Sonchiriya Movie Review 2019: Tenderness In Rough Ravines

Sonchiriya Movie Review 2019: Tenderness In Rough Ravines

Movie Name
Abhishek Chaubey
Action, Crime, Drama
02 hours 15 minutes

Sonchiriya Review

The camera lingers for several seconds on the eye of a dead creature and flies buzzing around feast on it. When that's the opening shot, you know how raw the rest of the terrain is going to be. Writer-director Abhishek Chaubey's dacoit drama pans out the way it opens. Gritty, grim and gruesome.

There are three intricate threads of unrelenting realism interwoven by screenplay and dialogue writer Sudip Sharma.

One is that caste reigns supreme even in the ravines, the home of rough and scruffy dacoits. It doesn't matter which side of the law you are as much as what your caste is. Rebel Maan Singh's gang of high caste Thakurs come with their own code of conduct where touching women and children is taboo. When they do kill a child completely by mistake, their conscience won't let them rest. That's what haunts Maan Singh and Lakhan Singh or Dadda and Lakhna as they are called.

It leads to the second track which is of redemption. Dadda and Lakhnaseek to redeem themselves, each in his own way, whatever the cost. Saving Indumati, a Thakur woman on the run with a young girl who has been brutalised and requires urgent medical attention becomes Lakhna's mission.

The Thakur woman's tale where her own son wants to catch her only to punish her becomes the third thread. Her story and how Dadda orchestrated his redemption provide the twists in the tale which is told with a firm grip by Chaubey.

The intricate story has dacoits contemplating surrender, gangs splitting up and cops who want to hunt them down for their own personal reasons. The appearance ofPhuliya the female dacoit makes another statement on society.

Told with the starkness of the territory where it unfolds, the dacoits have their own superstitions, staunch religious beliefs and moments of doubt over how their lives could have been. Equally stark is the wickedness of people who are not outlaws but just as black or even blacker.

The dialogues have the same bare-knuckled effect as the rough terrain. In an interesting exchange between Phuliya and Indumati, the worldly-wise dacoit tells the upper caste woman, "You don't get it, do you? Caste is for men. Women are a caste of their own and they figure really low."

Well shot and well narrated, Sushant Singh Rajput's Lakhna is unscrubbed but not uncouth and he has a soft vulnerability. Manoj Bajpayee in his brief appearance as Dadda also slips into the ravines and becomes a part of the territory with ease.

Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.

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  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

While connoisseurs of cinema will find it spot-on with its social comments, the screenplay is extremely indulgent with an unnecessarily long running time. The unwashed, unglamorous bunch of characters will also find a limited audience. And the lavish use of the Bundelkhand dialect will further trim its audience.

For a gritty film that makes the right social comments but with limited appeal, Sonchiriya gets a 3* rating.


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