Tamasha Talkies, Samraaj Talkies, India Take One Productions, Cinemantra Entertainment & Media, Dynasty Consulting Group and Prime Focus Group’s Love Sonia (A) is a film about human trafficking.
It is the story of a girl, Sonia (Mrunal Thakur), who sets out in search of her elder sister, Preeti (Riya Sisodiya), who has been sold by their poverty-stricken father (Adil Hussain) to pimps for prostitution. Unfortunately, Sonia also ends up in the red light area of Bombay. The film exposes the horrendous business of human trafficking spread throughout the world, through the heart-wrenching tale of Sonia.
Tabrez Noorani has penned a very stark and disturbing tale of a non-adult girl literally pushed into the flesh trade and tormented and tortured by pimps, dealers and customers. Since the story shows reality, it is so depressing that it often becomes difficult to see the drama unfold on the screen. The screenplay, penned by Ted Caplan and Alkesh Vaja, is full of disturbing anecdotes which serve to not just shake the audiences but also push them into further depression. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that there are scenes in which the majority of the viewers would cringe because they are so stark and raw. Yes, the festival circuit audience may admire the honesty of the drama but the general viewers would often feel repulsed by the same. Ritesh Shah’s dialogues are, again, stark and real, as they ought to be in a film of this kind.
Mrunal Thakur gives an excellent account of herself as Sonia. Her performance is lovely. Manoj Bajpayee is wonderful as the brothel keeper and he makes his character detestable. Richa Chadha leaves a wonderful mark. Adil Hussain plays the helpless father of Sonia and Preeti very effectively. Anupam Kher makes his presence felt. Riya Sisodiya acts very naturally as Preeti. Sai Tamhankar lends able support. Rajkumar Rao adds star value in a special appearance and acts with aplomb. Freida Pinto lives the role of the frustrated prostitute. Mark Duplass, Demi Moore, Abhishek Bharate, Ankur Vikal, Sunny Pawar, Kiran Khoje, Barbie Rajput, Aarti Mann, Abhinav Gupta and Nikhil Raj lend decent support.
Tabrez Noorani’s direction is superb. He narrates a heart-wrenching tale of a girl forced into the flesh trade, so starkly that it actually shakes the viewers. Niels Bye Nielsen’s background music is impactful. The ‘I am more’ song, penned and composed by A.R. Rahman, is okay. Lucas Bielan’s cinematography is lovely. Production designing (by Ravi Srivastava) is excellent. Martin Singer’s editing is crisp.
On the whole, Love Sonia is a very well-researched, well-written and well-made film with excellent performances. But it is a depressing fare, at the end of the day. Hence, despite noble intentions, it will not find favour with the audience.