Sunday, November 26, 2017

Life Lessons from Tumhari Sulu

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Suresh Triveni’s Tumhari Sulu is the newest addition to the list of women centric comedy dramas. Beauty of these movies is that they always have a message embedded with in a story that focuses on the life and issues of ordinary Desi (south Asian) women. These movies are always composed of relatable realistic characters, which keeps the whole experience interesting and also thought provoking. I am a huge fan of this genre, English Vinglish and Queen are one of my most favorite films of all times and now Tumhari Sulu joins the rank after them. Tumhari Sulu embodies plethora of Desi Household realities that call for a life lesson post from me, so I will list all the important highlights from the film followed by a short review.


Tumhari Sulu has an ordinary simple story line. It’s about an ambitious housewife Sulu and deals with her struggle to keep balance between her ambitions and house life. All the characters are beautifully written and are relatable. I have heard few critics said the second half of the movie is bit stretched but I was so invested in the characters and their story that I did not feel that at all.
Vidya Balan is the star of the show and plays Sulu to perfection. Her screen presence demands attention and her brilliant performance makes this whole experience very impactful. I am sure, if you exclude Vidya Balan’s performance from the equation, this movie will not appear this grand as it does now.
One thing that I felt missing was some creative writing, if you remember the final speech of Sri Devi in English Vinglish and the impact it had, here we also have something similar in the end. This moment could have been written well to increase the impact, the whole speech appears repetitive and as if director is trying to rub the message into the audience. Vidya Balan’s sheer brilliance covers for the lack of creative writing but somehow loses slightly the impact that it could have if better written. Overall, I really enjoyed the film and I want all of you to go check it out at least once. I go with 3.5 stars.

Life Lessons:

I will try to keep spoilers to the minimum but this section may contain few hints here and there.

Support System:

In the film, we also have Manav Kaul as Ashok Dubey – Sulu supportive husband. Sulu's ability to cope with the all societal pressures, stems from the support of her husband. Circumstances in the film lead to the point where she loses that support and we see how she crumbles down quickly. Which takes us to the point that everyone needs a support system to survive. Same goes for your better half as well and It works both ways.

Household responsibility on Women:

One thing I learnt from my western colleagues and friends in Dubai is that men share the household chores regardless if woman of the house is working or not. So, whenever I tell them in my household I basically do nothing they all comment enviously that I am Lucky.
In Desi Household, we are taught from the very beginning that household chores are a woman’s Job. For example, things like cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. they are all sole responsibility of woman of the house. In Tumhari Sulu we see Sulu struggle to keep both jobs, she works tirelessly to keep the house in order and also keep the late-night RJ job. One day she misses to make breakfast and pack lunch for her Husband and Son, her husband supports her there but her guilt of not being able to do so kills her the whole day.
First, this gender based segregation of basic household chores shouldn’t be there and second if the woman starts to work then all the people of the house need to sit and divide the responsibility among themselves. For me this is a very important aspect that this Movie touches because I have seen these two basic understandings missing in our culture.

Personal Space:

Disturbed Sulu explaining firmly yet politely to her family that there is no issue in her household and they should stop meddling in her personal affairs will remind you about the importance of personal space. Husband and Wife should be able to sort all the issues by themselves and Family should only interfere on request. What I like about the script here is that it has been kept very human, like after having the argument with her older twin sisters, she still tells them that they are family and if she is in trouble she will come to them but for now she doesn’t need the help.

Family Acceptance:

Sulu, a mother of 12 years old, still trying to defend why she failed 12th standard 3 times to her older sisters will remind you of the importance of family acceptance in once personal development. This is also shown as the hardest thing for Sulu to admit in front of Neha Dhupia who is Maria Sood - Sulu's employer at Radio Wow. RJ job that she was offered had no connection with her academic qualification yet because of constant family ridicule her personality takes it as some sort of flaw. Academic grades and progress should never come in the way of accepting your child or anyone and to make them feel they are any way less than anyone else. Well this aspect of life is not restricted to Desi culture only, I see this everywhere and it should be corrected. We should raise confident cultured Independent individuals rather than PHDs.

Tumhari Sulu is still playing in cinemas across UAE and is doing very well, get your tickets now.

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