'Tu Hai Mera Sunday' review: Game, set, and match

At one level there are familiar clichés here. The deliberate representation of communities, for instance, when it comes to the five friends at the centre—Gujarati, Muslim, Parsi, Christian. But then such a mix and diversity is something accidentally possible in Mumbai in a way it is not in say Delhi. With it the film also manages to give us a panoramic view of the middle class/upper middle class lives of Mumbai that seemed to have vanished from Hindi cinema, it brings them back, more real and rooted.

Tu Hai… itself is built on a trifle—the game of football on Sundays that brings the guys together—and it then goes on to give us a peek into the slices of individual lives. Lives in a city that lacks space, lives that want to breathe free, away from the crammed boxes they are trapped in; boxes of aspirations and expectations of others and themselves.

Tu Hai Mera Sunday
  • Director: Milind Dhaimade
  • Starring: Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Rasika Duggal, Vishal Malhotra, Avinash Tiwari, Nakul Bhalla, Jay Upadhyay
  • Run time: 119 minutes
  • Storyline: Five friends seek refuge from life in the game of football on Sundays

Arjun Anand (Barun Sobti) is the bright MBA type who would rather be happy than busy, work on his own terms than court the competitive corporate world. But does it also mean that he is escaping other commitments? Will the weekly tryst with Kavya Ranganathan’s (Shahana Goswami) dementia-ridden father (Shiv Subramaniam) change his world? Jayesh (Jai Upadhyay) is most definitely running away—from a chaotic, noisy, large family—to find a haven of peace and quiet for himself. Mehernosh (Nakul Bhalla) leads a secret life in which he writes abusive letters to his boss who, in turn, has been harassing a girl Mehernosh fancies. Rashid (Avinash Tiwari) is chasing girls indiscreetly to forget an aborted affair. What he needs is to clean up his flat (and life) of all the possible pests. A sound advice from his neighbour (Rasika Duggal), herself smiling through tears in life, alters his perspective. Dominic (Vishal Malhotra) has unresolved issues with his brother Daniel that more often than not lead to flare ups with his mother till the girl from another religion intervenes as a mediator.

Will a trip to Goa bring in a difference? Yes there is the predictable metaphor of the journey and some easy resolutions to boot but Tu Hai… makes for an engaging film. You coast along its easy and languid flow. But, more than that, there is something very true and honest in the way it lays out its characters and their relationships, their homes and folks. It’s as though you were spying on some real Mumbai families—be it their shared jokes, jibes and laughs, a relationship blossoming over coffee and conversations or the inherent prejudices against another religion or community. Even when things keel towards seriousness it doesn’t get overly grim and grave, a whimsicality is always at play even in the most mundane of moments. The likeable cast lends an added dose of freshness and plays off well against each other. A film about people you would know but will still not get tired of seeing again and again.

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Printable version | Sep 11, 2021 4:24:42 AM |

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