Cast: Naseeruddin Shah,Romi Jaspal,Nivedita Bhattacharya
Director: Makrand Deshpande
The Indian Express rating: *
Some films go so rapidly from oh-my-god-can-this-really-be-true to such sublime awfulness that you are left transfixed. Sona Spa opens with a beatific-of-face,sonorous-of-voice Naseer telling us how humankinds most prized possession is sleep,and then propels us towards a ‘spa’ where girls do not sleep with you,but for you. We are then introduced to a bunch of women who lie around in beds,attired in togas,in various stages of sleep-dream cycles,and then the film unleashes itself upon you.
Amongst its chief attractions is a lecher who is triple-timing his wife,and whose idea of getting rid of troublesome mistresses is to off them,one by one. Then there is a businessman who goes to dance bars and drinks,and slaps his daughter when she tries to stop him. There is also a poor soul who is in a coma,surrounded by sobbing daughters. And a cop on the take ( who also,if I caught that right,pretends to be a TV reporter). These sleep-deprived characters all have sleepers,with whom they bond,caressing each others’ faces. No,Im not having you on.
These are the ‘sleepers’: a former hooker with a Lucknawi andaaz,who is to be seen wearing flowing shararas ,a jeans-clad,frizzy-haired loud-mouth,and a good middle-class girl in a ‘salwaar kameez’. The idea looks like its been lifted from a sci fi book I read some years ago,but there really is no other similarity: Sona Spa made me recall famous Ajit jokes ( Mona ke saath sona),and led me to random thoughts about good actors being used so badly that they cause unsurpassed hilarity. What was Naseer thinking?
Sona Spa has gone straight to the top of my so-ghastly-they-are-terrific films of the year.