LFF Review: 7 Days


DIRECTED BY

Roshan Sethi

STARRING

Karan Soni, Geraldine Viswanathan, Zenobia Shroff, Gita Reddy and Mark Duplass

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SYNOPSIS

As if their pre-arranged date, organised by their traditional Indian parents, wasn’t uncomfortable enough, Ravi and Rita are forced to shelter in place together as COVID-19’s reach intensifies.

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Rita and Ravi initially prove the fact that opposites do not attract. She is a heavy drinking, foul-mouthed mooched, 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 weeklong quarantine. However, as the days progress, the two begrudgingly begin to form a bond.

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7 Days is written by Karan Soni and Roshan Sethi, with Sethi also making his directorial debut. We find Rita and Ravi sharing a picnic together in what Ravi assumed was a lovely area when checking on google maps, ended up in actually being a pretty dry reservoir. As their date progresses, they get text alerts about the city going into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ravi tries to book a hotel but no luck and when the car rental place says it will take a while for a car to become available so Rita reluctantly lets him crash at her home. Eventually, Ravi begins to learn that Rita isn’t the type of person she portrayed on their date.

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This romantic comedy is another creative endeavour to be made during the pandemic, but it seems to be one of the few that I’ve seen that actually uses COVID-19 in the story. What worked for me in this film was the chemistry between Soni and Viswanathan, with Soni portraying the socially awkward ’momma’s boy’ Ravi, and Viswanathan portraying two different versions of Rita. The film also has the element of discussing the matter of arranged marriages, from the opening title sequence providing a montage of mothers talking about their children and ’promoting’ how special their boy/girl is in the hopes that their pitch is enough to setup a date, to Ravi and Rita talk about whether the traditions of when their parents grew up work for themselves in a modern worldview. Well, Rita tries to counter-argue Ravi’s view of following the traditions and especially arranged marriage. The screenplay from Soni and Sethi works really well in the first half of the film, the back-and-forth between Ravi and Rita is sharply done, with some hilarious results as the two come to accept the fact that they’ll have to be in each others company for a while due to lockdown.

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The performances from Soni and Viswanathan are really good here, with Soni being most effective when it comes to some scenes that kind of go on the verge of cringe comedy (such as a scene in which Ravi attempts to do standup whilst drunk in front of Rita), and Viswanathan’s delivery of her lines as well as her dramatic performance in the second half of the film worked really well. The direction the story takes in the second half might feel a bit too close to home for some viewers but I thought it was handled effectively.

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VERDICT

7 Days is a sweet, isolated romantic comedy with solid performances from Karan Soni and Geraldine Viswanathan.

★★★