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Friday, September 22, 2023

LFF 2021: 7 Days Review

7 Days, Indian-American romantic comedy and set amidst COVID-19, directed by Roshan Sethi, gets its LFF premiere under the ‘Laughs’ strand.

Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Ravi (Karan Soni) initially prove the fact that opposites do not attract.

She is a heavy-drinking, foul-mouthed moocher, while he is an uptight mama’s boy and a hopeless romantic.

But now these opposites are forced to spend more than a little time together, as a date arranged by their mothers suddenly turns into a week-long quarantine.

However, as the days progress, the two begrudgingly begin to form a bond.

7 Days, despite the breezy and humorous approach, is a stark reminder of how much we all have suffered (and to an extent are still enduring due to the pandemic.

From the virtual dates to self-isolation, the movie captures the real essence of what almost every household was going through a few months back.

With the release of several COVID-19 centred anthology films on the OTT space like Putham Pudhu Kaalai or Unpaused (both on Amazon Prime Video), it is perhaps quite timely and dynamic to see a romantic-comedy/drama of this sort.

Moreover, the camera shots of conversations recorded via Zoom give a visceral feel and again, are relevant to how we are currently operating as a society.

It can be rightly said that Roshan Sethi’s direction is simple but proportionate. He does not get carried away in creating unnecessary visuals to enhance the cinematic appeal.

But on the contrary, his voice seems authentic and real, which translates into the overall vibe of the movie.

Through zoom interviews with happily married Indian couples and their “love stories”, it provides an idea of how the couple we are now to see a couple whose story is distinct from the others, but yet ordinary and relatable.

As with many NRI-oriented films, there is the routine discussion of arranged marriages, wedding pressures and of course… Bollywood.

In fact, the mention of Kal Ho Naa Ho is quite fascinating. I feel that the core characters and situations referenced bore some (metaphorical) resonance with the narrative.

What I quite like about it is the fact that being ‘Indian’ is not the narrative’s sole focus.

It is a mere coating and the essence remains of the story being a feel-good self-discovery.

Comedy works in every scene. Whether it’s the satire of banging utensils for health workers or the one-liners, the exchange of dialogues is witty and fun.

There is a seamless effort by both Karan and Geraldine in creating this fun chemistry between them.

It’s a joy to watch them both. Mark Duplass appears as a voice named ‘Daddy’ (it’s explained why in the film).

I expected the story to get serious towards the second half and that is what happens.

But somehow, the attention gets lost due to the fact that mild humour is slid into the intense situation.

As a result, the comedic treatment does not allow one to comprehend the sombreness of those circumstances.

Furthermore, there is a scene where Rita decides to confront a lingering issue in her life. We see her leave the house and then have no idea what happened to that problem or how it got resolved.

I would’ve liked to see the completion of that subject because it plays a huge part in her character and how she deals with life thereafter.

One cannot deny that 7 Days, most of the time, is an engaging watch.

Having been created on a simple budget and style, the effort to convey a humorous love story amidst COVID-19 is sincere.

Generally, though, it’s great to see Indian voices being presented on the mainstream front. It’s about time we got our dues.

⭐⭐⭐ (3/5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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