Story A happy-go-lucky Mumbai suburban housewife Sulochana, fondly known as Sulu, lands the role of a night RJ, resulting in drastic changes to her routine life.
Review : VidyaBalan has a distinctive laugh that starts somewhere deep in her belly and bubbles its way upwards to her throat before bursting out and filling the room. Her voice has a rich timbre that presents immense possibilities. In LageRahoMunnabhai (2006), Balan played a radio jockey, but apart from stretching out the vowels in her daily “Good Morning” greeting, the role required her to do little else.
Advertising filmmaker Suresh Triveni’s sparkling directorial debut Tumhari Sulu finally puts Balan’s textured voice and uninhibited chortle to proper use. Balan plays a housewife who hosts a late-night radio show in Tumhari Sulu. The voice becomes richer and sexier, and the laughs are plentiful as Balan’sSulochana has a life-altering adventure (until reality catches up with her).
VidyaBalan is completely in her element, infusing Sulu with an abundance of infectious optimism without being aggravating. She makes Sulu appealing by bringing out the various shades of a woman who has put her personal ambitions on hold because of her family. It also helps that she is surrounded by strong performances all around, in those playing her colleagues and loved ones. ManavKaul, in particular, is perfectly cast as Sulu's husband Ashok - a man trying his best to make his wife happy, but also faces work pressure that gets deflected into anger. Also, her family isn't too thrilled about her sweet-talking potential creeps on a nighttime show which fuels the drama around Sulu's new career.
Suresh Triveni subtly touches upon the issues of women equality and liberation. A journey of a middle class working woman is beautiful crafted by him. Despite of no hook point in the film, from characters to situations, everything is weaved quite well. Special mention to the art direction of the film, from a charger hanging from the socket to a double bed placed in the bedroom, from wet clothes drying on the ropes in the balcony to a simple wooden dining table in the corner of the drawing room, Sulu has a pure depiction of a middle class life of an ordinary working couple. Few moments in the film such as Ashok handling the house chores in absence of Sulu, Ashok listening to her sultry show and feels embarrassed more than being proud as a husband, Sulu's nagging and orthodox family who discourages her to resign from her job are touching and real.
The sudden shift from being light-hearted to a serious drama is largely where the film falters. While the first half cruises along wonderfully, buoyed by spectacular performances by all the actors, the second half is bogged down by some heavy-handed treatment. The dark, troubled twists seems forced and unnecessary. Sulu’s modern-day womanhood struggles to balance home and work are real, but they stumble on how to convey it and ruin it with cloying melodrama.
NehaDhupia, as Sulu’s boss, puts in a respectable performance and is commanding in her role. While you may question how easy it was for Sulu to find a job, Balan exudes a certain vulnerability and sweetness that makes it easier to be invested in her journey. Sulu’s all heart.
Tumhari Sulu is a slice of a life film which is worth your ticket price. It is engaging and has a massive social message. Don't miss this riveting tale of a middle class housewife cum radio jockey. You will definitely come out of the theatres with tears of joy!