santosh Sobhan takes up an unusual role in this Telugu film, but the dreary narrative is a letdown
Ek Mini Katha could have been a Public Service Announcement at best. But it ends up a feature film that doesn’t do justice to the unconventional story idea it picks up and stretches to 136minutes. Taking up a tricky idea alone is not a win, unless the film is good enough to make viewers empathise with the plight of a character and maybe, look at the social taboos that need to be done away with.
Written by Merlapaka Gandhi and directed by Karthik Raprolu, Ek Mini Katha has a protagonist, Santosh (Santosh Sobhan), who suffers from an inferiority complex owing to size issues.
Ek Mini Katha
- Cast: Santosh Sobhan, Kavya Thapar, Brahmaji, Shraddha Das
- Direction: Karthik Raprolu
- Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
He has been plagued by self doubt since childhood, so much so that he loses focus in studies and later shudders at the thought of getting married. Inevitably, as such stories go, he falls in love but fears that he may not be good enough for the girl.
Vicky Donor (2012; Hindi) did a fine job of conversations around sperm donation and relationship issues a donor might face, and was remade in Telugu as Naruda Donoruda (2016). The 2013 Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham (remade in Hindi as Shubh Mangal Saavdhan) discussed erectile dysfunction. Stories that dispel myths and taboos surrounding masculinity aren’t new and need to be addressed with sensitivity.
Ek Mini Katha is thankfully spared of too many innuendos. But the narrative itself is long-winded and boring, infused with stale gags.
The solution is in plain sight — of a parent having to give a patient, understanding ear to the concerns of a child and be willing to impart basic sex education. It’s a reflection of societal hesitance and taboo when the father (Brahmaji plays his part well) misunderstands his son to be a sex addict, as the boy seeks to find answers on his own.
The story also explores how quacks take advantage of the social stigma and the lack of confidence among men who grapple with size issues and loot them in the name of cure.
As the story unfolds, first spelling out the problem from both the father and son’s points of view to a psychiatrist (Harshavardhan), it’s never grating. But along the way, someone must have thought a Telugu film with a tricky story needed some comedy, and a slew of eccentric characters are introduced. The comedy is dumb and patience-testing.
A long-lost childhood friend returns claiming he is now a lorry owner, there’s a cousin who is prone to self harm after love failure (why is a suicidal tendency a comic situation?) and an elderly man is obsessed with Pooja Hegde’s legs! And Shraddha Das appears as a seer.
Watching this inane drama unfold, one is likely to feel as lost as the leading lady Amruta (Kavya Thapar) or counsel the principal characters to sit and talk it out, like the psychiatrist does towards the end.
Had the flashbacks been crisp and the counselling done much earlier, we would have been spared of the dull film.
(Ek Mini Katha streams on Amazon Prime Video)