lousy first date gets recovery imposed by COVID-19 – .

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lousy first date gets recovery imposed by COVID-19 – .


It turns out that love and sex seekers aren’t the only ones lying online. In the indie romantic comedy “7 Days”, two mothers create glowing profiles for their children on an Indian wedding website. After a decidedly arid date in a drought-dried reservoir, Ravi and Rita reunite in her rental home. Each of them stands a few feet from each other, on the phone, reporting how brilliantly the date went to their curious mothers. It’s no surprise (romantic comedy or otherwise) that when Ravi meets Rita, the two quickly realize that keeping up those lies isn’t worth it. At least maintaining the cunning between them is not sustainable.

Karan Soni portrays Ravi, a guy who has many of the qualities his mother boasted of: a good cook, very bright, loyal and the youngest of three boys, but in a combination that makes him a spectacularly stuck mum boy. Geraldine Viswanathan is impassive in the role of Rita, who is far from the “traditional” Indian woman her mother marketed.

Written by director Roshan Sethi and Soni, the comedy wastes no time in confirming that Rita and Ravi don’t mix. That aside, “7 Days” – which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival – intelligently and happily goes about its business, teasing the differences between Ravi and Rita and wittily and patiently suggesting that their anti-chemistry might. do well for the truest kind of link.

When Ravi catches Rita on the phone, the carnal conversation she’s had strengthens her resolve to get the hell out of Dodge. Her candid speech and a sex toy by the edge of her bathroom sink suggest that she is not the “traditional girl” offered by her mother. Indeed, the case in which she is engaged has encountered a quarantine roadblock. Rita accepts the match dates her mother imagines for purely practical purposes. If that reason sounds a bit mercenary, it won’t be after Rita’s mother says on the phone, “I hope you haven’t shown her the real you.” He can’t like that one.

Of course, Ravi is not leaving. He stands by the door several times, his leather bag strapped to his back, but he cannot leave. And not because of the tug of romance. The film opens with signs of the coronavirus: Ravi being Ravi, he was already following safety protocols. Now the pandemic is coming in bigger and bigger waves. All its loopholes are closed. All of a sudden, the “traditional children” are bickering, in a way.

While Rita (badly) pretends to be the right Indian girl, her house tells a different story. There are plenty of signs that she’s pursuing her own eclectic path: Western tchotchkes, ceramic horses, vintage kitchen cans, and country-style platters. In a visual hit at the right time, a few of these items feature roosters. (Her messy, textured house is the work of Ashley and Megan Fenton.) In Rita’s bedroom is a multitude of canvases facing the wall. When Ravi asks about the paintings, she tells him that each is a painting of a vagina. And not, she adds, those which are only sweetness and flower petals but images which would confirm Freudian anxieties. Ravi looks like he’s about to pass out. But then he often looks dazed and confused.

Forced to be each other’s only company, they do what presumptive couples so often do in romantic comedies: they bicker; they heat each other up. There is something wonderfully Felix Unger about Ravi. And Rita is really messy. He is repressed – and lonely. She is carnally aware and increasingly worried about the status of her clandestine relationship. The film takes its time to pose if they can make a couple – strange or otherwise.

“7 Days” nods – sometimes subtly, other times obviously – to the formidable 2017 romantic comedy “The Big Sick”. And not just because it portrays the expectations of South Asian parents. With its pandemic theme, this film also struggles with feelings that arise in the face of illness – although one wonders how differently the filmmakers would have handled the pandemic if the Delta variant had raged in India during production.

Throughout their absence from court, Rita and Ravi dance with their mothers’ belief in the rightness of arranged marriages. “7 Days” begins and ends with interviews with real couples whose marriages have been arranged. How this sequence works before and after Rita and Ravi’s stay has its own enjoyable and stimulating benefits.

Whenever the script could take a mundane turn, it twisted, pushing back all easy magic. The dinner they cook together is not perfect. The stand-up routine he’s dreamed of doing all his life has the advantage of vulnerability but lacks timing. She would have the right to heckle. The apotheosis of their differences comes when he holds two jars ready to slam them in honor of healthcare workers and she storms out of the house into the closed world for a mad dash without a mask.

In the future, audiences may tire of COVID-19 movies. For now, however, “7 Days” is coming in as a humorous and unassuming charmer. What will or will not become of Rita and Ravi is left to the public to imagine. Either way, they’ve been unmasked, literally and romantically.

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