'Why Not Daughter?' Review: This Kamya Panjabi-produced short film tells the harsh reality of girl-child discrimination in a compelling narrative

Gender equality has been the topic of discussion in society for years now. In a country like India where women are worshipped and hailed as Goddess, there lies a prominent grey area that is cluttered with the idea of discrimination. Despite awareness, education and progress in the ideology of parents, we are yet to completely erase the line of distinction between a son and daughter. Touching upon this topic, television actor Kamya Panjabi turned producer to bring to fore an intense tale. Titled Why Not Daughter?, the short film is directed by Bunty Negi and features Omi Rajta, Karan Prem, Himani, Suvansh and Aaryan Negi.

Set against the majestic mountains in Himachal Pradesh, Why Not Daughter? revolves around a family of four. Bimla (Omi Rajta) is an ideal housewife who knows to balance household chores and keep her husband Dayal (Karan Prem) and two children- Payal (Himani) and Gaurav (Suvansh) happy. Little do they know what lies in the future for them. 24 hours later, Bimla and Dayal join the engagement ceremony of their neighbour’s daughter while Payal and Gaurav are put to sleep at home. However, their happy small world is turned upside down when a severe earthquake hits their small village atop the hill. Bimla and Dayal, panicked for their little ones, rush home. What follows next will leave you stunned.

Bunty Negi has directed the film keeping the reality in mind. Why Not Daughter? is gritty, real and impactful sans the gloss. This makes the film special. The Himachali way of lifestyle is depicted in its full glory. Why Not Daughter? enjoys a strong narrative that compels the audience to think. In a time when equality stands the tallest, questions are raised that when a parent is asked to choose between a son and daughter, the male child is preferred. Along with direction, Bunty has deftly written the story. The key characters-Bimla, Payal and Gaurav are sketched out well. Cinematography by Montu captures the essence and beauty of Himanchal Pradesh well. The horror of the earthquake is put on screen realistically. Sethu Raman adds value to Why Not Daughter? with the music. 

Omi Rajta as Bimla is brilliant. She brings out the worries and angst of a mother well. However, the twist in the tale will add a different layer to her act. Himani and Suvansh perform with confidence. Karan Prem and Aaryan Negi shine in their roles.

Kamya Panjabi, who herself has a young daughter, has commissioned a beautiful tale that is told the hard way. Doing her bit to make the society kind towards girls, nobody better than a strong personality like Kamya can present a riveting narrative.

Watch the film here: