"Films ki inspiration real life se hi aati hogi,” says a character in Milind Dhaimade’s delightful debut. Dhaimade draws inspiration from the resilience and diversity of the middle-class Mumbaikars.
His heroes are ordinary and relatable. They make you laugh as they negotiate their way in the crammed city and in life. Tu Hi Mera Sunday follows a group of adult friends who play football on Juhu Beach every Sunday.
But their weekly ritual is jeopardised after a ball accidentally strikes the head of the local residents’ association. Banned from playing football on their favoured spot and their much-needed escape from trying work life snatched, the men struggle to find an alternative space as well as deal with matters of the heart.
A sense of humour and kindness are essential attributes in the bachelors of Dhaimade’s world — there’s Arjun (TV heartthrob Barun Sobti), who has taken a sabbatical from a stressful lifestyle to be a freelance business consultant; Mehernosh (Nakul Bhalla) is a frustrated Parsi man who writes expletives-laden letters to his tyrant of a boss; Dominic (Vishal Malhotra) is a Goan Catholic who is annoyed with his mother and bickering with his elder brother; Rashid (Avinash Tiwary) is making the most of his single-and ready-to-mingle status.
Jayesh (Jay Upadhyay), the only married man of the pack, has a crowded and noisy household that he can’t wait to get out of. Dhaimade creates some lovely moments of friendship with the men pulling each other’s legs and cracking a few naughty jokes. Women here provide companionship, warmth, perspective and stability that’s missing from the men’s lives.
Kavya (Shahana Goswami) is the career-driven woman whose Alzheimer-struck father Arjun babysits every Sunday just so as to get in her good books; Rasika Duggal is the single parent with two kids who inspires Rashid to be less of a man-child and more responsible; Maanvi Gagroo as Dominic’s to-be sister-in-law is the calming presence in his life.
Through the exchanges, we see a softer side of men. But that also means that Jayesh’s role is rather limited and lacks depth. It’s a rare misstep in what is an otherwise a film full of joie de vivre. Dhaimade’s screenplay features confessions, breakdowns, repartee, and conversations that end up giving one of the more realistic portraits of middle-class Mumbai.
Barring a rather bizarre airport sequence and the quick dismissal of a rather promising police officer from the group, little else in Tu Hi Mera Sunday seems contrived. Dhaimade’s enjoyable little film celebrates that there’s no better smell than team spirit and why Mumbai is still a place that offers you hope.
(Courtesy of Mail Today.)