Women writing women. Sonal Joshi, makes her debut as a director with 'Sukhee' and Shilpa Shetty makes her big screen comeback as a lead. The stakes are high and so is the question, what do we expect from this chic-flick? Is there yet another message coming our way? Is it a preachy flag-bearer of feminism? Or is it a subtle entertainer trying to make a point. Well your questions will be answered if you decide to watch the film. After having a chance to savour it, here is what I thought about it.
Have I Seen This Before?
After watching the film 'Sukhee', I realised that the trailer pretty much sums it all, ofcoures not reavealing a few things here and there. The narrative is as simple and clished as it can get. It adheres to a rather straightforward and time-worn formula. We follow the life of a housewife, struggling with the lack of respect from her daughter and husband, despite receiving some solace from her grandfather-in-law. Her relentless quest for independence persists until a pivotal moment arrives when she decides to attend her high school reunion in Delhi. Here, she reunites with old friends, and in the process, discovers the true worth of her identity. The camaraderie amongst friends during these reunion scenes carries echoes reminiscent of 'Veere Di Wedding,' and the transformative self-love journey evokes memories of 'English Vinglish.' By the film's conclusion, a lingering question emerges: Have I encountered this narrative before? Has there been a fresh perspective added to it? Regrettably, the answer is a resounding "No!"
Shilpa Shetty for the Win?
Whether she's igniting the screen with her seductive charm in the song 'Shut Up and Bounce' or portraying the role of a dedicated homemaker in 'Sukhee,' Shilpa Shetty continues to exude an undeniable magnetic presence. She flawlessly delivers what's anticipated of her with sincerity and absolute conviction. Her portrayal of 'Sukhee' is a symphony of emotions, humor, a touch of Punjabi flair, and a comforting maternal warmth, all expertly packed within her acting repertoire. While it may not be hailed as a groundbreaking or innovative cinematic endeavor, the portrayal resonates deeply with urban homemakers, and having Shilpa Shetty at the helm adds an extra layer of appeal for this particular audience, earning the film significant brownie points. Just a bothering point here; giving bangs to Shilpa Shetty won't make her look like a college girl and if life actually transitions from bangs to the usual wavy hair, then just let them be.
Way too 'Sukhee' climax
As the narrative unfolded predictably, following a well-worn path, my heart held out hope for a climax that would defy convention, offering redemption for the protagonist and infusing the film with a profound purpose. Alas! (Without giving any spoilers), the climax proved to be as underwhelming as one could possibly imagine, leaving you yearning for something entirely different. This disappointment is particularly palpable when themes like women's empowerment, feminism, self-love, and respect are at the forefront; the pieces simply don't fit together as they should.
In the role of Meher, Kusha Kapila emerges as a delightful breath of fresh air, infusing the screen with her infectious joy and vivacious charm. She effortlessly embodies her own persona, sprinkling the narrative with playful antics and a charming girl-next-door persona. Dilnaz Irani and Pavleen Gujral provide solid support, delivering performances with sincerity. Chaitannya Choudhry, portraying Guru, fits the stereotypical Punjabi boy archetype with finesse, though there are moments where his expressiveness veers slightly off course. Amit Sadh's unexpected cameo appearance as Vikram adds an intriguing twist to the mix, and he executes his role competently.
When it comes to the film's positive aspects, it's worth noting the presence of some witty one-liners that will genuinely tickle your funny bone. Certain sequences, particularly the moments when the girls reunite and are pleasantly shocked by the appearance of a few long-lost batchmates, shine with an enjoyable charm. Amidst the clichéd and foreseeable plot, it manages to evade becoming entirely insipid. You can navigate your way through the entire film, thanks to the occasional injection of delightful scenes that keep things engaging.
Sonal Joshi's directorial 'Sukhee', is an amalgmation of a chic flick, family drama and romance, served together in a worn-old package having nothing new or purposeful to offer. But as always Shilpa Shetty is a treat to watch on the screens.
**1/2 (2.5/5) stars
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