Tribeca 2021 Film Festival Review: 7 Days

Written by Maria Manuella Pache de Athayde

70/100

7 Days is Roshan Sethi’s feature directorial debut in which he also serves as a writer alongside Karan Soni. This movie is almost a cross between Two Night Stand(2014) and Shiva Baby(2021) minus the sex and shiva. But in this case our protagonists Ravi(Karan Soni) and Rita(Geraldine Viswanathan) are set up on a date by their parents with the hope that it will end in marriage. While on their date the unthinkable happens and they are forced to shelter in place, at Rita’s house, while Ravi figures out a way to get home. One day turns into two, then three, and so on and the story starts to gain momentum.

Fundamentally, 7 Days explores the story of polar opposites who are confined to live, learn, and loosen up until restrictions are lifted. It is here that we get to learn more about our protagonists and who they truly are. We have Ravi, a researcher at a university, who is a Type-A clean freak, that tries to uphold traditional Indian values to please his mother and keeps track of various dates on his marriage spreadsheet. In turn, we have Rita, a painter, who is currently unemployed and nothing like she appears when she first met Ravi. Rita is much more laid back. She is also in charge of her own sexuality and much less robotic than Ravi. But beneath this seemingly strong exterior Rita struggles to live up to her mother’s standards who claims no man will love the real you. This relationship between parents and adult children was an interesting addition to the movie as our characters navigate various interpersonal circumstances as they remained confined. 

As time progresses and somewhat unknowingly Ravi and Rita start to build a playful rapport and, at times, even confide in each other. Rita teaches Ravi to loosen up a bit. While Ravi teaches her to cook. There are several bumps along the way which you’ll have to tune in to tune in to find out. Production wise this movie really benefits from occurring in a singular location and focusing on the protagonists’ journeys instead. There is nothing here that will blow your mind but it is definitely worth a watch.

7 Days Clip


7 Days is currently streaming as part of the Tribeca 2021 Film Festival thru Tribeca at Home(available only in the USA). Further Distribution TBD.

Recommended.

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Episode 105: Saint Maud / Shiva Baby

“I wasn’t particularly thinking about the likes of Carrie or The Exorcist during writing or shooting, but I can see in hindsight how people have drawn those parallels. Maybe I did it subconsciously without realising.”

Rose Glass

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This week on Drink in the Movies Michael & Taylor discuss their First Impressions of: Hope & The Killing of Two Lovers and the Feature Films: Saint Maud and Shiva Baby.

Anna Harrison’s Review of Shiva Baby.

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Shiva Baby

Written by Anna Harrison

75/100

“One word: plastics.” 

Except, in writer/director Emma Seligman’s feature debut Shiva Baby, what was one word to Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate has become several to college senior Danielle (Rachel Sennott): law school, grad school, media, actress, entrepreneur, clerk. A whole host of options, many of them infused with that infuriatingly vague business lingo—what does a clerk even do, anyways—present themselves to Danielle, offered up by well-meaning friends and family members who cannot understand her indecision and paralysis. She’s created her own major at Columbia University focusing on women’s and gender studies, a fancy and erudite degree that lacks the assembly line nature of say, a business degree. That’s all well and good until faced with the issue of becoming financially independent when you have practically nothing in the “real world” to put on your resume. (No, in case you were asking, I, a senior in film studies at a prestigious university known for its business and pre-med students, did not relate to this.)

Faced with these choices and the looming prospect of actual adulthood, Dani has seized on something she can control: her sexuality. Dani has become a sugar baby, faking orgasms to Max (Danny Deferrari) in exchange for money and nice jewelry. Things seem to be going well enough until Dani’s parents, Debbie and Joel (Polly Draper and Fred Melamed, both great), drag her along to a shiva gathering, a Jewish mourning event. Dani’s ex, Maya (Maya Gordon), appears there, to Dani’s shock and dismay (aside from a few jokes about experimenting, barely anything is made out of Dani’s bisexuality; it simply exists), and then the real kicker comes: Max arrives, accompanied by his flawless wife Kim (Dianna Agron) and their baby. 

As her parents shuffle her around and try to pawn Dani off on someone for an internship or job she doesn’t want, Dani’s eyes keep getting drawn to Maya and to Kim, whom she didn’t know existed until today. Everyone keeps bombarding her with questions, commenting that she seems too thin—“You look like Gwyneth Paltrow on food stamps”—and Dani, feeling more and more overwhelmed, quickly spirals. Stuck in the same location, confronted by overbearing relatives, crying babies, and hounded by Ariel Marx’s horror-like score, the claustrophobia sets in.

Even with the mounting sense of dread, Shiva Baby remains sharply funny and relatable, and Rachel Sennott’s bitter and witty performance, accompanied by the accomplished supporting cast, helps elevate the film. However, though the film is only just over an hour long, it feels stretched in some places—understandably, since it began its life as a short film. Still, Shiva Baby is an alternatingly funny, awkward, and heartwarming film, and promises excellence from Emma Seligman.

You can follow more of Anna’s work on LetterboxdTwitterInstagram, and her website.