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Ek Kori Prem Katha

A tete a tete with the star cast, Poonam Dhillon, Khanak Budhiraja, and director Chinmay of ‘Ek Kori Prem Katha’, They were recently in Delhi to promote their film at Le Meridien.

The film is releasing on 5 April 2024.

By Seema Dhawan

Photography-Jagjeet Singh

“Ek Kori Prem Katha,” a socio-drama film produced by Sughand Films and Kenilworth Films LLP and directed by Chinmay Purohit, seeks to explore a significant societal issue—the practice of Kori, a ceremonial ritual subjecting women to a purity test, which sparks debates about the scrutiny of virginity.

Starring Akshay Oberoi, Raj Babbar, Khanak Budhiraja, and Poonam Dhillon, the film centers around Sabhyata, portrayed by Khanak Budhiraja, who falls in love with the son of the village Pradhan, played by Akshay Oberoi. Sabhyata confronts the Kori ritual and must decide how to resist it to ensure a fulfilling married life. The narrative challenges societal norms, particularly regarding women’s treatment and integrity.

Speaking about the film, director Chinmay Purohit highlighted the societal satire depicted in the narrative, emphasizing the importance of respecting women’s integrity. He discussed the embarrassing ritual where a woman’s chastity is questioned, a practice prevalent in many parts of the world.  “It’s a satire how a woman’s respect is at stake. This talks about a woman who has to prove her chastity. This is so embarrassing… the ritual is prevalent in many parts of the world.”

Speaking about this ritual Poonam Dhillon who plays the mother-in-law of Khanak in this film added, “A white plain sheet (chaddar) is gifted to the girl on her first night, and in the morning, everyone stands and waits for the door of the newlyweds to open so that they may check whether it has blood stains or not.” She emphasizes the film’s aim to expose and critique such practices, resonating with similar issues globally.

“If stains are there, then there is celebration, with drums being beaten and ladoos being distributed. With this script, we aimed to shed light on a societal ritual that tarnishes women’s respect and integrity. This narrative resonates with similar situations happening in many countries worldwide.” Chinmaya further informs.

Khanak Budhiraja, in her debut role, expresses excitement and nervousness about tackling such a weighty subject, aiming to break stereotypes and offer a fresh perspective on women’s roles in cinema.  The film showcases a girl riding the bike while the boy sits behind her, “This is to depict an unconventional approach (challenging traditional gender roles) from the director’s perspective. Our director emphasized that it’s high time we changed our mindset, especially when we refer to girls as goddess then why not to give her same reverence.” Khanak explains. This directorial decision underscores the need for a paradigm shifts in societal attitudes toward women, advocating for greater respect and equality.

Poonam Dhillon further elaborates on her character’s journey. “Initially she was supporting this ritual but eventually goes against her husband to support her daughter-in-law. Awareness came later. Was I right? Women should be aware. I always say that women are the center of the family. If something like this happens with your son’s wife, you are fine but If the same thing happens with your daughter, how would you react? It pertains mainly to women, and I believe they can express their thoughts on it more eloquently.”

As “Ek Kori Prem Katha” unfolds, it prompts viewers to reflect on their own beliefs and attitudes toward gender roles and societal traditions, sparking important conversations about women’s empowerment and the need for progressive change. Through its compelling narrative and powerful performances, the film strives to leave a lasting impact on audiences, urging them to challenge outdated norms and embrace a more inclusive and equitable society.

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