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SONCHIRIYA - A superbly executed film which actually delivers the promised explosions only in its final hour & will find more appreciation and viewers on the online portals instead of the theaters. (Review By Bobby Sing)

02 Mar, 2019 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases

Clearing some misconceptions first, though the film’s trailer was pretty impressive showcasing its brilliant shot-taking with an exciting cast rediscovering the forgotten era of Chambal valley and its famous dacoits – the actual SONCHIRIYA is sadly not as explosive as it was projected to be. Secondly if you were excited enough to watch the film as a Manoj Bajpai fan, then there is further disappointment in store as Manoj is only there in a short special appearance, which the trailers never revealed hiding the important information.

Having said that, SONCHIRIYA still makes a solid impact through its technical excellence and performances, along with delivering the promised explosive moments in its final hour. But at the same time its narrative remains highly complicated which hardly conveys anything significant or engrossing before the intermission and thus you don’t get emotionally involved with its characters as we last felt while watching PAAN SINGH TOMAR made on a similar subject. Moreover the local Bundelkhandi dialect in its dialogues is also difficult to get at times, especially in the beginning of the film.

Putting it differently, this is yet another off-beat kind of cinema delivered by Abhishek Chaubey – the director of ISHQIYA (2010), DEDH ISHQIYA (2014) and UDTA PUNJAB (2016) which is much more dry in terms of content, missing the likable commercial elements which were earlier right there in his semi-off-beat kind of films, if I can put it that way. This time where he consistently displays his excellent cinematic vision through the camerawork, shot-taking, performances and look and feel of the film, he strangely doesn’t come up with anything entertaining or musical as we mostly enjoyed in his last three films. Though the songs are well-placed suiting the given situations, the melody is yet again not there in the music of Vishal Bhardwaj and the soundtrack turns out to be forgettable with no particular track staying in your mind once you get over with the film. 
On the other hand, the editing is superfine and background score excels and successfully draws your attention making the desired impact. Dialogues are short and sharp as ought to be there in a dacoit-movie and the visuals transport you to a different, scary world, largely unfamiliar for the present generation. The action is realistically gory and production design, art direction, make-up and costumes are quite authentic enhancing the film’s visual appeal.
Revolving around the continuous gang wars and inner, undisclosed guilts of the baaghis (as the rebels were called) the writing decently fleshes out the characters. But the most impressive and solid moments of the film are the ones where we get to the see the revealing flashback, the entry of Bandit Queen as a helping hand and the final shocking twist unmasking the harsh truth to the young son, who doesn’t even know who his real father is!
Besides the performances are top notch with Manoj Bajpai verpowering them all in his few scenes and Bhumi Pednekar scoring the most along with Sampa Mandal (as Phuliya) and the young girl, moving ahead of the remaining male stars. Both Ranvir Shorey and Sushant Rajput make sincere efforts in their given roles and so does the entire supporting cast playing the gang members, informers, policemen and villagers. However one man once again reminds us of his unexplored caliber as the police officer working towards his personal agenda and he is Ashutosh Rana who is certainly the only actor of the present times who can really scare you as the ‘Bad-Man’ reminding you of the past decades.
In all, SONCHIRIYA is a technically well-executed film with a perfect look and feel and appreciable performances but its story telling needed to be much better making the important emotional connect with its target audience. 
Strangely I am told that at certain places the film has also been released with dubbed dialogues in plain Hindi instead of the original Bundelkhandi dialect without any prior information to the viewers. Now that’s quite absurd and confused decision as I see it, because if you have knowingly made the film for a certain section of viewers as an off-beat non-commercial project then why are you also interested in reaching the general audience messing with the end-product stepping into two boats together. That frankly not only sounds illogical but also shows lack of confidence in their product by the makers themselves.
Anyhow in the present scenario SONCHIRIYA will certainly find more appreciation & audience at the online portals instead of the theaters to be honest. But if you are personally interested in the technical aspects of filmmaking then do watch it on the big screen before it gets off next week.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the makers bravely backing such unconventional film in the present times, when the viewers have already stopped visiting the theaters for such films and their first shows normally get cancelled because of no tickets sold. In fact the time soon will be here when such projects will be made but only to be released on the online portals.)

Tags : SONCHIRIYA Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews By Bobby Sing, Hindi Movies on Chambal Valley Dacoits
02 Mar 2019 / Comment ( 0 )
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