Sukhee (2023)

Sukhee (2023)

A faltering family drama whose message gets lost by its second half



India, United States of America
English, Hindi
Comedy, Drama
Amit Sadh, Chaitannya Choudhry, Dilnaz Irani
139 min


Sorry, but Sukhee made the wrong choice.

What it's about

When she was in high school, Sukhee Kalra was loud, brash, and outspoken. Now, as an adult, her life revolves entirely around her family, living as a housewife and mother. Sick of her routine life, she decides to attend her class reunion, in order to relive her past.

The take

Sukhee depicts the struggles specific to adult women – the way women are encouraged to sacrifice their identity for the people that they love and to meet certain expectations that feel impossible or contradictory. This isn’t a common topic in film, but it has been portrayed before, with the likes of English Vinglish and Eat, Pray, Love. Sukhee does some things differently, with a fun girl’s out Delhi trip reminiscing over her past and reconnecting with her former self. However, the film loses its way in the second half. With plot elements that feel haphazardly thrown in, including a randomly placed horse race, the film never fully resolves the main issue at the core of the film – the lack of respect towards the housewife role, as well as the way the family needs better stress management skills.

What stands out

Sukhee is a film about how women sacrifice aspects of their personality for husbands, for their family and to fit into their society. Every action they do reflect on the people they are linked to, and can affect certain opportunities that they want their family to have. The first half perfectly portrays this experience, specifically the way all the burden of blame is laid at Sukhee’s feet just because she’s a housewife. However, the way the film continues, particularly in its second half, feels like a betrayal with the way things get resolved. Every female character other than Sukhee doesn't feel fleshed out, and there’s a certain underlying class divide between the couple that isn’t really explained in depth. By the time the ending comes along, it kills any hope for empowerment the film hoped it would give.


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