By Adam Ray Palmer
The first and only rom-com of the 2021 London Film Festival for Cineroom is 7 Days – the perfect movie to couple with Language Lessons from a few days ago.
Directed by Roshan Sethi and co-written with Karan Soni; 7 Days stars Soni himself alongside the blossoming talent of Geraldine Viswanathan.
Set up on a pre-arranged date by their old-fashioned Indian parents, Ravi (Karan Soni) and Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan) who have very little in common, endure a long afternoon together that seemingly be just another awkward date notched up for the pair of them. Ravi is as conservative as they come and adheres to his heritage, whereas Rita may not be as clean cut as she suggests.
As if their date wasn't uncomfortable enough, Ravi and Rita are then forced to shelter in her home together as COVID-19's reach intensifies. After one bearable night, Ravi is looking to get home through a car rental that just never quite materialises for various reasons. So, the 7-day stay kicks off and before long, he quickly sees that Rita isn’t the perfect marriage material he had hoped for. She has a cheeky beer with breakfast and masturbates when she’s bored. As time progresses though, Ravi and Rita develop an unlikely bond, and in the face of a heart-breaking turn of events, that bond grows into something stronger.
7 Days is a great addition to the back catalogue of rom coms, hitting on new elements of the genre that have rarely been explored before. Themes of cultural specificities is a fresh take on the formula that is delivered expertly by the anchoring duo; both of whom know each other off screen from various TV projects and their chemistry is clearly felt here.
Where 7 Days really triumphs though is in the creation of characters that you care for. Soni and Viswanathan play their roles so vividly, really lending on the pandemic themes of loneliness and personal transformation; the outcomes of which are heartfelt and pure.
On the whole, 7 Days has enough intrigue to get you in and enough emotive power to keep you with them every day. Come for the “Harry Met Sally” vibes and stay for the oozing charm of the characters. The Bollywood-like edge is a welcoming angle too as the romantic comedies of old can slowly feel like a repeat, just constantly throwing up on us with the Hugh Grant-isms.
This sweet, quirky, and understated movie will happily keep you locked down for the swift 90-minute run time with ease.
Cineroom’s rating: 4 stars
7 Days premiered at the London Film Festival on 14th October – certificate 12A.