Though the exterior surface of the trailer gleams with giggles, there are undercurrents of tremendous frisson and anguish in Aparna Sen’s latest work Sonata.
While Aparna Sen plays a woman who has turned her back on love,Lilette Dubey plays a woman trapped in an abusive marriage.Shabana Azmi has the most complex role as she unravels layers after layers of closeted yearnings through her character.
Sonata seems to work because there are three beautiful actresses navigating Aparna Sen’s dream to fruition. And yes, that’s her real-life husband Kalyan Sen being yanked out of his academic kingdom to play his wife’s long-standing love intetest. This is not the first timeAparna has invited her husband to face the camera. In ParomaAparna’s then-husband Mukul Sharma had played Raakhee Gulzar’s lover.
The trailer of Sonata works because the trio of actresses are as free-spirited in real life as they are on screen.Sonata promises a return to form for director Aparna Sen . Her last film Arshinagar a Hindi-Muslim take on Romeo & Juliet, was a disaster.
The trailer is a bit of a post-feminist cliché. The trio guffawing over the fact that they are not “even” feminists…But beneath that self-deprecatory laughter is the emptiness that this genre has faced in India. Where are are the Indian films that celebrate the midleagedwomen’s sexuality. Sonata is the psychological exploration of three unmarried women facing a mid-life crisis – Aruna Chaturvedi, DolonSen and SubhadraParekh, a professor, a banker and a journalist. The 103 minute film revolves around the emotional ups and downs of these three friends culminating in an event of global magnitude, confronted with which, their everyday joys and sorrows pale into insignificance.”
Says Aparna Sen, “In this film I have attempted to explore of various aspects of the
feminine. To make that exploration wider in its scope, I introduced two minor characters apart from the three single women who are the protagonists –a maid, thereby cutting across class borders– and a transgender woman. None of these characters were there in the original
play by Mahesh Elkunchwar from which the film is adapted. I also changed the ending by bringing into the lives of these women a tragedy of global magnitude, which not only places their personal anxieties in perspective, but also strengthens the bond of friendship among them.”