Back in 2012, as cinema turned a new leaf with the indie revolution [when films such as Ship of Theseus, Shaitan and Ballad of Rustom took centrestage], there was another whiff of change that perhaps went unnoticed. There came a generation of filmmakers that would both write and direct their screenplays, because no one would understand their vision, the world and the characters they wanted to create, better than themselves. Five years later, we shine the light on one such first-time raconteur. We speak to filmmaker Suresh Triveni, the director of Tumhari Sulu which makes for a light-hearted watch with Vidya Balan as the shining star.
There is something about artists from small towns—the broad outlook despite geographical limitations, and the many layers they are made of. It is no wonder then that great stories come out of these places. Suresh Triveni is one such interesting filmmaker—a Ranchi boy who failed high school but rose to become an engineer and switched numerous cities before he found himself in cinema. ‘Film as a career was not even an option but I was attracted towards it. I liked something about the medium, but it was as ambiguous as a first crush—you liked something about it but couldn’t pen it down,’ he tells me. Suresh initially worked at a music channel in Chennai then shipped himself off to the city of dreams; straddling across various formats—this included pitching for documentaries, executing content for magazines and making short films. And there is another interesting thing about him, he loves Vidya Balan. So much so, that Suresh based the entire story of his debut feature around her. They initially began working on a different project that got shelved later before Tumhari Sulu. It releases this November.
Tumhari Sulu, starring Vidya and Manav Kaul, is a tribute to the outstanding women out there who not only withstand and persevere the setbacks and disappointments of life, but find a way to thrive. The film is Suresh’s labour of love and is also a result of his relentless dream of working with Vidya Balan. The slice-of-life film captures the journey of Sulochana aka Sulu, a worry-free housewife who stumbles into a late-night RJ job. ‘I wrote it in Jan 2016 and narrated it to Vidya the very next month. She readily agreed to do it and then I found some brilliant producers at Ellipsis Entertainment who made my dream a reality along with T-Series.’
‘My Inspiration has always been to work with Vidya on a film! We were working on another project initially but unfortunately that didn’t work out. This was the second subject we had in mind and Vidya has been associated with it right from the beginning. I have always liked the conflicts we face in our day-to-day existence. The idea, however, came to me while I was listening to a late-night radio show on my way back from work.’
You can watch the trailer below and buy tickets this Wednesday. It releases this weekend pan India!
Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani