If we look closely around us, we can probably find Sulu in every second household, having some dreams, flaws and quirks. Suresh Triveni’s Sulu has quite a lot of these as well.
Tumhari Sulu is breeze of a film [quite Hawa Hawai], packed with layers of emotions, which one might miss while he or she is busy laughing out loud on innumerable deserving moments.
What might seem like a story of a homemaker willing to be an RJ, is multi-fold to say the least. Triveni beautifully captures the insecurities of a neutral family, where each member comes home fighting individual battles. From stories of everyone’s personal struggle to threading their relationship together, the emotional graph, in a somewhat humorous storyline has been maintained well.
Vidya Balan, as Sulu is the pitch perfect casting – as this is probably the closest Balan has been to any of her characters. Her laugh is contagious and it gets to you, which rightly makes Sulu as Tumhari Sulu.
Manav Kaul, as Ashok & Sulu’s husband is my favourite character from the film. One is torn between choosing Ashok or Sulu, in some sequences of the film, making both their characters extremely powerful.
Abhishek Sharma, as Pranav the son, is the biggest surprise and both screenplay and direction, very responsibly explore his character, and the graph to which his premise builds the closing sequence of this film.
Had there been a better actor to play Maria, the lovely woman running this radio station? No.
Nobody could have done this better than Neha Dhupia, and her ease in playing Maria, is equivalent to how the character needed to be projected.
Santanu Ghatak (who also composed the song Rafu) as the snooty boss and Vijay Maurya as Pankaj are delightful characters, both bringing forward intriguing characteristics of the world they were given to explore.
Other actors like Trupti Khamkar (lady taxi driver), Malishka Mendonsa (Albeli Anjali) and actors playing the twin sisters – were all nuanced and did an absolute justice to their roles.
My favorite part of Triveni’s narrative was where each day in the storyline ended with a wide shot of Mr. & Mrs. Ashok building, and their voice-over summing up the day, and it’s challenges as the lights went off. However, the favorite scene goes to an old gentleman Mr. Sudhakar calling Sulu at the radio station and reminiscing about old days with his wife, who he lovingly used to call Sulu. The care with which moments like these were handled in the film, took Tumhari Sulu to a new tangent of recollection.
With an average camera work and commendable direction, production design of the film also deserves a special mention, as every frame and every object part of it – gave in something to the narrative and was relevant in some aspect.
As regards the film’s music, RAFU composed by Santanu Ghatak and sung by Ronkini Gupta is my favourite track of the year – along with Ayushmann Khuranna’s Nazm Nazm, who also did a small cameo in the film.
Tumhari Sulu is heart wrenching and a laugh riot, both at the same time. Sulu is probably my favourite on-screen character this year, as she taught me on thing, which remains my biggest takeaway from the film:
“Jeetna, haarna zyada farak nahi padta, par nimbu chammach par intact rehna chahiye.”
Image credits: Producer Atul Kasbekar’s Instagram