Mona Singh’s short film is a moving portrayal of the “shadow pandemic”

Story: Dr Radhika becomes a victim of domestic violence amid the Covid-19 disaster, but she chooses to keep it hidden. Will she ever break her silence?

Review: ‘Ek Chup’ is based on the idiom ‘ek chup, sau sukh (stay quiet, earn a hundredfold happiness)’, which a girl inherits from her mother or grandparents with the belief that if she stays quiet, everything will fall into place for her. But will this philosophy be effective? Doesn’t this give men the advantage to commit evil deeds while women turn a blind eye to such violent crimes?

This short film is written and directed by Sonya V Kapoor, who has also co-produced it with Amrita Mendonza. This drama centres on the so-called “shadow pandemic,” which refers to the rising rates of violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same is depicted through the eyes of the lead character, Dr Radhika (Mona Singh), who has long been a victim of domestic abuse. However, due to Covid-19, the severity of the condition has risen and affects her daughter Sara (Chahat Tewani). As the story progresses, we witness how Radhika confronts her inner demons, including a difficult relationship with her husband, Shekhar (Joy Sengupta). The real question is whether she will break her silence. Will she pass on this trait to her daughter? This is the central theme of the story.

Conceptually, the film is strong and highlights a very relevant topic of violence against women. Not that domestic violence hasn’t been the subject of films before, but to masterfully convey the same feelings and a moving tale in just 16 minutes is impressive. The film’s climax, on the other hand, may not appeal to everyone because it is not a straightforward happy ending. However, the soul-stirring music by Himonshu Parikh and Harjot Kaur heightens the drama’s impact.

‘Ek Chup’ is a compelling case study on domestic violence, but it wouldn’t be the same without Mona Singh. She speaks through her eyes and makes you identify with her character. Chahat Tewani is fantastic as her adolescent daughter. Joy Sengupta’s character will undoubtedly make you dislike him. You can view this film for any reason, but it is definitely worth watching, especially for its efforts to show victims of the “shadow pandemic” and Mona Singh’s outstanding performance.

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