Back in the 70s and the 80s, Bollywood films had two categories – the high budget and low budget films. The former dealt with action thrillers that required a huge cast and a situation that took the shooting to different parts of the world; the latter may have had an ensemble cast but it dealt with household problems, things Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee excelled in. Their films catered to the middle-class public that left the theatre with a smile on their face and a message in their mind, resulting in a win-win situation. Tumhari Sulu is a throwback to those days where calling an electrician was as big a task as tracking down the villain. Add to it the Main Kar Le Gi attitude of Vidya Balan and you get a rollercoaster ride that only stops at the very end, after entertaining the audience like never before.
Sulochana (Vidya Balan) is a happily married mother of one who wants to be independent and rich; the day she wins a pressure cooker from a Radio Channel changes her life as she wants to become an RJ and prove to the world that she is the best. She moulds her voice and becomes popular as Saadhi Wali Bhabi aka Sulu who listens to people’s problems and gives solutions on air.
Her family life gets disturbed due to this sudden development and after her hubby gets demoted, she begins to lose it. Does she manage to keep the job or does she leave it to be a good housewife is what will keep you engrossed in the film.
Tumhari Sulu is the kind of film viewers wait to watch; it is not over-happy like the other comedies but says everything in a subtle way. Suresh Triveni’s direction makes it easily digestible as he uses different camera angles to make the lead pair’s apartment appear bigger than it actually was. Manav Kaul as the weak-yet-loving husband is at par with Vidya Balan and it is their chemistry that sets the screen on fire.
Neha Dhupia looks sexy in her different avatars and as the boss, she excels in her role. The supporting characters are quite strong be it the twin aunties, the father, the taxi driver and others. The film however belongs to the one and only Vidya Balan who has excelled in the film as Sulu, who gets a push towards stardom but doesn’t lose her cool attitude despite becoming a celebrity. The scenes in the gymnasium when she gets the appointment call or when she calls the store wala or her hubby are the best ones in the film.
The Verdict 4/5
When the content is great, the film is set to pull the audience and that’s the case with Tumhari Sulu. With Vidya Balan reprising the form she was in when she did Kahaani or Bhool Bhulayya, Tumhari Sulu provides you a chance to experience classic cinema in modern times. The middle-class dialogues, the joint-family quarrels and the funny situations make it a must watch. No character in Vidya Balance’s career has used her voice this intelligently except the one in Lagay Raho Munna Bhai where she also played an RJ.
The way she carries the film is commendable and she connects with the audience like never before. When she is happy, so are the audience; when she is down, the audience feels low too. The film has hints of classics like Khoobsurat, 3 Idiots to name a few as it helps the audience understand that nothing is impossible and no matter how difficult the task may seem, those with the right attitude always end up as the winner.