Tu Hi Re
Masala Love Triangle

Sanjay Jadhav
Screenplay & Direction

Manaswini Lata Ravindra

Movie Review
Tu Hi Re (Marathi):Masala Love Triangle Served South Indian Style

Tu Hi Re is a quintessential masala love triangle, with two gorgeous ladies and a charming hero; served south indian style. 
It’s the kind of film that wants to be grand in every aspect- entries of the hero and heroines, larger-than-life romance, over the top action, designer looks and a high production value. Naturally, it’s the razzle dazzle that steals the show. 
The film begins with a trying-hard-to-be-funny scene that then leads us to the heroine Nandini (Sai Tamhankar), introduced through a song. The first real moment in the film comes on the wedding night, when Siddharth (Swapnil Joshi) pours himself a glass of beer, and Nandini responds by saying ‘cheers’ with a glass of milk. That’s when the magic happened. I began to care for this couple, eager to see their romance bloom. But alas! The film made a massive jump in time (8 years, to be precise), and landed into another irrelevant, not-so-funny comic interlude with people we have not yet seen, and will ever see again in the course of the film. And like that game we play with a child, pretending the palm to be a plate, and the make-believe curry from knocked over bowl travels to the armpits, ending in ticklish laughter - a character from this seen leads us into the happy lives of Nandini, Siddharth, and Pihu (Mrinal Jadhav)- their daughter.
The energy in their house is warm and inviting. Siddharth tends to household duties like a seasoned family man. He cooks, looks after his daughter, even helps his wife get her saree pleats right with a fluency and will quite rare for a hero in Indian cinema. He does it by choice. With joy, for his own loved ones. That was my favorite favorite thing about this film. A man who has no hang ups doing housework. And his wife appreciates him with an easy, unceremonious grace. Her frankness in expressing her needs and desires; her boldness in making the first move in romance, and the innocence with which she tries to mend things when broken is quite refreshing. Moments between Pihu and Siddharth are very special, so is the mother-daughter banter.
The third angle of this triangle- Bhairavi (Tejaswini Pandit)- enters the story just before intermission. She is the weakest of the three characters. Siddharth and Nandini have their quirks and charms, Pihu too is very much her own person; but Bhairavi, sadly, is a cookie-cutter character in a cookie-cutter story fabricated for the sole purpose of testing Siddharth and Nandini’s love. We never really understand what she is all about, or why she does what she does. I wished we had more insight into Bhairavi’s character and her dilemma.
Post interval, the story unfolds by means of the most un-inventive device: narration. The details of this part are packed with the tried and tested massala mix from Tollywood: romance, action, song and dance. Although it entertains (those who find it entertaining), it dampens the tension. I sat through most songs, wishing they were shorter, and the story would progress. There was so much more about Nandini and Siddharth that I wanted to know.
There’s some juice in the last half an hour of the film, where we wait for the triangle to untangle. The ending could have been much more powerful, if the dialogue had stayed sharp and natural like the rest of the film. Much more could have been said through actions rather than words. 

The story by Manaswini Lata Ravindra, at it’s core, seems to be fresh; interesting. The screenplay, however, does not do justice to it. The structure has been done to death, scene construction is loose; and transitions are heavy handed. Arvind Jagtap’s dialogue, for the most part, works well. It sounds natural, and earns laughs with some witty comebacks especially from Pihu.

 Apart from some intimate scenes that stay true to the soul of the story, the film walks the well trodden path to box office success. Yet, I’m glad people are watching it. If it brings any change in the way our young men (and women) view housework- even subconsciously- all the show-sha would be worth it!

   Ketki Pandit

Ketki Pandit is a writer/director with MFA from New York University. Also an alumnus of Screenplay Writing course at FTII, she is passionate about cinema and stories that shape our world. . http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2775357/

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