Director: Tabrez Noorani
Starring: Mrunal Thakur, Riya Sisodiya, Rajkummar Rao, Freida Pinto, Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chadha, Adil Hussain and Sai Tamhankar
Story: Ted Caplan and Tabrez Noorani, Alkesh Vaja
Dialogue: Ritesh Shah and Alkesh Vaja (Hindi Dialogue)
Tamasha Talkies and Samraaj Talkies’ LOVE SONIA is inspired by real events, LOVE SONIA is a hard hitting story of Sonia who risks her life to rescue her sister from a vivacious human trafficking network across India, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. The story of the film is belonging to a drought prone village in India, a debt-ridden farmer (Adil Hussain) grapples with poverty and desperation. Despite the dire circumstances, his daughters — teen sisters Sonia (Mrunal Thakur) and Preeti (Riya Sisodiya) choose to be happy. But their undying spirit takes a beating when the helpless father decides to sell off Preeti to a local landlord for money. Naïve and hopeful, Sonia sets off to look for her missing sister without anticipating the heinous repercussions. Her search drags her to Mumbai’s dark underbelly and entraps her in the horrific world of sex trade and prostitution and ends up in posh hotels of Hong Kong and lavish villas of Los Angeles. LOVE SONIA is a mix of stories. Sonia’s search for missing sister might be the central theme, but it has branches that lead us to the terrific life stories of Rashmi (Frieda Pinto) and Madhuri (Richa Chadha), who live in the same brothel.
Technically the film is very good; Cinematography by Lucas Bielan is superb, the film is edited very well by Martin Singer. Music by Niels Bye Nielsen also expresses a lot of emotions and goes with the flow of the story nicely.
Performances wise each and every actor has given their best; the powerful performances of the cast make it an incredible watching experience. Richa Chadha in a significant role proves her mettle as an actor once again and Rajkummar Rao shines in his crucial cameo. Freida Pinto plays her semi-delusional character well. Manoj Bajpayee’s Faisal is another powerful performance as he imbues his role with duplicity and a sinister vibe. Anupam Kher does a good job but an actor of his caliber could have given more space. Sai Tamhanker does a great job, along with Adil Hissain but LOVE SONIA in every sense belongs to Mrunal Thakur who makes her debut with this film. She is already a well known face in the television circuit but her strikingly self assured performance makes a powerful impact. She works the silent moments brilliantly.
Debut director Tabrez Noorani doesn’t underplay the brutality of the issue at hand and doesn’t spare you the graphic details. Noorani makes you take a closer look at reality, which is hard to fathom and makes a solid debut!