By Troy Ribeiro
Film: “Tu Hai Mera Sunday”; Director: Milind Dhaimade; Cast: Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Vishal Malhotra, Rasika Duggal, Avinash Tiwary, Maanvi Gagroo, Jay Upadhyay, Nakul Bhalla, Shiv Subrahmanyam; Rating: ***
Treated as a rom-com with a blend of sunshine and dead-pan comedy, this is a simple feel-good film that is trendy and contemporary. With a set of unhappy people in the fertile turf of Mumbai City, Director Milind Dhaimande’s “Tu Hai Mera Sunday” showcases life in this metro.
Through the lives of five friends; Arjun, Jayesh, Domi, Rashid and Mehernosh, who spend their Sundays together, playing football in any available space in the city, the film touches upon several issues characteristic about the city. It is all about getting into spaces; personal included.
Beneath the placid surface of the narrative lurk desires and anxieties which showcase the daily fabric of one’s life making it a personal experience. There is nothing in the film that isn’t unfamiliar, yet the narrative is intriguing.
The screenplay seamlessly meshes several stories which often link-up. It shows us people who are emotionally incompetent. They want to be loved but hesitate to voice their feelings because, “We give up things so easily.a It also tells us, “We should fight and not be escapist.”
The film largely hinges around the talented but competitively shy Arjun, “the nice-guy” among the lot. It is on his insistence that, one Sunday, they let an old man, “Appa” tag along to their game, which sets the narrative rolling.
You wait with unexpected breath waiting for the sequences to unfurl. Though deeply troubled, the characters are not freaks. One is invested emotionally in these characters and at the same time, you have a kind of ironic detachment that enables you to laugh at them. Though forced, you get the essence of the film when Jayesh Garodia screams – “Isn’t there a God up there, why isn’t he keeping us happy”.
The casting is near perfect and the performance of the lot is realistic. Barun Sobti is charming who coyly self-admits to be, “Mr. Nice Guy”. With his self-confidence and desire to be in a happy-zone, he is intriguing to his sister and to all those around him.
Shahana Goswami as Kavya Ranganathan, his love interest is earthy and natural too. As an independent girl, she is appealing and she is alluring when she tells Arjun, “I want to meet Mr. Right to do all the fun things in life- parlour, travel, shopping.”
Shiv Subrahmanyam as “Appa” Kavya’s father, suffering from Alzheimer’s is captivating, unfortunately the script does not delve deeper into his character.
Cast in a stereotypical role of a Goan musician, Vishal Malhotra as Dominic, seems forced at times. His constant bickering with his widowed mother and older brother Danny seem banal and over the top. Maanvi Gagroo as his brother’s girlfriend Vinita is earnest.
Avinash Tiwary as the flamboyant Rashid who feels considerate towards a divorced woman (Rashika Dugal) with two differently abled sons, Nakul Bhalla as Mehernosh – the Parsi accountant, who gets attracted to Peppy (Pallavi Batra) a secretary in his office and Jay Upadhyay as Jayesh Garodia, the stockbroker who gets elected as the secretary of the local club, are all sincere.
While the first half of the film races through on a high note, the second half meanders, wrapping the issues predictably. At the end, you are still glued to the screen hoping that the narrative would not end.
With moderate production values, the film on the whole is efficiently shot by cinematographer Harendra Singh and the visuals along with the sound track is astutely layered by editor Shyam Salgaonkar.
Overall, “Tu Hai Mera Sunday” is a quietly confrontational film and most of all, unexpectedly moving.
(Troy Ribeiro can be reached at [email protected])
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