Review by Sean Boelman
At this point, festival-goers need to get used to seeing films made during and about the COVID-19 pandemic, but their quality will have a great deal of variance. The romantic comedy 7 Days is one of the better ones to come out, benefitting from a genuinely witty script and some excellent chemistry between its two stars.
The movie tells the story of two people who, after a pre-arranged date set up by their traditional Indian parents, find themselves stuck together during the beginning of lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of this film’s charm is that it takes something we’ve all been through (the pandemic) and uses it as the setting for the standard rom-com premise.
However, even though the pandemic is a fundamental factor in the story, the thing that allows this to stand out from other similar movies is that it would work very well on its own without that connection. As a culturally-specific romance about how these people’s Indian heritage drives their dating lives, it’s a fascinating film.
That said, it would have been nice to see a bit more substance in relation to the characters. It’s the standard old school versus new school archetypes, and while the message about finding a compromise between staying true to one’s roots and embracing modernity is genuine, it also doesn’t go deep beyond the surface in this regard.
Still, the absolute highlight of the movie is the comedic duo of Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni. Both have had some very funny turns in the past, but this is probably their best work. Soni, in particular, is impressive here, giving a performance that makes it clear that he is much more than just the comedic relief.
Much of the film’s comedy is based in the awkward situation in which the characters find themselves, but it works thanks to how believably uncomfortable the scenario is. Additionally, when Viswanathan and Soni are given the opportunity to feed off of each other’s energy, it results in some wonderfully comedic moments.
Admittedly, the movie is very plainly shot, but that is a direct consequence of the fact that it is a COVID-19 movie. It would have been nice to see the film play out in a way that makes the audience feel the same level of entrapment felt by the characters, but the writing is discomforting enough on its own to do the job.
7 Days is a very entertaining romantic comedy, and while its core plot isn’t anything special, the unique flourishes are what makes it noteworthy. But beyond that, it’s worth watching for Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni alone.
7 Days is currently seeking distribution.