Director: Karthik Rapolu
Cast: Santhosh Shoban, Kavya Thapar, Shraddha Das, Brahmaji, Sudharshan
In Ek Mini Katha, Santhosh (Santhosh Shoban) plays Santhosh, a man who thinks that he has a small penis, and this gives him a complex. There’s a scene that shows Santhosh as a college student: his girlfriend invites him to her house to have sex but later kicks him out. The assumption is that she sees him naked and finds his organ small (but, maybe, her expectations were way out there). All of these lead Santhosh to sing a song about how he asked for a king-size cigarette and ended up with a small beedi.
A lot of the film is about how Santhosh comes to terms with his small penis. He joins a Facebook group called SDG (or small dick group), he tries a hand pump, he goes to a guruji who supposedly has magic leaves that will help him enlarge his penis. Not only does he try weird tablets but he also goes for surgery for penis enlargement (where people are known to die). He is willing to risk death rather than face the supposed “shame” of having a small penis. The heroine, Amrutha (Kavya Thapar), likes to watch Big Bang Theory (because it’s ‘big’ not ‘small’), and she uses the words big and small over and over again and it gives Santhosh more of a complex.
The problem with the film is that the comedy only works occasionally, unlike Kalyana Samayal Saadham or Shubh Mangal Saavdhan where the comedy was integrated organically into the so-called problem itself. Here, there are a few clever one-liners and the occasional slapstick comedy that work, but little else. We get jokes like when someone is asked to bring his property papers, he brings newspapers. There’s another “joke” in the film when Santhosh goes to a doctor who does penis enlargement. The doctor asks him how long he wants his penis to be. Santhosh calls Amrutha up and asks her what her lucky number is to decide on a length. She says nine (I was wondering, what if her lucky number was 73.2, or something?).
Ek Mini Katha reminded me of an anecdote told to me by a friend who is a social worker. She was trying to educate parents of children in a school about ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’. The parents themselves were shy or would laugh when they said words like ‘penis’ or ‘vagina’ out loud, suggesting that they themselves were uncomfortable using certain words, because there’s shame associated with it. It shows how important it is in our country to talk about sex in a healthy and positive manner.
Films like Kal Ho Na Ho and Dostana made it safe for people to talk about being gay, irrespective of the problems you may have with the representations. You could talk about it in a more open manner because it was up there on screen. Another film that talks about an icky issue through its comedy is Kalyana Samayal Saadham (or Shubh Mangal Saavdhan).
But Ek Mini Katha needed sharper writing specific to Santhosh’s condition. Only in the climax, which is a big romcom kind of a climax involving a loudspeaker, the film’s message is brought out beautifully. Santhosh is no longer ashamed of what he is, nor should society be ashamed of it. But apart from the climax, the film is neither limp nor hard-hitting.