It is rare that you come across a movie that leaves you speechless and with tons of thoughts at the same time. Trust me when I say that Love Sonia is one such movie. Set against the backdrop of human trafficking, the story dives deep into the corners of human emotions and behaviour. It is this very reason that makes it as hard-hitting as it is. As revealed in the trailer, the film revolves around Sonia and her quest to find her sister, Preeti.
Their story begins when their father, a distraught farmer portrayed brilliantly by Adil Hussain, who, defeated at the hands of fate and decides to (I pause before writing the next words because that’s the kind of effect it has had on me) sell one of his daughters, Preeti to Dada Thakur spectacularly portrayed by Anupam Kher. Sonia, unable to withstand being separated from her sister, jumps into a world that makes her worst nightmares come true. She goes to great lengths, neglects all warnings and any chance of saving herself. She dives head-first into every pit that she believes could bring her closer to finding her sister. Her journey is one of a kind and yet there are so many others around her who have been through the same or worse. The glimpses of the lives of each of the characters stirs something in you, something you can’t quite define. It makes you feel ashamed to be a part of the same species as these human traffickers and glad that there is another side that’s out there trying to save as many lives as they can.
Love Sonia marks the debut of Tabrez Noorani as a director and he outdoes himself to say the least. Tabrez is known for his work as a line producer for films like Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire and has worked with the likes of Danny Boyle and Ang Lee. His experience as a producer comes through amazingly well in this film and it also showcases his impeccable talent as a director. The story and the way it speaks to a viewer is not something you experience so often. Tabrez manages to pull out the ugly and good side of humanity, making this movie difficult to watch but in a good way. After all, it unearths a miserable truth, it’s not supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy anyway.
The movie has a strong and talented star cast including Adil, Anupam, Richa Chadha, Manoj Bajpayee, Freida Pinto, Saie Tamhankar, Demi Moore and last but definitely not the least, Mrunal Thakur. Love Sonia marks her move from television to movies and she is a revelation. She is vulnerable, hopeful, fierce, helpless, strong and broken all at the same time. Every speck of emotion that Sonia feels, you feel it too and it leaves you speechless for so many reasons. Every character that Sonia meets opens her up to a different kind of reality that exists, not all good, not all bad. As far as performances are concerned, the experienced actors prove their mettle once again with brilliant performances.
That being said, the first half of the film is stronger and more impactful than the second. The addition of extra plot-points takes away from the heart of the film, making it a little predictable towards the end. Although, it does leave you with a gut-wrenching thought about the ones who never make it out and about the those who do find freedom but receive it at an irreversible cost. If you’re someone who enjoys content-driven films that do more than just keeping you occupied for more than 2 hours, this film will challenge and intrigue you from within and it is a must-watch. Kudos to the entire team for creating something so incredible.
Love Sonia will hit the theatres on the 14th of September.
Star Cast: Mrunal Thakur, Adil Hussain, Anupam Kher, Richa Chadha, Manoj Bajpayee, Freida Pinto, Saie Tamhankar, Demi Moore
Director: Tabrez Noorani