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Review: 7 Days – “The film is a testament to the different ways love develops”

Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni in 7 DAYS

“Find a soulmate for your Indian child” the dating site confidently states. And so Indian mothers fill out their son’s or daughter’s dating profile in the hopes of finding them a marriage match.  It’s how we are introduced to our main characters in 7 Days.  First, there is Ravi (Karan Soni, also co-writer on the film) the favourite son of three boys who works in a research lab, is vegetarian and never drinks and is looking for a traditional girl.  The hope is that traditional girl is Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan) whose hobbies include “caring for her future in-laws.”  

So in March of 2020 the two meet for their first date at a dismal dried-up reservoir that Ravi had thought would be a lush and romantic lake setting.  It’s a pretty apt metaphor for how their relationship is to go, at least for Ravi who has lofty expectations and quickly needs to adjust for a more humble reality.  His parents met a mere seven days before they got married, and he is more than ready to settle down.  

While the two stumble over their first meeting, the world around them is shutting down due to COVID.  When they suddenly get alert after alert on their phones and are notified of a shelter in place order being initiated, the two head to Rita’s apartment while Ravi waits for a rental car to be available so he can make it home.  The two become essentially trapped together as the situation evolves, and as Ravi walks around the messy apartment, finding beer bottles and a fridge full of fried chicken he realizes that Rita may not be the traditional girl he expected.  As the days together tick by, they both start to re-evaluate what they wanted in the first place.  

Winner of Best First Feature at the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards, 7 Days is an entertaining COVID inspired rom-com that largely succeeds due to its charm from both its clever writing and affable lead actors.  Director and co-writer Roshan Sethi (a physician who helped co-create TV’s The Resident while finishing his own residency) shot the film with a small crew in eight ‘furious, beautiful’ days yet the production value and quality of the work never wavers.  In fact the experience of the actors and filmmakers on set likely helped to infuse the film with the sense of isolation and yet warmth that emanates in each scene.  

7 Days is surely at its best when Rita and Ravi are discovering one another and how they both navigate the landscape of their parents, pushing for them to settle down.  It’s a window into cultural differences not typically depicted on screen, and the contrast also exists between Rita and Ravi themselves, for they cannot be more different.  Ravi strictly abides by the expectations of his mother and his family’s values while Rita has rebelled and found herself a different path.  But while the “opposites attract” trope has been done before, it feels refreshed under this lens and with Soni and Viswanathan’s charismatic performances.  

Though the ending of 7 Days feels slightly rushed, at 86 minutes the film also never overstays its welcome. The film is a testament to the different ways love develops, and how it endures.  It’s not always like the Bollywood movies Ravi enjoys.  It can’t always be large and grandiose and clanging bells in your heart.  Instead, it is often quiet, contemplative and surprising.  It may not be instant, but a growing feeling that develops, sometimes even over 7 Days.  

7 Days became available VOD April 26th.

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