OSCARS WEEK: 'You Are My Sunday' Review
There is a tingling ominous feeling in completely mishitting a football. Director Milind Dhaimade picked that all so familiar ouch-feeling to kick off his feature film career.
‘You Are My Sunday’ premiered to the world at the 60th BFI London Film Festival in October 2016.
The film is a multilevel feel-good buddy story on the edge of the escapist game that is football. A group of five men struggle to balance their busy work and familial lives in the people-jammed city of Mumbai.
They get by escaping every Sunday to play a game of football at Juhu Beach. However, an encounter with a senile old man and a miskicked ball ends up banishing all ball sports from the beach.
The friends are each pushed out of their comfort zones when their search for a new Sunday pitch unravels.'You are my Sunday' is about people finding their own little happy spot in a city that is filled to the brim, their very own island of happiness.”
The great plunge
After 12 years in advertising 'You Are My Sunday' is director Milind Dhaimade’s plunge to the big screen. However, he does not step into the arena empty handed.
His short film 'Prakata Het Yaad' won the audience choice award at Florence Film Festival in 2011 and with his first feature film on the big stage in London he has made a grand debut.
To him 'You Are My Sunday' is about people finding their own little happy spot in a city that is filled to the brim, their very own island of happiness.
To bring his story to life Dhaimade picked bits and pieces of his own life and fused them into his characters. He put each of them in front of their very own obstacles touching the various challenges Mumbai can entail. The work pressure overwhelms, religion tries to find its place in the people’s busy lives and marriage is both a cornerstone and a burden.
The voices of Mumbai
Barun Sobti and Shahana Goswami weave the central thread which binds the story. Both of them lead the diverse cast in giving a voice to the many faces of Mumbai.
Barun performed in popular TV shows like 'Baat Hamari Pakki Hai' and 'Iss Par Ko Kya Naam Doon' for which he received a lot of rewards from the industry. 'You are my Sunday' is part of the next stage in his acting career alongside upcoming projects with Disney and John Abraham Productions.
Shahana worked in a number of international productions and has received several film awards, the last one being the Asia Star Best Actress Award in 2013.
A distraction called football
The hierarchy of the film is clear. Football has its part to play, but it is merely the backdrop. It is taken back to its origins, a fun Sunday game that diverts the mind from the dwellings of the week.
The juice of the story spills when that game is taken away. The friends are each confronted with their problems and are forced to deal with them. The situations which enfold arouse laughter but also work towards something bigger.
That directive is, however, as it goes in life, not always plainspoken. The tranche de vie humour of the Mumbai scenery works well at first, but does not hold up consistently. The quick cross fire dialogue occasionally makes up for it, but sometimes feels a bit off-key. The sound track on the other hand is spot on and won't leave your head for a couple of days.
The characters confuse to the point where you are forced to wonder whether trying to make sense of them does actually make sense. In the end this only makes them and their struggles feel all the more real.