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The New Censor Policy : Getting Away With Filth In The Name Of Liberalism?

SKJ Bollywood News 2018-09-14 12:23:58

Love Sonia

Starring: Mrunal Thakur,Riya Sisodiya, Richa Chadha, Freida Pinto, Anupam  Kher, Manoj Bajpai, Rajkummar Rao

Directed by: Tabrez Noorani

Rating:**(2 stars)

 This well-intended melodrama about  human trafficking and  child prostitution  has  its heart in  the right place . Sadly, the social perversity that  ought to have galvanized the director into action, seem to finally drag the film down to the very level where the sub-human culture of the flesh trade  exists.

 There  is something  fundamentally amiss in a film where a posse  of  capable actors get together  to create  a messy tribute to the Bleeding Heart’s Club. The  narrative seems  to be  a diehard  fan of its own  righteousness. Often times, the sexual violence  is  repugnant not for being  excessively  graphic(which it is) but because the sadism seems  to  be  disturbingly gratuitous,leading us  into believing that in some cases , cinema  about sexual violence  gets so close to  its subject that it loses its dispassion and ends  up celebrating rather than abnegating  the  violence.

Love Sonia  means well.  No doubt about that.Regrettably , so does the guy who randomly shoots down innocent  people in a pub as what he thinks to be solution to ethnic inundation.

At times the  language of  violence used in this  film is as violent as  the  situation that it (the language )is meant to condemn. The problem  is not so much director Tabrez Noorani’s amateurish  borderline-hysterical responses  to the flesh trade. The bigger problem is the film’s inability to differentiate between condemning and   unintentionally celebrating sexual violence.

 I have seen at least two  films in recent times which bled  its wailing heart into lives  of  prostitutes.Nagesh Kukunoor’s Laxmiwas  so gruesome  it made you flinch. While Jeffrey  Brown’s Sold was so  dainty  about the  raw world of  brothel abuse that it ended up looking like  a Disney  film posing as  an Anurag Kashyap shocker.

Love Sonia  is  neither graphic enough to shake us nor sweet enough to qualify as conscientious  fluff. It  is  caught in the middle between brutal and beautiful achieving  neither  extremity  in spite  of some terrific  camerawork  by the Polish LukazBielan who  seems  to understand the need to create an equilibrium  between passion and  perversity  better than the director.

Noorani flounders  at crucial moments letting down the victim-protagonists  in the film in a similar  way that destiny  has chosen to do. The story of  two sisters in an Indian village  one  of  whom Preeti(Riya Sisodia) is sold off to ease her  debt-ridden farmer-father(Adil  Hussain)’s burden . As  Sonia(Mrunal Thakur) follows  her sister into  the  evil world of pimps,prostitution and fornication I felt I was watching an Ekta  Kapoor serial with  every frame breathing fire.

The  narration is breathless with righteous  indignation. The  breast-beating tone  secretes scarcely any room  for tenderness except when the amazing Rajkummar Rao(is there anything that he  can’t do?)  appears  for  fleeting moments of hope in a tale that revels  in hopelessness.

Robust performances  by newcomer Mrunal Thakur, Richa Chadha,Manoj Bajpai and Sai Tamhakar cannot redeem this sunless drama of  the damned   from drowning in the  dreadful  pool its own doom.