A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to have witnessed a discussion with Vidya Balan at MAMI festival. Anupama Chopra, who was one of the compere's on the panel, rightly said that the discussion with Vidya Balan seemed like a Master Class on acting. And this movie seemed every bit like it!
Starring Vidya Balan in the titular role, 'Tumhari Sulu', is an endearing tale of a regular middle-class homemaker, Sulochana Ashok AKA Sulu, a fun-loving simpleton who aspires to make a living and tries her hand at odd jobs. Although she is always belittled by her twin elder sisters, Sulu finds support in her charming husband, Ashok (played superbly by theatre actor Manav Kaul). In hilarious turn of events, this 'Saree-wali-bhabhi' gets chosen by Maria (Neha Dhupia) as a late night RJ and starts jockeying in her 'sexy' voice on her show, 'Tumhari Sulu'. This rest of the movie is about how Sulu manages her rising stardom and her faltering personal life.
Directed and written by Suresh Tiveni, Tumhari Sulu is a poignant depiction of every middle-class, fun-loving woman, who does not let her weaknesses curtail her dream to fly. The tone of the movie is lively and fun through out the first half, when the characters are being established. It's in the second half that the movie falters a bit from its light-hearted narrative. The writing cannot be blamed for this, as the turmoil in her life was expected to be shown melodramatically. But what makes up for this is - V I D Y A B A L A N! Hands down, this has to be one of her best performances ever (And I say this in a career marked by such amazing gems of performances). As Sulu, she gets to show all the myriad tones of acting. She is endearing, charming, unabashed, a mimic, her comic timing is brilliant and so is her performance in emotional scenes!! The scene where she hugs her son, hits him and cries is particularly heart-warming. She is OUTSTANDING!
She is supported by an equally superb Manav Kaul. As the supportive-yet-jealous husband, Manav beautifully shows the insecurities that men tend to have on their wife's success. In fact, Manav still continues to be a supportive husband, which is a rarity to find in real life. Neha Dhupia has a good supporting role as Sulu's boss and she delivers well. The ensemble in the movie has been picked well as they all make the movie a treat to watch, especially Sulu's twin sisters and her writer-colleague, Pankaj Ji (Vijay Maurya).
A movie makes for a good watch if it is a right balance of great script and natural acting. Tumhari Sulu scores high on both these fronts. It is definitely a delightful watch.
My Rating - 3.5/5