Follow Us:
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Sonata movie review: Shabana Azmi can sing and it’s the only takeaway from Sonata

Sonata movie review: Despite strong women characters played by Shabana Azmi, Aparna Sen and Lillete Dubey, Sonata stays only on surface.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi |
Updated: April 22, 2017 2:16:54 am
Sonata movie review, Sonata review, Sonata, Sonata movie, Sonata film, Shabana Azmi, Sonata movie review: Shaban Azmi, Aparna Sen, and Lillete Dubey are women of a certain age, who have grown into their skin, comfortable being themselves.

Sonata movie cast: Aparna Sen, Shabana Azmi, Lillete Dubey
Sonata movie director: Aparna Sen
Sonata star rating: 2 stars

Three women, freed from the preening-pouting shackles of mainstream cinema. These are women of a certain age, who have grown into their skin, comfortable being themselves. Such women are almost never seen on our screens, unless they are appendages — a principal character’s mother or aunt or `saas’ or `bhabhi’. Here, the trio is lubricated by a great deal of red wine. And surrounded by a beautifully appointed living room. What’s not to like?

Surprisingly, and disappointingly, not as much I wanted to. Neither the performances from these strong actors who have been known to raise the rafters, nor the conversation whorls within this chamber piece, based on a Mahesh Elkunchwar play, lift off the screen.

It is hard to film a play, but some of the best filmed theatre does manage to open up a third dimension, situating the characters in spaces which invite you to go deeper. Sonata, unfortunately, stays determinedly on the surface.

Best of Express Premium
Parallel lives: Shinde mentor Anand Dighe, Sena strongman and a thorn in ...Premium
At Digital Pratik’s ‘JorrDaar’ event, the only way in is an NFT ticketPremium
In 1978, it was Sharad Pawar who had led a rebel group and toppled Mahara...Premium
Explained: How the billion-dollar automobile industry is changing, courte...Premium
Sonata movie review, Sonata review, Sonata, Sonata movie, Sonata film, Shabana Azmi, A still from the film Sonata.

Each of these women, who went to college together, is given interesting contours. Dolon (Shabana Azmi) is a Rabindra Sangeet-singing-banker who shares the apartment with Aruna (Aparna Sen), a professor and author, struggling with pending chapters: the third, Subhi aka Subhadra is a journalist, with a complicated personal life.

Most of the time is spent in us listening in on the conversation, some of it stilted and stagey, between Dolon and Aruna, punctuated briefly by Subhi’s arrival-and-departure. As they talk through the evening, waiting for a fourth friend, we expect the layers to be shed, and we hope to start seeing the women for who they really are.

Also read| A film is not a preacher’s pulpit says filmmaker Aparna Sen

But that doesn’t happen. That crucial device, an uncovering of the past to understand the present, of laying bare dark secrets, isn’t as much of a dramatic reveal as it should have been, even though it’s the best part of the film.

And the way it ends, dragging in a horrific recent catastrophe without any real impact, seals it. My best takeaway from Sonata? Azmi’s singing voice. It’s lovely.

Express Subscription Do not hit the wall, subscribe for the best coverage out of India starting at just $5 per month

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard