Welcome life, welcome zindagi! A cute little love child of DIL CHAHTA HAI and ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, debutant Milind Dhaimade’s TU HAI MERA SUNDAY is brought up and pampered with the ethos of a feel good slice of life derived from Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee’s cinema coined with the modern urban middle class milieu where people are struggling for ‘space’, compassion and togetherness in the race.
Starring television heartthrob Barun Sobti, the movie begins with Arjun Anand (Barun Sobti) and his gang of 30 something – Dominic (Vishal Malhotra), Mehernosh (Nakul Bhalla), Rashid (Avinash Tiwary) and a middle age Jayesh (Jay Upadhyay) who every Sunday dodge their worries and find happiness and togetherness by playing football on Mumbai’s Juhu Beach. One Sunday an aged Alzheimer’s patient Appa (Shivkumar Subramaniam) joins them and the focus shifts on the gang, their stories and how they grew up.
Writer-director Milind Dhaimade succeeds in establishing the characters that are rooted to the city of dreams and gets connected with the audience in a snap. The talented Arjun Anand – Berkeley MBA post-graduate hates the rat race and losses the interest to be a part of the overstressed corporate world after watching the condition of his legendary senior at the airport. Arjun desires to be happy instead of tagging the commonly demanded ‘successful’ badge of top position, plush apartment and sleek wheels, he is rather content with whatever he earns from his consultancy and stay as a PG in his brother’s in law’s house.
Dominic (Vishal Malhotra), is a helpless mama’s boy who due to circumstances fails to concentrate on his music and ends up doing odd jobs at night. Rashid is a flirt who has a past that has resulted in a mess around his world. A Geeky accountant Mehernosh’s infatuations towards his lovely colleague and hate towards his Boss makes an amusing contrast while a middle-aged Jayesh – a businessmen who finds joy in this gang of footballers from his cliche Gujarati household routines completes the group.
The writer-director comes with continuous punches and amusing incidents with occasional quirky surprises that makes this light feel good cinema an absorbing, humorous and soul stirring watch.
Milind Dhaimade has remarkably avoided the danger of typecasting communities over here and his characterization is the key to this charming drama that smartly plays with the busy chaotic situation we face in our daily life in urban cities and how that one Sunday becomes our day, space where we are on our own. Either having a brunch, or a afternoon ice cream, beer, football doing what we want, having our ‘space’ in this concrete jungle breathing fresh air, cutting away from the hectic routine and relishing the moment like scoring a goal dribbling with the obstacles the life, the city and its people offers.
In a story surrounded by men, the women in TU HAI MERA SUNDAY are the icing on the cake. They ooze freshness and have an identity of their own. Kavi (Shahana Goswami) is a mixture of responsibility and practicality. She is focused on her job and her love and affection for her aged Appa suffering from Alzheimer is delicately handled with care and compassion making her character a pleasantly likable soul.
The transformation of Dominic’s mother Rama Joshi from a typical mom to a caring mother and the straight forward honesty of the character played by Rasika Dugal add weight.
Technicalities are fine. Harendra Singh’s cinematography is smooth, Shyam Salgaonkar’s editing is as per desire, and production values are fantastic. Amartya Rahut’s music is soothing while one is watching, ‘Give me a reason to be alive’ is the pick of the lot.
TU HAI MERA SUNDAY is powered by neat performances.
Barun Sobti plays it with the right balance of subtlety and freshness. Shahana Goswami is pleasantly spontaneous, Vishal Malhotra as Dominic makes his presence felt, Avinash Tiwary as Rashid, Nakul Bhalla as Mehernosh have their moments, while Jay Upadhyay as Jayesh is fine. Other supporting cast chips in with valuable support – Pallavi Batra as Mehernosh’s fascination, Meher Acharia-Dar as Arjun Anand’s sister, Maanvi Gagroo as Dominic’s brothers’ love interest, Suhas Ahuja as Dominic’s brother, Rama Joshi as Dominic’s mother and Rasika Dugal as the concerned Rashid’s fellow resident, all give an earnest performance. Shivkumar Subramaniam as Appa makes an impact in whatever screen time he gets.
On the flip side, the character of Appa should have given some more footage. In the end, a degree of predictability sets in and at times the philosophy goes unnecessarily deep.
All said and done, TU HAI MERA SUNDAY is a moment of charming and intimating relish of life that demands a ‘space’ from those who care for cinema that celebrates life and the possibility in the positivity it offers. Go make your day today with this Sunday.