There’s always that moment of awe, when one is confronted with the eruption of a voice that’s been dormant for long. They live among us, they move, they breathe, they dream, and they go unnoticed. And when they finally speak up, those of us who are listening, willingly or unwillingly, end up dumbstruck more often than not. Suresh Triveni’s debut effort sounded like an interesting concept when the trailers came out, but the question is, does it have something to say, or is it just dead air?
Sulochana Dubey affectionately called Sulu (Vidya Balan) is a good natured and high spirited suburban home-maker whose ambitions are inversely proportional to her diminutive size. Being the underachiever of her family doesn’t dim her enthusiasm for life as she’s always bubbling with new ideas, be it to take part in each and every contest around her, or to start her own cab service. By a quirk of fate, she gets an opportunity to work as a Radio Jockey for one of Mumbai’s most popular stations led by a supportive boss (Neha Dhupia), and an exasperated producer (Vijay Maurya).
But what happens when her success begins to interfere with her familial responsibilities? Will her seemingly supportive family (Manav Kaul, Abhishek Sharma) always understand her professional obligations?
Right out of the gate, what grabs your attention about Tumhari Sulu, is just how every frame draws you in with its familiarity. Each location, be it the cosy environs of Sulu’s workspace, or the claustrophobic nature of her husband’s office, or even their matchbox like apartment, feels lived in.
The writing for the most flows so smoothly, that in spite of the plot not moving too much in the first half, the audience doesn’t mind, as just sitting back and watching the Dubeys live their life is an absolute pleasure, even when things go from sunshine and rainbows to gloom and doom in the second half, barring a heartwarming sequence involving a lovely cameo. However, what mars the experience is a climax that seems hastily tacked on, although it doesn’t really take away too much from the viewing experience.
Vidya Balan is an absolute delight in a part that might just join the list of her top 5 performances, her Sulu is warm, empathetic, optimistic, and yet oh so vulnerable and real. One would only hope that she gets offered even better roles than this in the future. Manav Kaul is up to the task of holding his own against a powerhouse performance, and he plays the loving, and supportive, yet insecure husband to perfection, wrinkles and all.
Neha Dhupia matches up to Vidya Balan in the warmth she spreads on screen, and Vijay Maurya is bloody brilliant as the high strung poet stuck in a job that feels like selling out. Even the supporting cast consisting of unfamiliar faces like Abhishek Sharma, Sindhu Shekharan and Seema Taneja as Sulu’s sisters, Uday Lagoo as her father and Trupti Khamkar as the cab driver are absolutely top notch with performances that come across as absolutely real.
To sum it up then, Tumhari Sulu is just what’s needed to bring in the weekend, for in spite of a flawed climax, it is high on heart and intention, and that’s what shines through!