Shilpi Dasgupta’s "Khandaani Shafakhana" was intended to be a comedy that revolves around sex, on the lines of "Vicky Donor" and "Badhaai Ho". However, while the earlier films were lauded as wholesome entertainers, the Sonakshi Sinha-starrer is a wasted effort.

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"Khandaani Shafakhana" tells the story of a young woman who takes over the reins of a sex clinic in a conservative Indian town. There is plenty of potential for comedy here, but director Dasgupta and writer Gaurav Mehra fail to capitalize on it.

Sonakshi Sinha plays the protagonist, Baby Bedi, who struggles to make ends meet, as she deals with the antics of her whiny mother and good-for-nothing brother. When an estranged uncle bequeaths her a sex clinic that sits on prime property, Baby is hopeful it will end her financial troubles.

The clinic is hers to own, on the condition that she run it successfully for six months without inconveniencing the regular patients of her deceased uncle (Kulbhushan Kharbanda).

At first, Baby turns her nose up at her patients’ ailments and is queasy about treating them. Her mother is mortified by the thought of her daughter running a sex clinic, and the family is ridiculed by unkind relatives.

Baby lacks formal medical training, but gradually learns the tricks of the trade. Her uncle’s medicines and alternative treatment techniques come in handy as she learns to brew the right potions and treat her patients with kindness. Along the way, she falls in love with the neighbourhood lemonade seller (Priyanshu Jora).

The lifeless plot gets a few scenes right, but they are few and far between. The only bright spot is an all-too fleeting appearance by rapper Badshah, who plays a flamboyant version of himself as a popular rapper named Gabru Gatak. His delightfully wry humour seems to coax Sinha into displaying some comic timing that is otherwise missing from the rest of her performance.

Seasoned actors like Nadira Babbar and Annu Kapoor ham it up as the plot unravels beyond all help. Unlike Baby’s patients, "Khandaani Shafakhana" shows no signs of recovery. 

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Editing by Blassy Boben