“Sukhee Leaves You With A Smile” – A Subhash K Jha Review

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

Directed by Sonal Joshi

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 self-discovery 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.

Our Rating

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