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BOLLYWOOD | Hindi Film Review
Superb Effort: 'Sunday'

Director: Rohit Shetty
Music: Sandeep Chowta, Suroor (Pakistani Band), Daler Mehndi, Shibani Kashyap, Raghav Sachar, Amar Mohile
Starring : Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Ayesha Takia, Irfan Khan, Mukesh Tiwari

(Above): Scenes from the film "Sunday."

Call me harsh, but this is one comedy I sat through mostly glum-faced. Sunday tries to balance two different genres — comedy and suspense. It’s not an impossible task, but it’s a difficult one that requires a nimble wit or else the entire attempt can fall flat in its face.

The film is not a total disaster, to be sure. However, its suspense fails to work for reasons to which I will return in a moment, and its comedy works only in spurts (unless you belong to that special species of Bollywood buff who will laugh at any inane slapstick antic).

The film has a smart (but unoriginal) concept. Saher (Ayesha Takia) is a bubbly, forgetful young woman who forgets totally what happened on a Sunday, then finds inexplicable things happening to her. A taxi driver-struggling actor duo, Ballu (Arshad Warsi) and Kumar (Irrfan Khan), keeps calling her a bhoot, while a bunch of thugs keep making attempts on her life.

Sehar’s world turns topsy-turvy when she gets a clue about the missing Sunday of her life, which points to a possible violent attack on her. A.C.P. Rajveer (Ajay Devgan) takes up the case to sort out the complicated and jumbled up threads of Sehar’s life.

In the process of solving Sehar’s case, it comes to light that on Sunday, different people interacted with her and amongst them, one could be a murder suspect.

So here is the gallery of suspects: Ballu, his friend Kumar, close friend Ritu (Anjana Sukhani), a scary and suspicious character (Murli Sharma) who resides in Sehar’s apartment complex and a group whom she had come across while partying at the discotheque.

Rajveer is convinced that Sehar is innocent, but he is also equally sure that she is linked to everything.

As I said, this is not an original concept. The film is “inspired” (wink wink, nudge nudge) by the Telugu film Anukokunda Oka Roju (2005) and draws heavily also from Vijay Anand’s classic Teesri Manzil.

The red herrings are deftly strewn, but the suspense that is built leads to an utterly lame climax, so the film is a dead loss as a thriller.

What of the comedy, then? Well, if I said that the only indubitably good thing about the humor is that it eschews vulgar allusions, you would probably think I was damning the film with faint praise. And you would be right.

Remember the small-budget gem Bheja Fry last year? That’s what really good comedy is about — where witty dialogue and wickedly conceived odd juxtapositions and situations create laugh-out-loud hilarious situations. Sunday on the other hand, goes the much-trodden Bollywood path of slapstick — people falling over each other or trying to create comedy with exaggerated, odd mannerisms, but this sort of thing gets old very soon. A case in point is the karate trainer and his cronies — his silliness is only slightly funny at first, and becomes tedious very soon. Having a bunch of cronies by no means adds value — here more assuredly is not merrier.

So in the end, the film is okay to pass the time — marginally. It’s the sort of comedy where laughter requires an effort.

— Rating: 2 1/2 Stars | Average


Click here to read in PDF format

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EDITORIAL: Educating India’s Children
COMMUNITY: Bangla Benefit
SUBCONTINENT: Tata Nano’s Critics
CINEMA: Filmmaker Jamil Dehlavi
SUBCONTINENT: Reliance Oil Boom
SUBCONTINENT: Republic Day in India
TRAVEL: Nerja, Spain
AUTO: 2008 Cadillac CTS
BOLLYWOOD: Film: Sunday
TAMIL CINEMA: Vazhthukal
RECIPE: Gobhi Manchurian

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