This film is being screened as part of the 2021 BFI London Film Festival and you can find all of our coverage of the festival here.
Set in early 2020, 7 Days follows two individuals looking for love to last a lifetime, when they are suddenly struck with the news that the country is in a complete lockdown due to COVID-19. Now, they have to quarantine together, after only ever going on one date.
There is an endless list of classic rom-coms that everyone loves, from the likes of Bridget Jones’ Diary to 10 Things I hate About You. 7 Days perfectly fits into the genre, but with a notable spin. It is one of the first movies to be set during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The film is centred around two individuals, Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Ravi (Karan Soni), who both come from families seeking an arranged marriage. The two meet on an online dating website, dedicated to arranged marriages, and they are expected to be compatible due to their families’ shared views on the importance of traditional values.
Rita and Ravi go on a picnic together for their first date and, despite some awkwardness, they both seem to share a lot of the same traditional values. However, when they return to Rita’s home, it is announced that the country is in lockdown due to COVID-19, and Ravi is unable to leave. They then realise that they are going to be living together, not knowing how long it will last.
Although this isn’t ideal, Ravi initially seems ok with this, as the two are so similar. However, Rita’s personality and way of living were not what she made it seem on the date—she is messy, drinks alcohol, eats meat, and is currently having an affair with a married man. This makes Ravi instantly anxious, and the two both become visibly irritated by each other’s living habits as the days go by.
Ravi wants to obsessively clean the house and have tasks to do, whereas Rita just wants to relax and is completely fine with living in an untidy household. The pair’s dynamic is extremely funny, considering their completely opposite personalities, but also sheds light on the struggles that everyone has had to face during the pandemic. Even when living with loved ones the whole ordeal was difficult. But the portrayal of this happening with two strangers makes the situation even more humorous.
Despite their opposing personalities, as the film continues, you can begin to see that both Rita and Ravi may be more compatible than they originally thought. They seem to begin getting along much better, and Rita seems to become jealous when Ravi begins going on virtual dates with other women. The choice to have almost the entirety of the film take place within Rita’s apartment brilliantly evokes the reality of quarantine and being stuck in your home. The scenario is of course heightened by the fact that Rita and Ravi are practically strangers, but removing the distractions that a change in scenery or location would provide allows Rita and Ravi’s blossoming love to feel organic.
7 Days is the perfect mixture of romance and comedy, all set during a time that has impacted everyone around the world over the past year. The character development of both Ravi and Rita is a joy to see. Although their personalities are practically polar opposites, they both learn a lot from each other—sometimes, opposites really do attract. Not only are the characters extremely funny and likeable, but the subject matter of the pandemic is relevant and relatable to us all.
Both romantic and witty, 7 Days is the perfect first portrayal of finding love not only with the involvement of family and traditional values, but also with the heavy burden of the pandemic. This modern take on the rom-com genre is entertaining, and the movie will have you both laughing and crying throughout
Words by Connie Burke
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