Cast – Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul, Neha Dhupia, Vijay Maurya, Abhishek Sharrma
- Directed by – Suresh Triveni
- Written by – Suresh triveni
- Produced by – Bhushan Kumar, Tanuj Garg, Atul Kasbekar, Shanti Sivaram Maini
- Background Score – Karan Kulkarni
- Cinematography – Saurabh Goswami
- Edited by – Shiv kumar Panicker
- Production House – T-Series, Ellipsis Entertainment
- Genre – Comedy, Drama
- Duration – 2 hours 3 minutes
Tumhari Sulu is an extraordinary story of the ordinary, or should we say an extraordinarily charming story of the housewife-next-door. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start at “Hello”.
Watching and reviewing Hindi movies is tougher than it looks. Each year Bollywood alone manages over 225 releases. Only a handful of these are hits and the number of good entertainers is miniscule. Each Friday morning as we head to the cinemas, something closely resembling trepidation starts to build up. Then, once in a while, on an otherwise dull Friday morning, we are delivered wholesome, heartwarming, entertainment. Yes, director Suresh Triveni’s Tumhari Sulu is definitely high up on our list of 2017’s best Bollywood flicks.
Tumhari Sulu – Plot
One does not need a complicated or even a complex plot to come up with a great movie. Writer director Suresh Triveni has perfected the art of recounting the small pleasures and pains, achievements and failures that make our lives anything but dull. Sulu or Sulochana Dubey (Vidya Balan) is the bhabhi-next-door. The ever smiling, confident, full of ideas, slightly plump and yet sexy stay-at-home mom is a very real woman. She dresses in handloom sarees and participates in her son’s school sports events with other parents. She loves to mimic Hema Malini and Sridevi and calls in and wins prizes on radio shows.
Sulu’s husband, Ashok (Manav Kaul), and 11 year old son Pranav(Abhishek Sharrma) complete her world. Bullied by her elder sisters for not having accomplished much, Sulu comes up with numerous business plans, none of which materialize. It is then that she lands the job of a night Radio Jockey. The transformation from a plain commonplace woman to the sexy RJ who is sought after by thousands, starts to disturb the fine balance at home. How Sulu manages to handle the crisis with her own distinctive charm is the story of Tumhari Sulu.
Tumhari Sulu is an out and out entertainer. Let us start with Sulu herself – Balan is the real deal. An actress who does not resort to skimpy outfits and prefers handloom sarees, who flaunts her rotund frame and her age, one who wants to retain her rightful place in the Hindi film industry firmly on the basis of her superior acting skills – Balan deserves a standing ovation. Manav matches her exceptionally well as the husband who stands up for his wife in his own timid way, feels queasy with her fame, success, and image, but soon rufus their differences. The supporting actors have been cast to perfection – the strong but sentimental Maria Ma’am (Neha Dhupia), the poet turned scriptwriter Pankaj (Vijay Maurya), the bullying twin sisters, the lady cabbie – each one playing his or her part to its best. The greatest credit undeniably goes to director Triveni whose ability to toggle between the lower middle class household and the hip radio station, the housewife and the corporate honcho, the doting husband and the derisive boss, has imparted a clear direction to the film.
What’s Good, What’s Bad?
Tumhari Sulu is a film for the masses. Balan’s charm works all the way as does the simple clear plot. The music is delightful. Hawa Hawai 2.0 and Rufu are the best numbers in the film. The highlight of the movie is Triveni’s treatment of the characters and their values. Muted feminism and subtle tensions make the story more real – not unlike Sulu herself who embarrasses us and makes us proud all at once.
What’s bad? Nothing, just nothing. Tumhari Sulu is picture perfect.
Sitting in the dark confines of the auditorium, watching Tumhari Sulu we’re reminded time and again of two epic films by Hrishikesh Mukherjee – the 1973 magnum opus, Abhimaan, and the 1979 cult comedy Gol Maal. Are you still waiting for our verdict? We just compared Tumhari Sulu with two of the best loved and most watched films in modern cinema. So go ahead and book your tickets for Tumhari Sulu. Take the entire family along. It’s time for a couple of hours of non-stop laughs and the kids may learn about the dark side of mobile addiction while you’re at it.
Rating – ****