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Tumhari Sulu: Vidya at her absolute best

Kingshuk Kusari |

As 2017 moves towards its twilight days, the year may feel proud of shelling out some amazing movies that talk about the lives of the common folk, the middle and the lower middle-class, who are institutionalised into watching larger-than-life characters that work as their medium for escape.

Bollywood this year has produced movies like Newton, Shubh Mangal Savdhan with topics that a commercial flicks don’t usually deal with. Although those movies are meagre in number they stand out for the connect they create with the audience.

Starring Vidya Balan in the central role of Sulochana, a housewife in Mumbai, Tumhari Sulu manages to tell the tale of the aspirations, troubles and possibilities of a middle class population. The film is an embodiment of life that a person stuck between traffic, office and home shares on a daily basis. Director Suresh Triveni’s rich observations of middle class existence mixed with an unhurried narrative technique personify the film as a glorious mess of human life.

Sulochana’s journey from a housewife, who takes pride in her trivial achievements to her being a night time RJ in a leading radio station, provides a structure for Balan to deliver one of her career best performances. Suresh Triveni, in his directional debut in the feature film section, plays around with metaphors that he creates through his cinematography.

In a movie that will be memorable for acting performances in times to come, Manav Kaul pulls of a stellar act as Ashok (Sulu’s husband) who is dedicated to the female protagonist. His expressions bring out the agony of a man who is having a hard time at his job and is struggling with his wife’s newfound fame and empowerment.

Abhishek Sharma’s enactment of Sulu’s son makes it all the more relatable. His troubles at home and school are something to be identified with and in no single frame does he feel out-of-place. Neha Dhupia and Vijay Maurya also fit in perfectly in their little cameos. Nobody overplays their part; everyone moves to one purpose — making Tumhari Sulu a movie for the viewer. With soulful background music and the cast’s heartfelt performance, Tumhari Sulu is definitely not a disappointment, a lighthearted family comedy drama with a soft feminist position. This finds comfort in the safe arms of the family and makes for a perfect weekend outing.