In 2018, Shashanka Ghosh directed a comedy-drama called “Veere Di Wedding”, which told the story of four women reuniting after a long time for a friend’s wedding. They discover each other’s problems in life, which encompass both sexual and familial issues.
Similarly, in “Sukhee,” four middle-aged women reunite for a school reunion, sharing their sorrows and working towards solutions. The plot parallels these women, who, like in the aforementioned film, find solace in sharing their troubles over alcohol. However, what sets them apart are their age differences and unique challenges.
As the story unfolds, we find our protagonist, “Sukhpreet” (miscast as Shilpa Shetty Kundra), engrossed in her household duties. She prepares lunch for her 15-year-old daughter and her husband, attends to her father-in-law, and manages various other responsibilities. What she lacks is her husband’s affection, as he is preoccupied with his business, forming close bonds with their daughter and her father. Her life is in disarray, mirroring the plot’s turbulence that the reunion attempts to rectify, yet ultimately falls short.
Writers Radhika Anand, Paulomi Dutta, and Rupinder Singh construct a narrative akin to a restaurant menu. It features complex relationships, the chemistry among the four friends, and seemingly random aspirations, such as the desire to become a professional jockey and achieve victory.
Sukhpreet, affectionately referred to as ‘Sukhee,’ as her father-in-law explains, “Jiska Naam Sukhee Ho, Woh Kabhi Dukhi Nahi Rah Sakte,” highlighting the play on words between “Sukhee” and “Dukhi.” This linguistic symmetry appears to be the rationale behind the title, as our leading lady navigates the ebb and flow of these emotions.
While the film endeavors to highlight the multifaceted nature of a housewife, the use of close-ups and wide-angle shots to capture the women’s physiques, along with the editing that shuttles us between past and present, poses minimal disruption.
It is heartening to witness Shilpa Shetty’s return to the silver screen, yet the actress deserves roles of greater substance than merely traversing the food stalls of old Delhi while vying with her friends in consuming a variety of street delicacies. Kusha Kapila complements Shilpa adeptly, forming a formidable pair of confidantes.
“Sukhee” is a heartwarming tale about womanhood, relationship, friendship and self-awareness which lacks in creating the contrasting narrative leading to a mess.
You can watch “Sukhee” at the theaters near you.