By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Vijay Anand's evergreen classics TEESRI MANZIL and JEWEL THIEF have been inspirations for many a film-maker over the decades. A number of films have borrowed from these two classics that are rightfully acknowledged as textbooks in film-making. Director Rohit Shetty also seems like a big fan of TEESRI MANZIL, since the script of his third outing SUNDAY is structured on those lines. But, in actuality, SUNDAY is inspired by the Telugu film ANUKOKUNDA OKA ROJU .
A lady is murdered at the very outset and the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are fixed in an interesting and stylish way. Any whodunit works if and only if the needle of suspicion points at the various assorted characters all through the narrative. And SUNDAY has that quality, it keeps you guessing!
As a storyteller, Shetty whitewashes his previous highly competitive works [ZAMEEN, GOLMAAL] and comes up with his most watchable experience so far. Oh yes, there are glitches [in the second hour specifically] and Shetty should've taken care of them, but let's not fuss over trivial matters.
To sum up, SUNDAY strikes the right balance between the two diverse genres [suspense, comedy]. It's a film that holds appeal more for the aam junta, not for the hard-nosed critics. SUNDAY can be summed up in four words: Engaging, engrossing, entertaining and enjoyable!
A dead body found floating in a lake… Unexplained scratch marks on her neck… Supari killers out to kill her… A taxi driver who yells 'bhoot, bhoot' every time he sees her…
Sehar's [Ayesha Takia] world turns topsy-turvy when she gets a clue about the missing Sunday of her life, which points to a possible violent attack on her. A.C.P. Rajveer [Ajay Devgan] takes up the case to sort out the complicated and jumbled up threads of Sehar's life.
In the process of solving Sehar's case, it comes to light that on Sunday, different people interacted with her and amongst them, one could be the accused. The lot included Ballu [Arshad Warsi], the taxi driver and his friend Kumar [Irrfan Khan], a struggling actor, Ritu [Anjana Sukhani], Sehar's close friend, a scary and suspicious character [Murli Sharma], who resides in Sehar's society and the group whom she had come across while partying at the discotheque.
Rajveer is convinced that Sehar is innocent, but he is also equally sure that she is linked to everything. Is Sehar really as innocent as she claims to be?
Even though the two genres [suspense, comedy] move concurrently, the suspense element isn't heavy on your mind and nor are the comic portions of the nonsensical variety that one laughs at the spur of the moment and forgets all about them the very next moment. The funda is clear: Make a wholesome entertainer that works for an avid moviegoer.
Although the story isn't path-breaking, the screenplay [K. Subhaash, Robin Bhatt and Tushar Hiranandani] holds your attention all through the first hour. The writing is highly competent in this hour. It's only in the second half that things slow down. Reason? There's an unwanted song ['Pyaar To Hona Hi Hai'] and an unrequired, long-drawn chase [with cars somersaulting in the air], that tapers the impact. Even the climax should've been more convincing. The shock-value -- so vital when the murderer's identity is unveiled -- is missing in the end. Also, a more prominent actor would've only enhanced the impact.
The screenplay writers should've worked harder on the second hour, since that's the most important aspect of any whodunit. Yet, all said and done, director Rohit Shetty steers the film through turbulent waters with his expert execution.
The songs -- by various music composers -- give the film a varied sound. 'Kashmakash' [Shibani Kashyap] is the best of the lot. Filmed on Esha Deol [excellent], the song boasts of an imaginative picturization. 'Manzar' [Raghav Sachar] is another winner. This one's filmed on Tusshar [dances very well]; it has a catchy beat and an equally arresting choreography. The stunts [Jai Singh] are stylishly executed. Aseem Bajaj's cinematography is topnotch. He proves yet again that he's amongst the best in the business. Dialogues [Sajid-Farhad] are admirable; very much in snyc with the mood of the film. The sets, especially in the Esha Deol track, are awesome.
The performances are likable! Known for intense roles, Ajay Devgan shows a flair for comic moments and gets it right. SUNDAY would only multiply his fan-following since the actor has started deviating into areas that he seldom visited as an actor. As always, Arshad Warsi is in terrific form. It's a treat to watch him essay his role with such precision. Irrfan is another actor who surprises you all the while. In fact, this combo -- Arshad and Irrfan -- compliment each other very well.
Ayesha Takia is a complete natural. The best thing about her is, she never makes you feel she's acting. She just slips into her role so well. Her introduction -- her dubbing for an animation film -- is excellent. Anjana Sukhani doesn't get any scope. Mukesh Tiwari is first-rate. Murli Sharma, Vrajesh Hirjee and Ali Asgar are alright.
On the whole, SUNDAY is a well-made entertainer that has the potential to click with moviegoers. It also has the advantage of having open weeks ahead, with no major opposition till 15th February. Should end the drought that the industry is facing after a flurry of flops.
Bollywood.com Rating: 3.5