NYIFF 2017 Film Review “Tu Hai Mera Sunday (You Are My Sunday)”



First, the Recap:

Finding footing on uneven ground. It’s the daily grind, the monotony of unchanging circumstances, the stalled patterns we fall into thinking it’s simply an uncomplicated, easier, yet well-founded path of least resistance to reside in, no matter how shaky things actually are. But, what happens when that chosen road suddenly begins to get even more upended and the way ahead might now be totally unclear? For five friends–Arjun (Barun Sobti), Mehernosh (Nakul Bhalla), Domi (Vishal Malhotra), Jayesh (Jay Upadhyay), and Rashid (Avinash Tiwari)–life is a mutual experience of just getting by and weathering their respective, momentum-stalling situations. The one thing that brings them any semblance of peace and overt joy, however, are their Sundays, set aside for them all to get together and play football at their favorite spot, Juhu Beach.

However, when an unforeseen run-in with an old man (Shiv Subramanyam) leads to an off-kilter moment playing their game, the group is suddenly forced to make the attempt to relocate their Sunday spot to somewhere else in Mumbai. Arjun’s concern for the old man ultimately introduces him to Kavi (Shahana Goswami), finding it is her father they’ve been looking after. As Arjun then takes on bringing Appa with them each Sunday to play football, it strangely, indirectly or otherwise, leads all of them to end up facing specific points of unsettled, unresolved situations that dictate their previous inaction be remedied. Culminating in a group weekend away, everything comes to a boil, finally forcing them all to take a harder look at what they already have and what they additionally need, which might be right in front of them.

Next, my Mind:

Filled with light-hearted, highly contagious hilarity, well-grounded dramatic integrity,  and intelligently depicted, life-lesson infused character development on top of a totally engaging music score and overall uncomplicated execution, director Milind Dhaimade and producer Varun Shah deliver one of the most effectively presented, fun, entertaining, and totally addicting ensemble feature films anyone could ask for. Thanks to the film’s more than evident intention to create a narrative that really anyone can completely relate to on some level, whether currently or in the past, it is these aforementioned themes that get pulled off so overtly well via how the motley gaggle of characters is presented to us as the viewer. Being immersed in the world of, let’s be honest, five slackers trying to skate by without taking any real responsibility for anything other than their absolutely necessary (on pain of emotional trauma, mind you) Sunday soccer game, the introduction of an “X” factor into their midst, here being a chance encounter with an old man, is cleverly turned into a catalyst that refashions every single person involved over the course of the film. It’s a masterful stroke in this reviewer’s opinion, much less adding even more humor to the proceedings as well!

The chemistry between this wonderfully huge ensemble cast is a tangible force the entire way, and man what a ride! Being very sincere, every single actor contributes equally well for me, each so deftly enacting their separate character and making it their own. There’s Sobti’s Arjun, a man living with his sister and brother-in-law, shuns the corporate world and would rather run his own “business” as a semblance of maturity, Bhalla’s Mehernosh, a quiet, but explosively pent-up office worker whose boss has truly gotten his goat and then some while also somewhat being the group’s pushover, Malhotra’s Domi, living at his just “slightly” overbearing mother’s home while holding a massive grudge against his brother, a facet that seriously hinders his overall relationship with Mom, Upadhyay’s Jayesh, a family man being driven rather insane BY his family and their quite raucous ways, yet still being a “yes man”/doormat to them rather than standing up and putting his foot down, and Tawari’s Rashid, a self-professed “ladies man” who, while priding himself on meaningful conquests, doesn’t seem to take said pride to heart when it comes to his apartment ie: ever cleaning it or facing its ultimate nemesis-rats. This quintuple threat is so well performed by these actors, and they are so perfectly synched as a group and individually, that one cannot help but feed into the other as they discover the lessons being given.

Subramanyam is a complete, scene-stealing riot as the old man, always looking “out of it”, yet actually quite astute and aware of his surroundings and goings on, though his times not being such is hysterical. Goswami is both adorable and firmly in control as Kavi, who becomes Arjun’s muse, her sweet nature tempered by real world smarts. Additional support is provided by Pallavi Batra as Mehernosh’s office crush Peppy, Harsh Singh as Mehernosh’s obnoxious boss, Rasika Dugal as Tasneem, the neighbor of Rashid’s who conquers his complacency, Meher Dar Acharia as Arjun’s sister Shu, Maanvi Gagroo as Vinta, Domi’s brother’s wife, and Rama Joshi as Domi’s Mom among others. In total, “Tu Hai Mera Sunday (This Is My Sunday)” is an undeniably absorbing, delightfully humorous, and ultimately poignant dramedy that makes an all-too-valid point about events that transpire when we least expect them that help even out our journey, showing as that when we realize it’s time to move on, grow up, concede our need for one another, and embrace that this is momentum, this IS advancing forward, this is living.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

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