Director: Suresh Triveni
Cast: Vidya Balan, RJ Mallishka, Neha Dhupia, Manav Kaul
Despite painting a very realistic canvas of issues that plague people’s domestic life such as ego fights and the likes, Tumhari Sulu seems a bit too clumsily wrapped leaving several loopholes in the narrative.
Tumhari Sulu is a happy story that aims to weave feminism, pragmatism, realism and a lot more in one film and narrates it with a light touch as well. With Vidya Balan headlining the project, all of this may not sound too ambitious.
However, Suresh Triveni’s film fails to keep it all together for the two and a half hours of the screentime.
Tumhari Sulu is the story of Sulochana (Vidya Balan), a happy person who loves her family and enjoys trying her hand at different things. She could not finish school and faces flak from her father and sisters but cherishes her life with her loving husband (Manav Kaul) and a cute kid.
Sulu boasts of achievements of being the runner-up in the lemon-spoon race, winner of the residential society’s Best Mom contest, winning pressure cookers and utensils in random lucky draws and the likes. But, her life turns into a roller-coaster ride when she arrives at a radio station to collect a prize – another pressure cooker.
Vidya effortlessly plays the impulsive and enthusiastic young woman who fights for her own freedom but is also ready to give up all of it to ensure her “family responsibilities” do not go out of balance.
Credit must be given to Suresh for using Vidya’s charming voice and laughter in the film – something no one tapped till date despite her vast filmography. Vidya did essay the role of a radio jockey in Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006) but the Sanjay Dutt-starrer focussed on the ideology of Gandhism she promoted.
She gets the job of an RJ in Tumhari Sulu mainly because of her voice which has a distinct character. Vidya’s voice and laughter make the film come alive – whether she is in the studio recording her night show or simply speaking to her husband and son.
Manav’s understated performance, on the other hand, offers a perfect foil for Vidya’s charming presence. He flaunts his powerful acting skills even when his character turns a typical male chauvinist, who is insecure of an independent wife and fights with her simply because she is stepping out of the house to work.
RJ Mallishka, who makes her Bollywood debut with the film, is fresh and bubbly and fits perfectly into her character but Neha Dhupia often falters with her performance in the movie.
Tumhari Sulu, sadly, fails to maintain the high tempo as its main protagonist faces reality on her success ride.
Suresh has done a fabulous job of portraying the personal and professional problems working women face while juggling the two but he fails to juxtapose them in the story and as a result they appear only as a haphazard montage of scenes from Sulu’s life.
Despite painting a very realistic canvas of issues that plague people’s domestic life such as ego fights and the likes, Suresh’s story seems a bit too clumsily wrapped leaving several loopholes in the narrative.
The film has brilliant actors, a perfect take on everyday life, charming narrative, as well as an interesting feminist angle to the story but as Sulu would say, balance “gondogol ho gaya”.