Sonchiriya movie review

globalmovie     03 Mar,2019         No Comment

sonchiriya-25-movie-reviews: Sushant Singh Rajput and Bhumi Pednekar’s performances sparkle in this brutal dacoit drama
Set in Chambal in the 1970s, Sonchiriya is the tale of Sardar Maan Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) and his gang. They are a team of God-fearing Baaghis (rebels) who believe in their dharma. But what exactly is that dharma is a question that causes immense mental and emotional turmoil to all. The film directed by Abhishek Chaubey stars Sushant Singh Rajput and Bhumi Pednekar in lead roles. The ensemble has some powerhouse performers like Ashutosh Rana, Manoj Bajpayee and Ranvir Shorey. Sonchiriya means a beautiful mythical bird that is evasive and for these Baaghis, it is their personal redemption.

What’s it about
Sardar Maan Singh is the leader of a gang of rebels who belong to the Thakur caste. They have to deal with many issues the biggest one being the fact that an inspector from the Gujjar caste is behind their lives and just looking for an opportunity to finish them. They decide to loot from a wedding in a village but the plan flops when 15 of their members are killed by the police. They manage to escape and later run into a woman Indumati Tomar (Bhumi Pednekar) who wants them to take her raped minor sister to a hospital for treatment. Lakhna decides to help her though it comes at a price of breaking old relationships. Do they manage to find some solace at the end is what Sonchiriya is all about.

What’s hot
The entire team deserves an A+ for their effort. Sonchiriya stays authentic to the region and is shot beautifully in the ravines of Chambal. The film uses natural lighting and gives us a glimpse into how hard was it to survive in that region. Anuj Dhawan has done a fab job capturing the unforgiving and haunting landscape of Chambal. Coming to the performances, Manoj Bajpayee steals the show though his role is just a cameo. Sushant Singh Rajput has the hero’s role and he invests immensely into the character. It is one of his best. Bhumi Pednekar too does a commendable job. Ashutosh Rana invokes menace with his stoic yet ruthless demeanour and Ranvir Shorey is good as always. Sudip Sharma’s dialogues are loaded with black humour and do not fail to make a social commentary wherever it is needed. The action sequences shot in closed spaces are one of the best we have ever seen. They are absolutely nail-biting. Full credit to Anton Moon and Sunil Rodrigues for the same.

What’s not
Sonchiriya is a wasted opportunity because the story falls flat. It is a niche film that will strike a chord with only those aware about Madhya Pradesh’s bandit or rebel culture. The director has given it an occasionally esoteric treatment, which does not drive home the message it intended to. The writers have not invested much into the characters. Except Bhumi’s Indumati, we do not know much about Maan or Vakil Singh to build an emotional connect with them. Also, the film lacks a single moment of heightened emotion. The film deals with the theme of redemption but that gets lost in the midst of the action and comments on caste and misogyny.

BL Verdict
Despite the flaws, Sonchiriya is complete cinema. Some powerful performances and social commentary are the biggest takeaways from the film. It does not entertain per se but presents an honest picture of an India many millennials might be unaware of…

Rating:2.5 out of 5

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