Geraldine Viswanathan follows up breakout roles in Blockers and The Broken Hearts Gallery with 7 Days at Tribeca Film Festival. The film follows two young adults, Ravi (Karan Soni) and Rita (Viswanathan) as their pre-arranged date turns into days together as COVID-19’s reach intensifies.
The last year has seen an influx of COVID-19 influenced movies. One of the issues with many of them is that the science is usually incorrect. Director Roshan Sethi however is also a doctor, so the way that the subject matter is handled is done with accuracy. He is not afraid to tackle the serious aspects of the virus and takes a measured approach to the subject. It is a film that has been made reflecting on the pandemic and the impact it had, rather than trying to capitalise on it with no research done.
It is not just doom and gloom as 7 Days does focus on the chemistry between Ravi and Rita. The character of Ravi can come across as uptight and annoying to begin but has plenty of time on screen to warm into the story. By the end, Ravi’s writing becomes more fluid and feels authentic rather than just a caricature. However, Viswanathan is infectious right from the start as Rita. A young woman who agrees to the pre-arranged date but is nothing like her profile suggests. She feels authentic as a character, someone who you already know from the minute you enter her house.
What I really appreciate about the approach for the story of 7 Days was the cultural influences within it. The idea of pre-arranged dates and marriages is extremely controversial and yet is a subject matter that many people may not even know about. Not only does this film introduce the idea cleverly from the start with video clips of happy families, but it also addresses the flaws within the formula and how unnatural it feels in our current climate. It takes a fly-on-the-wall approach and lets the story do all of the talking, never siding or condemning the actions.
7 Days was one of the first films of Tribeca 2021 and a promising start to the festival. It certainly will not be a film for everyone, but the risks that Sethi takes with the direction pay off. The themes of the story are bold, without ever sacrificing the sweet, humourous tones that drive this strong comedy-drama.
7 Days is currently showing at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.
DIRECTOR: Roshan Sethi
STARS: Mark Duplass, Geraldine Viswanathan, Karan Soni, Aparna Nancherla
RUNTIME: 86 minutes
COUNTRY: United States