Sonchiriya Review: Sushant Singh Rajput and Bhumi Pednekar’s unconventional ‘dacoit’ film is NOT for everyone

Sushant Singh Rajput and Bhumi Pednekar star in an unconventional dacoit movie, but it won’t satiate everyone’s taste bud. Read full review.
Son Chiriya Review: Sushant Singh Rajput and Bhumi Pednekar’s unconventional ‘daciot’ film is NOT for everyoneSon Chiriya Review: Sushant Singh Rajput and Bhumi Pednekar’s unconventional ‘daciot’ film is NOT for everyone
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Movie name: Sonchiriya 
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Bhumi Pednekar, Ranvir Shorey, Manoj Bajpayee
Director: Abhishek Chaubey 
Ratings: 3/5 
 
Dacoits and bandits have often been limited to ‘Sholay’ in Bollywood, but Abhishek Chaubey shatters all the myths with a crass, non-glamorous (mostly) and poignant Sonchiriya. Set in 1975, Sonchiriya revolves around a dacoit gang led by Maan Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) with Vakil Singh (Ranvir Shorey) who is his ally and Lakhan (Sushant Singh Rajput) his most dependable member. While the dacoits are the mice in the circle, policeman Virendra Gujjar (Ashutosh Rana) is the snake who preys on them, and with the caste being the vulture preying on everyone, it is one vicious circle, indeed. Abhishek along with Sudeep Sharma weaves an impressive caste politics commentary, but the storyline is disappointingly slow paced. 
 
Just like Udta Punjab, Chaubey captures the struggles, the fear, the anxiety, the desires of the subjects (in this case, the dacoits) with extreme subtly whilst giving us a look into their dark world. Each one of the dacoits is trying to find a salvation of sorts, trying to break free from what seems to be their fate. They are not delusioned; however, they were brought up to belive it is their ‘dharma’ to protect their caste and people. They somehow feel they were destined for this, to live and die with the bullets. Their ‘rollarcoaster’ and never ending struggle (more with their ownself than the police) is interrupted when they come across a distressed Indumati (Bhumi Pednekar) who is on the run to seek treatment for a young rape survivor. 
 
Indumati is a victim of patriarchy who despite her attempts at breaking out finds herself tied to it. For instance, there is a scene where Phuliya (another dacoot, a reference to Bandit Queen, also a rape survivor) asks her to join her gang, to which Indumati smiles saying, “You belong to a certain caste and I am a Thakur.” To which, Phuliya replies, “Yeh jati sirf aadhmiyon ke liye hai, aurton ko alag hi jaat hoti hai, in sabse neeche.” That dialogue hits you hard and one must applaud the sensitivity with which Chaubey managed to pull it off. Despite the film being set in 1975, Chaubey balanced the pitch of the movie with modernity. 
 
 
Abhishek’s attempt at giving each character a story and backdrop is commendable making them more humane than ever. Cinematographer Anuj Rakesh Dhawan captured the ravines very aesthetically. However, it is the performances which stand out. Though you might feel fatigue within an hour, if patient, the movie strikes a chord with you by the end of it, leaving you with lingering memories of the dacoits and the real ones. 
 
Let’s also take a moment to appreciate the action sequences which were directed pretty well, without making them difficult to stomach. Manoj Bajpayee in the small cameo proves why he is one of the best actors of the industry. The flare and precision with which he plays the character of Maan Singh is amazing. Sushant delivers a superlative performance as Lakhan by literally wearing it as his second skin. The restrain the actor manages to show in this tale of aggression is superlative. On the other hand, Shorey stands out as Vakil Singh. The maturity, impulsiveness and despair that he showcases as Vakil is noteworthy. We surely need to see him more on-screen.
 
Using ‘Son Chiriya’ as a metaphor to caste politics and lives of bandits, Abhishek Chaubey serves an uncoventional yet engaging dish, but not everyone would like the taste of it. 
 
 
 
 

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Comments

like WTF very disappointed in PV

Who r u to say what we will like to see just review it dont need to say more btw it got a standing ovation at MAMI

Bhavna ji putting down a film like SonChiriya saying it's "not for everyone" reflects very poorly on you. Who are you to decide for others whether they should give this a chance or not? The job of a critic is to just honestly state whether it's a well made good film or not and what you liked or didn't like about the movie. SonChiriya got a standing ovation at MAMI. It doesn't deserve being demeaned like this from detractors like you and based on what??? Pure prejudice???

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