By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | November 17, 2017
Rating: 3 / 5
The essence: After long, Vidya Balan gets a script that she gleefully digs her teeth into. There’s a glint in her eyes right from the first scene, where she readies for a race with a spoon in her mouth and a lemon balancing on it. She digs in her feet before going in for the ‘kill’ as if to say, “I’m going to make the most of this script.” She comes second in the parents’ race, while Neha Dhupia is almost parallel to her as the film ends.
Should it be Tumhari Sulu or O Maria! I couldn’t take my eyes off Vidya Balan who plays Sulochana, an enterprising housewife or Neha Dhupia, who plays the big boss at Radio Wow. Though it is a Vidya Balan show throughout, one cannot discount the powerful, underlying performance of Neha who cuts through several layers of the script to hit the high notes. When the two meet at the climax, I’m spoilt for a choice as to who knocks the audience out: is it Maria who asks Sulu to say ‘Heeellooo’ in her sexy voice one last time, or Sulu, who barges out of the room, packed with emotions?
Tumhari Sulu is a film that has an immediate connect; Sulochana aka Sulu is a middle-class housewife living in Jal Padma Society, Virar, a distant suburb in Mumbai. Her husband Ashok (Manav) manages the household with his job at a tailoring outlet that provides uniforms to different companies. They have a son Pranav (Abhishek Sharma) which completes their happy family. Sulu is always throwing ideas at her husband for different business ventures. Director Suresh Triveni captures the finer nuances of the extended family showcasing Sulu’s dad and her two sisters along with their spouses, who bring the drama alive on the screen and into their home.
Sulu is always the one who is taunted by her dad as well as her sisters who impose their views on her. Triveni gives enough evidence in a few scenes as to how overbearing this side of her family is and how Ashok, always manages to side with them. Ashok, a good husband, is at times shown as this man who wants to please all.
Trouble starts when the grandson of the firm Ashok is working in comes in and first puts him out of his cabin and then starts ridiculing him: time for Ashok to look for a new job. Sulu has been this active housewife who has won most of the competitions she has participated in and in one such competition she wins a pressure cooker from Radio Wow. This happens simultaneously as Ashok is feeling the heat at his work place. When she goes to collect her prize, she sees an advertisement for an RJ and after a long haul manages a late night show, Tumhari Sulu, which goes on to become a rage.
But all is not well as chinks appear in their marriage and Sulu has to manage the rocking boat in her impeccable manner balancing work life and home.
After long, Vidya Balan gets a script that she gleefully digs her teeth into. There’s a glint in her eyes right from the first scene, where she readies for a race with a spoon in her mouth and a lemon balancing on it. She digs in her feet before going in for the ‘kill’ as if to say, “I’m going to make the most of this script.” She comes second in the parents’ race, while Neha Dhupia is almost parallel to her as the film ends.
Manav Kaul is a complete revelation as he plays this good husband, far from the impactful negative characters he has portrayed. Vijay Maurya as Pankaj, an RJ from Radio Wow throws in his weight with a superb performance of his own.
On the whole, the complete cast is a treat, not to mention Sulu’s extended family. The movie is endearing and full marks to Triveni for capturing the middle-class Joie de vivre!
Yes, Balan is back and Wow! Tune in to Tumhari Sulu.
Producer: Bhushan Kumar, Atul Kasbekar
Director: Suresh Triveni
Star Cast: Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul, Neha Dhupia, Vijay Maurya