Missing a well-integrated Sunday

Saw the film titled Sunday (2008), starring Irrfan Khan, Arshad Warsi, Ajay Devgan, and Ayesha Takia. I was not expecting much, and thought the name 'Sunday' sounded rather crude and immature. But after having seen the film, I appreciate the title more. The film is about one day in the life of Saher (played by Ayesha Takia), a Sunday, of which she remembers nothing. While the film has its strong moments, it leaves a bit to be desired because I believe its integration of comedy and suspense could have been a lot stronger. When treated independently, the comic and suspense sequences in the film work well. But the fusion of the two is the weakest link in a film that has very good actors and performances, but a weak plot.

Here are some of my notes on Sunday:

1. Ayesha Takia definitely puts in an above average performance. Much like I have been since I saw her in Home Delivery (2005), I am surprised by how much she looks like Mahima Chaudhary. The way she plays her character works well for the film. Specifically, I enjoyed her portrayal of the dubbing sequences. In the recording studio, as the provider of vocals for animated characters, over the phone with her mom and acting as a maid, and the one piece with Ajay Devgan, on the bench, and right before the only love song in the film. Very well done, and perhaps the reason for Ms. Takia looking rather cute in the film.

3. Of the three major actors in the film: Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, and Irrfan Khan, Khan steals the show. The parts in which Arshad Warsi (a cab-driver) and Irrfan Khan are shown together are the funniest in the film. The dialogs in some cases are overdone, no doubt. Yet, Irrfan Khan (who played the role of an aspiring actor in the film) playing Don, and then making a mockery of sorts of Himesh Reshammiya, was all done in good taste.

4. Arshad Warsi is good, as always. His delivery and timing are classy, although at times too loud.

5. Ajay Devgan is the most melodramatic of the four, and if what one of my favorite actresses -- Kajol (Ajay's wife) -- recently said is true and Ajay is one of the 'greats', one doesn't see it at all here.

6. The rest of the cast is used in a decent fashion. Without giving away much of the end, the pieces in which a group of gangsters tries to kill the protagonist are the silliest of the lot. Several other moments are too, and rather unnecessary, especially all the car chases. They are somewhat funny only when not used excessively. There is only so much redundancy we can bear!

7. The soundtrack is below average, and its integration in the film about the same. Manzar, in which Tushar Kapoor makes a special appearance, is the best placed of all songs. Kashmakash, toward the end, with Esha Deol making a special appearance this time, is just plain overdone. This comes as no surprise given Ms. Deol's presence.

As a filmy product, Sunday is a slightly above average film, and only because of the performances delivered by some fine actors. The comedy and the mystery keep the film somewhat interesting. I was hoping that given that it was a murder mystery first and a comedy second, that we would see fewer repeated nonsensical sequences and more substance, but the results bugged me. I am going with a little over two stars for this film. Disappointing, especially the integration of the comedy, which would have worked with a slightly stronger script. This one's on the film-makers, not the actors!

My rating: 2.25/5 (slightly above average)

My Classification: PG-13 (for violence, plot)

Soundtrack rating: 1.5/5 (below average)

Official website (and picture source):
http://sunday.erosentertainment.com

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