Tuesdays and Fridays Movie Review: Twee rom-com loses the day

Tuesdays and Fridays Movie Review: Twee rom-com loses the day

Taranveer Singh’s film stretches a coffee date into a feature-length romance — to trying results
Rating:(1.5 / 5)

Thank God, it’s Friday — except you are in a movie theatre, watching a film called Tuesdays & Fridays, about a couple with no apparent regard for their schedules, no more than the movie has for the viewers’. Sia (Jhataleka Malhotra) suggests to Varun (Anmol Thakeria Dhillon), who’s afraid to commit, that they date on select days in a week. “How about Sundays?” asks Varun as she’s about to leave. “No,” responds Sia. “Tuesdays and Fridays it is.”

Varun is a writer, but he doesn’t do much writing. In fact, he doesn’t even read. He waxes lyrical about a dying bookstore, but doesn’t bother to purchase a book. Sia is the sort of lawyer whose expertise lies in augmenting complex dating scenarios. “I’ve added an exit clause,” she tells a friend proudly, explaining how both she and Varun are free to tap out of their deal. The standard Bollywood dictate is to do what you love. Here’s a couple that doesn't do much but love.

Directed by: Taranveer Singh

Cast: Anmol Thakeria Dhillon, Jhataleka Malhotra 

Written and directed by Taranveer Singh, the film hesitates to spell out its interests: Open relationships? Intermittent dating? Varun doesn't play the long game — “I have a seven-week rule,” he says, exceeding which he calls it quits. Sia, meanwhile, wants firmer assurance; she likes Varun but won’t put an ‘expiry date’ on her heart. Her biweekly plan, thus, is a ruse to accommodate both.

The concept is amusing — there’s even an arbitrary ‘no sex till Date 3’ rule thrown in — but it struggles to sustain the film. Both Varun and Sia swing wildly between coolness and confusion. Debutant Anmol is no match for career charmers like Ashton Kutcher and Saif Ali Khan. It’s a tall order, but the film barely tries. There’s no urgent chemistry between the leads, and each is pinned to an absent father arc — Bollywood shorthand for ‘commitment-phobia’.

The film is occasionally saved by the supporting cast. Niki Walia and Parmeeth Sethi are fetching as Sia’s estranged parents. Kamini Khanna’s Pakistani café owner reminded me of her turn in Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), back when the NRI-comedy genre held some sway. It is also fun to catch Parvin Dabas — who mostly played eligible bachelors in his day — turn up here as a groom.

London doesn’t add much to a film primarily set in quaint coffee shops. Despite the Bhansali Productions tag, the film is visually drab. At one point, Varun, lounging in a jacuzzi spa with Sia, asks her what she hates most in movies. Sia stands up and strikes a Shah Rukh Khan pose. Elsewhere, they show up as Salman Khan and Sridevi at a party. The references aren’t smart, but they are all that earned a giggle at my screening. Bollywood is in a slumber. It needs stronger coffee.

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