Tabrez Noorani’s directorial debut ‘Love Sonia‘ is the audience’s walking journey towards a story. It is a film I decided to watch with the first look of the trailer. If the trailer was an endorsement of an idea, then ‘Love Sonia’ had to be the film of choice. This movie has nobly adopted an important theme while executing it on camera with what can be thought as the clear precision of genuineness.
It is the film that disturbs you through and throughout its depiction of the mind-numbing sex trade in India.The movie beautifully portrays the easy fooling of childhood in a developing country with hungry bellies, poverty and many sold-out law bearers. The story makes sincere attempts to voice the consequences of these depressing “epidemics”. Young girls in India, especially from the village areas are major victims of this illegal activity. These girls are bartered like commodities to make ends meet within too many mud walls.
Love Sonia shows how love and luck have the power to take you places. Sonia, a young optimist from a small village near Maharashtra shares the most beautiful bond with her sister, Preeti. Preeti and Sonia discuss their lives, dreams and Mumbai in their jolly conversations. However, the family’s indebtedness takes a toll on Preeti who is considered the more beautiful and also the more arrogant of the two. She’s dragged to Mumbai where her life stops like a vehicle at the Red Light. Sonia, the more agile and ugly (Quoting: “Ek Rani, aur ek Saand”) is determined to bring back her love. In between and after, follows a journey that takes you through disgust, tears, hatred, hope, love, fear and madness.
The dazzling cast featuring acclaimed actors like Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Freida Pinto, Demi Moore, Mark Duplass, Rajkummar Rao, Richa Chadda, Sai Tamhankar and Adil Hussain establish individual tone, temperament and give texture to this gritty drama that is based on real-life incidents. Debutant Mrunal Thakur’s performance as Sonia takes one from India to Hong Kong to Los Angeles showing how light and darkness live as two poles of a magnet in every corner of the world. Lukasz Bielan’s cinematography is brilliant and has a deep impact of its own. The narrative establishes Noorani as a craftsman with a blitzkrieg storytelling technique. It leaves one with an urge of wanting to help the movie.
Sitting far from the piercing light of dirty nakedness, I am writing to tell and you are reading to know that Sonia was sold for mere five puffs of a cigarette. Many other such scenes from the movie takes one through irrevocable instances of experiencing the unrealized self-worth. The film appears to me as an important Bollywood marker, a story that is intensely local and global.
‘Love Sonia‘ is a movie no smaller than life. We are presented with the journeys of love, evil and hope travelling together, for different reasons, to meet their own finality with one’s choice determining the story of the other.
After acknowledging a reality so dark, I walked out of the theatre disturbed with a lot of questions yet no answers in hand.