7 Days – BFI London Film Festival Review

by Sarah Cook

Art is and will always be, a reflection of our time, our history, and our imagination. So, it is natural that our art is going to be informed by the recent two years in the midst of a global pandemic.

Since COVID struck, many have used COVID as a tool; whether it has helped craft their work like Rob Savage’s Host or became a part of the story, like BBC’s Together.  

For 7 Days, an arranged date goes awry when COVID forces the pair to stay isolated together. Directed by Roshan Sethi, the film follows Ravi and Rita who have been set-up on a date by their parents. Ravi is a strict, non-drinking, rule-following, mother’s boy whilst Rita is a foul-mouth, chicken-chomping, drink-swilling, free spirit. After a strained date, the couple somewhat agree to go their separate ways only to be find themselves stuck in lockdown together. Could their predicament help develop a deeper relationship?

Karan Soni and Geraldine Viswanathan are two actors who have very much been on the scene, playing supporting roles in likes of Deadpool, Blockers, Ghostbusters, and Bad Education. It is great to see them as the leads her in this endearing romantic comedy

Soni and Viswanathan have a fantastic chemistry together, which charges the romance and underlines the laughs.

The film itself opens with Indian couples talking about their arranged marriages before immediately plunging you into these two very different people struggling to connect through masks and gloves and oodles of hand-sanitizer, and it only gets worse when they have to stay in Rita’s house which hides her secret life. There is a lot of situational comedy to be had as the puritanical Ravi is forced to accept Rita’s sloppy and reckless behaviour which she keeps hidden not just from Ravi but her entire family.

On the other side of the door, Rita begins to open up to Ravi’s idealised fantasy of love and life. Her binges and affairs seem to mask a girl equally as lonely as Ravi but after countless arranged dates and failed romances, she has instead been hardened. They say opposites attract and never has that phrase been truer than in 7 Days.

So, the leads are great, there are plenty of laughs, and there is a wholesome warmth that permeates throughout. But the film still feels a little underdeveloped. The romantic comedy struggles to get passed its simplistic premise and the predictable affair does   On the one occasion where it tackles the real life illness, the plot device removing our blossoming lovers from their holed-up hovel, it removes a lot of the energy and kinetic charge that emanated from the lead’s chemistry.

Still, 7 Days is an enjoyable escape. Of course, it isn’t an escape in the new world sense of the word, but perhaps for those lonely hearts out there, a COVID aided romantic story is a wondrous journey nonetheless.

7 Days is playing as part of the BFI London Film Festival

Buy your tickets now!

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