Sulu is a character which you’ll find in the silly comedy tracks of a mainstream film, in Suresh Triveni’s delightful film Sulu (Vidya Balan) conquers the hearts with a slice-of-life and finding success/happiness in small things. Sulu is an (extra)ordinary housewife but she wins the household by actually winning competitions like Lemon-Spoon, Lata Mangeshkar Sad Songs, etc and receiving bumper prizes like pressure cooker.
Set in Virar (outskirts of Mumbai), Sulochana (fondly known as Sulu) is an enthusiastic and happy-go-lucky Mumbai housewife whose routine life changes when she unexpectedly lands herself with the exciting job of a night RJ (featuring her sexy voice) on a leading radio station. She lives with her Sales Manager Ashok (Manav Kaul) and 11-year old son Pranav (Abhishek Sharma). Though Director Suresh Triveni sticks with sympathizing characters especially, the repression by the family but cracks it well. The light-hearted story which narrates a story of feminism, pragmatism and the bourgeois family, touches upon charmingly. The first half is filled with heart-warming comical sequences which don’t just provide laughter but dwells into true sense of middle-class struggle. The fact that the film lies heavily about finding happiness in small things was a winner already till the interval.
Post-Interval the film turns into a clumsy narrative with many jerky scenes and almost refrains itself from being banal as the tonality changes. Here, the inhabitants live a simple life who find comfort in monotony- but the apt usage of cinematic techniques prove to be boon in simplicity, for instance, transitions from son to father or the cityscape while the lights are turning off at night. My favorite sequence was the cooker whistle sequence featuring Sulu-Ashok on the previous night before Sulu wins a cooker. Head towards your near theaters for a positive wave that flows consistently throughout the film. A bunch of women in the theater were relating to the character almost frequently.
Even though Suresh Triveni keeps it simple, the film is too-stretched which runs at 140 minutes and I felt the stretch already in the first half, no surprises for the second. Nevertheless, the Screenplay is ignited immediately after it dips down with interestingly written supporting characters and Sulu: there’s a receptionist fighting with a ‘conjunctive-virus’ dabba-wallah, a poet, the Radio Company Boss and the typical irritating twin-sisters.
After an underwhelming “Begum Jaan” earlier this year though her act was evil-good, Vidya Balan is back in form. Vidya Balan dazzles and charms with her act, she’ll make you laugh and cry; watch out for the scene where she breaks down while hugging her son. Manav Kaul whose character is torn between work, wife and repression outshines her in some scenes and he lends a great support- one of the best supporting roles this year. Neha Dhupia is confident while Vijay Maurya lends a terrific and subtle comical support.
It would have been a great and heart-warming film, but there are always “if”, “but” and “would”s – what Suresh Triveni presents is a zany bubble, an instantly likeable Sulu amidst a conventionality in an endearingly moving piece. Yours Lovingly, Sulu!
Release: 17 November, 2017
Director: Suresh Triveni
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