T and F review

Actors Anmol Thakeria Dhillon and Jhataleka Malhotra are seen in a still from “Tuesdays & Fridays.” (publicity photo)

I stumbled upon this Feb. 2021 release while surfing Netflix. I was considerably surprised that this film, produced by T-Series as well as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and starring Poonam Dhillon’s son and a past beauty queen, got almost a surreptitious release on OTT! There was no buzz and zero publicity!

(The other shock was that for a Bhansali film, its music was excruciatingly poor, but with Tony Kakkar at the helm, and Neha Kakkar as a singer in overdrive, that was to be expected as T-Series were co-producers and must have called the musical shots.)

“Tuesdays & Fridays” is a love story of commitment-phobic individuals, Varun Sarin (Anmol Thakeria Dhillon), a popular writer, and Sia Malhotra (Jhataleka Malhotra), a rising lawyer. Varun is the son of Nimmi Sarin (Anooradha Patel), who had dumped her husband, though he was always made to think it was the other way round. Sia is the daughter of Dr. Radhika Malhotra (Niki Walia) and her estranged husband Dr Vikrant Malhotra (Parmeet Sethi), who has remarried.

The two meet in India first and then bump into each other in London. Friendship blossoms but the two decide to stay away from love, as Varun believes in expiry dates for relationships. Finally, they agree to be in love only on Tuesdays and Fridays and remain friends the rest of the week. This addlepated idea obviously creates problems and the only solution is what you will guess is the norm for a Hindi love story along with the obligatory initial separation, misunderstanding and friction.

The film tries to be chic, “today,” youthful and modern and yet with emotions ruling as in Hindi films, as with the climax and several sequences before that, including that of the café-owner (Kamini Khanna) and her grandson (Sammy Jonas Heaney). The breakup story of Varun’s mother sounds unconvincing and half-baked but the role played by Sia’s dad in her love story again conforms to Hindi cinema conventions.

At 106 minutes, the film is a “time-pass” fare sans any demands on our psyches, and happily, the performances are of good quality. The newcomers are pleasant, Jhataleka showing infinitely more promise, but Anmol also makes a distinct mark. And again, we are shocked that Bhansali and T-Series opted to do such injustice to them after better promoting comparatively weaker talents like Sharmin Segal and Meezaan in “Malaal” (2019).

Niki Walia as Mrs. Malhotra and Aashim Gulati as Jatin Singh are also impressive. Kamini Khanna is good as usual in her brief role and Reem Sheikh as Sia’s half-sister Tanya is perfect as a girl wanting to lose her virginity on her birthday.

Harmless, flippant fare this, but with some application on the part of the creative team, it could have been a different, very enjoyable and humorous fare within the mainstream ambit. Something is lacking in the film’s dynamics.

Rating: **1/2

T-Series Films, Bhansali Productions & AAA Films present “Tuesdays & Fridays”

Produced by: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali & Shobha Sant

Written & directed by: Taranveer Singh

Music: Tony Kakkar

Starring: Anmol Thakeria Dhillon, Jhataleka Malhotra, Reem Sheikh, Niki Walia,

Zoa Morani, Kamini Khanna, Sammy Jonas Heaney, Karishma Bhandari, Aashim Gulati, Anooradha Patel, Parmeet Sethi & others

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