Star Cast: Ranvir Shorey, Ashutosh Rana, Sushant Singh Rajput, Bhumi Pednekar, Manoj Bajpayee, Mahesh Balraj, Amit Sial, Jatin Sarna
Director: Abhishek Chaubey
What’s Good: It’s extremely easy to showcase scenic locations in your films and make the viewers wish to go there, but after this, I want to visit the ravines, no other movie has made the valleys look so attractive, the stalwartly performances by each and every one
What’s Bad: Many people will find it hard to connect with the narration and because of that few self-obsessed sites, will abandon the movie by labelling it as ‘European cinema’
Loo Break: If you’re in after knowing what the movie will offer you, you’ll not need any break but if you’re in to do ‘gulu gulu’ with your partner, just go out!
Watch or Not?: Please, do yourself a favour, if you have a taste of such films (The Dollars Trilogy, Django Unchained, Paan Singh Tomar) watch this one in the theaters
The universe of Sonchiriya consists of two kinds of people, dacoits and coppers. The gang of dacoits is led by Man Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) and he’s haunted by the ghosts of his past. The next aspiring leaders of the gang, Lakhan (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Vakil (Ranvir Shorey) make sure to protect their team from the police in a loot executed by Man Singh. When the things go south, the gang finds their way out from the city into the deep ravines.
On their way out escaping from the police, Vakil and gang have to let Indumati (Bhumi Pednekar) due to certain circumstances. They all get a reality check when the side of police gets stronger and are attacked by the natives of Indumati. Are they really running from the coppers or they’re running from themselves? The rest of the story explores the behavioural change of people who didn’t ‘want’ to be dacoits in the first place.
Sonchiriya Movie Review: Script Analysis
Abhishek Chaubey has made ravines look beautiful like never before. He creates this world and just expects you to get lost in it. Yes, you will get unexpected twists and turns with a heavy dosage of humour, but all of this comes at a cost. You’ll have to pay your undivided attention to enjoy what’s happening on screen. The ambiguous title Sonchiriya (apparently inspired from the rare breed of Great Indian Bustard) implies a great subtext to the ‘dacoit’ angle of the film.
Sudip Sharma & Abhishek Chaubey’s story scores brownie points by not going all serious. Sudip’s dialogues are deep as the ocean yet leave waves of waves of laughter throughout. Yes, for the initial few moments one may find the hindrance of the language but with the time you just get immersed to miss anything substantial. Talking about Anuj Rakesh Dhawan’s camera angles, he has tried everything. From downward sliding to tilted and zoom, Anuj has played with the angles to enhance the watching experience.
Sonchiriya Movie Review: Star Performance
When you have a movie like Sonchiriya, someone like Ranvir Shorey is the missing piece to complete your beautiful puzzle. He leaves no room unexplored when it comes to acting. From bursting into sudden laughter to screaming in grief, he has made it look so easy.
Sushant Singh Rajput expands his acting range with Lakhan. He looks a very different ‘actor’ compared to his previous works and pushes his bar to another level. Undoubtedly, his best performance to date. Bhumi Pednekar is here to stay for decades now! Even if she screams or not look like your run-of-the-mill heroine, you will adore her for every second she’s on the screen.
Ashutosh Rana somewhere falls a tiny bit of short in this hurricane of talented performances. He’s outstanding, no doubt about that but when you’ve 4 players of your team hitting a century, yours 99 might look like a little less. When Manoj Bajpayee’s performance was credited as a special appearance, it hurt. He had a remarkable amount of chunk, in which he nailed every dialogue. Still, he’s one of the best performers we’ve. From Bandit Queen’s Man Singh to Sonchiriya’s Man Singh, Manoj has covered many cinematic milestones in his career. Jatin Sarna delivers a controlled yet impactful performance because “Bunty, yahan chu*** nahi hai!”
Sonchiriya Movie Review: Direction, Music
Abhishek Chaubey, the sincerest student to come out of Vishal Bhardwaj’s school, continues to create a different world for his films. After a very dark Udta Punjab, Abhishek takes us to the ravines as no one has ever done before. He has mastered the art of silence and there are powerful sequences shoved with a soothing tune of guitar and piano.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s lonely, mournful score is inseparable from the film. Without comparing him to the legend Ennio Morricone, who is the master of Western music, Bhardwaj creates his own niche. Thankfully, there are no gimmicky songs to add to the screentime. A couple of songs, that go with the narration, play in the background without disrupting anything. The title track in Rekha Bhardwaj’s heart-pinching voice is, now, staying with me for a very period of time. Apart from being visually striking, the film is also audibly pleasant.
Sonchiriya Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Sonchiriya takes, what Bandit Queen started, a level above. It maintains the ‘everyone crosses everyone’ metaphor very smoothly. I lost the count of how many times I screamed ‘WOW’ in awe of the powerful drama happening on screen.
Sonchiriya released on 1st March, 2019.
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