Voot’s Ek Duaa (2021) Review: Gender Discrimination At Its Worst

Ek Duaa is a short film by Ram Kamal Mukherjee and premiered on Voot as a part of the Voot Select Film Festival. The total run time is about 45 minutes. It stars Esha Deol as Abhida, Barbiee Sharma as Duaa, and Rajveer Ankur Singh as Suleman among others. The film talks about important social issues and manages to leave an impact even with the many flaws it carries.

The short film follows Abhida and her daughter Duaa. The family struggles with making ends meet, and is barely able to scrap together enough money to celebrate Eid. In the midst of this, it becomes obvious that there is a decided difference in the way the family treats Duaa and her brother, Faiz. While at first, the plot seems relatively simple, and I could be bold enough to say so, slightly overdone. However, the ending is not what you would expect it to be in the slightest. Ek Duaa‘s end is in fact, strong enough to elevate the movie, and with it, the message it tries to dissipate.

Voot describes it as:

Abida comes from a family which sidelines a girl child, and her daughter Dua feels left out as her father supports her brother but not her. Watch the movie, on Voot Select!

Via Voot

– Ek Duaa Review does not contain any spoilers –

Talking too much about the plot of a 45-minute long film would ruin what the film tries to preserve, so I will jump right in and talk about what I liked, what I didn’t, and if the film should be watched. Ek Duaa is a film that is full of cliches, sometimes annoyingly so. There’s a typical mother-in-law and daughter-in-law conflict, terrible product placement, and all the stereotypes that could be stuffed in about an Islamic family.

The audio quality is jarringly inconsistent, and although it may seem like I am nitpicking, the audio really does ruin the experience of watching a film.

On the other hand, the topic of gender discrimination is highly relevant, especially in today’s time and age. Most of the cast gives a stellar performance. The mother-daughter duo is great on-screen together. Esha Deol with a quiet smile and Barbiee Sharma in her childlike innocence.

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A still from Ek Duaa, featuring Barbiee Sharma
A still from Ek Duaa, featuring Barbiee Sharma as Duaa

What carries Ek Duaa is its plot. If you eliminate the stereotypes and the less than optimal audio quality, this film would be on another level. The last 15 minutes of the film, which includes the climax and a short poem recited by Abhishek Bachchan, truly are the strongest parts of the film.

Although I will say this, the film wasn’t the most balanced. Too much time was spent on how the family struggles with their finances, that at first glance if you saw the film without reading the description, you would think that their financial conditions were what the film was about.

Also Read: Netflix’s The Movies That Made Us Season 2 Review: 4 More Timeless Classics

Ek Duaa 1
A still featuring Esha Deol Takhtani from Ek Duaa, a Voot Select

Final Verdict: Ek Duaa

Ek Duaa confronts a relevant social issue in a poignant way that not only shocks but also grieves the viewer. The overall production of the film does have some prominent flaws, which include shortcomings in the audio and sound mixing as well as the dialogue’s strength. Despite falling prey to some agonizingly overused cliches, the film manages to drive its point deep. Much of the credit thus goes to Esha Deol’s performance as Abidha, Abhishek Bachchan’s recitation that matches his father’s charisma, and of course, the director Ram Kamal Mukherjee for a climax that will leave you deep in thought.

Ek Duaa is now streaming on Voot as part of the Voot Select Film Festival.

Voot Select Film Festival is a one of its kind direct to OTT film festival running from 24th July to 31st July, with a short releasing every day. Stay tuned for more reviews!

Also Read: Natkhat Review: Bridging the Patriarchal Gap


Overall Score


Ek Duaa talks about important social issues and manages to leave an impact even with the many flaws it carries.

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