Cast : Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul, Neha Dhupia, Vijay Maurya, Malishka Mendonsa
Director : Suresh Triveni
mango Bollywood Rating : 3.5/5.0
Remember English Vinglish, the movie which featured Sridevi learning English to prove her family wrong? Tumhari Sulu comes as a refreshing take on the principle on which English Vinglish was based. Indian society pigeonholes married women as glorified maids, sealing her fate the minute she puts on her wedding ring or red sindoor. The statement, “Oh, I am just a housewife” has so many hidden meanings and when a movie like Tumhari Sulu explores the deeper sentiments behind this statement, one can not help but stop and think about the implications.
Is a house wife just a glorified maid or is there more to her? Does she have dreams, aspirations, desires and wishes that need to be fulfilled? This is where Sulu aka Sulochana played by Vidya Balan, as Tumhari Sulu starts. The youngest of two “well settled” and “career oriented” sisters, Sulu faces regular jabs and barbs from her elder siblings. Sulu is ‘Baranvi’ (12th class) fail, and her sisters never allow her to forget this. She is however, more or less is happily married and mother of a pubescent schoolboy. Sulu finds her mojo in on air contests, the kind which entices ‘housewives’ like her to participate. The prizes attract housewives with exciting offers of kitchen ware and varied household appliances.
Sulochana as the protagonist, portrays the everyday married woman. She is the ultimate fighter and even while she figures out her passion, she manages to balance her work life and family life with extreme ease. Vidya Balan is not just ‘Tumhari Sulu’, but ‘Hamari Sulu’ in every way possible! With her full belied laugh and heart warming innocence, Vidya as Sulu, does wonders on the silver screen. Wit and quirky anecdotes are part and parcel of Sulu’s character, making everyone fall in love with her right from the beginning.
Equally wonderful is Manav Kaul, who plays the role of Sulu’s husband. He wants to support Sulu but is conflicted with his own views of what he expects an ideal married life to be. However, there is a silver lining for both Sulu and her husband, each getting a happily ever after at the end. It is not just the leads who add a touch of beauty to the movie, but the entire supporting cast. The whole radio station set up (the studio, the casual camaraderie) is spot on, as are the people with whom Sulu interacts: boss woman Maria (Dhupia,) and the slightly jealous producer (Maurya.)
Despite Tumhari Sulu having a rocky beginning, the second half is entertaining and holds your attention until the very end. However, while the over all feel is amazing, there are glaring holes which cannot be ignored. The husband’s insecurities are addressed too quickly and barring one lovely remake of Hawa Hawaii from Mr. India, the songs are superfluous and basic. Over all, Tumhari Sulu seems repetitive and the 140 minutes long movie could easily be reduced by 15 to 20 minutes.
The film, however, makes up for its flaws with continuous comic relief and relatable characters. I, for one, am glad a movie like this has been made at a time where the dark side of the moon is portrayed stronger than the bright side of the sun! Directed by Suresh Triveni, Tumhari Sulu also stars Neha Dhupia, Vijay Maurya and Malishka Mendonsa.