CAST: Shilpa Shetty, Kusha Kapila, Dilnaz Irani, Pavleen Gujral, Amit Sadh, Chaitannya Choudhry and Maahi Jain
DIRECTOR: Sonal Joshi
“Sukhee,” starring Shilpa Shetty Kundra as Sukhpreet Kalra, poignantly captures the life of a middle-aged Punjabi housewife grappling with a personal crisis. The story unfolds as Sukhee, a woman in her 40s, revisits her carefree teenage days in Delhi through a school reunion invitation. This invitation stirs memories of a time when she was appreciated for her individuality, contrasting sharply with her current life defined by her roles as a mother and wife.
Director Sonal Joshi commendably shifts the focus to female friendship and desire, steering clear of the usual narratives centered around sexuality. The film resonates deeply, reflecting the inner conflicts faced by many middle-class women who sacrifice their dreams for familial love.
Sukhee’s journey of introspection and rebellion against domestic constraints, much to the dismay of her husband and daughter, forms the crux of the story. The film thoughtfully depicts the dilemma of self-worth versus societal expectations, particularly through the touching interactions between Sukhee and her father-in-law.
While the narrative has its heartwarming moments, especially in portraying the societal perception of housewives and their unacknowledged contributions, it also draws a parallel to “English Vinglish.” The humor in the school reunion scene, though entertaining, might remind viewers of their own experiences.
However, the film’s momentum dips with a shift towards slapstick humor and redundant dialogues, particularly once the setting moves to Delhi. The overuse of certain catchphrases and underdevelopment of secondary characters, including Sukhee’s friends, detract from the film’s potential. Amit Sadh’s love interest subplot feels misplaced and extends the film unnecessarily.
Shilpa Shetty Kundra shines in her role, effortlessly portraying the complexities of a middle-class housewife, and her transformation to depict her younger self, though a bit overdone, pays homage to the 90s era. Chaitannya Choudhry and Maahi Jain effectively embody their roles, adding depth to the family dynamics.
“Sukhee” begins with a compelling premise but struggles with pacing and a tendency to become preachy. It’s a film with a heartfelt message that slightly misses the mark in execution.