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December 17, 2023

Sukhee is a love letter to Delhi and female friendship

In the picture

Sukhee ☆☆☆☆ 1/2

Starring: Shilpa Shetty, Kusha Kapila, Chaitanya Choudry

Directed by: Sonal Joshi


irstly, Shilpa Shetty is an icon. In the early ‘90s, she had every boy in my school crying a little each time ‘Chura Ke Dil Mera’ played on MTV. It wasn’t that Shetty is overtly hot, and we all know the ‘90s were a weird time for hair and eyebrows, but she’s always had that something special that makes a star. If it were just about a great bod, Shamita Shetty would also have been a superstar, but she never quite made the cut.

Sukhee is maybe what Shilpa Shetty in an alternate universe would have been. Hot, full of moxy, but too tied down by the complexities of homemaking to put all that together and show it off for the world.

Sukhee, Shilpa Shetty’s character, has a teen daughter, a grumpy husband running a blanket business, a wonderfully supportive grandfather-in-law, and an upcoming reunion.

The story really isn’t about how she gets to the reunion, though it is, and it isn’t about what happens at the reunion, though we see that too; through Sukhee, we see the facets of adult women’s lives everywhere that usually are glossed over. And these are the things women gloss over themselves as no big deal, to their own detriment, mostly because it adds to their own loss of self worth.

What director Sonal Joshi has done in a most heartwarming way is fit together all the pieces of most women’s lives. One could qualify the observation by saying Pakistani, or desi women, but really, women everywhere live similar lives.

Held to high expectations and expected to perform with excellence at being daughter, mother, wife, professional, friend, women will also find themselves downplaying their achievements because they keep falling behind in one area or the other. Of course they fall behind! They’re simultaneously raising kids and nurturing families, they’re trying to advance in their chosen careers, they’re trying to keep up with friends and keep looking awesome. It is only within the most insular, close, deeply knit friends groups that you will ever find women behaving less than perfectly.

Despite the everyday, minor proclamations made to her by the dependants in her life that chip away at her happiness and confidence, Sukhee manages to stay upbeat mostly because of the grandpa-in-law who has her laughing and making plans whether she wants to or not. He urges her to attend her reunion, and he reminds her that she literally runs the universe that is their household.

Once she gets to Delhi for her reunion, Sukhee falls into the comfort her best girlfriends offer her. They talk and eat and laugh and cry, and she very obviously seems like her authentic self again.

At points, Sukhee can tend to be too on the nose with specific speeches made by various characters at different times, but really, if we need those things spelt out for us, then that’s where it’s at. The secret plus of Sukkee is that it showcases Delhi in all its glory, and takes you through the streets and alleys and landmarks and the things that one would imagine Dehlites enjoy most about their city.

Sukhee is one of the required watches to add to the list of the men and women, specially the younger ones in your lives, whom you want to educate about the experience of being a woman, and what everyone’s responsibilities regardless of gender, towards that experience are.

Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection

In the picture