Let us first get this out of the way - Sunday is, well, no, not a copy, but clearly a remake of Chandrasekhar Yeleti's Anukokunda Oka Roju
. Another thing before we start discussing the Hindi film - I think that the original was a very strong film with a great sense of time and place, and with a major sense of belonging in its character. Right now, so Sunday.
As substandard productions in Bollywood go, Sunday is actually quite a well-made film with some very good laughs and a denouement that is its own, which may miss the point but has some originality all its own. On the other hand, the film tries hard but fails to evoke the same cohesive sense of belonging that the original had. Even with the faux accents and the real locations, the film doesn't feel like a Delhi film in the way, say, Khosla Ka Ghosla did.
Like we said, though, it tries hard. The effort on part of the production shows with some very nifty camera work in Delhi and its locales being used as backdrop for most of the film. The rest of the film has been shot in, ironically enough, Ramoji Film City, and as all film cities are wont to look in a film, it looks fake. This is a complaint I have with the whole film too. It tries hard, but it cannot get over the Bollywoodisation of itself. Despite all the trappings, it is a typical masala film, acted in much the same way.
But that is not necessarily a problem, and we wouldn't have called it out, except that the film expects that it be taken as a slice-of-life-film with a twist. Despite whatever trappings that work or fail, the main focus of the film is a story that can best be described as a "WTF happened here" mystery, and the solid comic chemistry between Irfan Khan and Arshad Warsi, milked for maximum effect.
On the latter, it delivers in spades. When they work, the comic moments in the film are a complete riot, even letting Ajay Devgan and Mukesh Tiwari in on the fray. Arshad's cab driver role from the original has been shortened from romantic lead to funny dude who hangs around, but it still is complete madness. And Irfan Khan has discovered a comic touch that serves him very well, because his character was in danger of becoming a non-entity.
Why? Well, the answer to that is the reason the mystery doesn't work very well. The cult fanaticism angle from the original has given way to a multiple murder mystery angle, which not only makes Khan's character redundant, it also makes the film's unraveling of the mystery fairly jumbled up, and one that needs a long, ineffectual verbal explanation on screen. Full marks to Khan for rising to the occasion and completely going nuts with his screen time then, and negative marks for the ham-handed third act that director Rohit Shetty straddles us with.
To his credit, though, the director (along with an army of screen-writers) succeeds in keeping the intrigue and entertainment levels both surprisingly high most of the time. The final act that is the shame of the film is so lame that for some it might just not register, because by then we have had a solid 2 hours of fun. And that is the operative word here - despite some sub-standard acting by the supporting cast, shoddy production values, and an uneven pace, the fun quotient remains high throughout.
Surprisingly, other than the obviously well-done sense of belonging of the original, the thing you miss most in this one is Jagatpati Babu. His corrupt, juice-swigging (replaced with Cornettos here), soft-hearted cop is something that Devgan comes close to, but falters when he stoops to homophobic jokes and money-shot-filled fight sequences.
Coupled with some inane songs that actually hamper the narrative, the movie ends up having some moments that are groan-inducing. Turn on Warsi-Khan again, and the fun begins anew. Ayesha Takia's main lead is completely forgettable as all the character exploration is eschewed for the surprise moments, but her spontaneity is affecting.
Even if you have seen the original, this one is worth your time if all you look for in a movie-going experience is a few giggles. Character depth, interesting conversations, directorial finesse... - these things are missing in this rather forgettable film, but what it has in spades is the determination to make you have a good time, in which it fails as many times as it succeeds. But that is what makes it a film you can unabashedly call 'not bad'.
Not a film you can't miss then, but something that doesn't make you regret the money you spend on tickets either.