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Sukhee Leaves You With A Smile





Starring Shilpa Shetty ,Chaitannya Choudhary, Amit Sadh, Dilnaz Irani, Kusha Kapila , Pavleen Gujral

Directed by Sonal Joshi

Rating: ***

Zindagi itni acchi nahin toh itni buri bhi nahin…This bitter-sweet  heartwarming at times , absurd and illogical and misbegotten at other times, is  so lifelike: sometimes it’s  a dream, at other times  it sucks. But  all said and done, Sukhee left me with a feeling of experiencing something worth my while.

Comparisons  to  Sridevi in English Vinglish and  the overrated  Vidya Balan in Tumhari Sallu notwithstanding, Shilpa Shetty  Kundra comes  off with flying  colours in the title role. She should be seen more on the  big screen than the  phone screen.Her Sukhee is to begin with a harried housewife in a small town in Punjab where the women have nothing better to do than  pry into their neighbours’ business, attend endless  keertans, make chole bhatures and  bitch about their  spouses.

Sukhee, played with a charming sense of selfworth  by Shilpa Shetty, doesn’t want  to be trapped in this frozen-curd  of a life. Her only  chum and ally is her  old wise witty and sporting father-in-law(Vinod Nagpal, delightful) and  the  best  part of the  film is to see Sukhee bonding with her cool Sasuraji.

 I wish the  rest of the rather lengthy selfdiscovery  drama had  avoided the pitfalls of not falling into the pitfalls of a clichéd  storytelling. In trying to steer Sukhee’s life out of her domestic nihilism, Sukhee constructs another trap altogether for its protagonist where her life  is hijacked  by three obnoxious school friends(Kusha Kapila,Dilnaz Irani, Pavleen Gujral) now devolved into  a trio  of loud  crass misfits  who think farting in public is a manifestation  of emancipation.Good luck with that.

 I  was  not impressed with Sukhee’s ‘fun’  antics  with her  friend. Unless you think eating  from half of Delhi’s  roadside  dhabas and then  rushing into  a public toilet to relieve themselves  is fun.

Wait. It gets worse.Suddenly Sukhee rediscovers her love for horses and a  stud(Amit Sadh). She is in two minds about whether she should return home or continue horsing around in-stud,I mean , instead. As we are in two minds whether  we like this earnest  but ill-informed  coming-of-age chick drama or not.

 Shilpa  and debutante  director Sonal Joshi manage to  steer  the  storytelling through  its illogicalities. Sukhee  is  a lot  more cuddlesome  and comforting   than some of the macho movies which have been lording over  the boxoffice.

 There is a tongue-in-cheek stag conversation where Sukhee’s husband(Chaitanya Chowdhary,well done) and his drinking pals, mull  over whether they should watch the  new Vidya Balan  film or go for the  more conventional male-hero stuff.

I suggest they watch films with other strong heroines. Balan has become  a  bit of  a  bore.We need  more films with women who have  a mind of their own.

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