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Not recommended under 11; parental guidance to 15 (language, themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Shadaa
  • a review of Shadaa completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 July 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 11 Not recommended due to language and themes.
Children aged 11–15 Parental guidance recommended to discuss some themes in this film.
Children aged 16 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Shadaa
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild Themes and coarse language
Length: 128 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

29 year old Chadta (Diljit Dosanjh) is a small time photographer from a village who, in his quest for the perfect wife, has said no to many marriage proposals. Consequently, he gains a reputation as the “unwilling bachelor” and soon no one is willing for their daughter to marry him. When the village matchmaker deems it impossible for Chadta to be married in this lifetime, Chadta refuses to admit defeat and vows to find a wife by the end of the month. When travelling for a wedding photoshoot Chadta meets Vanjhli (Neeru Bajwa), a wedding planner/coordinator who is 31 years old and who has sworn, for personal reasons, not to get married. Chadta appears to instantly fall in love with her despite her multiple rejections of him. When they are next thrown together, he proposes a trial arrangement where she gets him to do the photoshoot she has promised the couple and he gets to show her what life would be like if she were married to him. By the time the wedding shoot is finished Vanjhli has begun to have feelings for Chadta, however, Chadta, through a slight misunderstanding, thinks he has found freedom and vows to remain a bachelor. It isn’t until a groom hires Chadta to shoot another wedding and he discovers that Vanjhli is the bride-to-be that Chadta rethinks his decision and tries to win back the love of his life.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Arranged marriages vs. marrying for love, Punjabi wedding rituals, overcoming class divisions, cultural customs and norms in certain Indian villages, domestic violence and the role of women in society.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Chadta imagines himself beating his future wife with a hose. The sounds of him hitting her are heard but it is not shown. Any time that he sees a trait that he does not like he says that he will “service her after marriage.”
  • Chadta tells Vanjhli that he would have beaten her 36 times in the last 4 days and later that he would have beaten her 25 times in 5 days.
  • A man threatens to beat up Chadta, telling him that he used to get beaten up and now it is his turn to bash everyone.
  • Vanjhli’s fiancée holds a gun to his head as he teeters on the edge of a roof begging not to get married. He threatens all the wedding party and visitors with the gun and begins firing shots to make them all go away. No one is injured though he threatens to begin shooting people.
  • Repeatedly people are asked if they want a ‘tight slap’, presumably to the face as the question is asked with upraised hands.
  • A wedding party forms a circle around Chadta’s friend and begin to beat and kick him when he tells them that the bride ran away.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are no additional scenes that would likely scare or disturb children in this age group.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • There are no additional scenes that would likely scare or disturb children in this age group.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • There are no additional scenes that would likely scare or disturb children in this age group.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

There are no additional scenes that would likely scare or disturb children in this age group.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Instagram is repeatedly referenced in a song and a picture frame commonly seen in Instagram style photos is used.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Chadta’s father says that these days sometimes boys like boys too. He suggests that perhaps his son is a homosexual.
  • Chadta tells Vanjhli’s fiancée that the two of them stayed together as husband and wife during a photo shoot. This information is then passed onto Vanjhli’s parents.
  • Chadta brags that he has had marriage proposals for girls as young as 16.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • In the opening scene there is a dance number where the main girl wears tight little tops and skinny jeans or short shorts. Her bare midriff is always exposed as she dances provocatively around the men.
  • A man provocatively touches a woman’s head while she is sleeping. She, and another woman make a big fuss upon waking and the man is led away.
  • Chadta brings home a doll to whom he pretends to be married. He keeps her in his room and says when his mother knocks on his door, that we could have been doing anything and not to disturb them. He soon brings home a baby doll and tells her she has a grandson. The male doll’s naked genitals are exposed while Chadta has the baby ‘wee’ on his mother.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Some of the characters drink wine and other alcoholic beverages.
  • Chadta and his friend appear to be getting a bit drunk as they hang out drinking and discussing girls.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • There is infrequent use of the words: “Damn,” “Hell,” “Shit,” “Bloody,” “Wretch” and “Idiot.”

In a nutshell

Shadaa is a Punjabi, romantic, comedy with English subtitles. The plot is somewhat predictable, the acting very believable and the vibrant colours and dance sequences are excellent. The film may possibly lack interest for many younger children but will appeal to fans of Indian films and mature audiences who speak Punjabi or don’t mind subtitles.

The main messages from this movie are to stay true to your beliefs, to follow your heart and to realise that the course of love does not always run smoothly.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Persistence
  • Ingenuity
  • Love
  • Compassion

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Domestic violence and the role of girls in society (be it Indian or Australian)
  • Arranged marriages vs marrying for love
  • Manipulating others and deceiving yourself.