When life gives Sulu a lemon, she balances it on a spoon and manages to claim the first runner-up position in a race. And when no one’s looking she sneakily steps up from her first runner-up pedestal to the winner’s podium to get herself clicked.
Sulu is a fascinating character, who failed – three times – to clear her school-leaving exams, and she overcompensates with a relentless hunt to find an identity. She grew up in the shadow of her elder sisters, officious identical twins who boss her around while calling each other didi, and now finds herself handling the house while hiding behind her husband’s name.
The sign on their apartment says Mr And Mrs Ashok, but her modest man is the most supportive of cheerleaders, egging her on in races and with her business ideas, schemes she concocts and he entertains despite them going nowhere.
Sulu, to say the least, is adorable. She lives through the reality with a ready smile on her lips, and has enough spunk to weave a personal narrative around it. She keeps quipping, “Main ker sakti hai” and we soon find out why. After all, her annoying twin elder sisters and dad never leave a chance to berate her.
Sulu never cleared her class 12 examination. She never scored a respectable bank job. Sulu is a good-for-nothing woman on the face of it, save her indomitable spirit.
Her biggest support system comes in the form of her soft-spoken husband, Ashoke. He is her confidante, the one she shares all her bubbling ideas and plans with. Between the couple, Ashoke brings in the much-required rationality, often seen reasoning out with Sulu over her whims and fancies.
Manav Kaul holds his own imbuing Ashoke with endearing vulnerability. An insight into their relationship gives us the most heartwarming moments in the film.
Sulu decides to have her own taxi business one day, and the very next day she wants to be an RJ. A whimsical Sulu is all up for new challenges, but can a saree-clad “bhabhi type” woman pull off an RJ’s role with ease?
It’s a rollicking ride to the studio and on air. As a late night show RJ with a husky voice and out-of-the-box love advice, Vidya Balan essays this role with perfection. The naughtiness that comes so naturally to her lends Sulu a charm of her own.
The first half is a breeze. We meet Neha Dhupia in the role of Sulu’s radio station boss and Vijay Maurya as the unwilling producer of the show, and both turn out to be welcome additions to the film.
If pre-interval Sulu’s dreams take flight, in the second half reality hits hard. Director and writer Suresh Triveni makes some nice observations about the challenges of everyday middle-class life. However, while the script flounders a little and seems overwrought, some chunks in this 140-minute film could have easily been done away with.
Manav and Vidya sail smooth through Sulu’s optimism, keeping the film buoyant.
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